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, 169 (1), 55-63

beta-Subunit 102-104 Residues Are Crucial to Confer FSH Activity to Equine LH/CG but Are Not Sufficient to Confer FSH Activity to Human CG


beta-Subunit 102-104 Residues Are Crucial to Confer FSH Activity to Equine LH/CG but Are Not Sufficient to Confer FSH Activity to Human CG

M Chopineau et al. J Endocrinol.


Horse LH/CG (eLH/CG) and donkey LH/CG (dkLH/CG) are strictly LH-specific in their respective homologous species. However, both bind to the FSH receptors from non-equid species, whereas the zebra hormone (zbLH/CG) does not. The FSH/LH ratio of eLH/CG and of the alphadkbetae hybrid is about tenfold higher than that of dkLH/CG and of the alphaebetadk hybrid, showing that the betae subunit contains the structural features responsible for the high FSH activity of eLH/CG. Only six amino acid positions (51, 94, 95, 102, 103 and 106) are unique to the betae subunit when compared with the betadk and betazb subunits. The Gly-Pro and Val-Phe sequences in positions 102-103 of betadk and betae respectively were swapped by site-directed mutations and the mutated beta-subunits cDNAs were cotransfected in COS cells with either alphae or alphadk subunit cDNA. Other mutations were also introduced in 102-103 dkLH/CG beta-subunit: Ala-Ala, Gly-Ala or Ala-Pro. These mutations with Ala-Ala, Gly-Ala or Ala-Pro in the 102-103 betadkLH/CG subunit did not change the FSH/LH ratio of dkLH/CG but the Gly(102)-Pro(103)-->Val(102)-Phe(103) mutation promoted a marked increase in the FSH/LH activity ratio. This was observed with the two heterodimers containing alphae or alphadk. Conversely, the Val(102)-Phe(103) mutation in betae led to a dramatic drop in FSH/LH activity ratio of eLH/CG, to a level similar to that of dkLH/CG. Since all FSHs possess a Gly residue at position 104, we introduced the Gly(102)-Pro(103)-Arg(104)-->Val(102)-Phe(103)-Gly(104) mutation in betadk with the expectation that the increase in FSH activity observed with the Gly(102)-Pro(103)-->Val(102)-Phe(103) mutation could be potentiated. In fact, the additional Arg(104)-->Gly(104) mutation was found to abolish the increase in FSH activity observed with Gly(102)-Pro(103)-->Val(102)-Phe(103). Mutations Gly(102)-Pro(103)-->Val(102)-Arg(103) or Gly(102)-Pro(103)-Lys(104)--> Val(102)-Arg(103)-Gly(104) were also introduced in human CGbeta (hCGbeta) to compare the impact of these amino acid changes in the well-studied gonadotrophin hCG. The betahCG mutants obtained, co-expressed either with the human or the horse alpha-subunit, did not display any FSH activity. In conclusion, the 102-104 sequence in eLH/CG beta-subunits appears to be of utmost importance for their binding to FSH receptors. However, these results obtained with equid beta-subunits are not transposable to other gonadotrophins as similar mutations in hCGbeta did not lead to any increase in FSH activity.

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