Loss of the C terminus of melanocortin receptor 2 (MC2R) results in impaired cell surface expression and ACTH insensitivity

Andrea Hirsch, Eirini Meimaridou, Monica Fernandez-Cancio, Amit V. Pandey, María Clemente, Laura Audi, Adrian J.L. Clark, Christa E. Flück

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Mutations in melanocortin receptor 2 (MC2R) and its related melanocortin receptor accessory protein (MRAP) cause familial glucocorticoid deficiency. We identified a novel MC2R mutation, K289fs. This unique mutation in the C terminus of MC2R is located in the intracellular part of the protein for which the exact function is unknown. Setting: A 6-wk-old boy presented with severe hypoglycemia, unmeasurable cortisol, and grossly elevated ACTH but normal electrolytes. Genetic analysis revealed homozygote K289fs mutation in MC2R. His parents and siblings were heterozygous but phenotypically normal. Intervention and Results: The role of the C terminus of MC2R was studied in two cell systems. Because the K289fs mutant changes the last eight amino acids of the protein and leads to protein elongation, wild-type MC2R and C-terminally mutated constructs were tested for activity to respond to ACTH in an OS3 cell-based reporter assay. Wild-type and alanine-substituted constructs responded normally to ACTH. By contrast K289fs and M290X had a total loss of activity. Cell surface assays and confocallocalization studies revealed that K289fs and M290X receptors were not found at the cell surface, indicating that their transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cell membrane is disrupted. Interestingly, coimmunoprecipitation experiments showed no alteration in the interaction of mutant MC2R with MRAP, suggesting that interaction between these two proteins does not guarantee normal localization. Conclusions: Loss of the C terminus of MC2R impairs cell surface expression and ACTH sensitivity but does not disrupt interaction of MC2R with MRAP. These findings highlight the extreme sensitivity of MC2R to structural disruption. Copyright © 2011 by The Endocrine Society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


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