The pathogenic mechanisms whereby the Thr104Ile and Tyr108Cys mutations in the gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR) gene cause hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in humans are unknown. Transient expression of Thr104Ile and Tyr108Cys mutants in COS-7 cells revealed that both GnRHR mutants neither bind nor respond to agonist. Removal of Lys191 rescued function of both mutants, while addition of a carboxyl-terminal targeting sequence only rescued function of the Thr104Ile mutant. Exposure to the pharmacoperone In3 rescued almost completely Thr104Ile mutant function to wild-type levels, whereas rescue was partial for the Tyr108Cys GnRHR. Additional mutations that block formation of bridges involving Cys108 showed that a Cys108-Cys200 disulfide bridge is the predominant moiety formed in the Tyr108Cys mutant. Thr104Ile and Tyr108Cys GnRHRs are misfolded structures whose function is rescuable by genetic and/or pharmacological strategies. The Tyr108Cys mutant forms an aberrant disulfide bridge that prevents formation of the required Cys14-Cys200 bridge essential for GnRHR plasma membrane expression. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.