Complete List of Publications

Key Publications

MRAP2 regulates ghrelin receptor signaling and hunger sensing

Srisai D, Yin TC, Lee AA, Rouault AAJ, Pearson NA, Grobe JL, Sebag JA.

Nat Commun. 2017 Sep 28;8(1):713.

Ghrelin is the only known circulating orexigenic hormone. It is primarily secreted by the stomach and acts at its receptor, the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a (GHSR1a), in the hypothalamus to signal hunger and promote food intake. The melanocortin receptor accessory protein 2 (MRAP2) was previously shown to regulate energy homeostasis through the modulation of the activity of the melanocortin-4 receptor and prokineticin receptors. In this study we identify MRAP2 as a partner of ghrelin-GHSR1a signaling. We show that MRAP2 interacts with GHSR1a and potentiates ghrelin-stimulated signaling both in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrate that in the absence of MRAP2, fasting fails to activate agouti-related protein neurons. In addition, we show that the orexigenic effect of ghrelin is lost in mice lacking MRAP2. Our results suggest that MRAP2 is an important modulator of the energy homeostasis machinery that operates through the regulation of multiple GPCRs throughout the hypothalamus.Melanocortin receptor accessory protein 2 (MRAP2) is an adaptor protein that contributes to melanocortin-4 receptor and prokineticin receptor 1 signalling. Here the authors show that MRAP2 also regulates ghrelin receptor signalling in the hypothalamus and starvation sensing in mice.

Regions of MRAP2 required for the inhibition of orexin and prokineticin receptor signaling.

Rouault AAJ, Lee AA, Sebag JA.

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017 Sep 19. 

The Melanocortin Receptor Accessory Protein 2 (MRAP2) regulates the activity of several GPCRs involved in the control of food intake and energy expenditure. While MRAP2 was originally thought to exclusively interact with melanocortin receptors we have recently shown that it interacts with and inhibits the trafficking and signaling of the prokineticin receptor 1 (PKR1). In this study we demonstrate a new role of MRAP2 in the regulation of the orexin receptor 1 (OX1R) and identify the specific regions of MRAP2 required for the regulation of OX1R and PKR1. Importantly, like MC4R and PKRs, OX1R is predominately expressed in the brain where it regulates food intake. By demonstrating that MRAP2 modulates the activity of OX1R we further establish the critical role of MRAP2 in the control of energy homeostasis.

Melanocortin Receptor Accessory Proteins (MRAPs): Functions in the Melanocortin System and Beyond.

Alix A.J. Rouault, Dinesh K. Srinivasan, Terry C. Yin, Abigail A. Lee, Julien A. Sebag

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease, May 9, 2017

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are regulated by numerous proteins including kinases, G-proteins, β-arrestins and accessory proteins. Several families of GPCR accessory proteins like Receptor Activity Modifying Proteins, Receptor Transporting Proteins and Melanocortin Receptor Accessory Proteins (MRAPs) have been identified as regulator of receptor trafficking, signaling and ligand specificity. The MRAP family contains two members, MRAP1 and MRAP2, responsible for the formation of a functional ACTH receptor and for the regulation of energy homeostasis respectively. Like all known GPCR accessory proteins, MRAPs are single transmembrane proteins, however, they form a unique structure since they assemble as an anti-parallel homodimer. Moreover, the accepted idea that MRAPs are specific regulators of melanocortin receptors was recently challenged by the discovery that MRAP2 inhibits the activity of prokineticin receptors. Recent studies are starting to explain the role of the unusual structure of MRAPs and to illustrate the importance of MRAP2 for the maintenance of both energy and glucose homeostasis.

The Melanocortin Receptor Accessory Protein 2 promotes food intake through inhibition of the Prokineticin Receptor-1.

Chaly AL, Srisai D1, Gardner EE, Sebag JA.

eLife, February 1, 2016

The Melanocortin Receptor Accessory Protein 2 (MRAP2) is an important regulator of energy homeostasis and its loss causes severe obesity in rodents. MRAP2 mediates its action in part through the potentiation of the MC4R, however, it is clear that MRAP2 is expressed in tissues that do not express MC4R, and that the deletion of MRAP2 does not recapitulate the phenotype of Mc4r KO mice. Consequently, we hypothesized that other GPCRs involved in the control of energy homeostasis are likely to be regulated by MRAP2. In this study we identified PKR1 as the first non-melanocortin GPCR to be regulated by MRAP2. We show that MRAP2 significantly and specifically inhibits PKR1 signaling. We also demonstrate that PKR1 and MRAP2 co-localize in neurons and that Mrap2 KO mice are hypersensitive to PKR1 stimulation. This study not only identifies new partners of MRAP2 but also a new pathway through which MRAP2 regulates energy homeostasis. ​


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