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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of the imprinted genes MEST/ Mest in human and murine placenta suggests a role in angiogenesis.

In the mouse fetus, Mest is widely expressed in mesoderm derived tissues. In separate studies in mice and in humans, it has been shown to be maternally imprinted, that is, only the paternally inherited allele is active. Here, we show that starting with implantation, Mest is also expressed in maternal decidua of the mouse and in placenta of both humans and mice. Expression in murine decidua was restricted to endothelial cells. After Day 7, expression in the decidua gradually decreased. Mest-specific RT-PCR and restriction fragment length variant (RFLV) analysis of decidualized endometrium isolated from (M. musculus x M. spretus)F1 females showed that only the paternally derived Mest allele was activated in the decidual endothelium. In the mouse extraembryonic tissues, Mest transcripts were detected in derivatives of extraembryonic mesoderm only. Here, hemangioblast precursor cells and endothelial cells were positive. At all developmental stages of the mouse, trophoblast-derived cells were clearly devoid of Mest transcripts. In the human placenta MEST transcripts were also detected in hemangioblast precursor cells, however, MEST was also expressed in villous and invasive cytotrophoblast. In a human choriocarcinoma/trophoblastic tumour grown in a nude mouse, human MEST was expressed in the tumour cells, whereas murine Mest was expressed in endothelia of the murine capillaries. The expression pattern exhibited by both Mest and MEST in extraembryonic tissues during development and during formation of choriocarcinoma/trophoblast tumour suggests a functional role of the MEST proteins related to oncofetal angiogenesis. Dev Dyn 2000;217:1-10.[1]


  1. Expression of the imprinted genes MEST/Mest in human and murine placenta suggests a role in angiogenesis. Mayer, W., Hemberger, M., Frank, H.G., Grümmer, R., Winterhager, E., Kaufmann, P., Fundele, R. Dev. Dyn. (2000) [Pubmed]
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