Expression and bioactivity of a single chain recombinant equine luteinizing hormone (reLH)

Albina Jablonka-Shariff, Janet F. Roser, George R. Bousfield, Michael W. Wolfe, Lillian E. Sibley, Mark Colgin, Irving Boime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


To study structure-activity relationships and the role of equine gonadotropins in the normal and pathophysiology of equine reproduction, the availability of purified hormones is essential. Previous expression studies in transfected CHO cells showed inefficient assembly of the human and bovine α and β subunits, resulting in low levels of recombinant LH. The ability to express a single chain bearing genetically linked α and β subunits bypasses this rate-limiting assembly step. A chimera was constructed by overlap PCR in which the carboxy terminal end of the eLHβ subunit was genetically fused to the amino end of the α subunit. This gene was transfected into CHO cells and the recombinant product was purified through multiple steps, including a Fractogel resin separation. Serial dilutions of pituitary derived native eLH and the single chain reLH were compared in an eLH radioimmunoassay (RIA); the concentration curves between the single chain recombinant eLH and the native eLH standard were parallel. The biological activity of the analog was determined in vitro and in vivo using homologous equine models. Testicular tissue from five colts was processed for Leydig cell cultures. Increasing doses of reLH were incubated with equine Leydig cells for 24 h in vitro and testosterone production was determined by RIA. Recombinant eLH stimulated a greater than 15-fold increase in testosterone production in a dose-dependent manner. Quarter Horse breeding stallions were treated with either reLH (n = 5) or saline (n = 3) and plasma testosterone concentrations were measured by RIA. Recombinant eLH stimulated a four-fold increase in circulating testosterone concentrations compared to the saline control. Therefore, the single chain recombinant will be effective for a variety of structure-function analyses and for breeding management in the horse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2007


  • Equine
  • In vivo
  • LH
  • Recombinant single chain
  • Stallion


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