Year of Publication


Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Tae H. Ji


The luteinizing hormone / choriogonadotropin receptor (LH/CG-R) is a member of theG protein-coupled receptor family. The LH/CG-R has seven transmembrane helices, threeexoloops, three cytoloops, a C-terminal tail, and an extensive N-terminal exodomain. Theexodomain is capable of binding hormone with high affinity without hormone action. Previousstudies have shown that the amino-terminal region of the LH/CG receptor contacts both subunitsof human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). In particular, three residues (Leu20, Cys22, and Gly24)were found to be crucial for hormone binding. In this thesis work, benzoylphenylalanine (Bpa),a photoactivatable reagent, was used to continue investigating the interactions of the N-terminalregion of the LH/CG-R with hCG. Bpa has been directly incorporated at a defined position intopeptides representing amino acids 17-36 of the LH/CG-R. These peptides were radiolabeledwith 125I and used in photoaffinity labeling studies to identify and characterize the contact site(s)between the N-terminal region of the LH/CG-R and hCG. Results suggest that Cys22 is theprimary contact residue in this region. Peptide and hormone concentration dependent as well asUV duration dependent photoaffinity labeling experiments confirm that the photolabeling ofhCG by hLHR17-36(C22Bpa) is specific. Competition of labeling studies indicate that the hLHR17-36(C22Bpa) peptide is a good mimic of the wild type N-terminal portion of the receptor. In-geldigestions of photolabeled hCG ?? and photolabeled hCG ?? with CNBr indicate that the Nterminalregions of both hCG ?? and hCG ?? were photoaffinity labeled by hLHR17-36(C22Bpa).Based on the fact that the N-terminal regions of each subunit are located on the convex side ofthe heterodimer, these results provide evidence that the N-terminal portion of the receptor wrapsaround the back of hCG, contacting the convex face of the hormone.