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

Identification of thyroid-stimulating antibody-specific interaction sites in the N-terminal region of the thyrotropin receptor.

Using mutants of the N-terminal region (residues 30-76) of the rat TSH receptor (TSHR), which substitute corresponding segments of rat gonadotropin receptors or hydrophilic (serine) and hydrophobic (alanine) amino acids as appropriate, we show that residues 30-33, 34-37, 42-45, 52-56, and 58-61, in addition to threonine-40, are determinants for the interaction of thyroid-stimulating autoantibodies (stimulating TSHRAbs) with the TSHR. The most important, residues 34-37, 42-45, and 52-56, whose mutants lose stimulating TSHRAb activity with at least 11 of 12 (> 90%) of the Graves' immunoglobulins G tested, are, like threonine-40, in regions of the TSHR that are nonhomologous with gonadotropin receptors. These data establish at least in part, therefore, the basis for the thyroid-specific effects of stimulating TSHRAbs. In no case do the same mutants lose their reactivity with TSH or blocking-type TSHR autoantibodies (blocking TSHRAbs) from hypothyroid patients with idiopathic myxedema. Since the latter have been shown to interact with high affinity TSH-binding sites on the C-terminal portion of the external domain of the TSHR, stimulating TSHRAbs and blocking TSHRAbs react with different receptor determinants, which can be presumed to have different roles in receptor function. This can explain the hyper- or hypothyroidism of different thyroid autoimmune diseases with receptor antibodies. Residues 30-33, 42-45, and threonine-40 appear to be related to the agonist action of TSH, since in each case mutation results in low affinity TSH binding, but normal TSH-increased cAMP activity, similar, for example, to a beta-adrenergic agonist. Using a receptor antibody to identify different receptor forms in the membrane, we can also identify determinants in this N-terminal region (residues 30-76) whose mutation results in a loss of all activities without apparently altering receptor synthesis, processing, or integration within the bilayer. These are residues 38 and 39, cysteine-41, residues 46-51, leucine-57, threonine-62, and, within residues 66-76, serine-69, alanine-71, phenylalanine-72, serine-74, leucine-75, and proline-76. We suggest that these residues are at the very least important in the conformational array of receptor determinants necessary for interactions with TSH and stimulating TSHRAbs.[1]


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