Phosphorylation of human choriogonadotropin. Stoichiometry and sites of phosphate incorporation

J Biol Chem. 1983 Dec 10;258(23):14521-6.


Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and its subunits were studied as substrates for cAMP-dependent protein kinase. Phosphorylated residues were identified in peptide fragments by sequence analysis following appropriate hydrolysis and purification. Only the free beta-subunit was phosphorylated. Intact beta subunit incorporated 1 mol of phosphate/mol of peptide. This was localized to Thr 97, within the sequence -Arg-Arg-Ser-Thr-, which resembles one type of acceptor site for cAMP-dependent phosphorylation. Since beta Thr 97 did not phosphorylate in native hCG, this residue may be masked by the alpha subunit. Reduced and carboxymethylated hCG beta phosphorylated to 2.8 mol of phosphate/mol of peptide. Besides Thr 97, phosphate was also found at Ser 66 and Ser 96. Ser 66 occurs within a segment recognized to be favored for phoshorylation with the general sequence -Arg-X-X-Arg-X-X-Ser-. The appearance of this site in the linearized peptide suggests that Ser 66 is "buried" in the native conformation of the beta subunit. Two synthetic peptides representing residues 93-102 of hCG beta were also examined. The disulfide form of the peptide phosphorylated at Thr 97 while the linear peptide phosphorylated at Ser 96. Conformation as well as primary structure can thus influence the site of phosphate incorporation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / metabolism*
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Phosphates
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Protein Kinases