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      The Leptin Receptor Complex: Heavier Than Expected?

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          Abstract

          Under normal physiological conditions, leptin and the leptin receptor (ObR) regulate the body weight by balancing food intake and energy expenditure. However, this adipocyte-derived hormone also directs peripheral processes, including immunity, reproduction, and bone metabolism. Leptin, therefore, can act as a metabolic switch connecting the body’s nutritional status to high energy consuming processes. We provide an extensive overview of current structural insights on the leptin–ObR interface and ObR activation, coupling to signaling pathways and their negative regulation, and leptin functioning under normal and pathophysiological conditions (obesity, autoimmunity, cancer, … ). We also discuss possible cross-talk with other receptor systems on the receptor (extracellular) and signaling cascade (intracellular) levels.

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          Most cited references 218

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          Identification and expression cloning of a leptin receptor, OB-R.

          The ob gene product, leptin, is an important circulating signal for the regulation of body weight. To identify high affinity leptin-binding sites, we generated a series of leptin-alkaline phosphatase (AP) fusion proteins as well as [125I]leptin. After a binding survey of cell lines and tissues, we identified leptin-binding sites in the mouse choroid plexus. A cDNA expression library was prepared from mouse choroid plexus and screened with a leptin-AP fusion protein to identify a leptin receptor (OB-R). OB-R is a single membrane-spanning receptor most related to the gp130 signal-transducing component of the IL-6 receptor, the G-CSF receptor, and the LIF receptor. OB-R mRNA is expressed not only in choroid plexus, but also in several other tissues, including hypothalamus. Genetic mapping of the gene encoding OB-R shows that it is within the 5.1 cM interval of mouse chromosome 4 that contains the db locus.
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            Leptin modulates the T-cell immune response and reverses starvation-induced immunosuppression.

            Nutritional deprivation suppresses immune function. The cloning of the obese gene and identification of its protein product leptin has provided fundamental insight into the hypothalamic regulation of body weight. Circulating levels of this adipocyte-derived hormone are proportional to fat mass but maybe lowered rapidly by fasting or increased by inflammatory mediators. The impaired T-cell immunity of mice now known to be defective in leptin (ob/ob) or its receptor (db/db), has never been explained. Impaired cell-mediated immunity and reduced levels of leptin are both features of low body weight in humans. Indeed, malnutrition predisposes to death from infectious diseases. We report here that leptin has a specific effect on T-lymphocyte responses, differentially regulating the proliferation of naive and memory T cells. Leptin increased Th1 and suppressed Th2 cytokine production. Administration of leptin to mice reversed the immunosuppressive effects of acute starvation. Our findings suggest a new role for leptin in linking nutritional status to cognate cellular immune function, and provide a molecular mechanism to account for the immune dysfunction observed in starvation.
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              A mutation in the human leptin receptor gene causes obesity and pituitary dysfunction.

              The adipocyte-specific hormone leptin, the product of the obese (ob) gene, regulates adipose-tissue mass through hypothalamic effects on satiety and energy expenditure. Leptin acts through the leptin receptor, a single-transmembrane-domain receptor of the cytokine-receptor family. In rodents, homozygous mutations in genes encoding leptin or the leptin receptor cause early-onset morbid obesity, hyperphagia and reduced energy expenditure. These rodents also show hypercortisolaemia, alterations in glucose homeostasis, dyslipidaemia, and infertility due to hypogonadotropic hypogonadisms. In humans, leptin deficiency due to a mutation in the leptin gene is associated with early-onset obesity. Here we describe a homozygous mutation in the human leptin receptor gene that results in a truncated leptin receptor lacking both the transmembrane and the intracellular domains. In addition to their early-onset morbid obesity, patients homozygous for this mutation have no pubertal development and their secretion of growth hormone and thyrotropin is reduced. These results indicate that leptin is an important physiological regulator of several endocrine functions in humans.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front. Endocrinol.
                Frontiers in Endocrinology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-2392
                21 February 2017
                2017
                : 8
                Affiliations
                1Cytokine Receptor Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Biochemistry, Ghent University , Ghent, Belgium
                2VIB Medical Biotechnology Center, VIB , Ghent, Belgium
                Author notes

                Edited by: Stefan N. Constantinescu, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Belgium and Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

                Reviewed by: Serge Haan, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Julie Dam, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, France

                *Correspondence: Jan Tavernier, jan.tavernier@ 123456vib-ugent.be

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Molecular and Structural Endocrinology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology

                Article
                10.3389/fendo.2017.00030
                5318964
                Copyright © 2017 Wauman, Zabeau and Tavernier.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 283, Pages: 20, Words: 17734
                Categories
                Endocrinology
                Review

                Endocrinology & Diabetes

                leptin, leptin receptor, activation, signaling, cross-talk, leptin resistance

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