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Loeb, Sanja; Vattai, Aurelia; Kuhn, Christina; Schmoeckel, Elisa; Mahner, Sven; Woeckel, Achim; Kolben, Thomas; Szekeres-Bartho, Julia; Jeschke, Udo and Vilsmaier, Theresa (2020): Spliceosome protein EFTUD2 is upregulated in the trophoblast of spontaneous miscarriage and hydatidiform mole. In: Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Vol. 140, 103149

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Background: Elongation factor Tu GTP binding domain containing 2 (EFTUD2) is an alternative splicing factor that modulates cell differentiation and activation processes. EFTUD2 is known to modulate immune responses and mutation of the EFTUD2-gene lead to fetal malformation. Little is known about its expression and role in normal and disturbed first trimester pregnancy. Patients and methods: We investigated the expression of EFTUD2 in placental tissue obtained from patients with normal (n = 14), spontaneous miscarriage (n = 15) and molar (n = 14) pregnancy by immunohistochemistry. The expression of EFTUD2 was correlated on the protein level with known immune modulatory proteins like pregnancy zone protein (PZP) and in addition with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Furthermore, we analysed the EFTUD2 and PZP expression in vitro after stimulation of the chorioncarcinoma cell line JEG-3 with hCG. Results: EFTUD2 is significantly upregulated in the syncytiotrophoblast of spontaneous miscarriage (p = 0.003) and molar pregnancy (p = 0.003) compared to week of gestation-adjusted normal first trimester placentas. PZP is negatively correlated (p = 0.021) to EFTUD2 in the syncytiotrophoblast and is therefore significantly downregulated in miscarriage (p = 0.028) and mole pregnancy (p = 0.006). In addition, hCG is positively correlated to EFTUD2 in mole pregnancy. The addition of hCG to chorioncarcinoma cell lines JEG-3 in vitro stimulated EFTUD2 expression in these cells (p = 0.027). Conclusion: Regulation of alternative splicing seems crucial for a successful ongoing pregnancy. The up-regulated elongation factor EFTUD2 may have a critical role in miscarriage.

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