In the present studies, we characterized the degration of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) by tissues of the ovine hypothalamo-pituitary axis. Membrane and soluble fractions of the medial basal hypothalamus, the pre-optic area, the median eminence and the anterior pituitart demonstrated greater GnRH-degrading activity than either hypophysial-portal or jugular plasma. The primary stable product of the membrane fractions was GnRH1-3, while the major product of the soluble fractions was GnRH1-5; both fragments were generated by plasma. Of all tissue fractions, the highest specific activity was observed in the soluble median eminence. Partial purification and characterization of soluble hypothalamic peptidase activity suggested that GnRH degradation by this tissue occurs via a two-step mechanism involving both post-proline cleaving enzyme and the metalloendopeptidase 188.8.131.52.
- endopeptidase 24.15
- gonadotropin-releasing hormone
- hypothalamo-pituitary axis
- prolyl endopeptidase