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Mol Endocrinol. 1987 Aug;1(8):561-8.

Rat inhibin: molecular cloning of alpha- and beta-subunit complementary deoxyribonucleic acids and expression in the ovary.

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Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201.


Inhibin is a gonadal protein hormone that suppresses the secretion of FSH from pituitary gonadotrophs. It has previously been characterized as a heterodimer of two dissimilar subunits (alpha, 18 kilodaltons and beta, 14 kilodaltons) the smaller of which exists in two forms (beta A and beta B) and can form dimers that stimulate the secretion of FSH. In the present work, cDNA clones encoding the inhibin alpha- and beta A-subunits have been isolated from rat ovary and characterized. The alpha-inhibin cDNA predicts a precursor protein of 366 amino acids containing the 133 amino acid mature alpha-subunit at its COOH-terminus. The beta A-inhibin cDNA predicts a precursor protein of 424 amino acids containing the 116 amino acid beta A-subunit at its COOH-terminus. Analysis of rat ovarian RNA indicates that alpha-inhibin mRNA levels are stimulated by PMSG treatment in vivo. In cultured granulosa cells, FSH also stimulates alpha-inhibin mRNA, and the FSH effect is suppressed by cotreatment with GnRH. Hybridization in situ to rat ovarian tissue demonstrates that both the alpha-inhibin and beta A-inhibin mRNAs are specifically expressed in granulosa cells of the developing follicles.

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