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Dev Biol. 1997 Apr 1;184(1):38-47.

Expression of heparan sulfate proteoglycan (perlecan) in the mouse blastocyst is regulated during normal and delayed implantation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Previous studies have shown that expression of the heparan sulfate proteoglycan, perlecan, on the external trophectodermal cell surfaces of mouse blastocysts increases during acquisition of attachment competence. However, it is not clear if this change in perlecan protein expression also is reflected at the level of perlecan mRNA expression. In the present investigation, the spatial and temporal patterns of perlecan mRNA expression in the mouse embryo during the periimplantation period were examined by in situ hybridization and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. In addition, a delayed implantation model was used to determine the expression of perlecan mRNA and protein in dormant and estrogen-activated hatched blastocysts. The results demonstrate that perlecan mRNA expression is low in morulae, but increases in Day 4 blastocysts, attaining maximal expression in Day 4.5 attachment-competent blastocysts. In contrast, perlecan mRNA is detected in both the dormant and estrogen-activated delayed blastocysts; however, within 12 hr of blastocyst activation by estrogen, both perlecan protein and heparan sulfate chain expression markedly increase. Taken together, these results suggest that during normal development perlecan mRNA expression increases with the acquisition of attachment competence. Moreover, perlecan protein expression also is attenuated during delayed implantation and appears to increase in response to nidatory estrogen, perhaps via the increased translation of preexisting perlecan mRNA.

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