Embryo-induced signaling pathways are considered to be important for initiation and sustenance of pregnancy. However many of these pathways remain to be deciphered in primates. In the present study, differential display RT-PCR was used to identify genes or gene fragments that are differentially expressed in endometrium of bonnet monkeys (Macaca radiata) on Day 6 of pregnancy. Of several fragments found to be differentially expressed, a fragment of 567 base pair (named GG1) was characterized in detail. GG1 was highly represented in endometrium of pregnant animals compared with that of nonpregnant animals. Sequencing analysis revealed homology of this fragment to exons 7, 8, 9, and 10 and surprisingly to intron 6 of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) regulatory type I alpha (tissue-specific extinguisher 1) (PRKAR1A). The increased expression of this fragment in gestational endometrium was confirmed by quantitative PCR studies. Two transcripts of 3.0 kilobase (kb) and 1.5 kb were detected in Northern blot probed with labeled GG1. Protein expressions of alpha regulatory (PRKAR1A) and alpha catalytic (PRKCA) subunits of PKA were also higher in gestational endometrium compared with that in nongestational endometrium. Further in vitro studies using human endometrial explants demonstrated regulation of PRKAR1A (or GG1) and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 or cyclooxygenase 2 (PTGS2) by estradiol. This is the first study to date on the differential expression of PKA in primate endometrium during early pregnancy and its in vitro regulation by estradiol.
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Vol. 81 • No. 6