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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 May 1;89(9):3765-9.

Two-subunit structure of the human thyrotropin receptor.

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  • 1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Le Kremlin Bicêtre, France.


The extracellular and intracellular domains of the human thyrotropin receptor were expressed in Escherichia coli and the proteins were used to produce monoclonal anti-receptor antibodies. Immunoblot studies and immunoaffinity purification showed that the receptor is composed of two subunits linked by disulfide bridges and probably derived by proteolytic cleavage of a single 90-kDa precursor. The extracellular alpha subunit (hormone binding) had an apparent molecular mass of 53 kDa (35 kDa after deglycosylation with N-glycosidase F). The membrane-spanning beta subunit seemed heterogeneous and had an apparent molecular mass of 33-42 kDa. Human thyroid membranes contained a 2.5- to 3-fold excess of beta subunits over alpha subunits. Immunocytochemistry showed the presence of both subunits in all the follicular thyroid cells, and both subunits were restricted to the basolateral region of the cell membrane.

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