Order and disorder – an integrative structure of the full-length human growth hormone receptor Journal Articles uri icon

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  • ABSTRACTDespite the many physiological and pathophysiological functions of the human growth hormone receptor (hGHR), a detailed understanding of itsmodus operandiis hindered by the lack of structural information of the entire receptor at the molecular level. Due to its relatively small size (70 kDa) and large content of structural disorder (>50%), this membrane protein falls between the cracks of conventional high-resolution structural biology methods. Here, we study the structure of the full-length hGHR in nanodiscs with small angle-X-ray scattering (SAXS) as the foundation. We developed an approach in which we combined SAXS, X-ray diffraction and NMR spectroscopy obtained on the individual domains and integrated the data through molecular dynamics simulations to interpret SAXS data on the full-length hGHR in nanodiscs. The structure of the hGHR was determined in its monomeric state and provides the first experimental model of any full-length cytokine receptor in a lipid membrane. Combined, our results highlight that the three domains of the hGHR are free to reorient relative to each other, resulting in a broad structural ensemble. Our work exemplifies how integrating experimental data from several techniques computationally, may enable the characterization of otherwise inaccessible structures of membrane proteins with long disordered regions, a widespread phenomenon in biology. To understand orchestration of cellular signaling by disordered chains, the hGHR is archetypal and its structure emphasizes that we need to take a much broader, ensemble view on signaling.


  • Kassem, Noah
  • Araya-Secchi, Raul
  • Bugge, Katrine
  • Barclay, Abigail
  • Steinocher, Helena
  • Khondker, Adree
  • Lenard, Aneta J
  • Bürck, Jochen
  • Ulrich, Anne S
  • Pedersen, Martin Cramer
  • Wang, Yong
  • Rheinstadter, Maikel
  • Pedersen, Per Amstrup
  • Lindorff-Larsen, Kresten
  • Arleth, Lise
  • Kragelund, Birthe B

publication date

  • June 27, 2020