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Biochemistry. 1997 Oct 21;36(42):12921-9.

Cytoplasmic domains mediate the ligand-induced affinity shift of guanylyl cyclase C.

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Department of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, 132 South 10th Street, 1170 Main, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


Guanylyl cyclase C (GCC), the receptor for the Escherichia coli heat-stable enterotoxin (ST), exhibits multiple binding affinities, including high (RH) and low (RL) affinity sites and a ligand-induced conversion of low-affinity sites from a higher (RL1) to a lower (RL2) affinity state. Occupancy of the lowest affinity state of low-affinity sites is coupled to ligand-induced catalytic activation. In the present studies, ligand binding and catalytic activation properties of a series of intracellular deletion mutants of GCC were examined to identify the structural domains underlying expression of high- and low-affinity sites and the ligand-induced shift in low-affinity sites. These studies demonstrated that the cytoplasmic domains of GCC are not required, but extracellular and transmembrane domains are sufficient, for expression of high-affinity binding sites. In addition, the cytoplasmic juxtamembrane and kinase homology domains are required for expression of the ligand-induced affinity shift in low-affinity sites. Of significance, this shift in affinity was insensitive to adenine nucleotides, in contrast to other members of the receptor guanylyl cyclase family, such as guanylyl cyclase A (GCA). Also, the juxtamembrane and kinase homology domains are critical for coupling ST-receptor binding and guanylyl cyclase catalytic activation. Indeed, deletion of those domains from GCC results in a constitutively inhibited enzyme, suggesting that they function as positive effectors of ligand activation, in contrast to GCA and GCB, in which the kinase homology domain represses basal catalytic activity. These data suggest that the mechanisms regulating different members of the receptor guanylyl cyclase family are overlapping but not identical.

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