Involvement of heparin-like glycosaminoglycans and expression of a novel heparan sulfate binding protein (p24) during human placentation and in a model for human implantation

Larry Herman Rohde, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Previous studies in our laboratory have indicated that heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) play an important role in murine embryo implantation. To investigate the potential function of HSPGs in human implantation, two human cell lines (RL95 and JAR) were selected to model uterine epithelium and embryonal trophectoderm, respectively. A heterologous cell-cell adhesion assay showed that initial binding between JAR and RL95 cells is mediated by cell surface glycosaminoglycans (GAG) with heparin-like properties, i.e., heparan sulfate and dermatan sulfate. Furthermore, a single class of highly specific, protease-sensitive heparin/heparan sulfate binding sites exist on the surface of RL95 cells. Three heparin binding, tryptic peptide fragments were isolated from RL95 cell surfaces and their amino termini partially sequenced. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) generated 1 to 4 PCR products per tryptic peptide. Northern blot analysis of RNA from RL95 cells using one of these RT-PCR products identified a 1.2 Kb mRNA species (p24). The amino acid sequence predicted from the cDNA sequence contains a putative heparin-binding domain. A synthetic peptide representing this putative heparin binding domain was used to generate a rabbit polyclonal antibody (anti-p24). Indirect immunofluorescence studies on RL95 and JAR cells as well as binding studies of anti-p24 to intact RL95 cells demonstrate that p24 is distributed on the cell surface. Western blots of RL95 membrane preparations identify a 24 kDa protein (p24) highly enriched in the 100,000 g pellet plasma membrane-enriched fraction. p24 eluted from membranes with 0.8 M NaCl, but not 0.6 M NaCl, suggesting that it is a peripheral membrane component. Solubilized p24 binds heparin by heparin affinity chromatography and $\sp{125}$I-heparin binding assays. Furthermore, indirect immunofluorescence studies indicate that cytotrophoblast of floating and attached villi of the human fetal-maternal interface are recognized by anti-p24. The study also indicates that the HSPG, perlecan, accumulates where chorionic villi are attached to uterine stroma and where p24-expressing cytotrophoblast penetrate the stroma. Collectively, these data indicate that p24 is a cell surface membrane-associated heparin/heparan sulfate binding protein found in cytotrophoblast, but not many other cell types of the fetal-maternal interface. Furthermore, p24 colocalizes with HSPGs in regions of cytotrophoblast invasion. These observations are consistent with a role for HSPGs and HSPG binding proteins in human trophoblast-uterine cell interactions.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Cellular biology|Obstetrics|Gynecology

Recommended Citation

Rohde, Larry Herman, "Involvement of heparin-like glycosaminoglycans and expression of a novel heparan sulfate binding protein (p24) during human placentation and in a model for human implantation" (1995). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9532509.