Introduction

The hematopoietic family of cytokines and receptors, to which human growth hormone (hGH) and its receptor (hGHR) belong, are a set of hormone-receptor pairs that are classified on the basis of having similar three-dimensional topologies, as well as similar functional characteristics (1-3). The complex between hGH and the hGHR is one of the best understood among the ligand-receptor pairs of the hematopoietic cytokine family (for other reviews see refs. 4 and 5). A number of the ligands in this family (e.g, hGH, prolactin, erythropoietin, thrombopoietin) transduce signals through their receptors via a sequential dimerization mechanism. In this process, a single hormone molecule can bind to the extracellular domain of two receptors. Here, the manner by which hGH recognizes and binds to its receptor and the molecular aspects whereby hGH transduces its cell proliferative signal through the membrane are reviewed in more detail.

From: Human Growth Hormone: Basic and Clinical Research Edited by: R. G. Smith and M. O. Thorner © Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ

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