Shedding of Human Thyrotropin Receptor Ectodomain

  • Couet J
  • Sar S
  • Hai M
 et al. 
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The thyrotropin (TSH) receptor in human thyroid glands has been shown to be cleaved into an extracellular a subunit and a transmembrane ß subunit held together by disulfide bridges. An excess of the latter component relative to the former suggested the shedding of the ectodomain. Indeed we observed such a shedding in cultures of human thyrocytes and permanently transfected L or Chinese hamster ovary cells. The shedding was increased by inhibitors of endocytosis, recycling, and lysosomal degradation, suggesting that it was dependent on receptor residency at the cell surface. It was slightly increased by TSH and phorbol esters, whereas forskolin and 8-bromo-cyclic AMP were without effect. Decreasing the serum concentration in cell culture medium enhanced the shedding by an unknown mechanism. The shedding of the TSH receptor a domain is the consequence of two events: cleavage of the receptor into a and ß subunits and reduction of the disulfide bridge(s). The complete inhibition of soluble TSH receptor shedding by the specific inhibitor BB-2116 indicated that the cleavage reaction is catalyzed probably at the cell surface by a matrix metalloprotease. This shedding mechanism may be responsible for the presence of soluble TSH receptor a subunit in human circulation.

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  • Jacques Couet

  • Sokhavut Sar

  • Mai-thu Vu Hai

  • Edwin Milgrom

  • Micheline Misrahi

  • Le Kremlin-bice

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