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Biochemistry - Diabetes and Endocrinology - Immunology - Obstetrics

Altered Protein Expression in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Placentas Provides Insight into Insulin Resistance and Coagulation/Fibrinolysis Pathways
Published: Friday, September 07, 2012
Author: Bin Liu et al.

by Bin Liu, Yun Xu, Courtney Voss, Fang-hua Qiu, Ming-zhe Zhao, Yong-dong Liu, Jing Nie, Zi-lian Wang


To investigate the placental proteome differences between pregnant women complicated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and those with normal glucose tolerance (NGT).


We used two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) to separate and compare placental protein levels from GDM and NGT groups. Differentially expressed proteins between the two groups were identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry and further confirmed by Western blotting. The mRNA levels of related proteins were measured by realtime RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to examine the cellular location of the proteins expressed in placenta villi.


Twenty-one protein spots were differentially expressed between GDM and NGT placenta villi in the tested samples, fifteen of which were successfully identified by mass spectrometry. The molecular functions of these differentially expressed proteins include blood coagulation, signal transduction, anti-apoptosis, ATP binding, phospholipid binding, calcium ion binding, platelet activation, and tryptophan-tRNA ligase activity. Both protein and mRNA levels of Annexin A2, Annexin A5 and 14-3-3 protein ?/d were up-regulated, while the expression of the Ras-related protein Rap1A was down-regulated in the GDM placenta group.


Placenta villi derived from GDM pregnant women exhibit significant proteome differences compared to those of NGT mothers. The identified differentially expressed proteins are mainly associated with the development of insulin resistance, transplacental transportation of glucose, hyperglucose-mediated coagulation and fibrinolysis disorders in the GDM placenta villi.