Conversion of TSH heterodimer to a single polypeptide chain increases bioactivity and longevity

Naiel Azzam, Rinat Bar-Shalom, Fuad Fares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


TSH is a dimeric glycoprotein hormone composed of a common α-subunit noncovalently linked to a hormone-specific β-subunit. Previously, the TSH heterodimer was successfully converted to an active single-chain hormone by genetically fusing α and β genes with [TSHβ- carboxyl-terminal peptide (CTP)-α] or without (TSHβ-α) the CTP of human chorionic gonadotropin β-subunit as a linker. In the present study, TSH variants were expressed in Chinese hamster ovarian cells. The results indicated that TSHβ-α single chain has the highest binding affinity to TSH receptor and the highest in vitro bioactivity. With regard to the in vivo bioactivity, all TSH variants increased the levels of T 4 in circulation after 2 and 4h of treatment. However, the level of T 4 after treatment with TSH-wild type was significantly decreased after 6 and 8 h, compared with the levels after treatment with the other TSH variants. TSHβ-α and TSHβ-CTP-α single chains exhibited almost the same bioactivity after 8 h of treatment. Evaluating the half-life of TSH variants, TSHβ-CTP- α single chain revealed the longest half-life in circulation, whereas TSH-wild type exhibited the shortest serum half-life. These findings indicate that TSH single-chain variants with or without CTP as a linker may display conformational structures that increase binding affinity and serum half-life, thereby, suggesting novel attitudes for engineering and constructing superagonists of TSH, which may be used for treating different conditions of defected thyroid gland activity. Other prominent potential clinical use of these variants is in a diagnostic test for metastasis and recurrence of thyroid cancer.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)954-960
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Conversion of TSH heterodimer to a single polypeptide chain increases bioactivity and longevity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this