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Endocrinology. 2003 Jun;144(6):2409-16.

The calcium component of gonadotropin-releasing hormone-stimulated luteinizing hormone subunit gene transcription is mediated by calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II.

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Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia Health Science Center, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


Calcium influx plays a critical role in GnRH regulation of rat LH subunit gene transcription, but the site(s) of action are undefined. We investigated the potential of GnRH acting through calcium to activate calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II (Ca/CaMK II) in mouse gonadotrope-derived LbetaT2 cells. GnRH stimulated Ca/CaMK II beta subunit activity 3-fold 2 min after treatment and returned to control values by 45 min. The Ca/CaMK II response to GnRH was blocked by administration of the Ca/CaMK II-specific inhibitor, KN-93. The calcium channel activator Bay K 8644 stimulated a 3-fold increase in Ca/CaMK II activity, similar to GnRH. Blocking calcium influx with nimodipine or depleting intracellular calcium storage pools with thapsigargin each resulted in a partial suppression of GnRH-induced activation of Ca/CaMK II, and in combination, completely suppressed the Ca/CaMK II response to GnRH. KN-93 and nimodipine also suppressed alpha-subunit and LHbeta promoter responses to GnRH by 40-60%. LHbeta promoter constructs containing either proximal or proximal and distal GnRH-responsive regions were sensitive to inhibition. These data show for the first time that Ca/CaMK II activation plays an important role in the transmission of GnRH signals from the plasma membrane to the LH subunit genes.

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