Further characterization of the receptor-binding region of the thyroid-stimulating hormone a subunit: A comprehensive synthetic peptide study of the α-subunit 26-46 sequence

Matthew C. Leinung, Dana Kim Reed, Daniel J. McCormick, Robert J. Ryan, John C. Morris

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Previously, using a synthetic peptide strategy, we determined that the region of the common glycoprotein hormone a subunit between residues 26 and 46 is a site of interaction of the hormone with the thyroid membrane-bound receptor for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). We have undertaken to identify further the specific residues within this 21-amino acid span that are critical in hormone receptor binding. We synthesized three nested sets of peptide, two in which we systematically truncated the amino-terminal region of the sequence and another in which we truncated the carboxyl-terminal region, and we synthesized a fourth nested set in which we systematically substituted alanine for the native residues from the region of highest activity. Each peptide was tested in a TSH radioreceptor assay for its ability to inhibit binding of 125I-labeled bovine TSH to porcine thyroid membranes. Removal, either by truncation or alanine substitution, of several specific residues resulted in a significant reduction in the ability of the sequence to interact with receptor; these residues included Cys31, Cys32, Phe33, Arg35, Arg42, Lys44, and Lys45, suggesting that they are crucial for binding activity. Loss of activity also occurred with substitution for Gly30 and Ser34, but the reduction was less pronounced. Amino-terminal truncation of the sequence through Arg35 (leaving the α-subunit peptide 36-46) resulted in greater than 98% loss of activity of the sequence. We conclude that two distinct receptor binding regions lie within the α-subunit 26-46 sequence. The first lies between residues Gly30 and Arg35 and includes Cys31, Cys32, and Phe33 as important constituents, and the second region lies between residues Arg42 and Lys45 and includes Lys44 as an important residue and Ser43 as a less important component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9707-9711
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991


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