Dimerization of Resistin and Resistin-like Molecules is Determined by a Single Cysteine

Academic Article


  • Resistin is a peptide hormone secreted by adipocytes. Cysteine residues comprise 11 of 94 (12%) amino acids in resistin. The arrangement of these cysteines is unique to resistin and its recently discovered family of tissue-specific secreted proteins, which have been independently termed resistin-like molecules (RELMs) and the FIZZ (found in inflammatory zone) family. Here we show that resistin is a disulfide-linked homodimer that can be converted to a monomer by reducing conditions. The intestine-specific RELMβ has similar characteristics. Remarkably, however, the adipose-enriched RELMα is a monomer under non-reducing conditions. We note that RELMα lacks a cysteine residue, closest to the cleaved N terminus, that is present in resistin and RELMβ in multiple species. Conversion of this cysteine to alanine abolishes dimerization of resistin. Thus, a single disulfide bond is necessary to connect two resistin subunits in a homodimer. The additional 10 cysteines most likely participate in intramolecular disulfide bonds that define the conserved structure of the family members. The monomeric nature of RELMα suggests structural and potentially functional divergence between resistin and this close family member.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Banerjee RR; Lazar MA
  • Start Page

  • 25970
  • End Page

  • 25973
  • Volume

  • 276
  • Issue

  • 28