Carboxyl tail cysteine mutants of the thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor type 1 exhibit constitutive signaling: Role of palmitoylation

Dongyi Du, Bruce M. Raaka, Hagit Grimberg, Monica Lupu-Meiri, Yoram Oron, Marvin C. Gershengorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We studied the role of carboxyl tail cysteine residues and their palmitoylation in constitutive signaling by the thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) receptor type 1 (TRH-R1) in transfected mammalian cells and in Xenopus laevis oocytes. To study palmitoylation, we inserted a factor Xa cleavage site within the third extracellular loop of TRH-R1, added a carboxyl-terminal C9 immunotag and expressed the mutant receptor in Chinese hamster ovary cells. We identified TRH-R1-specific palmitoylation in the transmembrane helix-7/carboxyl-tail receptor fragment mainly at Cys-335 and Cys-337. In contrast to a mutant truncated at Cys-335 that was reported previously to be constitutively active, a receptor truncated at Lys-338 (K338Stop), which preserves Cys-335 and Cys-337, and C337Stop and N336Stop, which preserve Cys-335, did not exhibit increased constitutive signaling. TRH-R1 mutants substituted singly by Gly or Ser at Cys-335 or Cys-337 did not exhibit constitutive signaling. By contrast, substitution of both cysteines (C335G/C337G or C335S/C337S) yielded TRH-R1 mutants that exhibited marked constitutive signaling in mammalian cells. In the oocyte, constitutive signaling by C335G/C337G resulted in homologous (of C335G/C337G) and heterologous (of M1 muscarinic receptor) desensitization. Because both Cys-335 and Cys-337 have to be substituted or deleted for constitutive signaling, we propose that a single palmitoylation site in the proximal carboxyl tail is sufficient to constrain TRH-R1 in an inactive conformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-209
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005

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