An insertion in the human thyrotropin receptor critical for high affinity hormone binding

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Science  21 Sep 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4975, pp. 1423-1425
DOI: 10.1126/science.2169649


Thyrotropin (TSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and chorionic gonadotropin (CG) are structurally related glycoprotein hormones, which bind to receptors that share a high degree of sequence similarity. However, comparison of the primary amino acid sequences of the TSH and LH-CG receptors reveals two unique insertions of 8 and 50 amino acids in the extracellular domain of the TSH receptor. The functional significance of these insertions were determined by site-directed mutagenesis. Deletion of the 50-amino acid tract (residues 317 to 366) had no effect on TSH binding or on TSH and thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) biological activities. In contrast, either deletion or substitution of the eight-amino acid region (residues 38 to 45) abolished these activities. This eight-amino acid tract near the amino terminus of the TSH receptor appears to be an important site of interaction for both TSH and TSI.

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