The adapter protein APPL1 links FSH receptor to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate production and is implicated in intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization

Endocrinology. 2011 Apr;152(4):1691-701. doi: 10.1210/en.2010-1353. Epub 2011 Feb 1.


FSH binds to its receptor (FSHR) on target cells in the ovary and testis, to regulate oogenesis and spermatogenesis, respectively. The signaling cascades activated after ligand binding are extremely complex and have been shown to include protein kinase A, mitogen-activated protein kinase, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B, and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-mediated calcium signaling pathways. The adapter protein APPL1 (Adapter protein containing Pleckstrin homology domain, Phosphotyrosine binding domain and Leucine zipper motif), which has been linked to an assortment of other signaling proteins, was previously identified as an interacting protein with FSHR. Thus, alanine substitution mutations in the first intracellular loop of FSHR were generated to determine which residues are essential for FSHR-APPL1 interaction. Three amino acids were essential; when any one of them was altered, APPL1 association with FSHR mutants was abrogated. Two of the mutants (L377A and F382A) that displayed poor cell-surface expression were not studied further. Substitution of FSHR-K376A did not affect FSH binding or agonist-stimulated cAMP production in either transiently transfected human embryonic kidney cells or virally transduced human granulosa cells (KGN). In the KGN line, as well as primary cultures of rat granulosa cells transduced with wild type or mutant receptor, FSH-mediated progesterone or estradiol production was not affected by the mutation. However, in human embryonic kidney cells inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate production was curtailed and KGN cells transduced with FSHR-K376A evidenced reduced Ca(2+) mobilization from intracellular stores after FSH treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / chemistry
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Estradiol / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate / biosynthesis*
  • Mutation
  • Progesterone / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Receptors, FSH / genetics
  • Receptors, FSH / metabolism*


  • APPL1 protein, human
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Receptors, FSH
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Calcium