Uterine stromal cells undergo extensive proliferation and differentiation during postimplantation development, a process known as decidualization. While a range of signaling molecules have been demonstrated to play essential roles in this event, its potential epigenetic regulatory mechanisms remain largely unknown. Retinoblastoma binding protein 7 (Rbbp7) is a protein reported as a core component of many histone modification and chromatin remodeling complexes. In the present study, our in situ hybridization and immunochemistry analysis first reveals a spatiotemporal expression of Rbbp7 in the uterus during the peri-implantation period. Observations of remarkable induction of Rbbp7 expression in uterine stromal cells in response to progesterone-nuclear receptor PR signaling point to its potential physiological significance during postimplantation uterine development. Employing a stealth RNA knockdown approach, combined with primary murine uterine stromal cell culture and an in vitro-induced decidualization model, we further demonstrate that Rbbp7 silencing compromises stromal cell decidualization via attenuating histone H4 acetylation and cyclin D3 expression. The results collectively suggest that Rbbp7 is a potentially functional player regulating normal histone acetylation modification and cyclin D3 expression in stromal cells during postimplantation decidual development.
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Vol. 93 • No. 1