Functional kinetic methods, developed to measure the interaction of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) with rat Leydig-cell receptors, appear to be useful tools for correlating response with receptor occupancy. In the functional procedures, hCG was allowed to bind to the cells (period I), the free hormone was removed by washing and/or antiserum treatment (period II), and the response of the cells was measured at 37 degrees C (period III). Once initiated, the response to hCG was stable throughout period III. Assuming a one-to-one relationship between occupancy and response during period III, we estimated the rate of association to be 10(8) M-1/min at 37 degrees C with an activation energy of 14-17 kcal/mol. Removal of sialic acid from hCG increased this rate; removal of other carbohydrate residues decreased it. Similar values for the kinetics of binding were observed when either steroidogenesis or cyclic AMP accumulation was measured, suggesting that the same receptor may mediate both processes. Use of either functional or direct (i.e., 125I-labeled hCG) methods to estimate response as a function of occupancy gave equal results, suggesting that most binding sites were coupled to a response. Response was nonlinearly coupled to occupany. Threshold amounts of hormone-receptor complex (0.1% total receptors testosterone synthesis; 2.7% total receptors cyclic AMP accumulation) were required to induce any response. Increased stimulation required progressively larger increments of receptor occupancy. The threshold was inversely proportional to the efficacy of the hCG derivative used and was reduced by the presence of isobutylmethylxanthine.
- Copyright © 1980 the American Physiological Society