Disturbed Placental Imprinting in Preeclampsia Leads to Altered Expression of DLX5, a Human-Specific Early Trophoblast Marker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background—Preeclampsia (PE) is a complex and common human-specific pregnancy syndrome associated with placental pathology. The human-specificity provides both intellectual and methodological challenges, lacking a robust model system. Given the role of imprinted genes in human placentation and the vulnerability of imprinted genes to loss of imprinting changes, there has been extensive speculation, but no robust evidence, that imprinted genes are involved in PE. Our study aims at investigating whether disturbed imprinting contributes to PE.

Methods—We first aimed at confirming that PE is a disease of the placenta by generating and analysing genome-wide molecular data on well-characterized patient material. We performed high-throughput transcriptome analyses of multiple placenta samples from normal and PE patients. Next, we identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in PE placenta, and intersected them with the list of human imprinted genes. We employed bioinformatics/statistical analyses to confirm association between imprinting and PE, and to predict biological processes affected in PE. Validation included epigenetic and cellular assays. Regarding human-specificity, we established an in vitro invasion-differentiation trophoblast model. Our comparative phylogenetic analysis involved single-cell transcriptome data of human, macaque and mouse preimplantation embryogenesis.

Results—We found disturbed placental imprinting in PE and revealed potential candidates, including GATA3 and DLX5, with poorly explored imprinted status and no prior association with PE. Due to loss of imprinting DLX5 was upregulated in 69% of PE placentas. Levels of DLX5 correlated with classical PE marker. DLX5 is expressed in human, but not in murine trophoblast. The DLX5high phenotype resulted in reduced proliferation, increased metabolism and ER stress-response activation in trophoblasts in vitro. The transcriptional profile of such cells mimics the transcriptome of PE placentas. Pan-mammalian comparative analysis identified DLX5 as a part of the human-specific regulatory network of trophoblast differentiation.

Conclusions—Our analysis provides evidence of a true association between disturbed imprinting, gene expression and PE. Due to disturbed imprinting, the upregulated DLX5 affects trophoblast proliferation. Our in vitro model might fill a vital niche in PE research. Human-specific regulatory circuitry of DLX5 might help to explain certain aspects of PE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1824-1839
Number of pages16
JournalCirculation
Volume136
Issue number19
Early online date13 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2017

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Trophoblasts
Pre-Eclampsia
Placenta
Genes
Transcriptome
Placenta Diseases
Single-Cell Analysis
Biological Phenomena
Placentation
Macaca
Gene Expression Profiling
Computational Biology
Epigenomics
Embryonic Development

Cite this

Disturbed Placental Imprinting in Preeclampsia Leads to Altered Expression of DLX5, a Human-Specific Early Trophoblast Marker. / Hurst, Laurence.

In: Circulation, Vol. 136, No. 19, 07.11.2017, p. 1824-1839.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Disturbed Placental Imprinting in Preeclampsia Leads to Altered Expression of DLX5, a Human-Specific Early Trophoblast Marker",
abstract = "Background—Preeclampsia (PE) is a complex and common human-specific pregnancy syndrome associated with placental pathology. The human-specificity provides both intellectual and methodological challenges, lacking a robust model system. Given the role of imprinted genes in human placentation and the vulnerability of imprinted genes to loss of imprinting changes, there has been extensive speculation, but no robust evidence, that imprinted genes are involved in PE. Our study aims at investigating whether disturbed imprinting contributes to PE.Methods—We first aimed at confirming that PE is a disease of the placenta by generating and analysing genome-wide molecular data on well-characterized patient material. We performed high-throughput transcriptome analyses of multiple placenta samples from normal and PE patients. Next, we identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in PE placenta, and intersected them with the list of human imprinted genes. We employed bioinformatics/statistical analyses to confirm association between imprinting and PE, and to predict biological processes affected in PE. Validation included epigenetic and cellular assays. Regarding human-specificity, we established an in vitro invasion-differentiation trophoblast model. Our comparative phylogenetic analysis involved single-cell transcriptome data of human, macaque and mouse preimplantation embryogenesis.Results—We found disturbed placental imprinting in PE and revealed potential candidates, including GATA3 and DLX5, with poorly explored imprinted status and no prior association with PE. Due to loss of imprinting DLX5 was upregulated in 69{\%} of PE placentas. Levels of DLX5 correlated with classical PE marker. DLX5 is expressed in human, but not in murine trophoblast. The DLX5high phenotype resulted in reduced proliferation, increased metabolism and ER stress-response activation in trophoblasts in vitro. The transcriptional profile of such cells mimics the transcriptome of PE placentas. Pan-mammalian comparative analysis identified DLX5 as a part of the human-specific regulatory network of trophoblast differentiation.Conclusions—Our analysis provides evidence of a true association between disturbed imprinting, gene expression and PE. Due to disturbed imprinting, the upregulated DLX5 affects trophoblast proliferation. Our in vitro model might fill a vital niche in PE research. Human-specific regulatory circuitry of DLX5 might help to explain certain aspects of PE.",
author = "Laurence Hurst",
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N2 - Background—Preeclampsia (PE) is a complex and common human-specific pregnancy syndrome associated with placental pathology. The human-specificity provides both intellectual and methodological challenges, lacking a robust model system. Given the role of imprinted genes in human placentation and the vulnerability of imprinted genes to loss of imprinting changes, there has been extensive speculation, but no robust evidence, that imprinted genes are involved in PE. Our study aims at investigating whether disturbed imprinting contributes to PE.Methods—We first aimed at confirming that PE is a disease of the placenta by generating and analysing genome-wide molecular data on well-characterized patient material. We performed high-throughput transcriptome analyses of multiple placenta samples from normal and PE patients. Next, we identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in PE placenta, and intersected them with the list of human imprinted genes. We employed bioinformatics/statistical analyses to confirm association between imprinting and PE, and to predict biological processes affected in PE. Validation included epigenetic and cellular assays. Regarding human-specificity, we established an in vitro invasion-differentiation trophoblast model. Our comparative phylogenetic analysis involved single-cell transcriptome data of human, macaque and mouse preimplantation embryogenesis.Results—We found disturbed placental imprinting in PE and revealed potential candidates, including GATA3 and DLX5, with poorly explored imprinted status and no prior association with PE. Due to loss of imprinting DLX5 was upregulated in 69% of PE placentas. Levels of DLX5 correlated with classical PE marker. DLX5 is expressed in human, but not in murine trophoblast. The DLX5high phenotype resulted in reduced proliferation, increased metabolism and ER stress-response activation in trophoblasts in vitro. The transcriptional profile of such cells mimics the transcriptome of PE placentas. Pan-mammalian comparative analysis identified DLX5 as a part of the human-specific regulatory network of trophoblast differentiation.Conclusions—Our analysis provides evidence of a true association between disturbed imprinting, gene expression and PE. Due to disturbed imprinting, the upregulated DLX5 affects trophoblast proliferation. Our in vitro model might fill a vital niche in PE research. Human-specific regulatory circuitry of DLX5 might help to explain certain aspects of PE.

AB - Background—Preeclampsia (PE) is a complex and common human-specific pregnancy syndrome associated with placental pathology. The human-specificity provides both intellectual and methodological challenges, lacking a robust model system. Given the role of imprinted genes in human placentation and the vulnerability of imprinted genes to loss of imprinting changes, there has been extensive speculation, but no robust evidence, that imprinted genes are involved in PE. Our study aims at investigating whether disturbed imprinting contributes to PE.Methods—We first aimed at confirming that PE is a disease of the placenta by generating and analysing genome-wide molecular data on well-characterized patient material. We performed high-throughput transcriptome analyses of multiple placenta samples from normal and PE patients. Next, we identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in PE placenta, and intersected them with the list of human imprinted genes. We employed bioinformatics/statistical analyses to confirm association between imprinting and PE, and to predict biological processes affected in PE. Validation included epigenetic and cellular assays. Regarding human-specificity, we established an in vitro invasion-differentiation trophoblast model. Our comparative phylogenetic analysis involved single-cell transcriptome data of human, macaque and mouse preimplantation embryogenesis.Results—We found disturbed placental imprinting in PE and revealed potential candidates, including GATA3 and DLX5, with poorly explored imprinted status and no prior association with PE. Due to loss of imprinting DLX5 was upregulated in 69% of PE placentas. Levels of DLX5 correlated with classical PE marker. DLX5 is expressed in human, but not in murine trophoblast. The DLX5high phenotype resulted in reduced proliferation, increased metabolism and ER stress-response activation in trophoblasts in vitro. The transcriptional profile of such cells mimics the transcriptome of PE placentas. Pan-mammalian comparative analysis identified DLX5 as a part of the human-specific regulatory network of trophoblast differentiation.Conclusions—Our analysis provides evidence of a true association between disturbed imprinting, gene expression and PE. Due to disturbed imprinting, the upregulated DLX5 affects trophoblast proliferation. Our in vitro model might fill a vital niche in PE research. Human-specific regulatory circuitry of DLX5 might help to explain certain aspects of PE.

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DO - 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.028110

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VL - 136

SP - 1824

EP - 1839

JO - Circulation

JF - Circulation

SN - 0009-7322

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