Plasma membrane expression of GnRH receptors: Regulation by antagonists in breast, prostate, and gonadotrope cell lines

Ann R. Finch, Kathleen R. Sedgley, Christopher J. Caunt, Craig A. McArdle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

In heterologous expression systems, human GnRH receptors (bGnRHRs) are poorly expressed at the cell surface and this may reflect inefficient exit from the endoplasmic reticulum. Here, we have defined the proportion of GnRHRs at the cell surface using a novel assay based on adenoviral transduction with epitopetagged GnRHRs followed by staining and semi-automated imaging. We find that in MCF7 (breast cancer) cells, the proportional cell surface expression (PCSE) of hGnRHRs is remarkably low (<1%), when compared with Xenopus laevis (X) GnRHRs (∼40%). This distinction is retained at comparable whole cell expression levels, and the hGnRHR PCSE is increased by addition of the XGnRHR C-tail (h.XGnRHR) or by a membrane-permeant pharmacological chaperone (IN3). The IN3 effect is concentration- and time-dependent and IN3 also enhances the hGnRHR-mediated (but not h.XGnRHR- or mouse GnRHR-mediated) stimulation of [3H]inositol phosphate accumulation and the hGnRHR-mediated reduction in cell number. We also fund that the PCSE for hGnRHRs and h.XGnRHRs is low and is greatly increased by IN3 in two hormone-dependent cancer lines, but is higher and less sensitive to IN3 in a gonadotrope line. Finally, we show that the effect of IN3 on hGnRHR PCSE is not mimicked or blocked by two peptide antagonists although they do increase the PCSE for h.XGnRHRs, revealing that an antagonist-occupied cell surface GnRHR conformation can differ from that of the unoccupied receptor. The low PCSE of hGnRHRs and this novel peptide antagonist effect may be important for understanding GnRHR function in extrapituitary sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-367
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Volume196
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

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