The hypothalamic peptide GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) stimulates the release of GH from the pituitary through binding and activation of the GHRH receptor, which belongs to the family of G protein-coupled receptors. The objective of this study was to identify regions of the receptor critical for interaction with the ligand by expressing and analyzing truncated and chimeric epitope-tagged GHRH receptors. Two truncated receptors, GHRHΔN, in which part of the N-terminal domain between the putative signal sequence and the first transmembrane domain was deleted, and GHRHΔC, which was truncated downstream of the first intracellular loop, were generated. Both the receptors were deficient in ligand binding, indicating that neither the N-terminal extracellular domain (N terminus) nor the membrane-spanning domains with the associated extracellular loops (C terminus) are alone sufficient for interaction with GHRH. In subsequent studies, chimeric proteins between the receptors for GHRH and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) or secretin were generated, using the predicted start of the first transmembrane domain as the junction for the exchange of the N terminus between receptors. The chimeras having the N terminus of the GHRH receptor and the C terminus of either the VIP or secretin receptor (G(N)V(C) and G(N)S(C)) did not bind GHRH or activate adenylate cyclase after GHRH treatment. The reciprocal chimeras having the N terminus of either the VIP or secretin receptors and the C terminus of the GHRH receptor (V(N)G(C) and S(N)G(C)) bound GHRH and stimulated cAMP accumulation after GHRH treatment. These results suggest that although the N-terminal extracellular domain is essential for ligand binding, the transmembrane domains and associated extracellular loop regions of the GHRH receptor provide critical information necessary for specific interaction with GHRH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology