Menon, Bindu; Franzo-Romain, Megan; Damanpour, Shadi; Menon, K M
The ligand-induced down-regulation of LH receptor (LHR) expression in the ovaries, at least in part, is regulated by a posttranscriptional process mediated by a specific LH receptor mRNA binding protein (LRBP). The LH-mediated signaling pathways involved in this process were examined in primary cultures of human granulosa cells. Treatment with 10 IU human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) for 12 h resulted in the down-regulation of LHR mRNA expression while producing an increase in LHR mRNA binding to LRBP as well as a 2-fold increase in LRBP levels. The activation of ERK1/2 pathway in LH-mediated LHR mRNA down-regulation was also established by demonstrating the translocation of ERK1/2 from the cytosol to the nucleus using confocal microcopy. Inhibition of protein kinase A using H-89 or ERK1/2 by U0126 abolished the LH-induced LHR mRNA down-regulation. These treatments also abrogated both the increases in LRBP levels as well as the LHR mRNA binding activity. The abolishment of the hCG-induced increase in LRBP levels and LHR mRNA binding activity was further confirmed by transfecting granulosa cells with ERK1/2 specific small interfering RNA. This treatment also reversed the hCG-induced down-regulation of LHR mRNA. These data show that LH-regulated ERK1/2 signaling is required for the LRBP-mediated down-regulation of LHR mRNA.