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FASEB J. 2010 Jul;24(7):2347-54. doi: 10.1096/fj.09-149146. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Signaling-sensitive amino acids surround the allosteric ligand binding site of the thyrotropin receptor.

Author information

  • 1Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie, Robert-Rössle-Str. 10, D-13125 Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

The thyrotropin receptor [thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR)], a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), is endogenously activated by thyrotropin, which binds to the extracellular region of the receptor. We previously identified a low-molecular-weight (LMW) agonist of the TSHR and predicted its allosteric binding pocket within the receptor's transmembrane domain. Because binding of the LMW agonist probably disrupts interactions or leads to formation of new interactions among amino acid residues surrounding the pocket, we tested whether mutation of residues at these positions would lead to constitutive signaling activity. Guided by molecular modeling, we performed site-directed mutagenesis of 24 amino acids in this spatial region, followed by functional characterization of the mutant receptors in terms of expression and signaling, measured as cAMP accumulation. We found that mutations V421I, Y466A, T501A, L587V, M637C, M637W, S641A, Y643F, L645V, and Y667A located in several helices exhibit constitutive activity. Of note is mutation M637W at position 6.48 in transmembrane helix 6, which has a significant effect on the interaction of the receptor with the LMW agonist. In summary, we found that a high proportion of residues in several helices surrounding the allosteric binding site of LMW ligands in the TSHR when mutated lead to constitutively active receptors. Our findings of signaling-sensitive residues in this region of the transmembrane bundle may be of general importance as this domain appears to be evolutionarily retained among GPCRs.

PMID:
20179143
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3230523
Free PMC Article

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