Dynamic analysis of gh receptor conformational changes by split luciferase complementation

Academic Article


  • The transmembrane GH receptor (GHR) exists at least in part as a preformed homodimer on the cell surface. Structural and biochemical studies suggest that GH binds GHR in a 1:2 stoichiometry to effect acute GHR conformational changes that trigger the activation of the receptor-associated tyrosine kinase, Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), and downstream signaling. Despite information about GHR-GHR association derived from elegant fluorescence resonance energy transfer/bioluminescence resonance energy transfer studies, an assessment of the dynamics of GH-induced GHR conformational changes has been lacking. To this end, we used a split luciferase complementation assay that allowed detection in living cells of specific ligand-independent GHR-GHR interaction. Furthermore, GH treatment acutely augmented complementation of enzyme activity between GHRs fused, respectively, to N- and C-terminal fragments of firefly luciferase. Analysis of the temporal pattern of GH-induced complementation changes, pharmacological manipulation, genetic alteration of JAK2 levels, and truncation of the GHR intracellular domain (ICD) tail suggested that GH acutely enhances proximity of the GHR homodimer partners independent of the presence of JAK2, phosphorylation of GHR-lu-ciferase chimeras, or an intact ICD. However, subsequent reduction of complementation requires JAK2 kinase activity and the ICD tail. This conclusion is in contrast to existing models of the GHR activation process.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Liu Y; Berry PA; Zhang Y; Jiang J; Lobie PE; Paulmurugan R; Langenheim JF; Chen WY; Zinn KR; Frank SJ
  • Start Page

  • 1807
  • End Page

  • 1819
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 11