OGR1, GPR4, G2A, and TDAG8 share 40% to 50% homology with each other and seem to form a family of GPCRs. They have been described as receptors for lipid molecules such as sphingosylphosphorylcholine, lysophosphatidylcholine, and psychosine. Recent studies, however, have revealed that these receptors also sense extracellular protons or pH through histidine residues of receptors and stimulate a variety of intracellular signaling pathways through several species of hetero-trimeric G-proteins, including G(s), G(i), G(q), and G(12/13). Thus, this family of GPCR seems to recognize both lipid molecules and protons as ligands. Although our knowledge of proton-sensing and lysolipid-sensitive GPCRs is preliminary, the receptor levels and ligand levels especially protons are both sensitively modulated in response to a variety of microenvironmental changes. These results suggest a multiple role of proton-sensing GPCRs in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological states.
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