, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 325-339

A reevaluation of the amino acid sequence of human follitropin β-subunit

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A collaborative study from two laboratories has been undertaken to re-evaluate the human follitropin β-subunit sequence (hFSHβ), since areas of uncertainty remain in the wake of two earlier reports. The first report was by Shome and Parlow (1974). The second, by Saxena and Rathnam (1976), proposed revisions for sequence not definitively placed in the first study, as well as some differences in other placements. We have re-examined the sequence of the hFSHβ with more recent methodology. This has led to revision of certain areas of the sequence and resolution of differences between the two earlier proposals. Specifically, an-Ile-Ser- is established at 21–22, Asp at 41, Arg at 44, Lys at 46, and Glu at 111. These were areas of disagreement in the earlier proposals. A definitive placement of the residues around tryptophan-27 has now been obtained by three laboratories. C-terminal heterogeneity was observed with subunits ending at residue 107, 109, or 111. N-terminal heterogeneity has been observed in all preparations examined to date. A significant population of molecules with a proteolytic nick between residues 38–39 is noted. This is very likely an artifact of the collection and processing. The preparations examined in the present studies showed no evidence of residues 112–118 proposed by Saxena and Rathnam.