Document Detail

Fusion assays and models for the trophoblast.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18979255     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A healthy syncytium in the placenta is vital to a successful pregnancy. The trophoblast builds up the natural barrier between the mother and the developing fetus and is the site of gas, nutrition, and waste exchange. An inadequate formation of this tissue leads to several pathologies of pregnancy, which may result in fetal death during the second trimester or iatrogenic preterm delivery due to intrauterine growth restriction, preeclampsia, or abruption.Cytotrophoblastic cells fuse constantly with the overlying syncytiotrophoblast/syncytium to maintain the function of the trophoblast. Syncytin-1 is the only molecule known to directly induce fusion in the placental trophoblast. Many other proteins, such as gap junctions (e.g., connexin 40) and transcription factors, play a role in the molecular pathways directing the trophoblast turn over. Despite the significance of this process for successful placentation, the mechanisms regulating its activity remain poorly understood.In this chapter we present several different model systems that can be utilized to investigate the regulation of the cell fusion process in the trophoblast. We describe cell-based assays as well as tissue-related protocols. We show how fusion can be monitored in (1) BeWo cells as a trophoblast cell line model, (2) HEK239 using syncytin-1 as a fusion molecule, and (3) a floating villi explant model. Furthermore, we will present strategies to inhibit fusion in the different models. These techniques represent powerful tools to study the molecular mediators of cell fusion in the trophoblast.
Sascha Drewlo; Dora Baczyk; Caroline Dunk; John Kingdom
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)     Volume:  475     ISSN:  1064-3745     ISO Abbreviation:  Methods Mol. Biol.     Publication Date:  2008  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-11-03     Completed Date:  2008-11-24     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9214969     Medline TA:  Methods Mol Biol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  363-82     Citation Subset:  IM    
Womens and Infants Health, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Biological Assay / methods*
Cell Fusion / methods*
Cell Line
Cell Membrane / metabolism
Gene Products, env / metabolism
Models, Biological*
Plasmids / genetics
Pregnancy Proteins / metabolism
Trophoblasts / cytology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Gene Products, env; 0/Pregnancy Proteins; 0/syncytin

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