Localization and Regulation of Thyrotropin Receptors within Lipid Rafts

R. Latif, T. Ando, S. Daniel, T. F. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The TSH receptor (TSHR) is a prototypic G protein-coupled receptor with a large extracellular domain. We have previously demonstrated homophilic interactions of TSHRs and their existence as constitutive oligomers. However, we have also shown that TSH itself promotes the formation of receptor monomers. We hypothesized, therefore, that TSHR monomers induced by TSH ligand may move into lipid rafts before effective TSH-induced signaling by bringing the cognate signaling molecules resident in such rafts together with the TSHRs. Thus, we aimed to determine whether the TSHRs would partition into these lipid rafts. The B subunit of cholera toxin (CTxB) binds to lipid raft-enriched G M1 ganglioside and has been widely exploited to visualize lipid rafts. Using such a method, we demonstrated the presence of these G M1-enriched lipid microdomains in Chinese hamster ovary cells by using CTxB labeled with a red dye (Alexa 594). To provide evidence for the presence of TSHRs in lipid rafts, we stained Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing TSHRGFP with labeled CTxB. Our results demonstrated that the TSHRGFP complexes localized to GM1-enriched lipid raft microdomains as evidenced by colocalization of the green fluorescent protein tag with the labeled CTxB. Hence, we concluded that a significant proportion of TSHRs were constitutively associated with lipid rafts. Furthermore, upon activation of these stained raft-receptor complexes with increasing concentrations of TSH, we observed that the raft-receptor complexes decreased significantly. The relevance of such receptor movement out of the rafts suggested that these may be the receptors critical in the initiation of signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4725-4728
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


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