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Endocrinology. 2004 Sep;145(9):4048-57. Epub 2004 Jul 1.

Minireview: structural and functional evolution of the thyrotropin receptor.

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  • 1Osancor Biotech Inc, 31 Woodland Drive, Hertfordshire WD17 3BY, United Kingdom. farid@osancor96.fsnet.co.uk


TSH receptor (TSHR) is a member of the leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptors. Both TSHR and its ligand TSH have evolved to acquire specificity, minimize cross-reaction to other glycoprotein hormone receptors, and modulate cognate interaction (and thereby thyrotropic activity). TSHR sequences available from two life orders, teleost and mammals, were analyzed. Teleost TSHRs with low affinity are expressed in many nonthyroidal tissues and show a tendency to gene duplication. In some teleosts, TSHR has limited specificity, and in others extremely high constitutive activity, suggesting the possibility of ligand-independent receptor function. Although mammalian TSHR, in contrast to other glycoprotein hormone receptors, maintains relatively high constitutive activity, the thyrotropic activity of TSH appears to decline in hominoids including humans, probably as part of metabolic adaptation to the changing environment. Critical TSHR residues that determine hormone specificity have been identified in the leucine-rich repeats, and others within the cysteine-rich C-flanking region that determines hormonal activation as well as receptor silencing. Transmembrane (TM) helices, particularly the TM5 and TM6, are likely involved in receptor homodimerization and a unique motif in TM7 appears essential to receptor silencing and internalization. Surprisingly, ternary structures in the intracellular domain as opposed to specific sequence motifs are critical for intracellular TSHR trafficking. It is evident that progress in understanding structure-function relationships of TSHR and its ligand can be further stimulated by inclusion of evolutionary analysis of their primary, secondary and tertiary structure. Such an integrated approach should also contribute to the rational design of highly efficacious therapeutics with either agonistic or antagonistic properties.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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