Send to

Choose Destination
Endocrinology. 1996 Jan;137(1):304-11.

Stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase by gonadotropin-releasing hormone: evidence for the involvement of protein kinase C.

Author information

Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


GnRH regulates gonadotropin biosynthesis and secretion. Multiple intracellular signaling pathways are activated by GnRH, including phosphoinositol turnover, release of intracellular calcium and influx of extracellular calcium, and activation of protein kinase C (PKC), among others. In this study, we investigated whether GnRH stimulates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPKs), and whether this pathway plays a role in the transcriptional activation of the gonadotropin alpha-gene. In alpha T3-1 gonadotrope cells, treatment with GnRH caused 4- to 5-fold induction of MAPK activity. Stimulation of MAPK activity was detected within 5 min of GnRH treatment and persisted for 60 min. MAPK activation by GnRH was also seen in primary cultures of rat pituitary cells. Treatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (TPA) caused 4- to 5-fold induction of MAPK activity in alpha T3-1 cells. Pretreatment with TPA, however, decreased both GnRH- and TPA-induced MAPK activation, suggesting that PKC is involved in GnRH-mediated activation of MAPK. Western blot analyses of PKC isoforms alpha and epsilon confirmed that they were depleted by chronic treatment with TPA, whereas MAPK protein levels were unaffected. Because transcriptional stimulation of the glycoprotein hormone alpha-gene by GnRH is also inhibited by PKC depletion, additional experiments were performed to explore a potential role for MAPK in alpha-gene expression. Cotransfection of a dominant negative inhibitors of MAPK isoforms (ERK1 and ERK2) suppressed basal expression of the alpha-promoter by 60%, but had less effect on the extent of GnRH stimulation in alpha T3-1 cells. These experiments indicate that GnRH stimulates MAPK activity, probably through a pathway involving PKC. Although PKC depletion inhibits both MAPK- and GnRH-stimulated alpha-gene transcription, pathways other than MAPK are also likely to be involved in mediating the transcriptional effects of GnRH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center