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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Obstetrics - Physiology - Women's Health

Galectin-1 Is Part of Human Trophoblast Invasion Machinery - A Functional Study In Vitro
Published: Thursday, December 08, 2011
Author: Nikola Kolundžic et al.

by Nikola Kolundžic, Žanka Bojic-Trbojevic, Tamara Kovacevic, Ivana Stefanoska, Toshihiko Kadoya, Ljiljana Vicovac


Interactions of glycoconjugates with endogenous galectins, have been long proposed to participate in several reproductive processes including implantation. In human placenta gal-1, gal-3, gal-8, and gal-13 proteins are known to be present. Each of them has been proposed to play multiple functions, but so far no clear picture has emerged. We hypothesized that gal-1 participates in trophoblast invasion, and conducted Matrigel invasion assay using isolated cytotrophoblast from first trimester placenta and HTR-8/SVneo cell line to test it.

Methods and Findings

Function blocking anti-gal-1 antibody was employed to assess participation of endogenous gal-1 in cell adhesion, cell invasion of HTR-8/SVneo cells. When gal-1 was blocked in isolated trophoblast cell invasion was reduced to 75% of control (SEM±6.3, P<0.001) and to 66% of control (SEM±1.7, P<0.001) in HTR-8/SVneo cell line. Increased availability of gal-1, as two molecular forms of recombinant human gal-1 (CS-gal-1 and Ox-gal-1), resulted in increased cell invasion by cytotrophoblast to 151% (SEM±16, P<0.01) with 1 ng/ml of CS-gal-1, and to 192% (SEM±51, P<0.05) with 1 µg/ml of Ox-gal-1. Stimulation was also observed in HTR-8/SVneo cells, to 317% (SEM±58, P<0.001) by CS-gal-1, and to 200% (SEM±24, P<0.001) by Ox-gal-1 at 1 µg/ml. Both sets of results confirmed involvement of gal-1 in trophoblast invasion. Galectin profile of isolated cytotrophoblast and HTR-8/SVneo cells was established using RT-PCR and real-time PCR and found to consist of gal-1, gal-3 and gal-8 for both cell types. Only gal-1 was located at the trophoblast cell membrane, as determined by FACS analysis, which is consistent with the results of the functional tests.

Conclusion and Significance

These findings qualify gal-1 as a member of human trophoblast cell invasion machinery.