PROSITE documentation PDOC00623
Glycoprotein hormones alpha chain signatures and profile


Glycoprotein hormones [1,2] (or gonadotropins) are a family of proteins which include the mammalian hormones follitropin (FSH), lutropin (LSH), thyrotropin (TSH) and chorionic gonadotropin (CG), as well as at least two forms of fish gonadotropins. All these hormones consist of two glycosylated chains (α and β). In mammalian gonadotropins, the α chain is identical in the four types of hormones but the β chains, while homologous, are different.

The α chains are highly conserved proteins of about 100 amino acid residues which contain ten conserved cysteines all involved in disulfide bonds [3], as shown in the following schematic representation.

            +----------+|             +-------------|--+
            |        **||***          |             |  |
              |      |                 |         *|******
              +------|-----------------+          |
                     |                            |
'C': conserved cysteine involved in a disulfide bond.
'*': position of the patterns.

We have developed two patterns for these hormones. Each of them contains three of the conserved cysteines. We also developed a profile including the two regions covered by the patterns.

Expert(s) to contact by email:

Lapthorn A.

Last update:

December 2004 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

GLYCO_HORMONE_ALPHA_3, PS50277; Glycoprotein hormones alpha chain family profile  (MATRIX)

GLYCO_HORMONE_ALPHA_1, PS00779; Glycoprotein hormones alpha chain signature 1  (PATTERN)

GLYCO_HORMONE_ALPHA_2, PS00780; Glycoprotein hormones alpha chain signature 2  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsPierce J.G. Parsons T.F.
TitleGlycoprotein hormones: structure and function.
SourceAnnu. Rev. Biochem. 50:465-495(1981).
PubMed ID6267989

2AuthorsStockell Hartree A. Renwick A.G.C.
SourceBiochem. J. 287:665-679(1992).

3AuthorsLapthorn A.J. Harris D.C. Littlejohn A. Lustbader J.W. Canfield R.E. Machin K.J. Morgan F.J. Isaacs N.W.
TitleCrystal structure of human chorionic gonadotropin.
SourceNature 369:455-461(1994).
PubMed ID8202136

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