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Reprod Sci. 2013 Jan;20(1):69-77. doi: 10.1177/1933719112450335. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Isoform α of PKC may contribute to the maintenance of pregnancy myometrial quiescence in humans.

Author information

1
Unidad de Medicina Materno Fetal, División de Obstetricia y Ginecología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Abstract

We postulate that protein kinase C α (PKCα) may contribute to the maintenance of pregnancy myometrial quiescence in humans. We studied the changes in myometrial PKCα gene products (messenger RNA [mRNA] and protein) in 4 groups of women: preterm not in labor (PT-NL), preterm in labor (PT-L), term not in labor (T-NL), and term in labor (T-L). The degree of PKCα activation was studied by comparing the levels of particulate (active) PKCα with the total PKCα protein levels and by measuring PKCα activity in the cytosolic and particulate fractions. Protein kinase Cα abundance (mRNA and protein) did not increase during myometrial quiescence (PT-NL), whereas the level of PKCα activity significantly increased during quiescence. The activity of PKCα significantly decreased in the T-NL, T-L, and PT-L groups. These findings suggest that PKCα plays a significant role in the maintenance of myometrial quiescence and that PKCα activity must decrease at the end of pregnancy allowing myometrial activation. Additionally, our data demonstrate an association between reduced PKCα activity and preterm labor, which merits further investigation.

PMID:
22872490
DOI:
10.1177/1933719112450335
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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