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To gain further insight into the binding of the normal and variant human TSHβ subunits (TSHβ and TSHβv), we modeled the 2 monomeric proteins and studied their interaction with the TSH receptor ectodomain (TSHR-ECD) using molecular dynamics simulation Furthermore, analyzed their bioactivity in vitro using recombinant proteins to confirm that such binding was physiologically relevant. Examining the interaction of TSHβ and TSHβv with the TSHR-ECD model using molecular dynamic simulation revealed strong binding of these proteins to the receptor ECD. The specificity of TSHβ and TSHβv binding to the TSHR-ECD was examined by analyzing the hydrogen-bonding residues of these subunits to the FSH receptor ECD, indicating the inability of these molecules to bind to the FSH receptors. Furthermore, the modelling suggests that TSHβ and TSHβv proteins clasped the concave surface of the leucine rich region of the TSHR ECD in a similar way to the native TSH using dynamic hydrogen bonding. These mutually exclusive stable interactions between the subunits and ECD residues included some high-affinity contact sites corresponding to binding models of native TSH. Furthermore, we cloned TSHβ and TSHβv proteins using the entire coding ORF and purified the flag-tagged proteins. The expressed TSHβ subunit proteins retained bioactivity both in a coculture system as well as with immune-purified proteins. In summary, we showed that such interactions can result in a functional outcome and may exert physiological or pathophysiological effects in immune cells. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Endocrine Society 2020.


Mihaly Mezei, Ramkumarie Baliram, M Rejwan Ali, Mone Zaidi, Terry F Davies, Rauf Latif. The Human TSHβ Subunit Proteins and Their Binding Sites on the TSH Receptor Using Molecular Dynamics Simulation. Endocrinology. 2020 Sep 01;161(9)

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PMID: 32738139

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