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

Defective membrane expression of human growth hormone (GH) receptor causes Laron-type GH insensitivity syndrome.

Mutations in the growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene can cause growth hormone (GH) resistance. Given the sequence homology between the extracellular domain of the GHR and a soluble GH-binding protein (GH-BP), it is remarkable that GH-BP binding activity is absent from the serum of patients with Laron-type GH insensitivity, a hereditary form of severe dwarfism. We have previously identified a mutation within the extracellular domain of this receptor, replacing phenylalanine by serine at position 96 of the mature protein, in a patient with Laron syndrome. We have now investigated the effect of this Phe----Ser substitution on hormone binding activity by expressing the total human GHR cDNA and mutant form in eukaryotic cells. The wild-type protein expressed was able to bind GH but no plasma membrane binding was detectable on cells transfected with the mutant cDNA; this was also the case of cells transfected with a Phe96----Ala mutant cDNA, suggesting that the lack of binding activity is not due to a posttranslational modification of serine. Examination of the variant proteins in subcellular fractions revealed the presence of specific GH binding activity in the lysosomal fraction, whereas immunofluorescence studies located mutant proteins in the cytosol. Our findings suggest that these mutant GHRs fail to follow the correct intracellular transport pathway and underline the potential importance of this phenylalanine residue, which is conserved among the GH, prolactin, and erythropoietin receptors that belong to the same cytokine receptor superfamily.[1]


  1. Defective membrane expression of human growth hormone (GH) receptor causes Laron-type GH insensitivity syndrome. Duquesnoy, P., Sobrier, M.L., Amselem, S., Goossens, M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1991) [Pubmed]
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