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Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®

GPCRF gene family

Reviewed February 2009

What are the GPCRF genes?

Genes in the GPCRF family provide instructions for making proteins called frizzled-type class F GPCRs or frizzleds. These proteins are embedded in the outer membranes of many types of cells, where they are involved in transmitting chemical signals from outside the cell to the cell's nucleus. Specifically, frizzled proteins act as receptors in the Wnt signaling pathway, which is a series of steps that affect the way cells and tissues develop. Wnt signaling is important for cell division (proliferation), attachment of cells to one another (adhesion), cell movement (migration), and many other processes before and after birth.

On the cell surface, each frizzled receptor interacts with a Wnt protein or another similar protein, fitting together like a key in a lock. When a Wnt protein attaches (binds) to a frizzled receptor, it initiates a multi-step process that regulates the activity of certain genes. This signaling pathway plays a critical role in early development and in the maintenance of adult tissues.

Changes in the structure or activity (expression) of frizzled proteins have been associated with several human diseases. These include several forms of cancer, cardiac hypertrophy (a condition that weakens and enlarges the heart), and schizophrenia. Mutations in the FZD4 gene, which provides instructions for making the protein frizzled-4, cause an eye disorder called familial exudative vitreoretinopathy.

Which genes are included in the GPCRF gene family?

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides an index of gene families ( and their member genes.

Genetics Home Reference summarizes the normal function and health implications of this member of the GPCRF gene family: FZD4.

What conditions are related to genes in the GPCRF gene family?

Genetics Home Reference includes these conditions related to genes in the GPCRF gene family:

  • familial exudative vitreoretinopathy

Where can I find additional information about the GPCRF gene family?

You may find the following resources about the GPCRF gene family helpful.

  • The Wnt Homepage at Stanford University: Vertebrate Frizzleds and interactions with Wnts (
  • Developmental Biology (sixth edition, 2000): The Wnt Signal Transduction Pathway (figure) ( (U.S. National Library of Medicine)

What glossary definitions help with understanding the GPCRF gene family?

cancer ; cardiac ; cell ; cell division ; class ; familial ; gene ; hypertrophy ; nucleus ; proliferation ; protein ; receptor ; schizophrenia

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.


These sources were used to develop the Genetics Home Reference summary for the GPCRF gene family.

  • Luo J, Chen J, Deng ZL, Luo X, Song WX, Sharff KA, Tang N, Haydon RC, Luu HH, He TC. Wnt signaling and human diseases: what are the therapeutic implications? Lab Invest. 2007 Feb;87(2):97-103. Epub 2007 Jan 8. Review. (
  • Huang HC, Klein PS. The Frizzled family: receptors for multiple signal transduction pathways. Genome Biol. 2004;5(7):234. Epub 2004 Jun 14. Review. (
  • Wang HY, Liu T, Malbon CC. Structure-function analysis of Frizzleds. Cell Signal. 2006 Jul;18(7):934-41. Epub 2006 Feb 9. Review. (
  • Schulte G, Bryja V. The Frizzled family of unconventional G-protein-coupled receptors. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2007 Oct;28(10):518-25. Epub 2007 Sep 19. Review. (
  • Malbon CC. Frizzleds: new members of the superfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors. Front Biosci. 2004 May 1;9:1048-58. Review. (


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? ( in the Handbook.

Reviewed: February 2009
Published: February 1, 2016