Gonadotropin secretion, which is elicited by GnRH stimulation of the anterior pituitary gonadotropes, is a critical feature of reproductive control and the maintenance of fertility. In addition, activation of the GnRH receptor (GnRHR) regulates transcription and translation of multiple factors that regulate the signaling response and synthesis of gonadotropins. GnRH stimulation results in a broad redistribution of mRNA between active and inactive polyribosomes within the cell, but the mechanism of redistribution is not known. The RNA-binding protein embryonic lethal, abnormal vision, Drosophila-like 1 (ELAVL1) binds to AU-rich elements in mRNA and is one of the most abundant mRNA-binding proteins in eukaryotic cells. It is known to serve as a core component of RNA-binding complexes that direct the fate of mRNA. In LβT2 gonadotropes, we showed that ELAVL1 binds to multiple mRNAs encoding factors that are crucial for gonadotropin synthesis and release. Association with some mRNAs is GnRH sensitive but does not correlate with abundance of binding. We also showed MAPK-dependent changes in intracellular localization of ELAVL1 in response to GnRH stimulation. Knockdown of ELAVL1 gene expression resulted in reduced Lhb and Gnrhr mRNA levels, reduced cell surface expression of GnRHR, and reduced LH secretion in response to GnRH stimulation. Overall, these observations not only support the role of ELAVL1 in GnRHR-mediated regulation of gene expression and LH secretion but also indicate that other factors may contribute to the precise fate of mRNA in response to GnRH stimulation of gonadotropes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas