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Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2018 Feb 13;9:35. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00035. eCollection 2018.

The Growth Hormone Receptor: Mechanism of Receptor Activation, Cell Signaling, and Physiological Aspects.

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The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Translational Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.


The growth hormone receptor (GHR), although most well known for regulating growth, has many other important biological functions including regulating metabolism and controlling physiological processes related to the hepatobiliary, cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems. In addition, growth hormone signaling is an important regulator of aging and plays a significant role in cancer development. Growth hormone activates the Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling pathway, and recent studies have provided a new understanding of the mechanism of JAK2 activation by growth hormone binding to its receptor. JAK2 activation is required for growth hormone-mediated activation of STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5, and the negative regulation of JAK-STAT signaling comprises an important step in the control of this signaling pathway. The GHR also activates the Src family kinase signaling pathway independent of JAK2. This review covers the molecular mechanisms of GHR activation and signal transduction as well as the physiological consequences of growth hormone signaling.


Janus kinase 2; Src family kinase; growth hormone; growth hormone receptor; insulin-like growth factor 1; suppressor of cytokine signaling

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