Secondary structure prediction of β-subunits of the gonadotropin-thyrotropin family from its aligned sequences using environment-dependent amino-acid substitution tables and conformational propensities

Hiroshi Wako, Susumu Ishii

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The secondary structures of β-subunits of the glycoprotein hormone family, LH (luteinizing hormone), CG (chorionic gonadotropin), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), and GTH I/GTH II (two types of fish gonadotropins), are predicted by comparing an amino-acid substitution pattern at equivalent sites in their aligned sequences with environment-dependent amino-acid substitution tables and conformational propensities calculated from other protein families whose three-dimensional structures are known. According to the prediction results, together with other structural information obtained from experiments, the following points come up as important structural features of the β-subunits of this family; The regions assigned to regular secondary structures (one α-helix and three β-strands) are considered to constitute a core of the β-subunits. They involve interaction sites with carbohydrate and α-subunit. Out of the six disulfide bonds formed in the β-subunit, four are located together on one side of the core, and the other two on the opposite side. The two regions assumed to be a receptor binding region from experiments (therefore, species-specific regions) are predicted as loops located on the same side of the β-subunit in this study. Some of the predicted loops are rich in proline residues. While the positions of proline residues are conserved in the family generally, there are hormone- or species-specific ones in the loop that is assumed to take part in receptor binding. The possible importance of proline residues in hormone or species specificity is discussed. (After submitting the manuscript the X-ray crystal structure of human CG was published. In order to evaluate the prediction, the original manuscript is kept intact and a comparison has been made between the prediction results and the crystal structure in an appendix).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Protein Structure and Molecular
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Feb 22



  • Amino-acid substitution tables
  • Gonadotropin
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Secondary structure prediction
  • Thyrotropin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology

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