Indexed on: 22 Oct '14Published on: 22 Oct '14Published in: PloS one
GPR22 is an orphan G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Since the ligand of the receptor is currently unknown, its biological function has not been investigated in depth. Many GPCRs and their intracellular effectors are targeted to cilia. Cilia are highly conserved eukaryotic microtubule-based organelles that protrude from the membrane of most mammalian cells. They are involved in a large variety of physiological processes and diseases. However, the details of the downstream pathways and mechanisms that maintain cilia length and structure are poorly understood. We show that morpholino knock down or overexpression of gpr22 led to defective left-right (LR) axis formation in the zebrafish embryo. Specifically, defective LR patterning included randomization of the left-specific lateral plate mesodermal genes (LPM) (lefty1, lefty2, southpaw and pitx2a), resulting in randomized cardiac looping. Furthermore, gpr22 inactivation in the Kupffer's vesicle (KV) alone was still able to generate the phenotype, indicating that Gpr22 mainly regulates LR asymmetry through the KV. Analysis of the KV cilia by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), revealed that gpr22 knock down or overexpression resulted in changes of cilia length and structure. Further, we found that Gpr22 does not act upstream of the two cilia master regulators, Foxj1a and Rfx2. To conclude, our study characterized a novel player in the field of ciliogenesis.