Homologous and heterologous carboxyl terminal peptide (CTP) linker sequences enhance the secretion of bioactive single-chain bovine LH analogs

S. Nakav, A. Dantes, S. Pen, P. Chadna-Mohanty, R. Braw-Tal, A. Amsterdam, H. E. Grotjan, David Ben-Menahem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Single chain variants of the heterodimeric gonadotropins were engineered by tethering the genes of the individual subunits into one polypeptide. In tethered human (h) gonadotropins, the carboxyl terminal peptide (CTP) of the choriogonadotropin (CG) β subunit serves as an effective linker to enhance the secretion of the analogs compared to variants lacking the CTP. The gonadotropin subunits of non-primate, non-equid species lack a CTP domain that precludes the use of a homologous CTP in tethered analogs in many species. Here we used the bovine LH as a model to examine the impact of the CTP domain of the hCGβ subunit (denoted as huCTP) and of a previously untranslated CTP-like sequence decoded from the bovine LHβ gene on the secretion and bioactivity of tethered analogs. This cryptic CTP (designated boCTP) was incorporated into the bovine LHβ reading frame by deletion frame-shift mutations analogous to these that presumably occurred in primates and equids. We genetically engineered single chain variants in which the β and α subunit domains were linked directly or via the heterologous huCTP or the homologous boCTP sequences and expressed them in CHO cells. The data suggest that the tethered analogs were expressed and N-glycosylated, but unlike the huCTP, the boCTP appears as devoid of mucin O-glycans. The incorporation of the boCTP or huCTP linkers enhanced by about 3fold the rate and efficiency of secretion from the transfected cells. The tether variants were bioactive, as estimated by induction of steroid production in immortalized granulosa cells expressing the rat LH receptor. Furthermore, the variants were about equally potent, as judged by their EC50s (0.7-0.9 ng/ml). Thus, the hCGβ CTP maintains pro-secretory determinants without inhibiting receptor activation when applied as a linker in tethered bovine LH, implying that these CTP features are preserved when the domain is incorporated into non-primate single chain analogs. The study suggests that the boCTP and huCTP domains are advantageous for the secretion of tethered bovine gonadotropins, and also demonstrates strategies for the design of bioactive LH analogs in ruminant species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2006


  • Bovine LH
  • Cryptic CTP
  • Linker
  • Recombinant
  • Single chain gonadotropins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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