Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Jul;27(14):5201-13. Epub 2007 May 14.

Transcriptional repressor erf determines extraembryonic ectoderm differentiation.

Author information

  • 1Medical School, University of Crete, Voutes, Heraklion, Crete 710 03, Greece.


Extraembryonic ectoderm differentiation and chorioallantoic attachment are fibroblast growth factor (FGF)- and transforming growth factor beta-regulated processes that are the first steps in the development of the placenta labyrinth and the establishment of the fetal-maternal circulation in the developing embryo. Only a small number of genes have been demonstrated to be important in trophoblast stem cell differentiation. Erf is a ubiquitously expressed Erk-regulated, ets domain transcriptional repressor expressed throughout embryonic development and adulthood. However, in the developing placenta, after 7.5 days postcoitum (dpc) its expression is restricted to the extraembryonic ectoderm, and its expression is restricted after 9.5 dpc in a subpopulation of labyrinth cells. Homozygous deletion of Erf in mice leads to a block of chorionic cell differentiation before chorioallantoic attachment, resulting in a persisting chorion layer, a persisting ectoplacental cone cavity, failure of chorioallantoic attachment, and absence of labyrinth. These defects result in embryo death by 10.5 dpc. Trophoblast stem cell lines derived from Erf(dl1/dl1) knockout blastocysts exhibit delayed differentiation and decreased expression of spongiotrophoblast markers, consistent with the persisting chorion layer, the expanded giant cell layer, and the diminished spongiotrophoblast layer observed in vivo. Our data suggest that attenuation of FGF/Erk signaling and consecutive Erf nuclear localization and function is required for extraembryonic ectoderm differentiation, ectoplacental cone cavity closure, and chorioallantoic attachment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center