Molecular mechanism of the constitutive activation of the L250Q human melanocortin-4 receptor polymorphism.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Florida, PO Box 100485, Gainesville, FL 32610-0485, USA.
Chemical Biology &amp Drug Design (Impact Factor: 2.51). 04/2006; 67(3):215-29. DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-0285.2006.00362.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Melanocortin-4 Receptor is a G-protein coupled receptor that has been physiologically linked to participate in the regulation of energy homeostasis. The Melanocortin-4 Receptor is stimulated by endogenous melanocortin agonists derived from the pro-opiomelanocortin gene transcript and antagonized by the endogenous antagonist agouti-related protein. Central administration of melanocortin agonists has been demonstrated to decrease food intake and conversely, treatment with antagonists resulted in increased food intake. Deletion of the Melanocortin-4 Receptor gene from the mouse genome results in an obese and hyperphagic phenotype. Polymorphisms of the human Melanocortin-4-Receptor have been found in severely obese individuals, suggesting that Melanocortin-4 Receptor malfunction might be involved in human obesity and obesity-associated diabetes. Herein, we have performed experiments to understand the molecular mechanisms associated with the L250Q human Melanocortin-4-Receptor polymorphism discovered in an extremely obese woman. This L250Q human Melanocortin-4-Receptor has been pharmacologically characterized to result in a constitutively active receptor. The fact that a constitutively active human Melanocortin-4-Receptor mutation was found in an obese person is a physiologic contradiction, as chronic activation of the human Melanocortin-4-Receptor and subsequently high cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels should theoretically result in a normal or lean phenotype. In this study, we demonstrated that agouti-related protein acts as an inverse agonist at this constitutively active receptor, and we propose a mechanism by which agouti-related protein might contribute to the obese phenotype in the L250Q patient. In addition, using receptor mutagenesis, pharmacology, and computer modeling approaches, we investigated the molecular mechanism by which modification of the L250 residue results in constitutive activation of the human Melanocortin-4-Receptor.

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    ABSTRACT: The melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) critically regulates feeding and satiety. Rare variants in MC4R are predominantly found in obese individuals. Though some rare variants in MC4R discovered in patients have defects in localization, ligand binding and signaling to cAMP, many have no recognized defects. In our cohort of 1433 obese subjects that underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) surgery, we found fifteen variants of MC4R. We matched rare variant carriers to patients with the MC4R reference alleles for gender, age, starting BMI and T2D to determine the variant effect on weight-loss post-RYGB. In vitro, we determined expression of mutant receptors by ELISA and western blot, and cAMP production by microscopy. While carrying a rare MC4R allele is associated with obesity, carriers of rare variants exhibited comparable weight-loss after RYGB to non-carriers. However, subjects carrying three of these variants, V95I, I137T or L250Q, lost less weight after surgery. In vitro, the R305Q mutation caused a defect in cell surface expression while only the I137T and C326R mutations showed impaired cAMP signaling. Despite these apparent differences, there was no correlation between in vitro signaling and pre- or post-surgery clinical phenotype. These data suggest that subtle differences in receptor signaling conferred by rare MC4R variants combined with additional factors predispose carriers to obesity. In the absence of complete MC4R deficiency, these differences can be overcome by the powerful weight-reducing effects of bariatric surgery. In a complex disorder such as obesity, genetic variants that cause subtle defects that have cumulative effects can be overcome after appropriate clinical intervention.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e93629. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) play central roles in almost all physiological functions, and mutations in GPCR are responsible for over 30 hereditary diseases associated with loss or gain of receptor function. Gain of function mutants are frequently described as having constitutive activity (CA), that is, they activate effectors in the absence of agonist occupancy. Although many GPCR have mutants with CA, the GnRH receptor (GnRHR) was not, until 2010, associated with any CA mutants. The explanation for the failure to observe CA appears to be that the quality control system of the cell recognizes CA mutants of GnRHR as misfolded and retains them in the endoplasmic reticulum. In the present study, we identified several human (h)GnRHR mutants with substitutions in transmembrane helix 6 (F(272)K, F(272)Q, Y(284)F, C(279)A, and C(279)S) that demonstrate varying levels of CA after being rescued by pharmacoperones from different chemical classes and/or deletion of residue K(191), a modification that increases trafficking to the plasma membrane. The movement of the mutants from the endoplasmic reticulum (unrescued) to the plasma membrane (after rescue) is supported by confocal microscopy. Judging from the receptor-stimulated inositol phosphate production, mutants F(272)K and F(272)Q, after rescue, display the largest level of CA, an amount that is comparable with agonist-stimulated activation. Because mutations in other GPCR are, like the hGnRHR, scrutinized by the quality control system, this general approach may reveal CA in receptor mutants from other systems. A computer model of the hGnRHR and these mutants was used to evaluate the conformation associated with CA.
    Molecular Endocrinology 05/2012; 26(7):1179-88. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) is a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is expressed in the central nervous system and has a role in regulating feeding behavior, obesity, energy homeostasis, male erectile response, and blood pressure. Since the report of the MC4R knockout mouse in 1997, the field has been searching for links between this genetic biomarker and human obesity and type 2 diabetes. More then 80 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified from human patients, both obese and nonobese controls. Many significant studies have been performed examining the pharmacological characteristics of these hMC4R SNPs in attempts to identify a molecular defects/insights that might link a genetic factor to the obese phenotype observed in patients possessing these mutations. Our laboratory has previously reported the pharmacological characterization of 40 of these polymorphic hMC4 receptors with multiple endogenous and synthetic ligands. The goal of the current study is to perform a similar comprehensive side-by-side characterization of 30 additional human hMC4R with single nucleotide polymorphisms using multiple endogenous agonists [alpha-, beta-, and gamma(2)-melanocyte stimulating hormones (MSH) and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH)], the antagonist agouti-related protein hAGRP(87-132), and synthetic agonists [NDP-MSH, MTII, and the tetrapeptide Ac-His-dPhe-Arg-Trp-NH(2) (JRH887-9)]. These in vitro data, in some cases, provide a putative molecular link between dysfunctional hMC4R's and human obesity. These 30 hMC4R SNPs include R7H, R18H, R18L, S36Y, P48S, V50M, F51L, E61K, I69T, D90N, S94R, G98R, I121T, A154D, Y157S, W174C, G181D, F202L, A219 V, I226T, G231S, G238D, N240S, C271R, S295P, P299L, E308K, I317V, L325F, and 750DelGA. All but the N240S hMC4R were identified in obese patients. Additionally, we have characterized a double I102T/V103I hMC4R. In addition to the pharmacological characterization, the hMC4R variants were evaluated for cell surface expression by flow cytometry. The F51L, I69T, and A219V hMC4Rs possessed full agonist activity and significantly decreased endogenous agonist ligand potency. At the E61K, D90N, Y157S, and C271R hMC4Rs, all agonist ligands examined were only partially efficacious in generating a maximal signaling response (partial agonists) and possessed significantly decreased endogenous agonist ligand potency. Only the A219V, G238D, and S295P hMC4Rs possessed significantly decreased AGRP(87-132) antagonist potency. These data provide new information for use in GPCR computational development as well as insights into MC4R structure ad function.
    Biochemistry 06/2010; 49(22):4583-600. · 3.38 Impact Factor


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May 16, 2014