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Expression of human thyrotropin in cell lines with different glycosylation patterns combined with mutagenesis of specific glycosylation sites. Characterization of a novel role for the oligosaccharides in the in vitro and in vivo bioactivity


We used a novel approach to study the role of the Asn-linked oligosaccharides for human thyrotropin (hTSH) activity. Mutagenesis of Asn (N) within individual glycosylation recognition sequences to Gln (Q) was combined with expression of wild type and mutant hTSH in cell lines with different glycosylation patterns. The in vitro activity of hTSH lacking the Asn alpha 52 oligosaccharide (alpha Q52/TSH beta) expressed in CHO-K1 cells (sialylated oligosaccharides) was increased 6-fold compared with wild type, whereas the activities of alpha Q78/TSH beta and alpha/TSH beta Q23 were increased 2-3-fold. Deletion of the Asn alpha 52 oligosaccharide also increased the thyrotropic activity of human chorionic gonadotropin, in contrast to previous findings at its native receptor. The in vitro activity of wild type hTSH expressed in CHO-LEC2 cells (sialic acid-deficient oligosaccharides), CHO-LEC1 cells (Man5GlcNAc2 intermediates), and 293 cells (sulfated oligosaccharides) was 5-8-fold higher than of wild type from CHO-K1 cells. In contrast to CHO-K1 cells, there was no difference in the activity between wild type and selectively deglycosylated mutants expressed in these cell lines. Thus, in hTSH, the oligosaccharide at Asn alpha 52 and, specifically, its terminal sialic acid residues attenuate in vitro activity, in contrast to the previously reported stimulatory role of this chain for human chorionic gonadotropin and human follitropin activity. The increased thyrotropic activity of alpha Q52/CG beta suggests that receptor-related mechanisms may be responsible for these differences among the glycoprotein hormones. Despite their increased in vitro activity, alpha Q52/TSH beta, and alpha Q78/TSH beta from CHO-K1 cells had a faster serum disappearance rate and decreased effect on T4 production in mice. These findings highlight the importance of individual oligosaccharides in maintaining circulatory half-life and hence in vivo activity of hTSH.

Type Journal
ISBN 0021-9258 (Print)
Authors Grossmann, M.;Szkudlinski, M. W.;Tropea, J. E.;Bishop, L. A.;Thotakura, N. R.;Schofield, P. R.;Weintraub, B. D. :
Published Date 1995-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 270
Published Issue 49
Published Pages 29378-85
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version