[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/303256]
Prof Patrick Humbert
Brief description The reproductive endocrine system is under the control of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), signalling via its G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) in the anterior pituitary gland. The GnRH receptor (GnRHR) is the drug target for the treatment of a range of endocrine-related disorders as well as hormone-dependent cancers. Sustained treatment with either GnRH agonists or antagonists can block gonadotropin secretion indirectly, via down-regulation of the pituitary receptor resulting in a reduction of gonadotropin secretion and consequent decline in steroid production. As the majority of tumours treated with GnRH analogues are hormone-dependent, this starves the tumour of the steroid support required for growth. However, the concept of a direct anti-tumour effect of GnRH, independent of the pituitary-gonadal axis, is supported by the in vitro inhibition of both cell growth and DNA synthesis in a number of tumour cell lines. Despite the wide use of GnRH analogues, the molecular basis of the growth inhibitory effects resulting from the activation of this receptor is not fully understood. Unravelling the protein interactions underlying receptor-mediated signalling events will provide valuable information towards understanding of receptor function in vivo. We have identified a novel interaction involving the GnRHR and E2F4, a transcription factor involved in suppression of the transcription of genes involved in cell cycle progression. In addition, over 80% of E2F4 knockout mice are sterile. Owing to the role of the GnRHR in the reproductive pathway we are interested in determining whether the GnRHR-E2F4 interaction has an influence on the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, hence affecting reproductive capacity. The interaction identified and studied in this proposal has implications for the treatment of reproductive tumours, such as those of the breast and prostate, and understanding the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.
Funding Amount $AUD 462,750.00
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant