Biochimica et biophysica acta

Impact of subdomain D1 of the short form S1b of the human prolactin receptor on its inhibitory action on the function of the long form of the receptor induced by prolactin.

PMID 24735798


Long-form (LF) homodimers of the human prolactin receptor (PRLR) mediate prolactin's diverse actions. Short form S1b inhibits the LF function through heterodimerization. Reduced S1b/LF-ratio in breast cancer could contribute to tumor development/progression. Current work defines the structural and functional relevance of the D1 domain of S1b on its inhibitory function on prolactin-induced LF function. Studies were conducted using mutagenesis, promoter/signaling analyses, bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) and molecular modeling approaches. Mutation of E69 in D1 S1b or adjacent residues at the receptor surface near to the binding pocket (S) causes loss of its inhibitory effect while mutations away from this region (A) or in the D2 domain display inhibitory action as the wild-type. All S1b mutants preserved prolactin-induced Jak2 activation. BRET reveals an increased affinity in D1 mutated S1b (S) homodimers in transfected cells stably expressing LF. In contrast, affinity in S1b homodimers with either D1 (A) or D2 mutations remained unchanged. This favors LF mediated signaling induced by prolactin. Molecular dynamics simulations show that mutations (S) elicit major conformational changes that propagate downward to the D1/D2 interface and change their relative orientation in the dimers. These findings demonstrate the essential role of D1 on the S1b structure and its inhibitory action on prolactin-induced LF-mediated function. Major changes in receptor conformation and dimerization affinity are triggered by single mutations in critical regions of D1. Our structure-function/simulation studies provide a basis for modeling and design of small molecules to enhance inhibition of LF activation for potential use in breast cancer treatment.