Epidermal growth factor (EGF) attenuated hCG-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity in rat luteal and follicular membranes. H7, an equipotent serine/threonine protein kinase inhibitor of cAMP-dependent protein kinases, cGMP-dependent protein kinases, and lipid-dependent protein kinase C, did not effect the ability of EGF to decrease hCG-responsive adenylyl cyclase activity, suggesting that a serine/threonine phosphorylation event catalyzed by these kinases was not critically involved in EGF-induced desensitization. Likewise, pertussis toxin-catalyzed ADP-ribosylation of a 40-kDa luteal membrane protein, which exhibited immunoreactivity with an antibody against G(i)α, did not hinder the ability of EGF to attenuate hCG-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity, indicating that G(i) did not mediate EGF-induced desensitization. Rather, EGF-induced heterologous desensitization of LH/CG receptor in ovarian membranes was closely associated with the specific and prominent tyrosine phosphorylation of the 170-kDa EGF receptor. Both EGF- stimulated autophosphorylation of EGF receptor and EGF-induced LH/CG receptor desensitization were attenuated by genistein, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. These results suggest that tyrosine phosphorylation of the 170-kDa EGF receptor is a necessary component of the signaling pathway in EGF-induced heterologous desensitization of the LH/CG receptor.
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