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Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Jul;32(13):2349-58. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00394-12. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

CREB binding protein (CBP) activation is required for luteinizing hormone beta expression and normal fertility in mice.

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Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Normal function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is dependent on gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GNRH)-stimulated synthesis and secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gonadotroph. While the transcriptional coactivator CREB binding protein (CBP) is known to interact with Egr-1, the major mediator of GNRH action on the Lhb gene, the role of CBP in Lhb gene expression has yet to be characterized. We show that in the LβT2 gonadotroph cell line, overexpression of CBP augmented the response to GNRH and that knockdown of CBP eliminated GNRH responsiveness. While GNRH-mediated phosphorylation of CBP at Ser436 increased the interaction with Egr-1 on the Lhb promoter, loss of this phosphorylation site eliminated GNRH-mediated Lhb expression in LβT2 cells. In vivo, loss of CBP phosphorylation at Ser436 rendered female mice subfertile. S436A knock-in mice had disrupted estrous cyclicity and reduced responsiveness to GNRH. Our results show that GNRH-mediated phosphorylation of CBP at Ser436 is required for Egr-1 to activate Lhb expression and is a requirement for normal fertility in female mice. As CBP can be phosphorylated by other factors, such as insulin, our studies suggest that CBP may act as a key regulator of Lhb expression in the gonadotroph by integrating homeostatic information with GNRH signaling.

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