The Mas-related G protein-coupled receptor X1 (MrgprX1) is a human seven transmembrane-domain protein with a putative role in nociception and pruritus. This receptor is expressed in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and is activated by a variety of endogenous peptides, including bovine adrenal medulla peptide (BAM) and γ-melanocyte stimulating hormone (γ2-MSH). In the present work, we study how naturally occurring missense mutations alter the activity of MrgprX1. To characterize selected receptor variants, we initially used the endogenous peptide ligand BAM8-22. In addition, we generated and characterized a panel of novel recombinant and synthetic peptide ligands. Our studies identified a mutation in the second intracellular loop of MrgprX1, R131S, that causes a decrease in both ligand-mediated and constitutive signaling. Another mutation in this region, H133R, results in a gain of function phenotype reflected by an increase in ligand-mediated signaling. Using epitope-tagged variants, we determined that the alterations in basal and ligand-mediated signaling were not explained by changes in receptor expression levels. Our results demonstrate that naturally occurring mutations can alter the pharmacology of MrgprX1. This study provides a theoretical basis for exploring whether MrgprX1 variability underlies differences in somatosensation within human populations.
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics