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Class C G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are activated through binding of agonists to the large extracellular domain (ECD) followed by rearrangement of the transmembrane domains (TMDs). GPR156, a class C orphan GPCR, is unique because it lacks an ECD and exhibits constitutive activity. Impaired GPR156-Gi signaling contributes to loss of hearing. Here we present the cryo-electron microscopy structures of human GPR156 in the Go-free and Go-coupled states. We found that an endogenous phospholipid molecule is located within each TMD of the GPR156 dimer. Asymmetric binding of Gα to the phospholipid-bound GPR156 dimer restructures the first and second intracellular loops and the carboxy-terminal part of the elongated transmembrane 7 (TM7) without altering dimer conformation. Our findings reveal that GPR156 is a transducer for phospholipid signaling. Constant binding of abundant phospholipid molecules and the G-protein-induced reshaping of the cytoplasmic face provide a basis for the constitutive activation of GPR156.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Struct Mol Biol

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