Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Second gene for gonadotropin-releasing hormone in humans

  • Author(s): White, RB
  • Eisen, JA
  • Kasten, TL
  • Fernald, RD
  • et al.
Abstract

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a decapepfide widely known for its role in regulating reproduction by serving as a signal from the hypothalamus to pituitary gonadotropes. In addition to hypothalamic GnRH (GnRH-I), a second GnRH form (pGln-His-Trp-Ser-His-Gly-Trp-Tyr-Pro-Gly; GnRH- II) with unknown function has been localized to the midbrain of many vertebrates. We show here that a gene encoding GnRH-II is expressed in humans and is located on chromosome 20p13, distinct from the GnRH-I gene that is on 8p21-p11.2. The GnRH-II genomic and mRNA structures parallel those of GnRH- I. However, in contrast to GnRH-I, GnRH-II is expressed at significantly higher levels outside the brain (up to 30x), particularly in the kidney, bone marrow, and prostate. The widespread expression of GnRH-II suggests it may have multiple functions. Molecular phylogenetic analysis shows that this second gene is likely the result of a duplication before the appearance of vertebrates, and predicts the existence of a third GnRH form in humans and other vertebrates.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View