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Mol Endocrinol. 1997 Jun;11(7):980-5.

Localization of ligand-binding domains of human corticotropin-releasing factor receptor: a chimeric receptor approach.

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Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., San Diego, California 92121, USA.


Two CRF receptors, CRFR1 and CRFR2, have recently been cloned and characterized. CRFR1 shares 70% sequence identity with CRFR2, yet has much higher affinity for rat/human CRF (r/hCRF) than CRFR2. As a first step toward understanding the interactions between rat/human CRF and its receptor, the regions that are involved in receptor-ligand binding and/or receptor activation were determined by using chimeric receptor constructs of the two human CRFR subtypes, CRFR1 and CRFR2, followed by generating point mutations of the receptor. The EC50 values in stimulation of intracellular cAMP of the chimeric and mutant receptors for the peptide ligand were determined using a cAMP-dependent reporter system. Three regions of the receptor were found to be important for optimal binding of r/hCRF and/or receptor activation. The first region was mapped to the junction of the third extracellular domain and the fifth transmembrane domain; substitution of three amino acids of CRFR1 in this region (Val266, Tyr267, and Thr268) by the corresponding CRFR2 amino acids (Asp266, Leu267, and Val268) increased the EC50 value by approximately 10-fold. The other two regions were localized to the second extracellular domain of the CRFR1 involving amino acids 175-178 and His189 residue. Substitutions in these two regions each increased the EC50 value for r/hCRF by approximately 7- to 8-fold only in the presence of the amino acid 266-268 mutation involving the first region, suggesting that their roles in peptide ligand binding might be secondary.

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