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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Heterodimeric fly glycoprotein hormone-alpha2 (GPA2) and glycoprotein hormone-beta5 (GPB5) activate fly leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein- coupled receptor-1 (DLGR1) and stimulation of human thyrotropin receptors by chimeric fly GPA2 and human GPB5.

Glycoprotein hormones play important roles in thyroid and gonadal function in vertebrates. The glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit forms heterodimers with different beta-subunits to activate TSH or gonadotropin (LH and FSH) receptors. Recent genomic analyses allowed the identification of another alpha-subunit, GPA2, and another beta-subunit, GPB5, in human, capable of forming heterodimers to activate TSH receptors. Based on comparative genomic searches, we isolated the fly orthologs for human GPA2 and GPB5, each consisting of 10 cysteine residues likely involved in cystine-knot formation. RT-PCR analyses in Drosophila melanogaster demonstrated the expression of GPA2 and GPB5 at different developmental stages. Immunoblot analyses further showed that fly GPA2 and GPB5 subunit proteins are of approximately 16 kDa, and coexpression of these subunits yielded heterodimers. Purified recombinant fly GPA2/GPB5 heterodimers were found to be glycoproteins with N-linked glycosylated alpha-subunits and nonglycosylated beta-subunits, capable of stimulating cAMP production mediated by fly orphan receptor DLGR1 but not DLGR2. Although the fly GPA2/GPB5 heterodimers did not activate human TSH or gonadotropin receptors, chimeric fly GPA2/human GPB5 heterodimers stimulated human TSH receptors. These findings indicated that fly GPA2/GPB5 is a ligand for DLGR1, thus showing the ancient origin of this glycoprotein hormone-seven transmembrane receptor-G protein signaling system. The fly GPA2 also could form heterodimers with human GPB5 to activate human TSH receptors, indicating the evolutionary conservation of these genes and suggesting that the GPA2 subunit may serve as a scaffold for the beta-subunit to activate downstream G protein-mediated signaling.[1]


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