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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 140  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 112-119

Regulation of luteinizing hormone receptor expression by an RNA binding protein: Role of ERK signaling

1 Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Correspondence Address:
K.M.J. Menon
1150 W Medical Center Dr. 6428 Med Sci 1, Ann Arbor, MI-48104
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 25673531

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A specific luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) mRNA binding protein (LRBP) has been identified and purified. This LH receptor mRNA binding protein selectively binds to the polypyrimidine rich bipartite sequence in the coding region of the LHR mRNA and accelerates its degradation. In response to preovulatory LH surge, the LH receptor expression in the ovary undergoes downregulation by accelerated degradation of LH receptor mRNA through the involvement of this RNA binding protein. Here we describe the intracellular mechanism triggered by LH/hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) that leads to the regulated degradation of LH receptor mRNA. Downregulation of LH receptor mRNA was induced by treatment of cultured human granulosa cells with 10 IU of hCG. Activation of downstream target, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1 and 2 (ERK 1/2) showed an increase within five min and sustained up to 1 h. Confocal analysis showed that ERK1/2 translocates to the nucleus after 15 min of hCG treatment. This leads to an increase in LRBP expression which then causes downregulation of LH receptor mRNA by accelerating its degradation. Treatment with UO126 or transfection with ERK specific siRNA (small interfering RNA) resulted in the abolishment of ERK activation as well as LHR mRNA downregulation. RNA electrophoretic mobility gel shift assay of the cytosolic fractions showed that hCG-induced increase in the LH receptor mRNA binding activity was also abrogated by these treatments. These results show that LH/hCG-induced LH receptor mRNA downregulation is initiated by the activation of ERK1/2 pathway by regulating the expression and activity of LH receptor mRNA binding activity.

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