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

Expression and localization of menkes and Wilson copper transporting ATPases in human placenta.

Copper is an essential trace element necessary for normal growth and development. During pregnancy, copper is transported from the maternal circulation to the fetus by mechanisms which have not been clearly elucidated. Two copper transporting ATPases, Menkes (ATP7A; MNK) and Wilson (ATP7B; WND) are known to be expressed in the placenta and are thought to have a role in copper transport to the fetus. In this study, the expression and localization of the MNK and WND proteins in the human placenta were investigated in detail using immunoperoxidase and double-label immunohistochemistry. MNK and WND are differentially localized within the placenta. MNK is present in the syncytiotrophoblast, the cytotrophoblast and the fetal vascular endothelial cells whereas WND is only in the syncytiotrophoblast. Placental levels of both proteins, measured by Western blot analysis, did not change across pregnancy. These data offer some insights into possible roles for MNK and WND within the placenta.[1]


  1. Expression and localization of menkes and Wilson copper transporting ATPases in human placenta. Hardman, B., Manuelpillai, U., Wallace, E.M., van de Waasenburg, S., Cater, M., Mercer, J.F., Ackland, M.L. Placenta (2004) [Pubmed]
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