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Structural insights into adhesion GPCR ADGRL3 activation and Gq, Gs, Gi, and G12 coupling

November 2022

"Adhesion G-protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs) play key roles in a diversity of physiologies. A hallmark of aGPCR activation is the removal of the inhibitory GAIN domain and the dipping of the cleaved stalk peptide into the ligand-binding pocket of receptors; however, the detailed mechanism remains obscure. Here, we present cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of ADGRL3 in complex with Gq, Gs, Gi, and G12. The structures reveal unique ligand-engaging mode, distinctive activation conformation, and key mechanisms of aGPCR activation. The structures also reveal the uncharted structural information of GPCR/G12 coupling. A comparison of Gq, Gs, Gi, and G12 engagements with ADGRL3 reveals the key determinant of G-protein coupling on the far end of αH5 of Gα. A detailed analysis of the engagements allows us to design mutations that specifically enhance one pathway over others. Taken together, our study lays the groundwork for understanding aGPCR activation and G-protein-coupling selectivity."

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