Cadherins in the human placenta : epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and placental development

Kokkinos, M.I., Murthi, P., Wafai, R., Thompson, E.W., & Newgreen, D.F. (2010) Cadherins in the human placenta : epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and placental development. Placenta, 31(9), pp. 747-755.

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Abstract

Colonisation of the maternal uterine wall by the trophoblast involves a series of alterations in the behaviour and morphology of trophoblast cells. Villous cytotrophoblast cells change from a well-organised coherently layered phenotype to one that is extravillous, acquiring a proliferative, migratory and invasive capacity, to facilitate fetal-maternal interaction. These changes are similar to those of other developmental processes falling under the umbrella of an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Modulation of cell adhesion and cell polarity occurs through changes in cell-cell junctional molecules, such as the cadherins. The cadherins, particularly the classical cadherins (e.g. Epithelial-(E)-cadherin), and their link to adaptors called catenins at cell-cell contacts, are important for maintaining cell attachment and the layered phenotype of the villous cytotrophoblast. In contrast, reduced expression and re-organization of cadherins from these cell junctional regions promote a loosened connection between cells, coupled with reduced apico-basal polarity. Certain non-classical cadherins play an active role in cell migration processes. In addition to the classical cadherins, two other cadherins which have been reported in placental tissues are vascular endothelial (VE) cadherin and cadherin-11. Cadherin molecules are well placed to be key regulators of trophoblast cell behaviour, analogous to their role in other developmental EMTs. This review addresses cadherin expression and function in normal and diseased human placental tissues, especially in fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia where trophoblast invasion is reduced.

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ID Code: 72653
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Cited By (since 1996):22
Export Date: 6 May 2014
Source: Scopus
PubMed ID: 20659767
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Cadherin, Epithelial-mesenchymal transition, Invasion, Placenta, Trophoblast migration
DOI: 10.1016/j.placenta.2010.06.017
ISSN: 0143-4004
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 06 Jun 2014 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 22:58

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