Vol 56, No 5 (2005)
Original paper
Published online: 2006-05-28

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The cysteine bonding in TSH receptor and it function in autoantibodies recognition

Grażyna Adler, Urszula Piotrowska
Endokrynol Pol 2005;56(5):766-772.


The majority of epitopes for TSH receptor (TSHR) stimulating autoantibodies are clustered around the Nterminal region of the TSH receptor. The characteristic feature of this region is the presence of four cysteine residues. It was proposed that cysteines in positions 29 and 41 in the receptor are connected by disulfide bonds and they are the target for receptor stimulating antibodies. The present study was aimed to check this possibility. The synthetic peptides: peptide corresponding to the part of TSHR containing the above 29-41 cysteine bond, the peptide similar to this peptide but without disulfide bond and the control peptide, containing sequence absent in the receptor were used for rabbit immunization. The thyroid status of all immunized rabbits was the same. Rabbits immunized with peptides related to TSHR generated antisera reactive with TSHR in immunoenzymatic assay. To check specificity of this reaction the influence of the peptides and the antisera on TSH binding to the receptor in competitive assay (TRAK) and their influence on adenylate cyclase activity were studied. It was found that neither synthetic peptides nor antiserum from any rabbit influenced TSH binding to the receptor in TRAK. In contrast low, but significant adenylate cyclase stimulating activity was noticed for antisera from two of six rabbit immunized by peptide containing the disulfide bond. We concluded that such a bond between cysteine residues 29 and 41 are present in TSHR in the site of stimulating antibodies epitope.

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