All-or-none N-glycosylation in primate follicle-stimulating hormone beta-subunits

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Bousfield, George R.
Butnev, Vladimir Y.
Walton, Wendy J.
Nguyen, Van T.
Huneidi, Jennifer
Singh, Vinod
Kolli, V. S. Kumar
Harvey, David J.
Rance, Naomi E.

Molecular and cellular endocrinology. 2007 Jan 2; 260-262: 40-8.


Human FSH exists as two major glycoforms designated, tetra-glycosylated and di-glycosylated hFSH. The former possesses both alpha- and beta-subunit carbohydrates while the latter possesses only alpha-subunit carbohydrate. Western blotting differentiated the glycosylated, 24,000 M(r) hFSHbeta band from the non-glycosylated 21,000 M(r) FSHbeta band. Postmenopausal urinary hFSH preparations possessed 75-95% 24,000 M(r) hFSHbeta, while pituitary hFSH immunopurified from 21- to 43-year-old females and 21-43-year-old males possessed only 35-40% 24,000 M(r) hFSHbeta. The pituitary hFSH from a postmenopausal woman on estrogen replacement was 75% 21,000 M(r) hFSHbeta. Other immunopurified postmenopausal pituitary hFSH preparations possessed 50-60% 21,000 M(r) hFSHbeta. Gel filtration removed predominantly 21,000 M(r) free hFSHbeta and reduced its abundance to 13-22% in postmenopausal pituitary hFSH heterodimer preparations. A major regulatory mechanism for FSH glycosylation involves control of beta-subunit N-glycosylation, possibly by inhibition of oligosaccharyl transferase. Two primate species exhibited the same all-or-none pattern of pituitary FSHbeta glycosylation.

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