Effects of truncations of the cytoplasmic tail of the luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor on receptor-mediated hormone internalization

Mol Endocrinol. 1992 Mar;6(3):327-36. doi: 10.1210/mend.6.3.1316539.


The LH/CG receptor is a member of the family of G protein-coupled receptors and consists of a large N-terminal extracellular domain (which is responsible for binding hormone) attached to a region that spans the plasma membrane seven times, ending with an intracellularly located C-terminus. Binding of LH or human CG (hCG) to the LH/CG receptor causes a stimulation of adenylyl cyclase, presumably via activation of Gs. The binding of hormone also leads to its subsequent internalization by receptor-mediated endocytosis. In order to investigate the role of the cytoplasmic tail of this receptor in these events, we prepared a series of mutants in which progressively larger portions of the cytoplasmic tail were deleted. Deletion of 58 amino acids from the C-terminus, in which only 11 cytoplasmic residues remain, resulted in a receptor that was not expressed on the plasma membrane. Receptors rat LHR (rLHR)-t653 and rLHR-t631, in which 21 or 43 amino acids were removed, respectively, were properly expressed. These results suggest that a region(s) between residues 616 and 631 of the rLH/CG receptor are required for proper insertion and/or targeting of the receptor into the plasma membrane. Cells expressing rLHR-t653 or rLHR-t631 bound hCG with the same high affinity as cells expressing the full-length receptor, and basal levels of cAMP were the same among the cells. However, cells expressing the truncated receptors responded to hCG with approximately 2-fold greater levels of maximal cAMP accumulation than cells expressing the full-length receptor. Deletion of up to 43 amino acids from the C-terminus of the rLH/CG receptor had no deleterious effect on hCG internalization. In fact, mutants lacking 21 and 43 amino acids exhibited progressively faster rates of hCG internalization as compared to the full-length receptor. Once internalized, hCG was also degraded at a faster rate in cells expressing the truncated LH/CG receptors. Since hCG-stimulated cAMP stimulation and hCG internalization are retained by rLHR-t631, it can be concluded that the residues, not necessarily the same, required for these functions reside within the 26 amino acids of the cytoplasmic tail closest to the seventh transmembrane helix and/or residues within the intracellular loops. Our data show, however, that both hCG-stimulated cAMP production and hCG internalization are enhanced by the removal of the distal portion of the cytoplasmic tail.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / metabolism*
  • Cyclic AMP / biosynthesis
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Down-Regulation / physiology
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Rats
  • Receptors, LH / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Receptors, LH
  • Cyclic AMP