The Synthesis and Secretion of Inhibins

Kelly L. Walton, Yogeshwar Makanji, David M. Robertson, Craig A. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Inhibin A and B, dimeric glycoproteins comprising an α- and β(A/B)-subunit, negatively regulate follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) synthesis by the pituitary. The expression of α- and β-subunits within Sertoli cells of the testis and granulosa cells of the ovary is controlled by a range of transcription factors, including CREB, SP-1, Smads, and GATA factors. The inhibin α- and β-subunits are synthesized as precursor molecules consisting of an N-terminal propeptide and a C-terminal mature domain. Recently, we showed that hydrophobic residues within the propeptides of the α- and β-subunits interact noncovalently with their mature domains, maintaining the molecules in a conformation competent for dimerization. Dimeric precursors are cleaved by proprotein convertases and mature inhibins are secreted from the cell noncovalently associated with their propeptides. Propeptides may increase the half-life of inhibin A and B in circulation, but they are readily displaced in the presence of the high-affinity receptors, betaglycan, and ActRII.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-184
Number of pages36
JournalVitamins and Hormones-Advances in Research and Applications
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Activin
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone
  • Gonadotrophins
  • Inhibin
  • Ligand synthesis
  • Prodomain
  • Signaling
  • Transcriptional activation
  • Transforming growth factor-β

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