WNK lysine deficient protein kinase 1 regulates human endometrial stromal cell decidualization, proliferation, and migration in part through mitogen-activated protein kinase 7.
ABSTRACT: 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:Mouse studies support a role for endometrial early growth response 1 (EGR1) in uterine receptivity and decidualization, which are processes controlled by estrogen and progesterone. However, the importance of this transcription factor in similar cellular processes in human is unclear. Analysis of clinical samples indicate that endometrial EGR1 levels are decreased in the endometrium of women with recurrent implantation failure, suggesting that tight control of EGR1 levels are necessary for normal endometrial function. Therefore, we used siRNA-mediated knockdown of EGR1 expression in cultured human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs) to assess the functional role of EGR1 in hESC decidualization. Protein expression studies revealed that EGR1 is highly expressed in pre-decidual hESCs. However, EGR1 protein levels rapidly decrease following administration of an established deciduogenic hormone stimulus containing estradiol, medroxyprogesterone acetate, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate. Intriguingly, EGR1 knockdown in pre-decidual hESCs blocks the ability of these cells to decidualize later, indicating that EGR1 is required to transcriptionally program pre-decidual hESCs for decidualization. Support for this proposal comes from the analysis of transcriptome and cistrome datasets, which shows that EGR1 target genes are primarily involved in transcriptional regulation, cell signaling, and proliferation. Collectively, our studies provide translational support for an evolutionary conserved role for human endometrial stromal EGR1 in the early events of pregnancy establishment.
Project description:Decidualization is a prerequisite for successful implantation and the establishment of pregnancy. A critical role of impaired decidualization in subfertility has been established. In human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs), Krüppel-like factor 12 (KLF12) and Nur77 are novel regulators of decidualization. We investigated whether KLF12 impaired the decidualization of hESCs in recurrent implantation failure (RIF) patients.Endometrial tissues and hESCs were collected from RIF patients (n?=?34) and fertile controls (n?=?30) for in vitro analysis. Primary hESCs isolated from RIF endometrial tissues were used to evaluate the biological functions of KLF12 and Nur77. In addition, their molecular mechanisms were investigated by adenovirus-mediated overexpression. Gene expression regulation was examined by real-time-quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR), immunostaining and luciferase reporter assay. Further, blastocyst-like spheroid (BLS) and blastocyst implantation models were performed to examine the roles of KLF12 and Nur77 during embryo expansion on hESCs.hESCs from the RIF patients showed a poor decidual response, mainly characterized by decreased decidual prolactin (dPRL) secretion, impaired transformation and limited BLS expansion. In addition, KLF12 expression was increased in endometrial tissues from the RIF patients compared with those from the fertile controls, especially in stromal compartments. The opposite results were observed for Nur77 expression in these tissues. KLF12 repressed hESC decidualization by decreasing Nur77 expression. Mechanistically, KLF12 bound to a conserved site in the Nur77 promoter region. Nur77 overexpression significantly reversed the KLF12-mediated repression of dPRL expression, decidual transformation and BLS/blastocyst expansion.KLF12 impairs endometrial decidualization by transcriptionally repressing Nur77, and Nur77 overexpression reverses the poor decidual response of hESCs in RIF patients.
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: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:During the establishment of pregnancy, extravillous trophoblast (EVT) must invade into the uterine decidua to facilitate decidual artery remodelling to create the placental blood supply. The local decidual environment is thought to regulate trophoblast invasion, however these interactions are poorly defined in humans. Recent evidence in women suggests impaired decidualization is associated with miscarriage and preeclampsia. Primary human endometrial stromal cells (HESC) and first trimester extravillous trophoblast (EVTs) were used to assess the effect of EVT-secreted factors on HESC decidualization, adhesion, proliferation and migration. We determined the role of profilin (PFN)1, an EVT-secreted factor, on HESC function and identified a downstream target of PFN1. EVT-secreted factors induced HESC decidualization and enhanced decidualized HESC adhesion, proliferation and migration. Recombinant PFN1 enhanced methoxyprogesterone acetate-induced HESC decidualization and proliferation. PFN1 down-regulated the expression of lipoxygenase arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase (ALOX5) in HESC and THP-1 macrophages. ALOX5 localised to decidual cells and CD68+macrophages in 1st trimester decidua. This study demonstrated that EVT secretions, including PFN1, enhanced HESC decidualization and motility. This study has identified a new pathway that facilitates appropriate decidualization during the establishment of pregnancy.
Project description:Decidualization is an essential step in the establishment of pregnancy. However, the functional contributions of long intergenic noncoding RNAs (LincRNAs) to decidualization have not been explored. To explore the regulation and role of LincRNAs during human decidualization, human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs) are induced to undergo in vitro decidualization by treating with estradiol-17?, db-cAMP and medroxyprogesterone acetate. LINC00473 (LINC473) expression is highly induced in HESCs after decidual stimulus. We found that cAMP-PKA pathway regulates the expression of LINC473 through IL-11-mediated STAT3 phosphorylation. RNA interference-mediated down-regulation of LINC473 inhibits in vitro decidualization. These results suggested that LINC473 might be functionally required for human decidualization. This is the first report demonstrating the presence of LincRNA during human decidualization.
Project description:cAMP is required for differentiation of human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs) into decidual cells in response to progesterone, although the underlying mechanism is not well understood. We now demonstrate that cAMP signaling attenuates ligand-dependent sumoylation of the progesterone receptor (PR) in HESCs. In fact, decidualization is associated with global hyposumoylation and redistribution of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-1 conjugates into distinct nuclear foci. This altered pattern of global sumoylation was not attributable to impaired maturation of SUMO-1 precursor or altered expression of E1 (SAE1/SEA2) or E2 (Ubc9) enzymes but coincided with profound changes in the expression of E3 ligases and SUMO-specific proteases. Down-regulation of several members of the protein inhibitors of activated STAT (PIAS) family upon decidualization pointed toward a role of these E3 ligases in PR sumoylation. We demonstrate that PIAS1 interacts with the PR and serves as its E3 SUMO ligase upon activation of the receptor. Furthermore, we show that silencing of PIAS1 not only enhances PR-dependent transcription but also induces expression of prolactin, a decidual marker gene, in progestin-treated HESCs without the need of simultaneous activation of the cAMP pathway. Our findings demonstrate how dynamic changes in the SUMO pathway mediated by cAMP signaling determine the endometrial response to progesterone.
Project description:During each menstrual cycle, the human uterus undergoes a unique transformation, known as decidualization, which involves endometrial stromal proliferation and differentiation. During this process, the stromal cells are transformed into decidual cells, which produce factors that prepare the uterus for potential embryo implantation. We previously identified the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP)? as a regulator of endometrial stromal proliferation and differentiation in mice. In this study, we addressed the role of C/EBP? in human endometrial decidualization. Using small interfering RNA targeted to C/EBP? mRNA, we demonstrated that C/EBP? controls the proliferation of primary human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs) by regulating the expression of several key cell cycle-regulatory factors during the G(1)-S phase transition. Additionally, loss of C/EBP? expression blocked the differentiation of HESCs in response to estrogen, progesterone, and cyclic AMP. Gene expression profiling of normal and C/EBP?-deficient HESCs revealed that the receptor for the cytokine IL-11 and its downstream signal transducer signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) are targets of regulation by C/EBP?. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that C/EBP? controls the expression of STAT3 gene by directly interacting with a distinct regulatory sequence in its 5'-flanking region. Attenuation of STAT3 mRNA expression in HESCs resulted in markedly reduced differentiation of these cells, indicating an important role for STAT3 in decidualization. Gene expression profiling, using STAT3-deficient HESCs, showed an extensive overlap of pathways downstream of STAT3 and C/EBP? during stromal cell differentiation. Collectively, these findings revealed a novel functional link between C/EBP? and STAT3 that is a critical regulator of endometrial differentiation in women.
Project description:Decidualization renders the endometrium transiently receptive to an implanting blastocyst although the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here we show that human endometrial stromal cells (HESCs) rapidly release IL-33, a key regulator of innate immune responses, upon decidualization. In parallel, differentiating HESCs upregulate the IL-33 transmembrane receptor ST2L and other pro-inflammatory mediators before mounting a profound anti-inflammatory response that includes downregulation of ST2L and increased expression of the soluble decoy receptor sST2. We demonstrate that HESCs secrete factors permissive of embryo implantation in mice only during the pro-inflammatory phase of the decidual process. IL-33 knockdown in undifferentiated HESCs was sufficient to abrogate this pro-inflammatory decidual response. Further, sequential activation of the IL-33/ST2L/sST2 axis was disordered in decidualizing HESCs from women with recurrent pregnancy loss. Signals from these cultures prolonged the implantation window but also caused subsequent pregnancy failure in mice. Thus, Il-33/ST2 activation in HESCS drives an autoinflammatory response that controls the temporal expression of receptivity genes. Failure to constrain this response predisposes to miscarriage by allowing out-of-phase implantation in an unsupportive uterine environment.
Project description:Infertility and early embryo miscarriage is linked to inadequate endometrial decidualization. Although transcriptional reprogramming is known to drive decidualization in response to progesterone, the key signaling effectors that directly mediate this hormone response are not fully known. This knowledge gap is clinically significant because identifying the early signals that directly mediate progesterone-driven decidualization will address some of the current limitations in diagnosing and therapeutically treating patients at most risk for early pregnancy loss. We recently revealed that the promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) is a direct target of the progesterone receptor and is essential for decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells (hESCs). The purpose of this current work was to identify the genome-wide transcriptional program that is controlled by PLZF during hESC decidualization using an established in vitro hESC culture model, siRNA-mediated knockdown methods, and RNA-sequencing technology followed by bioinformatic analysis and validation. We discovered that PLZF is critical in the regulation of genes that are involved in cellular processes that are essential for the archetypal morphological and functional changes that occur when hESCs transform into epithelioid decidual cells such as proliferation and cell motility. We predict that the transcriptome datasets identified in this study will not only contribute to a broader understanding of PLZF-dependent endometrial decidualization at the molecular level but may advance the development of more effective molecular diagnostics and therapeutics for the clinical management of female infertility and subfertility that is based on a dysfunctional endometrium.