Development and characterization of monoclonal antibodies specific for the murine thyrotropin receptor.


We have characterized 10 monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) to recombinant murine thyrotropin receptor extracellular domain (mTSHR-ecd). Affinity purified mTSHR-ecd (amino acids 22-415), expressed in a baculovirus-insect cell system, was refolded in vitro and used to hyperimmunize female Balb/c mice. Spleens were removed 10 days after a final boost of 25 microg mTSHR-ecd intraperitoneally and intravenously, and the cells were fused to SP-2 cells and cloned. Hybridoma supernatants were screened by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with folded mTSHR-ecd antigen. Ten of 18 higher affinity hybridomas were selected at random and ascites fluids prepared. Nine of the monoclonals were of IgG 1 isotype, and one was IgM. Five Mabs (M3, M4, M5, M6, and M9) inhibited the binding of 125I-TSH to functional hTSHR expressed on Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, and four (M1, M3, M5, and M9) blocked the TSH-stimulated generation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), using the same cells. The remaining Mabs appeared to be neutral in their interaction with native TSHR. The Mabs were also compared for their reactivity to mTSHR-ecd under folding (ELISA) and unfolding (reducing sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis [SDS-PAGE]) conditions. Most Mabs demonstrated reactivity to both conformational (folded) and linear (unfolded) forms of mTSHR-ecd, suggesting that they were generated primarily against linear epitopes although one Mab (M4) showed affinity for only folded antigen indicating a preference for a conformational epitope. Mapping the Mab epitopes using 26 overlapping peptides spanning the human (h)TSHR-ecd showed that 6 bound peptide 397-415, 1 bound peptide 352-371, and 1 peptide 22-41. These epitope mapped Mabs to the mTSHR-ecd, both receptor blocking and receptor neutral, will provide further insight into the structure-function of the TSHR ectodomain.


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