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Reprod Biomed Online. 2012 Jul;25(1):12-20. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2012.02.015. Epub 2012 Mar 3.

The role of transcription factor Tcfap2c/TFAP2C in trophectoderm development.

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Institute of Pathology, Department of Developmental Pathology, University of Bonn, Germany.


In recent years, knowledge regarding the genetic and epigenetic programmes governing specification, maintenance and differentiation of the extraembryonic lineage has advanced substantially. Establishment and analysis of mice deficient in genes implicated in trophoblast lineage and the option to generate and manipulate murine stem cell lines from the inner cell mass and the trophectoderm in vitro represent major advances. The activating enhancer binding protein 2 (AP2) family of transcription factors is expressed during mammalian development and in certain malignant diseases. This article summarizes the data regarding expression and function of murine Tcfap2 and human TFAP2 in extraembryonic development and differentiation. It also presents a model integrating Tcfap2c into the framework of trophoblast development and highlights the requirement of Tcfap2c to maintain trophoblast stem cells. With regard to human trophoblast cell-lineage restriction, the role of TFAP2C in lineage specification and maintenance is speculated upon. Furthermore, an overview of target genes of AP2 in mouse and human affecting placenta development and function is provided and the evidence suggesting that defects in regulating TFAP2 members might contribute to placental defects is discussed.

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