Among all mammalian FSH receptors (FSH-R; including donkey (dk) FSH-R), only horse (hs) FSH-R does not bind hsLH/chorionic gonadotrophin (CG). In order to delineate the structural origin of hsFSH-R specificity precisely, we have cloned dkFSH-R cDNA from donkey testis mRNA by RT-PCR. Transiently expressed dkFSH-R endowed COS-7 cells with both hsLH/CG- and FSH-binding activity, as well as FSH-induced cAMP production.
The deduced dkFSH-R amino acid sequence shares 96% identity with the hsFSH-R: notably, in the hormone-binding domain, the specificity of hsFSH-R may be ascribed to only four divergent amino acids: Thr 173, Asp 202, Asn 268 and Pro 322. Interestingly, hsAsn 268 could bear an additional N-glycosylation. According to receptor negative specificity, these amino acids could be implicated in preventing LH/CG binding to FSH-R.