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Obstet Gynecol Int. 2013;2013:807849. doi: 10.1155/2013/807849. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

The oncoplacental gene placenta-specific protein 1 is highly expressed in endometrial tumors and cell lines.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, 3234 MERF, 375 Newton Road, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Placenta-specific protein 1 (PLAC1) is a small secreted protein expressed exclusively in trophoblast cells in the mammalian placenta. PLAC1 is expressed early in gestation and is maintained throughout. It is thought to function in trophoblast invasion of the uterine epithelium and, subsequently, to anchor the placenta to the epithelium. In recent years, evidence has accumulated that PLAC1 is also expressed in a variety of human solid tumors, notably in breast cancers. We demonstrate for the first time that PLAC1 is ubiquitously expressed in tumors originating in uterine epithelium. Further, we find that PLAC1 expression is significantly higher in the more advanced, more aggressive endometrial serous adenocarcinomas and carcinosarcomas relative to endometrioid adenocarcinomas by more than 6-fold and 16-fold, respectively. We also show that PLAC1 is simultaneously transcribed from two promoters but that, in all cases, the more distal P1 promoter dominates the more proximal P2 promoter. While the function of the two PLAC1 promoters and their regulation are as yet unknown, overall expression data suggest that PLAC1 may serve as a biomarker for endometrial cancer as well as a potential prognostic indicator.

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