Male-limited gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty (MPP) is frequently associated with mutations of the human LH/CG receptor (hLHR) that result in constitutively active hLHRs. Many such activating mutations have been identified in transmembrane 6 of the hLHR, with the substitution of Asp- 578 being the most frequently observed mutation. Mutagenesis of a transmembrane helix of a G protein-coupled receptor can cause local alterations in the conformation near the mutated residue, allosteric changes elsewhere in the protein, and/or changes in the interhelical packing of the receptor. Therefore, while it has been hypothesized that activation of the receptor by mutations of Asp-578 may arise via alterations in the interactions of helix 6 with other transmembrane helices and/or by allosterically altering the conformation of the third intracellular loop, it has not been possible to ascertain the role of the sixth transmembrane helix per se in activating Gs in the mutated full-length receptor. Recently, however, we have shown that a peptide KMAILIFT, corresponding to the juxtacytoplasmic portion of helix 6 of the hLHR, is capable of activating Gs. These results suggest that helix 6 itself can directly interact with Gs. Importantly, the KMAILIFT peptide did not include Asp-578, which lies just C- terminal to this sequence. We show herein that a peptide extended to include Asp-578 (KMAILIFTDFT) is a poor activator of Gs. However, if the peptide is synthesized with the aspartate replaced with either a glycine or tyrosine, substitutions that are found in some patients with MPP, these peptides have Gs-stimulating activity. Additionally, a transmembrane 6 peptide with the substitution of Ile-575 with leucine, another mutation found in MPP, mimicked the activating effects of this mutation in the full-length receptor. The ability of peptides in which Asp-578 or Ile-575 is substituted to mimic the activating effects of these mutations in the full-length receptor suggests that the sixth transmembrane helix represents a site for direct interaction with Gs. In addition to the stimulatory effects of transmembrane 6 peptides, peptides corresponding to the juxtacytoplasmic portions of the fourth, fifth, and seventh helices were also able to stimulate Gs. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the transmembrane helices may form a pocket for interaction with Gs and that constitutive activation of the hLHR may involve the opening of the pocket formed by these helices, thus exposing Gs-binding sites on these helices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology