α-, β-, γ-catenin, and p120ctn expression during the terminal differentiation and fusion of human mononucleate cytotrophoblasts in vitro and in vivo

Spiro Getsios, George T C Chen, Colin D. MacCalman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cadherins play key roles in the formation and organization of the mammalian placenta by mediating cellular interactions and the terminal differentiation of trophoblastic cells. Although cadherin function is regulated by the cytoplasmic proteins, known as the catenins, the identity and expression pattern(s) of the catenins present in the trophoblastic cells of the human placenta have not been characterized. In these studies, we have determined that α-, β-, γ-catenin, and p120ctn expression levels are high in villous cytotrophoblasts isolated from the human term placenta but decline as these cells undergo aggregation and fusion to form syncytium with time in culture. In contrast, the expression levels of these four catenin subtypes remained constant in non-fusing JEG-3 choriocarcinoma cells at all of the time points examined in these studies. α-, β-, γ-catenin, and p120ctn expression was further immunolocalized to the mononucleate cells present in these two trophoblastic cell cultures. Similarly, intense immunostaining for all four catenins was detected in the mononucleate villous cytotrophoblasts of the human first trimester placenta. Collectively, these observations demonstrate that the expression levels of α-, β-, γ-catenin, and p120ctn are tightly regulated during the formation of multinucleated syncytium in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-177
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular reproduction and development
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 12 2001

Keywords

  • Cadherins
  • Catenins
  • Human placenta
  • Trophoblast differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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