The evolutionary history and tissue mapping of GPR123: specific CNS expression pattern predominantly in thalamic nuclei and regions containing large pyramidal cells

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The Adhesion family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) includes 33 receptors and is the second largest GPCR family. Most of these proteins are still orphans and fairly little is known of their tissue distribution and evolutionary context. We report the evolutionary history of the Adhesion family protein GPR123 as well as mapping of GPR123 mRNA expression in mouse and rat using in situ hybridization and real-time PCR, respectively. GPR123 was found to be well conserved within the vertebrate lineage, especially within the transmembrane regions and in the distal part of the cytoplasmic tail, containing a potential PDZ binding domain. The real-time PCR data indicates that GPR123 is predominantly expressed in CNS. The in situ data show high expression in thalamic nuclei and regions containing large pyramidal cells like cortex layers 5 and 6 and subiculum. Moreover, we found distinct expression in amygdala, hypothalamus, inferior olive and spinal cord. The CNS specific expression, together with the high sequence conservation between the vertebrate sequences investigated, indicate that GPR123 may have an important role in the regulation of neuronal signal transduction.

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