The experimental evidence that Adhesion G Protein-Coupled Receptors (aGPCRs) functionally couple to heterotrimeric G proteins has been emerging in incremental steps, but attributing biological significance to their G protein signalling function still presents a major challenge. Here, utilising activated truncated forms of the receptors, we show that ADGRE2/EMR2 and ADGRE5/CD97 are G protein-coupled in a variety of recombinant systems. In a yeast-based assay, where heterologous GPCRs are coupled to chimeric G proteins, EMR2 showed broad G protein-coupling, whereas CD97 coupled more specifically to Gα12, Gα13, Gα14 and Gαz chimeras. Both receptors induced pertussis-toxin (PTX) insensitive inhibition of cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels in mammalian cells, suggesting coupling to Gαz. EMR2 was shown to signal via Gα16, and via a Gα16/Gαz chimera, to stimulate IP1 accumulation. Finally, using an NFAT reporter assay, we identified a polyclonal antibody that activates EMR2 G protein signalling in vitro. Our results highlight the potential for the development of soluble agonists to understand further the biological effects and therapeutic opportunities for ADGRE receptor-mediated G protein signalling.

Subject terms: Biochemistry, Biological techniques, Cancer, Cell biology, Drug discovery, Immunology