Human endometrial milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor 8 (MFGE8) is up regulated by estradiol at the transcriptional level, and its secretion via microvesicles is stimulated by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)

Abbaa Sarhan, Silvina Bocca, Liang Yu, Sandra Anderson, Terry Jacot, Tanya Burch, Julius O Nyalwidhe, Claretta Sullivan, Mandeep Kaur, Vladimir B. Bajic, Sergio Oehninger

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Objective: We have recently showed that MFGE8, a novel epithelial cell protein in the human endometrium, upregulated during the window of implantation. We hypothesized that MFGE8 may act as a key modulator of endometrial remodeling and trophoblast invasion. The aims of this study were (i) to investigate the in vitro regulation of human endometrial epithelial cells MFGE8 transcription, translation, and secretion by sex steroids and hCG; and (ii) to examine the possibility of MFGE8 secretion via microvesicles. Design: Experimental in vitro study using Ishikawa cells. Setting: University center. Interventions: Treatment with estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4), and human chorionic gonatropin (hCG). Main outcome measures: MFGE8 mRNA and protein expression, and identification of secreted microvesicles by mass spectrometry (MS) and immunoblotting. Results: E2, but not P4 or hCG, significantly upregulated MFGE8 mRNA expression. hCG significantly increased MFGE8 secretion. Microvesicels obtained after ultracentrifugation were visualized with atomic force microscopy ranging from ~100 to 200 nm. In addition to the expected 46 kD protein, the microvesicles contained a second form of secreted MFGE8 measuring ~30 kD which was confirmed by MS. Conclusions: We demonstrated (i) dual effects of E2 and hCG on the regulation of MFGE8, and (ii) MFGE8 protein secretion in association with microvesicles. MFGE8 has the potential to modulate endometrial function and implantation via exocrine and/ or paracrine-autocrine effects. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of microvesicular secretion of any regulatory protein by endometrial epithelial cells, providing initial evidence suggestive of microvesicular participation in cellular trafficking information in the non-pregnant and pregnant endometrium.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1
JournalCell signalling and Trafficking
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

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