- We have expressed the extracellular domain of the hFSH receptor as a fusion protein with thioredoxin in the cytoplasm of an Escherichia coli strain that contains mutations in both the thioredoxin reductase and the glutathione reductase genes. The chimeric protein isolated following induction of expression was purified in a soluble form and binds hFSH with an affinity approximating that of native receptor. This truncated form of the receptor displays the same specificity as intact receptor and does not bind hCG. The protein is expressed at levels that exceed 5 mg/L in the bacterial cytoplasm. Expression of the properly folded extracellular domain of the hFSH receptor in the cytoplasm of E. coli allows the facile and economical purification of large quantities of material. This will facilitate the determination of the structure of the hormone-binding domain of this glycoprotein receptor as well as the production of epitope-specific antibodies.