Latrophilins, member of the class B2 family of seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors
Latrophilins (also called lectomedins or latrotoxin receptors) belong to Group I adhesion GPCRs, which also include ETL (EGF-TM7-latrophilin-related protein). These receptors are a member of the adhesion family (subclass B2) that belongs to the class B GPCRs. Three subtypes of latrophilins have been identified: LPH1 (latrophilin-1), LPH2, and LPH3. The latrophilin-1 is a brain-specific calcium-independent receptor of alpha-latrotoxin, a potent presynaptic neurotoxin from the venom of the black widow spider that induces massive neurotransmitter release from sensory and motor neurons as well as endocrine cells, leading to nerve-terminal degeneration. Latrophilin-2 and -3, although sharing strong sequence homology to latrophilin-1, do not bind alpha-latrotoxin. While latrophilin-3 is also brain specific, latrophilin-2 is ubiquitously distributed. The endogenous ligands for these two receptors are unknown. ETL, a seven transmembrane receptor containing EGF-like repeats is highly expressed in heart, where developmentally regulated, as well as in normal smooth cells. The function of the ETL is unknown. All adhesion GPCRs possess large N-terminal extracellular domains containing multiple structural motifs, which play critical roles in cell-cell adhesion and cell-matrix interactions, coupled to a seven-transmembrane domain. In addition, almost all adhesion receptors, except GPR123, contain an evolutionarily conserved GPCR-autoproteolysis inducing (GAIN) domain that undergoes autoproteolytic processing at the GPCR proteolysis site (GPS) motif located immediately N-terminal to the first transmembrane region, to generate N- and C-terminal fragments (NTF and CTF), which may serve important biological functions.