Structural and lmmunochemical Properties of Human Choriogonadotropin

  • Steven Birken
  • Robert E. Canfield
Part of the Biochemical Endocrinology book series (BIOEND)


Human choriogonadotropin* (hCG) is a glycoprotein hormone secreted by synctiotrophoblast cells of the placenta. Its main function early in pregnancy is to act as a stimulus to the corpus luteum to continue secreting steroid hormones. The structure of hCG is very similar to that of human luteinizing hormone (hLH), and it is generally thought that both hormones act at the same receptor sites; hLH plays its role in the normal menstrual cycle, and hCG prevents the onset of menstruation when fertilization has occurred. In recent years, however, detailed amino acid sequence analyses of hLH and hCG have led to an appreciation that certain structural differences between these two molecules do exist and that these differences can potentially be exploited to improve methods for the early detection of pregnancy and the detection of ectopic hCG production by malignant cells. In this chapter, we will attempt to summarize pertinent literature describing the structure and biosynthesis of hCG and to report some immunochemical studies relevant to these issues. Several earlier reviews containing additional data have been published (Canfield et al., 1971a,b, 1976; Morgan, 1974).


Sialic Acid Chorionic Gonadotropin Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Glycoprotein Hormone Sialic Acid Content 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Birken
    • 1
  • Robert E. Canfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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