Multi-Component Mechanism of H2 Relaxin Binding to RXFP1 through NanoBRET Kinetic Analysis

iScience. 2019 Jan 25;11:93-113. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2018.12.004. Epub 2018 Dec 10.


The peptide hormone H2 relaxin has demonstrated promise as a therapeutic, but mimetic development has been hindered by the poorly understood relaxin receptor RXFP1 activation mechanism. H2 relaxin is hypothesized to bind to two distinct ECD sites, which reorientates the N-terminal LDLa module to activate the transmembrane domain. Here we provide evidence for this model in live cells by measuring bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) between nanoluciferase-tagged RXFP1 constructs and fluorescently labeled H2 relaxin (NanoBRET). Additionally, we validate these results using the related RXFP2 receptor and chimeras with an inserted RXFP1-binding domain utilizing NanoBRET and nuclear magnetic resonance studies on recombinant proteins. We therefore provide evidence for the multi-component molecular mechanism of H2 relaxin binding to RXFP1 on the full-length receptor in cells. Also, we show the utility of NanoBRET real-time binding kinetics to reveal subtle binding complexities, which may be overlooked in traditional equilibrium binding assays.

Keywords: Biochemical Assay; Biological Sciences; Molecular Biology.