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The growth hormone receptor (GHR) c.899dupC mutation functions as a dominant negative: insights into the pathophysiology of intracellular GHR defects.



GH insensitivity (GHI) is a condition characterized by pronounced IGF-I deficiency and severe short stature. We previously identified a novel compound heterozygous GH receptor (GHR) mutation, GHR:p.R229H/c.899dupC, in a patient presenting with GHI. The heterozygous p.R229H (prepeptide) variant was previously associated with GHI despite a lack of adequate functional studies. The novel heterozygous GHR:c.899dupC variant affects the critical JAK2-binding Box 1 region of the GHR intracellular domain; the duplication predicted a frameshift and early protein termination.


The individual and synergistic effect(s) of the p.R229H and c.899dupC mutations on GHR function(s) were evaluated in reconstitution studies.


The recombinant human GHR (hGHR):p.R229H variant was readily expressed, and unexpectedly, GH-induced signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b) phosphorylation was comparable to that induced by wild-type hGHR. The truncated, immunodetected hGHR:c.899dupC variant, in contrast, was unresponsive to GH. To mimic a compound heterozygous state, the two variants were coexpressed, and strikingly, the presence of the hGHR:c.899dupC effectively abolished the GH-induced STAT5b activities that were observed with hGHR:p.R229H alone. Furthermore, hGHR:c.899dupC dose-dependently reduced the GH-induced STAT5b activities associated with hGHR:p.R229H. This dominant negative effect was also observed when hGHR:c.899dupC was coexpressed with wild-type hGHR.


The p.R229H variant, contrary to an earlier report, appeared to function like wild-type GHR and, therefore, is unlikely to cause GHI. The c.899dupC variant is a novel dominant negative mutation that disrupted normal GHR signaling and is the cause for the GHI phenotype of the reported patient.


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    Department of Pediatrics, CDRCP, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97239-3098, USA.

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    HEK293 Cells
    Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
    Laron Syndrome
    Receptors, Somatotropin
    STAT5 Transcription Factor
    Signal Transduction

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't



    PubMed ID