Leptin or obesity receptor (Ob-R) is a member of class I cytokine receptor family. Ob-R, expressed in six isoforms, is the product of alternative RNA splicing of db gene. According to its structural differences, the receptor's isoforms are divided into three classes: long, short, and secretory isoforms. A long, fully active isoform of Ob-Rb is expressed mainly in the hypothalamus, where it takes part in energy homeostasis and in the regulation of secretory organs' activity. Ob-Rb is also present on all types of immune cells, involved in innate and adaptive immunity. Short leptin isoforms (Ob-Ra, Ob-Rc, Ob-Rd, and Ob-Re) that contain box 1 motif are able to bind JAK kinases (Janus kinases) as well as to activate some other signal transduction cascades. A soluble isoform (Ob-Re) can regulate serum leptin concentration and serve as a carrier protein delivering the hormone to its membrane receptors and is able to transduce the signal into the cell. JAK/STAT pathway plays the major role in leptin signal transduction through membrane receptors. Among all Ob-R isoforms, only full-length isoform (Ob-Rb) is able to fully transduce activation signal into the cell.
Gorska E, Popko K, Stelmaszczyk-Emmel A, Ciepiela O, Kucharska A, Wasik M. Leptin receptors. ur J Med Res. 2010 November Department of Laboratory Diagnostics, Warsaw Medical University, Warsaw, Poland.