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Regul Pept. 2010 Sep 24;164(2-3):113-9. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2010.06.001. Epub 2010 Jun 10.

Importance of lipid-exposed residues in transmembrane segment four for family B calcitonin receptor homo-dimerization.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA.


Dimerization of the prototypic family B G protein-coupled secretin receptor is determined by the lipid-exposed face of transmembrane segment four (TM4), and has substantial functional importance, facilitating G protein coupling. Recently, we demonstrated that the human secretin receptor elicits an inter-receptor bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) signal with most other human family B peptide receptors, except for the calcitonin receptor. In this study we have explored the occurrence and importance of calcitonin receptor oligomerization. Static and saturation receptor BRET were utilized to demonstrate that, unlike the human calcitonin receptor that does not yield a significant homomeric BRET signal, the rabbit calcitonin receptor exhibits strong resonance energy transfer. Within the lipid-exposed face of TM4, rabbit and human calcitonin receptors differ by a single amino acid (Arg236 in human; His in rabbit), while Thr253 that occurs in human and rabbit calcitonin receptors is unique across family B receptors. Mutating Arg236 or Thr253 of the human calcitonin receptor to residues found in the rabbit calcitonin receptor or the human secretin receptor (R236H, R236Y and T253A) resulted in generation of significant BRET signals. Similarly, mutation of Val250 of the human calcitonin receptor to another key lipid-facing residue found in the secretin receptor (V250I) also increased the receptor BRET signal. These data support the consistent theme of lipid-exposed residues of TM4 being important for the dimerization of the calcitonin receptor. However, rabbit and human calcitonin receptor constructs bound calcitonin and stimulated cAMP similarly, suggesting that differences in BRET could reflect differences in orientation or in the stability of homo-dimeric receptor complexes, which were nevertheless similarly effective in eliciting the functions attributed to that complex. The likelihood of human calcitonin receptor dimerization, even in the absence of a significant BRET signal, was further supported by data demonstrating that the peptide representing TM4 of this receptor that disrupts the rabbit receptor BRET signal, produced a right shift in the cAMP concentration-response curves for both rabbit and human receptors.

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