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H Uchida, S Banba, M Wada, K Matsumoto, M Ikeda, N Naito, E Tanaka, and M Honjo

It has recently been shown that 20 kDa human growth hormone (hGH) forms the 1:2 hGH:hGH receptor (hGHR) complex and expresses full agonistic activity, although it hardly forms the 1:1 GH:GHR complex as compared with 22 kDa hGH. To clarify this mechanism, we analyzed the mode of receptor dimerization of 20 kDa hGH using the intact form and mutants. Complex formation analysis between hGHR extracellular domain (hGHBP) and either site1 mutant (K157A) or site2 mutant (G105R) by gel-filtration showed that the site1 mutant apparently formed no 1:1 complex and that the site2 mutant formed only the 1:1 complex. Cell proliferation analysis revealed that the activity curve (vs ligand concentration) of 20 kDa hGH showed a bell-shaped pattern. This indicates that the receptor dimerization of 20 kDa hGH proceeds in a sequential manner. Based on this sequential binding we have produced a mathematical model for receptor dimerization as a function of [hGH], [hGHBP], K(d) values for the first hGHBP binding (K(d1)) and the second hGHBP binding (K(d2)). The result of 20 kDa hGH binding to (S201C) hGHBP immobilized on biosensor tip showed that the K(d1) value was 1. 6x10(-8) M. Adopting this value as a constant in the function described above, we have obtained calculative hGHR dimerization curves vs hGH concentration. Since the K(d2) value could not be experimentally determined, the curves were simulatively obtained with varied K(d2) values. The simulated curve pattern coincided with the experimental result of the cell proliferation in Ba/F3-hGHR when the value 2.5x10(-10) M was adopted as K(d2). In conclusion, although the affinity of 20 kDa hGH for the first hGHR binding is reduced to one-tenth, that for the second binding is increased ten-fold in comparison with those of 22 kDa hGH, indicating that 20 kDa hGH can be an effective hGH isoform in the presence of hGHBP.

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M Tanaka, M Suzuki, T Kawana, M Segawa, M Yoshikawa, M Mori, M Kobayashi, N Nakai, and T R Saito

In addition to the known four alternative first exons E11, E12, E13 and E14 of the rat prolactin receptor (PRL-R) gene, a novel first exon, E15, was identified by cDNA cloning of the 5′-end region of PRL-R mRNA in the rat liver. Genomic fragments containing E15 and its 5′- or 3′-flanking regions were also cloned from rat kidney genomic DNA. A sequence search for E15 revealed that E15 is located 49 kb upstream of exon 2 of the PRL-R gene in rat chromosome 2q16. RT-PCR analysis revealed that E15 was preferentially expressed in the liver, brain and kidney. Expression profiles of E12-, E13- and E15-PRL-R mRNAs in the liver of male and female rats at 5 days of age and those at 8 weeks of age were examined by RT-PCR. The levels of E12-PRL-R mRNA in the female rat increased remarkably in rats at 8 weeks of age compared with those at 5 days of age, and the levels of E15-PRL-R mRNA in the male rat decreased markedly at 8 weeks of age compared with those at 5 days of age. In the female rat, the levels of E12-PRL-R mRNA at 8 weeks of age decreased with ovariectomy performed at 4 weeks of age and recovered with the administration of β-oestradiol. On the contrary, the levels of E15-PRL-R mRNA increased with ovariectomy and decreased with the oestrogen treatment. In the male rat liver, the levels of E12-PRL-R mRNA at 8 weeks of age increased strikingly with castration performed at 4 weeks of age and became undetectable with the administration of testosterone. The levels of E15-PRL-R mRNA increased slightly with castration and were restored by testosterone treatment. Removal of gonadal tissues and sex steroid hormone treatment had no effect on the expression levels of E13-PRL-R mRNA in both female and male rat livers. These results indicated that the expression of the PRL-R gene in the liver is regulated by the differential effects of sex steroid hormones on the transcription of the multiple first exons including the novel one.