[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gonadotropins luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and human chorionic gonadotropin are composed of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. The alpha subunit, identical in all three hormones, is produced in excess over the unique beta subunits by pituitary and placenta, and is secreted as uncombined, or free subunit. Free alpha subunit from both tissues has a larger molecular weight than the dimer form. In bovine pituitary an extra O-linked oligosaccharide is added to free alpha subunit, and this modification has recently been detected at an analogous position (threonine 39) on human alpha subunit secreted by choriocarcinoma cells. To assess the contribution of N-linked and O-linked oligosaccharides to the heterogeneity of human free alpha subunit, we have compared free alpha with human chorionic gonadotropin alpha secreted by explants and cultured cytotrophoblasts of human first trimester placenta. We have also examined the free and combined forms of human alpha subunit expressed in transfected C-127 mouse mammary tumor cells. Processing of the alpha subunit in placental and C-127 cells was similar. Tryptic mapping of placental-derived and transfected alpha subunits indicated that O-glycosylation at threonine 39 was not a major modification. In the presence of the oligosaccharide processing inhibitor swainsonine the difference in size between the free and combined forms of alpha was eliminated in both placental and C-127 cells, indicating that the two forms of alpha differed in their N-linked oligosaccharides. Furthermore, the oligosaccharides of free alpha subunits from placental and transfected cells were resistant to endoglycosidase H, but the combined forms of alpha were partially sensitive to the enzyme. Thus, in human first trimester placenta and mouse C-127 cells, combination of alpha with human chorionic gonadotropin beta alters the processing of N-linked oligosaccharides on alpha subunit.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/1987; 262(29):14197-203. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a member of a family of heterodimeric glycoprotein hormones that have a common alpha subunit but differ in their hormone-specific beta subunits. The beta subunit of hCG (hCG beta) is unique among the beta subunits in that it contains four mucin-like O-linked oligosaccharides attached to a carboxyl-terminal extension. To study the effects of O-glycosylation on the secretion and assembly of hCG, expression vectors containing either the hCG beta gene alone or together with the hCG alpha gene were transfected into a mutant Chinese hamster ovary cell line, IdID, which exhibits a reversible defect in O-glycosylation. Our results reveal that hCG beta can be secreted normally in the absence of its O-linked oligosaccharides. hCG beta devoid of O-linked carbohydrate can also combine efficiently with hCG alpha and be secreted as an intact dimer. We conclude that in Chinese hamster ovary cells, the hCG beta O-linked chains play no role in the assembly and secretion of hCG. The normal and O-linked oligosaccharide-deficient forms of hCG secreted by these cells should prove useful in examining the role of O-linked chains on the biological function of hCG.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/1987; 84(18):6354-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The glycoprotein hormones lutropin (LH) and chorionic gonadotropin (CG) share a common structure consisting of an identical alpha subunit noncovalently linked to a hormone-specific beta subunit. While LH is produced in the anterior pituitary, CG is synthesized in placenta. To compare the assembly, processing, and secretion of human LH and CG in the same cell type, we have expressed their subunits, individually and together, in mouse C-127 mammary tumor cells. Analysis of transfected clones revealed an unexpected difference in the secretion of individually expressed subunits. Whereas alpha and CG beta subunits were rapidly and quantitatively secreted, only 10% of newly synthesized LH beta subunit reached the medium. The remaining subunit was found in an intracellular, endoglycosidase H (endo H)-sensitive pool that had a turnover rate of approximately 8 h. Coexpression with alpha subunit resulted in "rescue" of LH beta subunit by formation of LH dimer, which was efficiently secreted. However, combination of LH beta with alpha was slow, with an overall efficiency of only 50% despite the presence of excess alpha. In contrast, CG beta was rapidly assembled with the alpha subunit after synthesis. The two beta subunits also differed in their influence on the N-linked oligosaccharide processing of combined alpha. The oligosaccharides of LH dimer were endo H resistant, while those of CG dimer remained partially endo H sensitive. Thus, despite a high degree of homology between LH beta and CG beta, the two subunits differ in their secretion as free subunits, their rate of assembly with alpha subunit, and in their effect on the N-linked oligosaccharide processing of combined alpha.
The Journal of Cell Biology 06/1987; 104(5):1173-81. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pituitary hormones LH, FSH, and TSH are secreted as dimers of two subunits, alpha and beta. The alpha-subunit, identical in all three hormones, is produced by the pituitary in excess of beta and secreted as free subunit. Bovine free alpha does not combine with purified beta-subunit and contains an extra O-linked oligosaccharide not found on dimer alpha. We have developed an assay to quantitate this modified form of alpha in the medium of incubated steer pituitary slices. The assay, based on reverse phase HPLC analysis of radiolabeled alpha-subunit tryptic peptides, shows that under basal conditions, 75% of secreted free alpha is O-glycosylated. When the secretagogue LHRH is added to the slices, a 14-fold increase in LH dimer release is observed, but secretion of the modified alpha is increased by only 2-fold. Our results indicate that the majority of free alpha-subunit secreted by the pituitary contains O-linked oligosaccharide, and that secretion of this form of alpha differs from that of LH dimer.