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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2037; doi:10.3390/ijms18102037

hCG: Biological Functions and Clinical Applications

1
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
2
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Adana Numune Training and Research Hospital, Adana 01370, Turkey
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue hCG—An Endocrine, Regulator of Gestation and Cancer)
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Abstract

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is produced primarily by differentiated syncytiotrophoblasts, and represents a key embryonic signal that is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy. hCG can activate various signaling cascades including mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 2 (Smad2), protein kinase C (PKC), and/or protein kinase A (PKA) in several cells types by binding to luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) or potentially by direct/indirect interaction with transforming growth factor beta receptor (TGFβR). The molecule displays specialized roles in promoting angiogenesis in the uterine endothelium, maintaining myometrial quiescence, as well as fostering immunomodulation at the maternal-fetal interface. It is a member of the glycoprotein hormone family that includes luteinizing hormone (LH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The α-subunit of hCG displays homologies with TSH, LH, and FSH, whereas the β subunit is 80–85% homologous to LH. The hCG molecule is produced by a variety of organs, exists in various forms, exerts vital biological functions, and has various clinical roles ranging from diagnosis and monitoring of pregnancy and pregnancy-related disorders to cancer surveillance. This review presents a detailed examination of hCG and its various clinical applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG); α and β hCG subunits; luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR); trophoblasts; pregnancy; clinical applications human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG); α and β hCG subunits; luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin receptor (LHCGR); trophoblasts; pregnancy; clinical applications
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Nwabuobi, C.; Arlier, S.; Schatz, F.; Guzeloglu-Kayisli, O.; Lockwood, C.J.; Kayisli, U.A. hCG: Biological Functions and Clinical Applications. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2037.

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