Functional analysis of p21Cip1/CDKN1A and its family members in trophoblastic cells of the placenta and its roles in preeclampsia

  • Preeclampsia (PE), a gestational hypertensive disease originating from the placenta, is characterized by an imbalance of various cellular processes. The cell cycle regulator p21Cip1/CDKN1A (p21) and its family members p27 and p57 regulate signaling pathways fundamental to placental development. The aim of the present study was to enlighten the individual roles of these cell cycle regulators in placental development and their molecular involvement in the pathogenesis of PE. The expression and localization of p21, phospho-p21 (Thr-145), p27, and p57 was immunohistochemically analyzed in placental tissues from patients with early-onset PE, early-onset PE complicated by the HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count) syndrome as well as late-onset PE compared to their corresponding control tissues from well-matched women undergoing caesarean sections. The gene level was evaluated using real-time quantitative PCR. We demonstrate that the delivery mode strongly influenced placental gene expression, especially for CDKN1A (p21) and CDKN1B (p27), which were significantly upregulated in response to labor. Cell cycle regulators were highly expressed in first trimester placentas and impacted by hypoxic conditions. In support of these observations, p21 protein was abundant in trophoblast organoids and hypoxia reduced its gene expression. Microarray analysis of the trophoblastic BeWo cell line depleted of p21 revealed various interesting candidate genes and signaling pathways for the fusion process. The level of p21 was reduced in fusing cytotrophoblasts in early-onset PE placentas and depletion of p21 led to reduced expression of fusion-related genes such as syncytin-2 and human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG), which adversely affected the fusion capability of trophoblastic cells. These data highlight that cell cycle regulators are important for the development of the placenta. Interfering with p21 influences multiple pathways related to the pathogenesis of PE.

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Author:Nina-Naomi KreisORCiDGND, Alexandra Friemel, Lukas JenneweinORCiDGND, Samira Catharina HoockGND, Anna Elisabeth Hentrich, Thorsten NowakGND, Frank LouwenGND, Juping YuanORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Cells
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/08/27
Date of first Publication:2021/08/27
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/12/21
Tag:fusion; hypoxia; p21Cip1/CDKN1A; preeclampsia; trophoblast organoids; trophoblasts
Issue:9, art. 2214
Page Number:25
First Page:1
Last Page:25
This research was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation, project number 390921723.
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0