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Mol Reprod Dev. 2007 Jul;74(7):922-9.

The PLAC1 protein localizes to membranous compartments in the apical region of the syncytiotrophoblast.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


PLAC1 is a trophoblast-specific gene that maps to a locus on the X-chromosome important to placental development. We have previously shown that PLAC1 gene expression is linked to trophoblast differentiation. The objective of this study was to define the localization of the PLAC1 polypeptide as a prerequisite to understanding its function. Polyclonal antibodies specific for the putative PLAC1 polypeptide were generated. The subcellular localization of PLAC1 in the trophoblast was examined by immunohistochemical analysis of human placenta complemented by immunoblot analysis of subcellular fractions. Brightfield immunohistochemical analysis of placental tissue indicated that the PLAC1 protein localizes to the differentiated syncytiotrophoblast in the apical region of the cell. Deconvlution immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed localization to the apical region of the syncytiotrophoblast. Its distribution included both intracellular compartments as well as loci in close association with the maternal-facing, microvillous brush border membrane (MVM). These findings were supported by immunoblot analysis of subcellular fractions. A 30 kDa band was associated with the microsomal fraction of placental lysates but not the mitochondrial, nuclear, or soluble fractions, suggesting PLAC1 is targeted to a membrane location. Plasma membranes were obtained from the fetal-facing, basal surface (BM) and the maternal-facing, MVM of the syncytiotrophoblast membrane. PLAC1 immunoreactivity was only detected in membrane fractions derived from the apical MVM consistent with immunohistochemical analyses. These data demonstrate that the PLAC1 protein is restricted primarily to the differentiated trophoblast, localizing to intracellular membranous compartment(s) in the apical region of the syncytiotrophoblast and associated with its apical, microvillous membrane surface.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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