Nucleotide and amino acid homology between the human thyrotropin receptor and the HIV-1 nef protein: Identification and functional analysis

Henry B. Burch, Endre V. Nagy, Yvonne G. Lukes, Yi Cai Wen Yi Cai, Leonard Wartofsky, Kenneth D. Burman

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A comparison of the nucleotide sequence of the human thyrotropin receptor (hTSH-R)with that of HIV-1 revealed 61% homology between a 161 base pair region encoding a unique portion of the hTSH-R and an immunogenic HIV-1 regulatory protein, nef. Amino acid analysis of this region shows 27% homology, including a segment in which 7/10 consecutive amino acids are identical. Sera from rabbits successfully immunized with a 16 amino acid portion of the hTSH-R (352-367, p1) was assessed for reactivity against a partially homologous nef peptide (nef-1) by ELISA, with a finding five-fold higher post-immunization values compared to pre-immune sera. The specificity of this response was verified with Western blot, using recombinant nef protein. An ELISA using nef-1 gave 64% higher values with sera from Graves' disease patients than with normal controls. This homology and immunologic cross-reactivity suggests an avenue through which a shared immune response against an HIV-1 related retrovirus could play a role in the pathogenesis of Graves' disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-505
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 27 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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