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Mol Hum Reprod. 2002 Jun;8(6):552-8.

Coexpression of growth arrest-specific gene 6 and receptor tyrosine kinases, Axl and Sky, in human uterine endometrium and ovarian endometriosis.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gifu University School of Medicine, Tsukasamachi-40, Gifu City, 500-8705, Japan.


We demonstrated the expression of Gas6, the protein product of the growth arrest-specific gene 6 (gas6) and a member of the vitamin K-dependent protein family, and its receptor tyrosine kinases, Axl and Sky, in human uterine and ovarian endometriotic endometria using RT-PCR-Southern blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. Gas6, Axl and Sky mRNA were detected in all samples analysed. There was no significant difference between the levels of Sky mRNA in normal uterine and endometriotic endometria; however, the levels of Gas6 and Axl mRNA in endometriotic endometria were significantly higher than in normal endometria. These mRNA levels showed no significant alteration during the menstrual cycle. In the immunohistochemical study, Gas6, Axl and Sky were found in endometrial glandular cells and stromal cells in all samples analysed. This study demonstrates the coexpression of receptor tyrosine kinases and their ligand, Gas6, in normal uterine and ovarian endometriotic endometria, and the overexpression of Axl and Gas6 in endometriotic endometria. It is suggested that Gas6 and Axl signal transduction is aberrantly stimulated in endometriotic endometria, and is plausibly related to its growth potential.

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