Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) acts via seven transmembrane receptors on gonadotrophs to stimulate gonadotrophin synthesis and secretion, and thereby mediates central control of reproduction. Type I mammalian GnRHR are unique, in that they lack C-terminal tails. This is thought to underlie their resistance to rapid homologous desensitisation as well as their slow rate of internalisation and inability to provoke G-protein-independent (arrestin-mediated) signalling. More recently it has been discovered that the vast majority of human GnRHR are actually intracellular, in spite of the fact that they are activated at the cell surface by a membrane impermeant peptide hormone. This apparently reflects inefficient exit from the endoplasmic reticulum and again, the absence of the C-tail likely contributes to their intracellular localisation. This review is intended to cover some of these novel aspects of GnRHR biology, focusing on ways that we have used automated fluorescence microscopy (high content imaging) to explore GnRHR localisation and trafficking as well as spatial and temporal aspects of GnRH signalling via the Ca2+/calmodulin/calcineurin/NFAT and Raf/MEK/ERK pathways.
- Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone