Identification of RL-TGR, a coreceptor involved in aversive chemical signaling

Academic Article


  • Chemical signaling plays an important role in predator-prey interactions and feeding dynamics. Like other organisms that are sessile or slow moving, some marine sponges contain aversive compounds that defend these organisms from predation.We sought to identify and characterize a fish chemoreceptor that detects one of these compounds. Using expression cloning in Xenopus oocytes coexpressing the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel, the beta-2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR), and fractions of a zebrafish cDNA library, we isolated a cDNA clone encoding receptor activity-modifying protein (RAMP)-like triterpene glycoside receptor (RL-TGR), a novel coreceptor involved in signaling in response to triterpene glycosides. This coreceptor appears to be structurally and functionally related to RAMPs, a family of coreceptors that physically associate with and modify the activity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). In membranes from formoside-responsive oocytes, RL-TGR was immunoprecipitated in an apparent complex with β2AR. In HEK293 cells, coexpression of β2AR induced the trafficking of RL-TGR from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane. These results suggest that RL-TGR in the predatory fish physically associates with the β2AR or another, more physiologically relevant GPCR and modifies its pharmacology to respond to triterpene glycosides found in sponges that serve as a potential food source for the fish. RL-TGR forms a coreceptor that responds to a chemical defense compound in the marine environment, and its discovery might lead thewayto the identification of other receptors that mediate chemical defense signaling.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cohen SP; Haack KKV; Halstead-Nussloch GE; Bernard KF; Hatt H; Kubanek J; McCarty NA
  • Start Page

  • 12339
  • End Page

  • 12344
  • Volume

  • 107
  • Issue

  • 27