Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) signaling pathway (WP2035)

Homo sapiens

The Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is an anterior pituitary gonadotropin belonging to the family of glycoprotein hormones that includes thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), Leutinizing Hormone (LH) and Chorionic Gonadotropin. FSH controls the growth and maturation of follicles in the females and spermatogenesis in males. FSH is a heterodimer and shares a common alpha sub-unit with the other glycoprotein hormones in its family and has a specific beta subunit that confers receptor specificity and biological activity to the hormone. FSH acts through the FSH receptor (FSHR), a G protein coupled receptor that is expressed exclusively on the granulosa cells of ovaries and Sertoli cells of the testis in humans. FSH signaling involves activation of adenylyl cyclase activity and the increased production of cAMP. This activates the cAMP dependent protein kinases such as PKA, PKB and PKC that, in turn, lead to the phosphorylation of specific transcription factors such as cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) and Forkhead box protein O1 (FOXO1). In addition to activation of PI3K/Akt module, PKA also induces p38 mapk which, in turn, controls other kinase cascades. Activated Akt also induces the mTOR axis that stimulates mRNA translation by phosphorylating p70 S6 kinase and, consequently, the 40 S ribosomal protein S6 that results in the activation of eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4E. It also indirectly aids in the activation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERKs). FSH induces important genes required for steroidogenesis as well as growth and maturation of germ cells. The important target genes include aromatase (CYP19A1), the lutenizing hormone receptor (LHR) and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Please access this pathway at [ NetSlim] database. If you use this pathway, please cite following paper: Telikicherla, D., Ambekar, A., Palapetta, S. M., Dwivedi, S. B., Raju, R., Sharma, J., Prasad, T. S. K., Ramachandra, Y. L., Mohan, S. S., Maharudraiah, J., Mukherjee, S. and Pandey, A. (2011). A comprehensive curated resource for Follicle Stimulating Hormone signaling. BMC Research Notes. 4, 408.


Kristina Hanspers , Alex Pico , Jyoti Sharma , NetPath , Christine Chichester , Marianthi Kalafati , Denise Slenter , Egon Willighagen , Eric Weitz , and Marvin Martens


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Homo sapiens



Cell Type Ontology

granulosa cell gonadtroph

Pathway Ontology

follicle-stimulating hormone signaling pathway


Label Type Compact URI Comment
MAPK1 Protein ncbigene:5594
FSHB Protein ncbigene:2488
FSHR Protein ncbigene:2492
CGA Protein ncbigene:1081
MAPK3 Protein ncbigene:5595
AKT1 Protein ncbigene:207
FSHB Protein ncbigene:2488
CGA Protein ncbigene:1081
RPS6 Protein ncbigene:6194
TSC2 Protein ncbigene:7249
CREB1 Protein ncbigene:1385
HIST3H3 Protein ncbigene:8290
RPS6KB1 Protein ncbigene:6198
FOXO1 Protein ncbigene:2308
MAPK14 Protein ncbigene:1432
GRK6 Protein ncbigene:2870
RPS6KB2 Protein ncbigene:6199
RAF1 Protein ncbigene:5894
EIF4EBP1 Protein ncbigene:1978
SRC Protein ncbigene:6714
SGK1 Protein ncbigene:6446
MTOR Protein ncbigene:2475
APPL1 Protein ncbigene:26060
PRKCA Protein ncbigene:5578
PRKACA Protein ncbigene:5566
RHEB Protein ncbigene:6009
FSHR Protein ncbigene:2492


  1. A comprehensive curated resource for follicle stimulating hormone signaling. Telikicherla D, Ambekar A, Palapetta SM, Dwivedi SB, Raju R, Sharma J, et al. BMC Res Notes. 2011 Oct 13;4:408. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia