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J Biol Chem. 1991 Jan 15;266(2):780-5.

Lutropin/choriogonadotropin down-regulates its receptor by both receptor-mediated endocytosis and a cAMP-dependent reduction in receptor mRNA.

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  • 1Population Council, New York, New York 10021.


Using MA-10 Leydig tumor cells as a model system we have examined the possibility that the lutropin/choriogonadotropin (LH/CG)-induced down-regulation of the LH/CG receptor is accompanied by changes in LH/CG receptor mRNA. We show that LH or CG are indeed capable of reducing the levels of LH/CG receptor mRNA, but that the time course and magnitude of the reduction in receptor mRNA are such that this phenomenon cannot account entirely for the down-regulation of the receptor. In fact, we estimate that LH/CG can reduce the number of LH/CG receptors by at least 80% with little or no change in the levels of LH/CG receptor mRNA. These data are consistent with our previous hypothesis that the LH/CG-induced down-regulation of the LH/CG receptor is primarily due to an increase in the rate of degradation of the receptor that occurs as a result of the receptor-mediated endocytosis of LH/CG. Our studies also show that the LH/CG-induced down-regulation of the LH/CG receptor mRNA is mediated by cAMP. Thus, addition of 8-bromo-cAMP to MA-10 cells leads to a similar reduction in the levels of LH/CG receptor and receptor mRNA; while deglycosylated human CG, a hormone derivative that binds to the LH/CG receptor but has a reduced ability to stimulate cAMP synthesis, does not reduce the levels of LH/CG receptor mRNA. Last, human CG or 8-bromo-cAMP are unable to reduce LH/Cg receptor mRNA in a mutant MA-10 cell line that express a cAMP-resistant phenotype.

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