ijms-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Endocrinology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Gábor Mező
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Science, Institute of Chemistry, Pázmány P. sétány 1/A, Budapest, Hungary
Interests: targeted tumor therapy; peptide synthesis; peptide–drug conjugates; GnRH derivatives; combination of drug delivery systems

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Close to the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the hypothalamic decapeptide gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH, also known as LH-RH) by Andrew V. Schally and his co-workers in 1971, we can conclude that GnRH derivatives have become one of the most widely applied peptide based drugs. Several thousands of agonist and antagonist derivatives have been investigated and a dozen of them have been approved as drugs on the market since then. GnRH and its derivatives have influence on many other hormones through the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis that can be used to cure different hormone dependent cancers, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and uterine fibroids, as well as they be applied in in vitro fertilization. Furthermore, overexpression of GnRH receptors on many tumor types was identified, and thus the direct antitumor effect of GnRH derivatives was detected. In addition, GnRH derivatives as homing devices are in the focus of research related to targeted tumor therapy. In spite of the gathered results, GnRH-related research is still a hot topic in endocrinology and cancer therapy.

This Special Issue “The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases” aims to provide novel insights into potential therapeutic applications of GnRH derivatives and their drug conjugates, including receptor recognition, signal pathways and mechanism, functional comparison of agonists and antagonists, and the development of new derivatives with improved bioactivity. Authors are invited to submit original research and review articles related to these subjects.

Prof. Gábor Mező
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • GnRH derivatives
  • GnRH receptor signaling
  • Therapeutic applications
  • Drug targeting
  • Cancer treatment
  • GnRH agonists vs. antagonists
  • Homing devices
  • Structure–activity relationship

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) and Its Analogues on the Physiological Behaviors and Hormone Content of Tetrahymena pyriformis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5711; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225711 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
The unicellular Tetrahymena distinguishes structure-related vertebrate hormones by its chemosensory reactions. In the present work, the selectivity of hormone receptors was evaluated by analyzing the effects of various gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs (GnRH-I, GnRH-III) as well as truncated (Ac-SHDWKPG-NH2) and dimer [...] Read more.
The unicellular Tetrahymena distinguishes structure-related vertebrate hormones by its chemosensory reactions. In the present work, the selectivity of hormone receptors was evaluated by analyzing the effects of various gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs (GnRH-I, GnRH-III) as well as truncated (Ac-SHDWKPG-NH2) and dimer derivatives ([GnRH-III(C)]2 and [GnRH-III(CGFLG)]2) of GnRH-III on (i) locomotory behaviors, (ii) cell proliferation, and (iii) intracellular hormone contents of Tetrahymena pyriformis. The migration, intracellular hormone content, and proliferation of Tetrahymena were investigated by microscope-assisted tracking analysis, flow cytometry, and a CASY TT cell counter, respectively. Depending on the length of linker sequence between the two GnRH-III monomers, the GnRH-III dimers had the opposite effect on Tetrahymena migration. [GnRH-III(CGFLG)]2 dimer had a slow, serpentine-like movement, while [GnRH-III(C)]2 dimer had a rather linear swimming pattern. All GnRH-III derivatives significantly induced cell growth after 6 h incubation. Endogenous histamine content was uniformly enhanced by Ac-SHDWKPG-NH2 and GnRH-III dimers, while some differences between the hormonal activities of GnRHs were manifested in their effects on intracellular levels of serotonin and endorphin. The GnRH peptides could directly affect Tetrahymena migration and proliferation in a structure-dependent manner, and they could indirectly regulate these reactions by paracrine/autocrine mechanisms. Present results support the theory that recognition ability and selectivity of mammalian hormone receptors can be deduced from a phylogenetically ancient level like the unicellular Tetrahymena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Novel Crizotinib–GnRH Conjugates Revealed the Significance of Lysosomal Trapping in GnRH-Based Drug Delivery Systems
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5590; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225590 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
Several promising anti-cancer drug–GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) conjugates have been developed in the last two decades, although none of them have been approved for clinical use yet. Crizotinib is an effective multi-target kinase inhibitor, approved against anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)- or ROS proto-oncogene 1 [...] Read more.
Several promising anti-cancer drug–GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) conjugates have been developed in the last two decades, although none of them have been approved for clinical use yet. Crizotinib is an effective multi-target kinase inhibitor, approved against anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)- or ROS proto-oncogene 1 (ROS-1)-positive non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC); however, its application is accompanied by serious side effects. In order to deliver crizotinib selectively into the tumor cells, we synthesized novel crizotinib analogues and conjugated them to a [d-Lys6]–GnRH-I targeting peptide. Our most prominent crizotinib–GnRH conjugates, the amide-bond-containing [d-Lys6(crizotinib*)]–GnRH-I and the ester-bond-containing [d-Lys6(MJ55*)]–GnRH-I, were able to bind to GnRH-receptor (GnRHR) and exert a potent c-Met kinase inhibitory effect. The efficacy of compounds was tested on the MET-amplified and GnRHR-expressing EBC-1 NSCLC cells. In vitro pharmacological profiling led to the conclusion that that crizotinib–GnRH conjugates are transported directly into lysosomes, where the membrane permeability of crizotinib is diminished. As a consequence of GnRHR-mediated endocytosis, GnRH-conjugated crizotinib bypasses its molecular targets—the ATP-binding site of RTKs— and is sequestered in the lysosomes. These results explained the lower efficacy of crizotinib–GnRH conjugates in EBC-1 cells, and led to the conclusion that drug escape from the lysosomes is a major challenge in the development of clinically relevant anti-cancer drug–GnRH conjugates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Suitability of GnRH Receptors for Targeted Photodynamic Therapy in Head and Neck Cancers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5027; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205027 - 11 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) have a high mortality rate, although several potential therapeutic targets have already been identified. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRH-R) expression is less studied in head and neck cancers, hence, we investigated the therapeutic relevance of GnRH-R targeting [...] Read more.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) have a high mortality rate, although several potential therapeutic targets have already been identified. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRH-R) expression is less studied in head and neck cancers, hence, we investigated the therapeutic relevance of GnRH-R targeting in HNSCC patients. Our results indicate that half of the patient-derived samples showed high GnRH-R expression, which was associated with worse prognosis, making this receptor a promising target for GnRH-based drug delivery. Photodynamic therapy is a clinically approved treatment for HNSCC, and the efficacy and selectivity may be enhanced by the covalent conjugation of the photosensitizer to a GnRH-R targeting peptide. Several native ligands, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) isoforms, are known to target GnRH-R effectively. Therefore, different 4Lys(Bu) modified GnRH analogs were designed and conjugated to protoporphyrin IX. The receptor binding potency of the novel conjugates was measured on human pituitary and human prostate cancer cells, indicating only slightly lower GnRH-R affinity than the peptides. The in vitro cell viability inhibition was tested on Detroit-562 human pharyngeal carcinoma cells that express GnRH-R in high levels, and the results showed that all conjugates were more effective than the free protoporphyrin IX. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Improved In Vivo Anti-Tumor and Anti-Metastatic Effect of GnRH-III-Daunorubicin Analogs on Colorectal and Breast Carcinoma Bearing Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(19), 4763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194763 - 25 Sep 2019
Abstract
Among various homing devices, gonadotropin-releasing hormone-III (GnRH-III) peptide represents a suitable targeting moiety for drug delivery systems. The anti-tumor activity of the previously developed GnRH-III-[4Lys(Bu),8Lys(Dau=Aoa)] conjugate and the novel synthesized GnRH-III-[2ΔHis,3d-Tic,4Lys(Bu),8 [...] Read more.
Among various homing devices, gonadotropin-releasing hormone-III (GnRH-III) peptide represents a suitable targeting moiety for drug delivery systems. The anti-tumor activity of the previously developed GnRH-III-[4Lys(Bu),8Lys(Dau=Aoa)] conjugate and the novel synthesized GnRH-III-[2ΔHis,3d-Tic,4Lys(Bu),8Lys(Dau=Aoa)] conjugate, containing the anti-cancer drug daunorubicin, were evaluated. Here, we demonstrate that both GnRH-III-Dau conjugates possess an efficient growth inhibitory effect on more than 20 cancer cell lines, whereby the biological activity is strongly connected to the expression of gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptors (GnRH-R). The novel conjugate showed a higher in vitro anti-proliferative activity and a higher uptake capacity. Moreover, the treatment with GnRH-III-Dau conjugates cause a significant in vivo tumor growth and metastases inhibitory effect in three different orthotopic models, including 4T1 mice and MDA-MB-231 human breast carcinoma, as well as HT-29 human colorectal cancer bearing BALB/s and SCID mice, while toxic side-effects were substantially reduced in comparison to the treatment with the free drug. These findings illustrate that our novel lead compound is a highly promising candidate for targeted tumor therapy in both colon cancer and metastatic breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Central Injection of Neostigmine on the Bacterial Endotoxin Induced Suppression of GnRH/LH Secretion in Ewes during the Follicular Phase of the Estrous Cycle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4598; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184598 - 17 Sep 2019
Abstract
Induced by a bacterial infection, an immune/inflammatory challenge is a potent negative regulator of the reproduction process in females. The reduction of the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokine is considered as an effective strategy in the treatment of inflammatory induced neuroendocrine disorders. Therefore, the [...] Read more.
Induced by a bacterial infection, an immune/inflammatory challenge is a potent negative regulator of the reproduction process in females. The reduction of the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokine is considered as an effective strategy in the treatment of inflammatory induced neuroendocrine disorders. Therefore, the effect of direct administration of acetylcholinesterase inhibitor—neostigmine—into the third ventricle of the brain on the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretions under basal and immune stress conditions was evaluated in this study. In the study, 24 adult, 2-years-old Blackhead ewes during the follicular phase of their estrous cycle were used. Immune stress was induced by the intravenous injection of LPS Escherichia coli in a dose of 400 ng/kg. Animals received an intracerebroventricular injection of neostigmine (1 mg/animal) 0.5 h before LPS/saline treatment. It was shown that central administration of neostigmine might prevent the inflammatory-dependent decrease of GnRH/LH secretion in ewes and it had a stimulatory effect on LH release. This central action of neostigmine is connected with its inhibitory action on local pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α synthesis in the hypothalamus, which indicates the importance of this mediator in the inhibition of GnRH secretion during acute inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Apoptotic Effects of Drug Targeting Conjugates Containing Different GnRH Analogs on Colon Carcinoma Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184421 - 08 Sep 2019
Abstract
The wide range of cellular target reactions (e.g., antitumor) of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) variants provides the possibility to develop multifunctional GnRH conjugates. The aim of our work was to compare the cytotoxic/apoptotic activity of different GnRH-based, daunorubicin (Dau)-linked conjugates with or without butyrated [...] Read more.
The wide range of cellular target reactions (e.g., antitumor) of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) variants provides the possibility to develop multifunctional GnRH conjugates. The aim of our work was to compare the cytotoxic/apoptotic activity of different GnRH-based, daunorubicin (Dau)-linked conjugates with or without butyrated Lys in position 4 (4Lys(Bu)) at a molecular level in a human colorectal carcinoma cell line. Cell viability was measured by impedimetry, cellular uptake and apoptosis were studied by flow cytometry, and the expression of apoptosis-related genes was analyzed by qRT-PCR. The modification with 4Lys(Bu) resulted in an increased cytotoxic and apoptotic effects and cellular uptake of the GnRH-I and GnRH-III conjugates. Depending on the GnRH isoform and the presence of 4Lys(Bu), the conjugates could regulate the expression of several apoptosis-related genes, especially tumor necrosis factor (TNF), tumor protein p53 (TP53) and the members of growth-factor signaling. The stronger cytotoxicity of GnRH-I and GnRH-III conjugates containing 4Lys(Bu) was associated with a stronger inhibitory effect on the expression of growth-factor signaling elements in comparison with their 4Ser counterparts, in which the upregulation of TP53 and caspases (e.g., CASP9) seemed to play a more important role. We were able to provide further evidence that targeting the GnRH receptor could serve as a successful therapeutic approach in colon cancer, and GnRH-III-[4Lys(Bu),8Lys(Dau=Aoa)] proved to be the best candidate for this purpose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Decreased Level of Neurotrophic Factor Neuritin 1 in Women with Ovarian Endometriosis after Receiving Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonist Treatment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4352; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184352 - 05 Sep 2019
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) treatment on the expression of neuritin 1 (NRN1) in women with ovarian endometriosis. We collected tissues and serum from women with endometriosis treated with (n = 45) or without ( [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) treatment on the expression of neuritin 1 (NRN1) in women with ovarian endometriosis. We collected tissues and serum from women with endometriosis treated with (n = 45) or without (n = 37) GnRHa. NRN1 mRNA and protein levels were measured using qPCR and Western blot. Immunolocalization of NRN1 in endometriotic tissues was examined using immunohistochemistry. In addition, a follow-up study was carried out to monitor the serum level of NRN1 in patients before and after GnRHa treatment. Both mRNA (p = 0.046) and protein (p = 0.0155) levels of NRN1 were significantly lower in endometriotic tissues from patients receiving GnRHa treatment compared to the untreated group. Both epithelial and stromal cells of endometriotic tissues from untreated women with endometriosis exhibited stronger staining of NRN1 but not in those who were treated with GnRHa. The follow-up study showed that the serum level of the NRN1 concentration decreased significantly from 1149 ± 192.3 to 379.2 ± 80.16 pg/mL after GnRHa treatment (p = 0.0098). The expression of NRN1 was significantly lower in women with ovarian endometriosis treated with GnRHa. These results suggest that NRN1 may be a biomarker response to the effect of GnRHa treatment for patients with ovarian endometriosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone in Regulation of Thymic Development in Rats: Profile of Thymic Cytokines
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 4033; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20164033 - 19 Aug 2019
Abstract
An increasing body of recent experimental data confirms the impact of neurohormones on fetal development and function of different body systems. The synthesis of many neurohormones starts in fetal tissues before the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal and hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal systems are formed, and their high levels are [...] Read more.
An increasing body of recent experimental data confirms the impact of neurohormones on fetal development and function of different body systems. The synthesis of many neurohormones starts in fetal tissues before the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal and hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal systems are formed, and their high levels are detected in the bloodstream. Here, we studied the role of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in rat thymus development and tried to reveal possible mechanisms underlying the GnRH effects in early development. Western blotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction allowed us to identify receptor for GnRH in the fetal thymus with peak expression on embryonic days 17–18 (ED17–18). Blocking the receptors in utero on ED17 by a GnRH antagonist suppressed the concanavalin A-induced proliferative response of T cells in adults. GnRH (10−7 M) increased mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, IL-1β, interferon γ (IFNγ), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) in the thymus of 18-day fetuses after an ex vivo culture for 24 h. The increased mRNA levels of the cytokines in the thymus were accompanied by increased numbers of CD4+ T helpers. Overall, the data obtained confirm the regulatory or morphogenetic effect of GnRH on fetal thymus development mediated by synthesis of thymic cytokines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor in Human Diseases)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop