Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Prominin-1 glycosylation changes throughout early pregnancy in uterine epithelial cells under the influence of maternal ovarian hormones

Samson N. Dowland A B , Romanthi J. Madawala A , Connie E. Poon A , Laura A. Lindsay A and Christopher R. Murphy A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Cell and Reproductive Biology Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences (Discipline of Anatomy and Histology) and The Bosch Institute, Room N364, F13 Anderson Stuart Building, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: sdowland@anatomy.usyd.edu.au

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(6) 1194-1208 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD15432
Submitted: 21 October 2015  Accepted: 17 March 2016   Published: 11 May 2016

Abstract

In preparation for uterine receptivity, the uterine epithelial cells (UECs) exhibit a loss of microvilli and glycocalyx and a restructuring of the actin cytoskeleton. The prominin-1 protein contains large, heavily glycosylated extracellular loops and is usually restricted to apical plasma membrane (APM) protrusions. The present study examined rat UECs during early pregnancy using immunofluorescence, western blotting and deglycosylation analyses. Ovariectomised rats were injected with oestrogen and progesterone to examine how these hormones affect prominin-1. At the time of fertilisation, prominin-1 was located diffusely in the apical domain of UECs and 147- and 120-kDa glycoforms of prominin-1 were identified, along with the 97-kDa core protein. At the time of implantation, prominin-1 concentrates towards the APM and densitometry revealed that the 120-kDa glycoform decreased (P < 0.05), but there was an increase in the 97-kDa core protein (P < 0.05). Progesterone treatment of ovariectomised rats resulted in prominin-1 becoming concentrated towards the APM. The 120-kDa glycoform was increased after oestrogen treatment (P < 0.0001), whereas the 97-kDa core protein was increased after progesterone treatment (P < 0.05). Endoglycosidase H analysis demonstrated that the 120-kDa glycoform is in the endoplasmic reticulum, undergoing protein synthesis. These results indicate that oestrogen stimulates prominin-1 production, whereas progesterone stimulates the deglycosylation and concentration of prominin-1 to the apical region of the UECs. This likely presents the deglycosylated extracellular loops of prominin-1 to the extracellular space, where they may interact with the implanting blastocyst.

Additional keywords: microvilli, uterine receptivity.


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