The G protein-coupled receptor GPR34 – The past 20 years of a grownup

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Research on GPR34, which was discovered in 1999 as an orphan G protein-coupled receptor of the rhodopsin-like class, disclosed its physiologic relevance only piece by piece. Being present in all recent vertebrate genomes analyzed so far it seems to improve the fitness of species although it is not essential for life and reproduction as GPR34-deficient mice demonstrate. However, closer inspection of macrophages and microglia, where it is mainly expressed, revealed its relevance in immune cell function. Recent data clearly demonstrate that GPR34 function is required to arrest microglia in the M0 homeostatic non-phagocytic phenotype. Herein, we summarize the current knowledge on its evolution, genomic and structural organization, physiology, pharmacology and relevance in human diseases including neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, which accumulated over the last 20 years.

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