A Novel Carboxyl-Terminal Heptapeptide Initiates the Regulated Secretion of LH from Unique Sub-Domains of the ER

Albina Jablonka-Shariff, Irving Boime

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6 Scopus citations


The coordinated secretion of LH and FSH are critical for reproductive functions. After translocation into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), their biosynthetic routes diverge at a determinative step prior to sorting in the regulated (LH) and constitutive (FSH) secretion pathways. Recently, we identified a C-terminal heptapeptide sequence, present only in the LHβ subunit, as a critical signal for entry of the LH dimer into the regulated pathway. We showed that an LHβ mutant lacking the heptapeptide (LHβΔT) assembled more efficiently with the α subunit than wild-type LHβ subunit, and this LHΔT dimer was secreted constitutively. Thus, an association exists between the presence of the C-terminal heptapeptide and sorting of the LH heterodimer to the regulated pathway. To study how this delayed LHβ subunit assembly is related to the trafficking of LH, we exploited the single subunit transfection model in rat somatotrope-derived GH3 cells with the use of immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. The LHβ subunit showed a distinct immunofluorescent localization as compared to the FSHβ subunit and LHβ mutants. The wild-type LHβ subunit exhibited a perinuclear staining corresponding to the ER/nuclear envelope region. In contrast, the wild-type FSHβ subunit and the mutants LHβΔT and LHβL119A displayed no detectable perinuclear staining; only peripheral ER puncta were observed. Also, no perinuclear fluorescence was detected in cells expressing the LH heterodimer. We propose that the C-terminal heptapeptide is responsible for delayed heterodimer assembly within an ER sub-domain of the nuclear envelope, as an early partitioning event necessary for the entrance of LH into the regulated secretory pathway, whereas FSHβ does not traverse the nuclear envelope region. These data suggest that, at least for LH, the molecular decision to enter the regulated secretory pathway is a pre-Golgi event controlled by the novel C-terminal heptapeptide.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65002
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 29 2013


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