Notch2 controls prolactin and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 expression in decidualizing human stromal cells of early pregnancy.
ABSTRACT: Decidualization, the transformation of the human uterine mucosa into the endometrium of pregnancy, is critical for successful implantation and embryonic development. However, key regulatory factors controlling differentiation of uterine stromal cells into hormone-secreting decidual cells have not been fully elucidated. Hence, we herein investigated the role of the Notch signaling pathway in human decidual stromal cells (HDSC) isolated from early pregnancy samples. Immunofluorescence of first trimester decidual tissues revealed expression of Notch2 receptor and its putative, membrane-anchored interaction partners Jagged1, Delta-like (DLL) 1 and DLL4 in stromal cells whereas other Notch receptors and ligands were absent from these cells. During in vitro differentiation with estrogen/progesterone (E2P4) and/or cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) HDSC constitutively expressed Notch2 and weakly downregulated Jagged1 mRNA and protein, measured by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and Western blotting, respectively. However, increased levels of DLL1 and DLL4 were observed in the decidualizing cultures. Transfection of a Notch luciferase reporter and qPCR of the Notch target gene hairy and enhancer of split 1 (HES1) revealed an induction of canonical Notch activity during in vitro differentiation. In contrast, treatment of HDSC with a chemical Notch/?-secretase inhibitor decreased cAMP/E2P4-stimulated Notch luciferase activity, HES1 transcript levels and mRNA expression of the decidual marker genes prolactin (PRL) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP1). Similarly, siRNA-mediated gene silencing or antibody-mediated blocking of Notch2 diminished HES1, PRL and IGFBP1 mRNA levels as well as secreted PRL protein. In summary, the data suggest that canonical, Notch2-dependent signaling plays a role in human decidualization.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mammalian early embryo development requires a well-orchestrated interplay of cell signaling pathways. Notch is a major regulatory pathway involved in cell-fate determination in embryonic and adult scenarios. However, the role of Notch in embryonic pre-implantation development is controversial. In particular, Notch role on blastocyst development and hatching remains elusive, and a complete picture of the transcription and expression patterns of Notch components during this time-period is not available. RESULTS:This study provided a comprehensive view on the dynamics of individual embryo gene transcription and protein expression patterns of Notch components (receptors Notch1-4; ligands Dll1 and Dll4, Jagged1-2; and effectors Hes1-2), and their relationship with transcription of gene markers of pluripotency and differentiation (Sox2, Oct4, Klf4, Cdx2) during mouse blastocyst development and hatching. Transcription of Notch1-2, Jagged1-2 and Hes1 was highly prevalent and dynamic along stages of development, whereas transcription of Notch3-4, Dll4 and Hes2 had a low prevalence among embryos. Transcription levels of Notch1, Notch2, Jagged2 and Hes1 correlated with each other and with those of pluripotency and differentiation genes. Gene transcription was associated to protein expression, except for Jagged2, where high transcription levels in all embryos were not translated into protein. Presence of Notch signaling activity was confirmed through nuclear NICD and Hes1 detection, and downregulation of Hes1 transcription following canonical signaling blockade with DAPT. In vitro embryo culture supplementation with Jagged1 had no effect on embryo developmental kinetics. In contrast, supplementation with Jagged2 abolished Jagged1 transcription, downregulated Cdx2 transcription and inhibited blastocyst hatching. Notch signaling blockade by DAPT downregulated transcription of Sox2, and retarded embryo hatching. CONCLUSION:Transcription of Notch genes showed a dynamic pattern along blastocyst development and hatching. Data confirmed Notch signaling activity, and lead to the suggestion that Notch canonical signaling may be operating through Notch1, Notch3, Jagged1 and Hes1. Embryo culture supplementation with Jagged1 and Jagged2 unveiled a possible regulatory effect between Jagged1, Cdx2 and blastocyst hatching. Overall, results indicate that a deregulation in Notch signaling, either by its over or under-activation, affects blastocyst development and hatching.
Project description:Endometrial decidualization represents an essential step for the successful implantation of the embryo; however, the molecular mechanism behind this differentiation process remains unclear. This study aimed to identify novel microRNAs (miRNAs) involved in the regulation of decidual gene expression in human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs). An in vitro analysis of primary undifferentiated and decidualizing HESCs was conducted. HESCs were isolated from hysterectomy specimens from normally cycling premenopausal women with uterine fibroids, who were not on hormonal treatment at the time of surgery. Primary HESCs were expanded in culture and decidualized with 8-bromo-cyclic adenosine monophosphate and medroxyprogesterone acetate. Microarray analysis identified six miRNAs differentially expressed in response to decidualization of HESCs. All but one miRNA were downregulated upon decidualization, including miR-542-3p. We demonstrated that miR-542-3p overexpression inhibits the induction of major decidual marker genes, including IGFBP1, WNT4 and PRL. In addition, miR-542-3p overexpression inhibited the morphological transformation of HESCs in response to deciduogenic cues. A luciferase reporter assay confirmed that the 3'-untranslated region of IGFBP1 mRNA is targeted by miR-542-3p. The results suggest that miR-542-3p plays an important role in endometrial decidualization by regulating the expression of major decidual marker genes.
Project description:Preeclampsia (PE) is a multisystem disorder unique to Homo sapiens that is known to cause maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Between 5-7% of all pregnancies are affected by PE and it is responsible for approximately 50,000 maternal deaths annually. The pathogenesis of PE remains poorly understood. However, the results of this study indicated that insufficient decidualization plays a significant role. NR5A1 and NR5A2 are orphan members of the Ftz-F1 subfamily of nuclear receptors and are involved in mammal follicular development, female reproduction, steroidogenesis, and decidualization. The expression of NR5A1 and NR5A2 in the human decidua and their functions during decidualization were investigated using in vitro cultured cells by real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and siRNA techniques. The results demonstrated that the levels of NR5A2 mRNA and protein in the decidual tissues of women with PE were lower than those of normal pregnant women. However, the levels of NR5A1 mRNA and protein did not significantly differ between groups. The expression of NR5A2 was upregulated after in vitro decidualization, but the expression of NR5A1 remained low and showed no difference compared with that of the control cells. Knocking down of NR5A2 in human endometrial stromal cells (hESC) resulted in a significant reduction in their expression of decidualization markers (IGFBP1 and PRL) and signaling pathway molecules (WNT4 and BMP2) (P < 0.05). From these data, we concluded that NR5A2 is pivotal for the decidualization of decidual tissues and cultured human endometrial stromal cells. Disorders of the endometrium in decidual tissues may be associated with the abnormal decidualization thought to cause PE.
Project description:Murine placentation requires trophoblast Notch2, while the Notch ligand, JAGGED1, is reduced in invasive trophoblasts from women with preeclampsia. However, the placental cells with active Notch signaling and expression of other Notch proteins and ligands in placentation have yet to be defined. We sought to identify endothelial cell and trophoblast subtypes with canonical Notch signaling in the decidua and placenta and correlate this to expression of Notch proteins and ligands.Notch reporter transgenic mice were used to define canonical Notch activity and immunofluorescence staining performed to characterize expression of Notch1, 2, 3, 4 and ligands, Delta-like 4 (Dll4) and Jagged1 (Jag1) during early placentation and in the mature placenta.Notch signaling is active in maternal and fetal endothelial cells and trophoblasts during early placentation and in the mature placenta. Dll4, Jag1, Notch1, and Notch4 are expressed in maternal vasculature in the decidua. Dll4, Jag1 and Notch1 are expressed in fetal vasculature in the labyrinth. Dll4, Notch2 and Notch4 are co-expressed in the ectoplacental cone. Notch2 and Notch4 are expressed in parietal-trophoblast giant cells and junctional zone trophoblasts with active canonical Notch signaling and in labyrinthine syncytiotrophoblasts and sinusoidal-trophoblast giant cells.Canonical Notch activity and distinct expression patterns for Notch proteins and ligands was evident in endothelium and trophoblasts, suggesting Notch1, Notch2, Notch4, Dll4, and Jag1 have distinct and overlapping functions in placentation. Characterization of Notch signaling defects in existing mouse models of preeclampsia may shed light on the role of Notch in developing the preeclampsia phenotype.
Project description:The differentiation of endometrial stromal cells into decidual cells, termed decidualization, is an integral step in the establishment of pregnancy. The mitogen-activated protein kinase homolog, WNK lysine deficient protein kinase 1 (WNK1), is activated downstream of epidermal growth factor receptor during decidualization. Primary human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs) were subjected to small interfering RNA knockdown of WNK1 followed by in vitro decidualization. This abrogated expression of the decidual marker genes, insulin like growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) and prolactin (PRL), and prevented adoption of decidual cell morphology. Analysis of the WNK1-dependent transcriptome by RNA-Seq demonstrated that WNK1 regulates the expression of 1858 genes during decidualization. Gene ontology and upstream regulator pathway analysis showed that WNK1 regulates cell migration, differentiation, and proliferation. WNK1 was required for many of the gene expression changes that drive decidualization, including the induction of the inflammatory cytokines, C-C motif chemokine ligand 8 (CCL8), interleukin 1 beta (IL1B), and interleukin 15 (IL15), and the repression of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) pathway genes, including early growth response 2 (EGR2), SMAD family member 3 (SMAD3), integrin subunit alpha 2 (ITGA2), integrin subunit alpha 4 (ITGA4), and integrin subunit beta 3 (ITGB3). In addition to abrogating decidualization, WNK1 knockdown decreased the migration and proliferation of HESCs. Furthermore, mitogen-activated protein kinase 7 (MAPK7), a known downstream target of WNK1, was activated during decidualization in a WNK1-dependent manner. Small interfering RNA knockdown of MAPK7 demonstrated that MAPK7 regulates a subset of WNK1-regulated genes and controls the migration and proliferation of HESCs. These results indicate that WNK1 and MAPK7 promote migration and proliferation during decidualization and regulate the expression of inflammatory cytokines and TGF-beta pathway genes in HESCs.
Project description:Up to 30% of women experience early miscarriage due to impaired decidualization. For implantation to occur, the uterine endometrial stromal fibroblast-like cells must differentiate into decidual cells, but the genes required for decidualization have not been fully defined. Here, we show that Malignant Brain Tumor Domain-containing Protein 1 (MBTD1), a member of the polycomb group protein family, is critical for human endometrial stromal cell (HESC) decidualization. MBTD1 predominantly localized to HESCs during the secretory phase and the levels were significantly elevated during in vitro decidualization of both immortalized and primary HESCs. Importantly, siRNA-mediated MBTD1 knockdown significantly impaired in vitro decidualization of both immortalized and primary HESCs, as evidenced by reduced expression of the decidualization markers PRL and IGFBP1. Further, knockdown of MBTD1 reduced cell proliferation and resulted in G2/M cell cycle arrest in decidualizing HESCs. Although progesterone signaling is required for decidualization, MBTD1 expression was not affected by progesterone signaling; however, MBTD1 knockdown significantly reduced expression of the progesterone target genes WNT4, FOXOA1, and GREB1. Collectively, our data suggest that MBTD1 contributes to in vitro decidualization of HESCs by sustaining progesterone signaling. This work could have implications for designing diagnostic and therapeutic tools for recurrent pregnancy loss.
Project description:Decidualization is a crucial change required for successful embryo implantation and the maintenance of pregnancy. During this process, endometrial stromal cells differentiate into decidual cells in response to the ovarian steroid hormones of early pregnancy. Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) are known to regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis in multiple cell types, including uterine endometrial cells. Aberrant activation of ERK1/2 has recently been implicated in the pathological processes of endometriosis and endometrial cancer. However, the function of ERK1/2 signaling during implantation and decidualization is still unknown. To determine the role and regulation of ERK1/2 signaling during implantation and decidualization, we examine ERK1/2 signaling in the mouse uterus during early pregnancy using immunostaining and qPCR. Interestingly, levels of phospho-ERK1/2 were highest within decidual cells located at the implantation sites. Expression levels of ERK1/2 target genes were also significantly higher at implantation sites, when compared to either inter-implantation sites. To determine if ERK1/2 signaling is also important during human endometrial decidualization, we examined levels of phospho-ERK1/2 in cultured human endometrial stromal cells during in vitro decidualization. Following treatment with a well-established decidualization-inducing steroidogenic cocktail, levels of phospho-ERK1/2 were markedly increased. Treatment with the ERK1/2 inhibitor, U0126, significantly decreased the expression of the known decidualization marker genes, IGFBP1 and PRL as well as inhibited the induction of known ERK1/2 target genes; FOS, MSK1, STAT1, and STAT3. Interestingly, the phosphorylation level of CCAAT/ enhancer binding protein ? (C/EBP?), a protein previously shown to be critical for decidualization, was significantly reduced in this model. These results suggest that ERK1/2 signaling is required for successful decidualization in mice as well as human endometrial stromal cells and implicates C/EBP? as a downstream target of ERK1/2.
Project description:Pausing of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) during early transcription, mediated by the negative elongation factor (NELF) complex, allows cells to coordinate and appropriately respond to signals by modulating the rate of transcriptional pause release. Promoter proximal enrichment of Pol II occurs at uterine genes relevant to reproductive biology; thus, we hypothesized that pausing might impact endometrial response by coordinating hormonal signals involved in establishing and maintaining pregnancy. We deleted the NELF-B subunit in the mouse uterus using PgrCre (NELF-B UtcKO). Resulting females were infertile. Uterine response to the initial decidual stimulus of NELF-B UtcKO was similar to that of control mice; however, subsequent full decidual response was not observed. Cultured NELF-B UtcKO stromal cells exhibited perturbances in extracellular matrix components and also expressed elevated levels of the decidual prolactin Prl8a2, as well as altered levels of transcripts encoding enzymes involved in prostaglandin synthesis and metabolism. Because endometrial stromal cell decidualization is also critical to human reproductive health and fertility, we used small interfering to suppress NELF-B or NELF-E subunits in cultured human endometrial stromal cells, which inhibited decidualization, as reflected by the impaired induction of decidual markers PRL and IGFBP1. Overall, our study indicates NELF-mediated pausing is essential to coordinate endometrial responses and that disruption impairs uterine decidual development during pregnancy.-Hewitt, S. C., Li, R., Adams, N., Winuthayanon, W., Hamilton, K. J., Donoghue, L. J., Lierz, S. L., Garcia, M., Lydon, J. P., DeMayo, F. J., Adelman, K., Korach, K. S. Negative elongation factor is essential for endometrial function.
Project description:Jagged1 activates Notch signaling and subsequently promotes osteogenic differentiation in human periodontal ligament cells (hPDLs). The present study investigated the participation of the Notch receptor, NOTCH2, in the Jagged1-induced osteogenic differentiation in hPDLs. NOTCH2 and NOTCH4 mRNA expression levels increased during hPDL osteogenic differentiation. However, the endogenous NOTCH2 expression levels were markedly higher compared with NOTCH4. NOTCH2 expression knockdown using shRNA in hPDLs did not dramatically alter their proliferation or osteogenic differentiation compared with the shRNA control. After seeding on Jagged1-immobilized surfaces and maintaining the hPDLs in osteogenic medium, HES1 and HEY1 mRNA levels were markedly reduced in the shNOTCH2-transduced cells compared with the shControl group. Further, shNOTCH2-transduced cells exhibited less alkaline phosphatase enzymatic activity and in vitro mineralization than the shControl cells when exposed to Jagged1. MSX2 and COL1A1 mRNA expression after Jagged1 activation were reduced in shNOTCH2-transduced cells. Endogenous Notch signaling inhibition using a ?-secretase inhibitor (DAPT) attenuated mineralization in hPDLs. DAPT treatment significantly promoted TWIST1, but decreased ALP, mRNA expression, compared with the control. In conclusion, Notch signaling is involved in hPDL osteogenic differentiation. Moreover, NOTCH2 participates in the mechanism by which Jagged1 induced osteogenic differentiation in hPDLs.
Project description:Decidualization denotes the transformation of endometrial stromal cells into specialized decidual cells. In pregnancy, decidual cells form a protective matrix around the implanting embryo, enabling coordinated trophoblast invasion and formation of a functional placenta. Continuous progesterone (P4) signaling renders decidual cells resistant to various environmental stressors, whereas withdrawal inevitably triggers tissue breakdown and menstruation or miscarriage. Here, we show that PLCL1, coding phospholipase C (PLC)-related catalytically inactive protein 1 (PRIP-1), is highly induced in response to P4 signaling in decidualizing human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs). Knockdown experiments in undifferentiated HESCs revealed that PRIP-1 maintains basal phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Protein kinase B activity, which in turn prevents illicit nuclear translocation of the transcription factor forkhead box protein O1 and induction of the apoptotic activator BIM. By contrast, loss of this scaffold protein did not compromise survival of decidual cells. PRIP-1 knockdown did also not interfere with the responsiveness of HESCs to deciduogenic cues, although the overall expression of differentiation markers, such as PRL, IGFBP1, and WNT4, was blunted. Finally, we show that PRIP-1 in decidual cells uncouples PLC activation from intracellular Ca(2+) release by attenuating inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate signaling. In summary, PRIP-1 is a multifaceted P4-inducible scaffold protein that gates the activity of major signal transduction pathways in the endometrium. It prevents apoptosis of proliferating stromal cells and contributes to the relative autonomy of decidual cells by silencing PLC signaling downstream of Gq protein-coupled receptors.