A glutathione-S-transferase-FSHalpha subunit hybrid associates with FSHbeta, retains biological activity, and facilitates purification.

Research paper by Panayiotis E PE Stevis, Brian J BJ Arey, Darlene C DC Deecher

Indexed on: 09 Jun '04Published on: 09 Jun '04Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications


The glycoprotein hormones are heterodimeric proteins that share a common alpha subunit and have unique beta subunits that confer receptor selectivity. One member of this family, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), is secreted by the pituitary and is involved in the control of male and female reproduction. Herein, we describe the construction of baculoviruses for glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusions of the human FSH (hFSH) subunits and their expression in insect cells, either alone or with the complementary non-fused FSH subunits (FSHalpha or FSHbeta). Only the GST-BV-hFSHalpha monomer and the GST-BV-hFSHalpha/BV-hFSHbeta (GST-BV-hFSH) heterodimer were efficiently secreted into the culture supernatant. The hybrid molecule, GST-BV-hFSH, was affinity purified in one step, and demonstrated activity in receptor-radioligand binding assays and in a cAMP accumulation assay. The use of GST-BV-hFSHalpha provides a novel and efficient method for purifying and studying members of the glycoprotein hormone family derived from the culture supernatant or subcellular fractions of the cell.