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Mol Hum Reprod. 2004 Jun;10(6):399-407. Epub 2004 Mar 25.

Cyr61, a deregulated gene in endometriosis.

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Institute of Anatomy, University Hospital, 45122 Essen, Germany.


Gene expression profiling was performed to identify genes involved in the development of endometriosis. In the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle, several estrogen-regulated genes were up-regulated in endometria of women with endometriosis. The most consistent regulation with one of the highest factors was observed for the Cyr61 gene, which codes for a secreted, cysteine-rich, heparin-binding protein that promotes cell adhesion, migration, and neovascularization. Estrogen responsiveness of endometrial Cyr61 expression was suggested by the higher expression during the proliferative phase and the reduction observed in human endometrial fragments grafted into nude mice subsequently treated with an anti-estrogen. The expression level of Cyr61 was found to be further increased in ectopic endometriotic lesions, as compared to eutopic endometria. In these lesions, an imbalance in expression of the estrogen-converting enzymes 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and 2 was found, which might explain the elevated Cyr61 level. However, Cyr61 expression was not altered in endometriotic lesions of women treated with a GnRH agonist. These results suggest that Cyr61 may represent a gene characteristic for endometriosis and also play an important role in the development and persistence of endometriotic lesions.

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