Identification of the N-linked glycosylation sites of the human relaxin receptor and effect of glycosylation on receptor function

Biochemistry. 2008 Jul 1;47(26):6953-68. doi: 10.1021/bi800535b. Epub 2008 Jun 6.


The relaxin receptor, RXFP1, is a member of the leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor (LGR) family. These receptors are characterized by a large extracellular ectodomain containing leucine-rich repeats which contain the primary ligand binding site. RXFP1 contains six putative Asn-linked glycosylation sites in the ectodomain at positions Asn-14, Asn-105, Asn-242, Asn-250, Asn-303, and Asn-346, which are highly conserved across species. N-Linked glycosylation is the most common post-translational modification of G-protein-coupled receptors, although its role in modulating receptor function differs. We herein investigate the actual N-linked glycosylation status of RXFP1 and the functional ramifications of these post-translational modifications. Site-directed mutagenesis was utilized to generate single- or multiple-glycosylation site mutants of FLAG-tagged human RXFP1 which were then transiently expressed in HEK-293T cells. Glycosylation status was analyzed by immunoprecipitation and Western blot and receptor function analyzed with an anti-FLAG ELISA, (33)P-H2 relaxin competition binding, and cAMP activity measurement. All of the potential N-glycosylation sites of RXFP1 were utilized in HEK-293T cells, and importantly, disruption of glycosylation at individual or combinations of double and triple sites had little effect on relaxin binding. However, combinations of glycosylation sites were required for cell surface expression and cAMP signaling. In particular, N-glycosylation at Asn-303 of RXFP1 was required for optimal intracellular cAMP signaling. Hence, as is the case for other LGR family members, N-glycosylation is essential for the transport of the receptor to the cell surface. Additionally, it is likely that glycosylation is also essential for the conformational changes required for G-protein coupling and subsequent cAMP signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Rats
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Peptide / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Peptide / genetics
  • Receptors, Peptide / metabolism*
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Peptide
  • relaxin receptors
  • Cyclic AMP