MUC1 Expression Is Elevated in Severe Preeclamptic Placentas and Suppresses Trophoblast Cell Invasion via β1-Integrin Signaling

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Abstract

Context:

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disorder that features insufficient extravillous trophoblast (EVT) invasion. We have previously shown that MUC1 expression in human placenta increases with gestational age and inhibits choriocarcinoma cell invasion.

Objective:

Here, we studied whether MUC1 expression in preeclamptic placentas is dysregulated and the mechanism of EVT invasion regulated by MUC1.

Design:

MUC1 expression in severe preeclamptic placentas and gestational age-matched control placentas was analyzed by real-time RT-PCR, Western blot analysis, and immunohistochemistry. The effects of MUC1 expression on cell-matrix adhesion, invasion, and cell signaling were studied in HTR8/SVneo EVT cells.

Results:

We found that MUC1 mRNA and MUC1 protein were significantly up-regulated in severe preeclamptic placentas when compared with the gestational age-matched control placentas. Immunohistochemical analyses showed increased expression of MUC1 in the syncytiotrophoblast and EVT of severe preeclamptic placentas. In addition, MUC1 overexpression suppressed cell-matrix adhesion and invasion of EVT cells. Importantly, our data showed that MUC1 overexpression inhibited β1-integrin activity and phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase, whereas the surface expression of β1-integrin was not significantly changed.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that MUC1 is overexpressed in severe preeclamptic placentas and that MUC1 overexpression suppresses EVT invasion mainly via modulating β1-integrin signaling.

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