The syncytiotrophoblast is a specialized epithelium derived from mononuclear cytotrophoblasts that fuse to form this extensive syncytium. Dysferlin is expressed primarily in the apical plasma membrane of the syncytiotrophoblast in the human placenta. Here, we document the presence of another member of the ferlin family, myoferlin, in the placenta and show that it too is expressed primarily in the syncytiotrophoblast. Additionally, we examined the trophoblastic cell lines BeWo, JAR, and JEG-3 for the expression of dysferlin and myoferlin and determined the extent to which their expression was modulated by cell-cell fusion. In trophoblastic cells, there was a positive correlation between cell fusion and increased dysferlin expression but not myoferlin expression. Regarding expression, these trophoblastic cell lines recapitulate the distribution of dysferlin in mononuclear cytotrophoblasts and the syncytiotrophoblast in vivo.
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