Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor Resides in Detergent Resistant Membrane Microdomains

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Geoghegan, Johanna
follicle; hormone; protein; extraction; treatment; Biology
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Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is an anterior pituitary glycoprotein hormone crucial for proper spermatogenesis in males and oocyte development in females. The follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) is a G-protein coupled receptor found exclusively on the membranes of Sertoli cells in the testes and granulosa cells in the ovaries. It has been proposed that FSHR localizes to detergent resistant portions of the membranes called lipid rafts, which are membrane microdomains that contain a high percent composition of cholesterol and sphingolipids. To determine if FSHR resides in these membrane microdomains, strong detergents were used to extract and isolate detergent resistant membranes. Prior to extraction, cells were treated with FSH and/or the cholesterol depleting drug methyl- β-cylcodextrin (MβCD), and western blot analysis was conducted. FSHR was observed in both the detergent soluble and insoluble portions of the membrane, suggesting that there are two populations of FSHR, and the receptor is more likely to reside in lipid raft or detergent resistant fractions. FSH treatment resulted in increased FSHR residency in lipid rafts fractions. Understanding FSHR residency in the plasma membrane may lead to greater understanding of its signaling pathways and potential human health implications for infertility treatment and contraception development.