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

Markers of protein synthesis are increased in fetal membranes and myometrium after human labour and delivery

Stella Liong A B and Martha Lappas A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Mercy Perinatal Research Centre, Mercy Hospital for Women, 4th Floor, 163 Studley Road, Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia.

B Obstetrics, Nutrition and Endocrinology Group, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Melbourne, Vic. 3084, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: mlappas@unimelb.edu.au

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD17081
Submitted: 11 May 2016  Accepted: 12 June 2017   Published online: 13 July 2017

Abstract

Preterm birth remains one of the leading causes of neonatal death. Inflammation and maternal infection are two of the leading aetiological factors for preterm birth. Labour is associated with increased production of proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines and prolabour mediators in human gestational tissues. In non-gestational tissues, synthesis of proinflammatory and prolabour mediators is regulated by components of the protein synthesis machinery. Therefore, in the present study we investigated the effect of human labour on the expression of three protein synthesis markers, namely eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (EEF2K), mitogen-activated protein kinase interacting protein kinase 1 (MKNK1) and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (EIF4E), and their role in regulating inflammation in human gestational tissues. In fetal membranes and myometrium, EEF2K expression was significantly lower, whereas MKNK1 expression was significantly higher withterm and preterm labourcompared to term nolabour. In contrast, EIF4E expression did not change in fetal membranes or myometrium with labour. In primary myometrial cells, loss-of-function studies using specific chemical inhibitors of EEF2K (A484954) and MKNK1 (CGP57380) demonstrated that MKNK1, but not EEF2K, was required for polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C); a viral double-stranded RNA mimetic) and interleukin (IL)-1β-induced production of IL6, C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 8 (CXCL8), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2) and prostaglandin F. In conclusion, spontaneous term and preterm labour is associated with decreased EEF2K and increased MKNK1 expression in fetal membranes and myometrium. Moreover, MKNK1 is involved in the genesis of proinflammatory and prolabour mediators that is mediated by inflammation or infection. However, further studies are required to elucidate the role of EEF2K in human labour.

Additional keywords: eukaryotic elongation factor 2 kinase (EEF2K), inflammation, mitogen-activated protein kinase interacting protein kinase 1 (MKNK1).


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