Placental dysferlin expression is reduced in severe preeclampsia.
ABSTRACT: Dysferlin (DYSF) and myoferlin (MYOF), members of the ferlin family of membrane proteins, are co-expressed in human placental syncytiotrophoblast (STB). Although the role of these ferlin proteins in the placenta has yet to be established, it has been suggested that DYSF and MYOF may contribute to the stability of the apical STB plasma membrane. The release of STB-derived cellular debris increases in the setting of preeclampsia (PE), suggesting relative destabilization of the hemochorial interface. To test whether PE was associated with alterations in placental expression of DYSF and/or MYOF, a cross-sectional study was performed using specimens of villous placenta collected form women with severe PE (n=10) and normotensive controls (n=10). DYSF and MYOF expression were examined using quantitative real-time RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunofluorescence labeling of tissue specimens. Placental DYSF expression was 57% lower at the mRNA level (p=0.03) and 38% lower at the protein level (p=0.026) in severe PE as compared to normotensive subjects. There were no differences in placental MYOF protein or mRNA expression between these groups. No appreciable changes in the distribution of DYSF or MYOF within placental villi was observed in PE relative to control specimens. We conclude that DYSF expression is reduced in severe PE relative to gestational age-matched controls. As DYSF has a role in membrane repair, these data suggest a role for DYSF in the stability of the apical STB plasma membrane and may account, at least in part, for the increased shedding of microparticles from this membrane in PE.
Project description:Ferlins are multiple-C2-domain proteins involved in Ca2+-triggered membrane dynamics within the secretory, endocytic and lysosomal pathways. In bony vertebrates there are six ferlin genes encoding, in humans, dysferlin, otoferlin, myoferlin, Fer1L5 and 6 and the long noncoding RNA Fer1L4. Mutations in DYSF (dysferlin) can cause a range of muscle diseases with various clinical manifestations collectively known as dysferlinopathies, including limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B (LGMD2B) and Miyoshi myopathy. A mutation in MYOF (myoferlin) was linked to a muscular dystrophy accompanied by cardiomyopathy. Mutations in OTOF (otoferlin) can be the cause of nonsyndromic deafness DFNB9. Dysregulated expression of any human ferlin may be associated with development of cancer. This review provides a detailed description of functions of the vertebrate ferlins with a focus on muscle ferlins and discusses the mechanisms leading to disease development.
Project description:Even though genetic studies of individuals with neuromuscular diseases have uncovered the molecular background of many cardiac disorders such as cardiomyopathies and inherited arrhythmic syndromes, the genetic cause of a proportion of cardiomyopathies associated with neuromuscular phenotype still remains unknown. Here, we present an individual with a combination of cardiomyopathy and limb-girdle type muscular dystrophy where whole exome sequencing identified myoferlin (MYOF)-a member of the Ferlin protein family and close homolog of DYSF-as the most likely candidate gene. The disease-causative role of the identified variant c.[2576delG; 2575G>C], p.G859QfsTer8 is supported by functional studies in vitro using the primary patient's skeletal muscle mesenchymal progenitor cells, including both RNA sequencing and morphological studies, as well as recapitulating the muscle phenotype in vivo in zebrafish. We provide the first evidence supporting a role of MYOF in human muscle disease.
Project description:Purpose: The goals of this study is to compare and profile the smallRNA transcriptome of the placenta in preeclamptic and normal patients using RNA sequencing. Methods: Placental and Placental vesicles (STB-EVs) smallRNA profiles of normal and preeclamptic patients were generated by deep sequencing using Illumina HISEQ. FASTq.gz files were compressed with OASIS compressor and alignment was done with OASIS 2.0 ( by trimmimng with trimmomatic, aligning using default OASIS 2.0 aligning papameters). Quantitative PCR validation was performed using TaqMan gene expression assays Results: This contains a set of three parallel smallRNA sequencing experiments involving placenta tissue, medium/large STB-EVs and small STB-EVs. Comparison between PE and normal pregnancy placental tissue revealed 134 (p-value of <0.05 ) while in medium/large STB-EVs, 101 and in small STB-EVs, 16 (adjusted P-value of <0.05) differentially expressed small RNA We identified a number of mechanistic and biomarker targets, which were validated with qRT–PCR and confirmed to be signifficantly DE. The differentially expressed analysis identified potential yet undescribed small RNAs that may contribute to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia or/and may act as biomarkers of the disease. Conclusions: Our study represents the first combined analysis of placenta, medium/large and small STB-EV transcriptomes, with biologic replicates, generated by RNA-seq technology. The optimized data analysis workflows reported here should provide a framework for comparative investigations of expression profiles. Our results identified potential Placenta EV small RNA biomarkers that can help diagnose the preeclampsia Overall design: Placental small RNA profiles of 8 preeclamptic (PE) and 6 normal pregnant (NP) women and medium/large STB-Evs small RNA profiles of 8 preeclamptic (PE) and 7 normal pregnant (NP) women
Project description:Purpose: The goals of this study is to compare and profile the transcriptome of the placenta in preeclamptic and normal patients using RNA sequencing. Methods: Placental and Placental vesicles (STB-EVs) mRNA profiles of normal and preeclamptic patients were generated by deep sequencing using Illumina HISEQ. The sequence reads that passed quality filters were analyzed at the gene level HISAT2 followed by featureCounts. Quantitative PCR validation was performed using TaqMan gene expression assays Results: This contains a set of three parallel mRNA sequencing experiments involving placenta tissue, medium/large STB-EVs and small STB-EVs. Comparison between PE and normal pregnancy placental tissue revealed 18,070 genes from which 580 were upregulated and 563 were downregulated (p-value of <0.05 ) while in medium/large STB-EVs, revealed 14,216 genes from which 1,128 were upregulated and 833 were downregulated. In small STB-EVs, out of 23,322 genes, 232 were upregulated and 106 were downregulated) (adjusted P-value of <0.05) We identified a number of mechanistic and biomarker targets, which were validated with qRT–PCR and confirmed to be signifficantly DE. The differentially expressed analysis identified potential yet undescribed genes that may contribute to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia or/and may act as biomarkers of the disease. Conclusions: Our study represents the first detailed analysis of combined Placenta and placental extracellular vesicles (STB-EVs) transcriptomes, with biologic replicates, generated by RNA-seq technology. The optimized data analysis workflows reported here should provide a framework for comparative investigations of expression profiles. Our results have identified potential STB-EV based small RNA biomarkers in preeclampsia. Overall design: Placental small RNA profiles of 8 preeclamptic (PE) and 6 normal pregnant (NP) women and medium/large STB-Evs small RNA profiles of 8 preeclamptic (PE) and 7 normal pregnant (NP) women
Project description:The placenta is an important organ in pregnancy, however, very little is understood about placental development at a molecular level. This includes the role of epigenetic mechanisms and how they change throughout gestation. DNA methylation studies in this organ are complicated by the different cell types that make up the placenta, each with their own unique transcriptome and epigenome. Placental dysfunction is often associated with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia (PE). Aberrant DNA methylation in the placenta has been identified in pregnancy complications. We used immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF) to localize 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) in placenta tissue from first and second trimester as well as uncomplicated term and PE samples. IHC analysis of whole placental tissues showed 5-mC increased across gestation. When cytotrophoblasts (CTB) and syncytiotrophoblasts (STB) were isolated and assessed using IF, both 5-mC and 5-hmC increased in term CTBs compared to first/second-trimester samples. Staining intensity of 5-hmC was higher in first/second trimester STBs compared to CTBs (P = 0.0011). Finally, IHC staining of term tissue from PE and uncomplicated pregnancies revealed higher 5-mC staining intensity in placentas from PE pregnancies (P = 0.028). Our study has shown increased 5-mC and 5-hmC staining intensities across gestation and differed between two trophoblast populations. Differences in DNA methylation profiles between placental cell types may be indicative of different functions and requires further study to elucidate what changes accompany placental pathologies.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The ferlin gene family possesses a rare and identifying feature consisting of multiple tandem C2 domains and a C-terminal transmembrane domain. Much currently remains unknown about the fundamental function of this gene family, however, mutations in its two most well-characterised members, dysferlin and otoferlin, have been implicated in human disease. The availability of genome sequences from a wide range of species makes it possible to explore the evolution of the ferlin family, providing contextual insight into characteristic features that define the ferlin gene family in its present form in humans. RESULTS: Ferlin genes were detected from all species of representative phyla, with two ferlin subgroups partitioned within the ferlin phylogenetic tree based on the presence or absence of a DysF domain. Invertebrates generally possessed two ferlin genes (one with DysF and one without), with six ferlin genes in most vertebrates (three DysF, three non-DysF). Expansion of the ferlin gene family is evident between the divergence of lamprey (jawless vertebrates) and shark (cartilaginous fish). Common to almost all ferlins is an N-terminal C2-FerI-C2 sandwich, a FerB motif, and two C-terminal C2 domains (C2E and C2F) adjacent to the transmembrane domain. Preservation of these structural elements throughout eukaryotic evolution suggests a fundamental role of these motifs for ferlin function. In contrast, DysF, C2DE, and FerA are optional, giving rise to subtle differences in domain topologies of ferlin genes. Despite conservation of multiple C2 domains in all ferlins, the C-terminal C2 domains (C2E and C2F) displayed higher sequence conservation and greater conservation of putative calcium binding residues across paralogs and orthologs. Interestingly, the two most studied non-mammalian ferlins (Fer-1 and Misfire) in model organisms C. elegans and D. melanogaster, present as outgroups in the phylogenetic analysis, with results suggesting reproduction-related divergence and specialization of species-specific functions within their genus. CONCLUSIONS: Our phylogenetic studies provide evolutionary insight into the ferlin gene family. We highlight the existence of ferlin-like proteins throughout eukaryotic evolution, from unicellular phytoplankton and apicomplexan parasites, through to humans. We characterise the preservation of ferlin structural motifs, not only of C2 domains, but also the more poorly characterised ferlin-specific motifs representing the DysF, FerA and FerB domains. Our data suggest an ancient role of ferlin proteins, with lessons from vertebrate biology and human disease suggesting a role relating to vesicle fusion and plasma membrane specialization.
Project description:Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a disorder of pregnancy, often leading to serious and fatal complications. Endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 and 2 (ERAP1/ERAP2) are present in the placenta. They are involved in processes regulating blood pressure, angiogenesis, cytokine receptor shedding, and immune recognition. Previous studies have associated both ERAP1/ERAP2 genetic variants with PE, although the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Less is known about the roles for these enzymes in early placentation, which could be a contributory factor to PE. To ascertain whether ERAP1/ERAP2 change in PE and whether such a change is present before PE is clinically diagnosed, we analyzed mRNA and ERAP1/2 protein expression in the placenta in the early first trimester (8-14 weeks) and at delivery in normotensive or PE women (n = 12/group). Gene expression was analyzed using qPCR, and protein expression and localization were assessed by immunohistochemistry. Additionally, we profiled peripheral immune cells from normotensive and PE (n = 5/group) women for activation and expression of cytotoxic markers using flow cytometry to investigate a possible correlation with placental expression of ERAP1/2. Finally, we characterized the cytokines released from immune cells isolated from normotensive women and those with PE, stimulated ex vivo by JEG-3 trophoblast cells. The ERAP1 protein was significantly upregulated in first trimester placentae compared to placentae at delivery from both normotensive and PE women (p < 0.05): expression of placental ERAP1 protein was also relatively higher in normotensive than PE women. Although the protein expression of both ERAP1/ERAP2 was significantly lower in women with PE compared to normotensive controls (p < 0.05), ERAP2 protein expression remained unchanged in normotensive women at delivery compared to expression in the first trimester. Flow cytometry analysis revealed an increase in activation and cytotoxic natural killer (NK) cells in peripheral blood of PE compared to normotensive women. Intriguingly, there was a notable difference in cytokine release from the activated immune cells when further stimulated by trophoblast cells. The immune cells from PE released elevated expressions of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, and most notably, pro-inflammatory IL-13 and IL-17?, inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-? and interferon (IFN)-?, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) compared to normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Taken together, these findings suggest that differential lymphocyte activation could be associated with altered ERAP1/ERAP2 expression.
Project description:Preeclampsia (PE) is associated with increased fetal hemoglobin (HbF) in the maternal circulation but its source is unknown. To investigate whether excessive HbF is produced in the placenta or the fetus, the concentration of HbF (cHbF) in the arterial and venous umbilical cord blood (UCB) was compared in 15825 normotensive and 444 PE pregnancies. The effect of fetal gender on cHbF was also evaluated in both groups. Arterial and venous UCB sampled immediately after birth at 36-42 weeks of gestation were analyzed for total Hb concentration (ctHb) (g/L) and HbF% using a Radiometer blood gas analyzer. Non-parametric tests were used for statistical comparison and P values < 0.05 were considered significant. Our results indicated higher cHbF in venous compared to arterial UCB in both normotensive (118.90 vs 117.30) and PE (126.75 vs 120.12) groups. In PE compared to normotensive pregnancies, a significant increase was observed in arterial and venous ctHb (171.00 vs 166.00 and 168.00 vs 163.00, respectively) while cHbF was only significantly increased in venous UCB (126.75 vs 118.90). The pattern was similar in both genders. These results indicate a substantial placental contribution to HbF levels in UCB, which increases in PE and is independent of fetal gender, suggesting the elevated cHbF evident in PE results from placental dysfunction.
Project description:Disruption of nitric oxide pathway and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress had been observed in preeclampsia (PE). However, the correlation and overall detailed expression profiles of ER stress-related markers and endothelial nitric oxide synthase/inducible nitric oxide synthase (eNOS/iNOS) in patients with PE were poorly understood. In this study, placental protein expression of ER stress-related markers as well as eNOS/iNOS in normotensive control (n=32) and PE pregnancies (n=32) was examined by western blot. In addition, apoptosis was detected by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labelling (TUNEL) staining in placentas. Compared with control, we found elevated ER stress response was agreeable with iNOS upregulation in placenta tissue of PE patients. Placental protein expression of ER stress-related markers, including GRP78, GRP94, p-PERK, eIF2a, p-eIF2a, XBP1, CHOP, Ire1, p-Ire1 and iNOS, was higher, and eNOS expression was lower in PE (P<0.05 for all); however, the expression of ATF6 and PERK was similar in the PE and control groups. Upregulation of CHOP and iNOS was consistent of apoptosis increasing indicated by TUNEL staining and caspase 4 expression upregulation in PE placenta. Our datas suggest that the exaggerated ER stress response and upregulated iNOS are probably associated with increased apoptosis in placenta of PE patients and may contribute to the pathophysiology of PE.
Project description:Ferlins are a family of multiple C2 domain proteins with emerging roles in vesicle fusion and membrane trafficking. Ferlin mutations are associated with muscular dystrophy (dysferlin) and deafness (otoferlin) in humans, and infertility in Caenorhabditis elegans (Fer-1) and Drosophila (misfire), demonstrating their importance for normal cellular functioning. Ferlins show ancient origins in eukaryotic evolution and are detected in all eukaryotic kingdoms, including unicellular eukaryotes and apicomplexian protists, suggesting origins in a common ancestor predating eukaryotic evolutionary branching. The characteristic feature of the ferlin family is their multiple tandem cytosolic C2 domains (five to seven C2 domains), the most of any protein family, and an extremely rare feature amongst eukaryotic proteins. Ferlins also bear a unique nested DysF domain and small conserved 60-70 residue ferlin-specific sequences (Fer domains). Ferlins segregate into two subtypes based on the presence (type I ferlin) or absence (type II ferlin) of the DysF and FerA domains. Ferlins have diverse tissue-specific and developmental expression patterns, with ferlin animal models united by pathologies arising from defects in vesicle fusion. Consistent with their proposed role in vesicle trafficking, ferlin interaction partners include cytoskeletal motors, other vesicle-associated trafficking proteins and transmembrane receptors or channels. Herein we summarize the research history of the ferlins, an intriguing family of structurally conserved proteins with a preserved ancestral function as regulators of vesicle fusion and receptor trafficking.