A conformationally sensitive GHR [Growth Hormone (GH) Receptor] antibody: Impact on GH signaling and GHR proteolysis

Academic Article


  • The GH receptor (GHR) mediates metabolic and somatogenic actions of GH. Its extracellular domain (ECD; residues 1-246) has two subdomains, each with seven β strands organized into two antiparallel β sheets, connected by a short hinge region. Most of the ECD residues involved in GH binding reside in subdomain 1, whereas subdomain 2 harbors a dimerization interface between GHR dimers that alters conformation in response to GH. A regulated GHR metalloprotease cleavage site is in the membrane-proximal stem region of subdomain 2. We have identified a monoclonal anti-ECD antibody, anti-GHR ext-mAb, which recognizes the rabbit and human GHRs by immunoprecipitation, but less so after GH treatment. By immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation, anti-GHRext-mAb recognized a glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion incorporating subdomain 2, but not one including subdomain 1. In transient transfection experiments, anti-GHR ext-mAb failed to recognize by immunoprecipitation a previously characterized dimerization interface mutant GHR that is incompetent for signaling. In signaling experiments, brief pretreatment of GH-responsive human fibrosarcoma cells with anti-GHRext-mAb dramatically inhibited GH-induced Janus kinase 2 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 tyrosine phosphorylation and prevented GH-induced GHR disulfide linkage (a reflection of GH-induced conformational changes). In contrast, anti-GHR ext-mAb only partially inhibited radiolabeled GH binding, suggesting its effects on signaling were not simply via inhibition of binding. Furthermore, anti-GHRext-mAb prevented phorbol ester-stimulated GHR proteolysis, but GHR cleavage site mutants were normally recognized by the antibody, indicating that the stem region cleavage site is not a direct epitope. A Fab fragment of anti-GHRext-mAb inhibited GH-induced GHR disulfide linkage and signaling, as well as phorbol ester-induced GHR proteolysis, in a fashion similar to the intact antibody. Thus, our findings suggest that anti-GHRext-mAb has promise as a GH antagonist and as a tool in studies of conformational changes required for GHR activation.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jiang J; Wang X; He K; Li X; Chen C; Sayeski PP; Waters MJ; Frank SJ
  • Start Page

  • 2981
  • End Page

  • 2996
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 12