Our overall objective is to understand how the formation of differentiated trophoblast phenotypes is orchestrated in trophoblast progenitor cells.
Successful pregnancy outcome in human and non-human primates is largely dependent on the activity of different kinds of placental trophoblast cells, all of which are derived from the trophectoderm layer of the blastocyst. Invasive (extravillous) trophoblasts migrate into uterine tissue and penetrate superficial uterine blood vessel endothelium. Non-invasive (villous) cytotrophoblasts fuse and form syncytiotrophoblast which forms the outer layer of the villous placenta. Disruption of trophoblast differentiation and trophoblast invasion are implicated as a cause of preeclampsia and other disorders of pregnancy. We have found that the mucin, MUC1, is expressed by trophoblasts and are currently investigating its role in regulating trophoblast invasion.
2009 Douglas GC, VandeVoort CA, Kumar P, Chang TC and Golos TG. Trophoblast stem cells: models for investigating trophectoderm differentiation and placental development. Endocr Rev.;30(3):228-40.
2011 Morgan JT, Pfeiffer ER, Thirkill TL, Kumar P, Peng G, Fridolfsson HN, Douglas GC, Starr DA and Barakat AI. Nesprin-3 regulates endothelial cell morphology, perinuclear cytoskeletal architecture, and flow-induced polarization. Mol Biol Cell.;22(22):4324-34.
2012 Kumar P, Lindberg L, Thirkill TL, Ji JW, Martsching L and Douglas GC. The MUC1 extracellular domain subunit is found in nuclear speckles and associates with spliceosomes. PLoS One.;7(8):e42712.