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1 July 2003 Temporal Regulation of the Expression of Syncytin (HERV-W), Maternally Imprinted PEG10, and SGCE in Human Placenta
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Maternally imprinted PEG10 and SGCE, separated by ∼2.15 Mb from Syncytin (HERV-W) gene at 7q21.3, are implicated in choriocarcinoma and Silver-Russell syndrome. Here we have analyzed the temporal regulation of mRNA expression of these genes in placenta and demonstrate that Syncytin gene activation is highest in term placenta, PEG10, downregulated at early hypoxic phase, and highly activated at 11–12 wk of gestation. In contrast, transcription from SGCE remained unchanged throughout pregnancy, suggesting two neighboring imprinted genes are differentially regulated at very early pregnancy. Additionally, accumulation of two major species of mRNA (8 kb and 3.1 kb) encoded by HERV-W in placenta is regulated: 3.1 kb mRNA level remained unchanged throughout pregnancy, whereas the production of 8 kb species was highest in term placenta. Western blot and immunohistochemical staining of placental tissues with monoclonal antibodies revealed a marked reduction of syncytin glycoprotein synthesis in late pregnancy. Therefore, the relative levels of 3.1 kb and 8 kb mRNAs in trophoblasts could regulate syncytin protein synthesis, possibly by competition of the two mRNA species for translational apparatus.

Alan Smallwood, Aris Papageorghiou, Kypros Nicolaides, M. K. R. Alley, Alice Jim, Geeta Nargund, Kamal Ojha, Stuart Campbell, and Subhasis Banerjee "Temporal Regulation of the Expression of Syncytin (HERV-W), Maternally Imprinted PEG10, and SGCE in Human Placenta," Biology of Reproduction 69(1), 286-293, (1 July 2003).
Received: 5 November 2002; Accepted: 1 February 2003; Published: 1 July 2003

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