Developmental expression of cathepsin L and c-rasHa in the mouse placenta


Publication Type:

Journal Article


Molecular reproduction and development, Volume 30, Number 4, p.285-92 (1991)


1040-452X (Print)<br/>1040-452X (Linking)

Accession Number:



*Endopeptidases, Animals, Blotting, Northern, Blotting, Western, Cathepsin L, Cathepsins/*biosynthesis/genetics/secretion, Cell Division, Cell Transformation, Neoplastic, Cysteine Endopeptidases/*biosynthesis/genetics/secretion, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Genes, ras, Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases/metabolism, Immunoblotting, Immunohistochemistry, Kidney/metabolism, Liver/metabolism, Mice, Placenta/*metabolism/secretion, Precipitin Tests, Pregnancy, Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)/*biosynthesis/genetics/metabolism, Time Factors


<p>An investigation is described of the expression of the cysteine proteinase cathepsin L during placental development. In addition, whether cathepsin L expression is linked to c-rasHa expression in development, as it is in metastatic cells, is examined. Large amounts of cathepsin L and its transcript are present in the mouse placenta, more than six times more than in adult kidney and liver. Throughout gestation, cathepsin L and its transcript are located in the giant cells and spongiotrophoblasts of the placenta. Several forms of different mobility on denaturing gels are found in the placenta. Their apparent molecular weights, as determined from the gels, are 43,000, 39,000, 29,000, and 20,000. The 39-kDa form is procathepsin L. The 29-kDa and 20-kDa forms are lysosomal cathepsin Ls. The 39-kDa procathepsin L and the 20-kDa mature cathepsin L are the most abundant species in the placenta and are present in about equal amounts throughout gestation. At any time during gestation, placental minces synthesize and secrete only procathepsin L. The amniotic fluid of the fetus contains the 43-kDa form of cathepsin L and procathepsin L, but no detectable amounts of mature cathepsin L. By contrast, serum from nonpregnant or pregnant mice contains three forms of cathepsin L (i.e., the 43-kDa form, procathepsin L, and mature cathepsin L). Cathepsin L and the rasHa oncogene are expressed in two coincident waves corresponding to periods during which the placenta is invasive and just before parturition. The presence of large amounts of cathepsin L in the placenta suggests that the proteinase has a significant function there. Expression of cathepsin L in the placenta is potentially under the control of the ras gene product p21; both are under developmental control.</p>


Hamilton, R T<br/>Bruns, K A<br/>Delgado, M A<br/>Shim, J K<br/>Fang, Y<br/>Denhardt, D T<br/>Nilsen-Hamilton, M<br/>CA39256/CA/NCI NIH HHS/<br/>HD24990/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/<br/>Mol Reprod Dev. 1991 Dec;30(4):285-92.