Lipolysis drives expression of the constitutively active receptor GPR3 to induce adipose thermogenesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Olivia Sveidahl Johansen
  • Tao Ma
  • Jakob Bondo Hansen
  • Lasse Kruse Markussen
  • Renate Schreiber
  • Laia Reverte-salisa
  • Hua Dong
  • Dan Ploug Christensen
  • Wenfei Sun
  • Thorsten Gnad
  • Iuliia Karavaeva
  • Thomas Svava Nielsen
  • Sander Kooijman
  • Cheryl Cero
  • Oksana Dmytriyeva
  • Yachen Shen
  • Maria Razzoli
  • Shannon L. O’brien
  • Eline N. Kuipers
  • Carsten Haagen Nielsen
  • William Orchard
  • Nienke Willemsen
  • Naja Zenius Jespersen
  • Morten Lundh
  • Elahu Gosney Sustarsic
  • Cecilie Mørch Hallgren
  • Mikkel Frost
  • Seth Mcgonigle
  • Marie Sophie Isidor
  • Christa Broholm
  • Oluf Pedersen
  • Jacob Bo Hansen
  • Niels Grarup
  • Torben Hansen
  • Andreas Kjær
  • James G. Granneman
  • M. Madan Babu
  • Søren Nielsen
  • Mikael Rydén
  • Raymond Soccio
  • Patrick C.n. Rensen
  • Jonas Thue Treebak
  • Thue Walter Schwartz
  • Brice Emanuelli
  • Alessandro Bartolomucci
  • Alexander Pfeifer
  • Rudolf Zechner
  • Camilla Scheele
  • Susanne Mandrup
  • Zachary Gerhart-hines

Colleges, School and Institutes


Thermogenic adipocytes possess a therapeutically appealing, energy-expending capacity, which is canonically cold-induced by ligand-dependent activation of β-adrenergic G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Here, we uncover an alternate paradigm of GPCR-mediated adipose thermogenesis through the constitutively active receptor, GPR3. We show that the N terminus of GPR3 confers intrinsic signaling activity, resulting in continuous Gs-coupling and cAMP production without an exogenous ligand. Thus, transcriptional induction of Gpr3 represents the regulatory parallel to ligand-binding of conventional GPCRs. Consequently, increasing Gpr3 expression in thermogenic adipocytes is alone sufficient to drive energy expenditure and counteract metabolic disease in mice. Gpr3 transcription is cold-stimulated by a lipolytic signal, and dietary fat potentiates GPR3-dependent thermogenesis to amplify the response to caloric excess. Moreover, we find GPR3 to be an essential, adrenergic-independent regulator of human brown adipocytes. Taken together, our findings reveal a noncanonical mechanism of GPCR control and thermogenic activation through the lipolysis-induced expression of constitutively active GPR3.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3502-3518.e33
Number of pages51
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2021


  • G protein-coupled receptor, GPCR, GPR3, adrenergic receptor, brown adipose tissue, constitutively active, energy expenditure, lipolysis, thermogenesis, transcription

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