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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 3969023, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3969023
Review Article

Gq-Coupled Receptors in Autoimmunity

1Department of Nephrology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen 361003, China
2Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen 361003, China

Received 6 October 2015; Accepted 27 December 2015

Academic Editor: Xiao-Feng Yang

Copyright © 2016 Lu Zhang and Guixiu Shi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Heterotrimeric G proteins can be divided into Gi, Gs, Gq/11, and G12/13 subfamilies according to their α subunits. The main function of G proteins is transducing signals from G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), a family of seven transmembrane receptors. In recent years, studies have demonstrated that GPCRs interact with Gq, a member of the Gq/11 subfamily of G proteins. This interaction facilitates the vital role of this family of proteins in immune regulation and autoimmunity, particularly for Gαq, which is considered the functional α subunit of Gq protein. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms through which Gq-coupled receptors control autoreactive lymphocytes is critical and may provide insights into the treatment of autoimmune disorders. In this review, we summarize recent advances in studies of the role of Gq-coupled receptors in autoimmunity, with a focus on their pathologic role and downstream signaling.