EG-VEGF Induces Invasion of a Human Trophoblast Cell Line via PROKR2

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Extravillous trophoblast (EVT) invasion is important for embryo implantation, placental development, and successful remodeling of the uterine spiral artery. Endocrine gland derived-vascular endothelial growth factor (EG-VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are implicated in EVT invasion; however, the high concentrations found in pregnancy pathologies have not been investigated in non-tumor trophoblasts. The roles of EG-VEGF, prokineticin receptors (PROKR1/2), MMP-2, and MMP-9 in EVT invasion during spiral artery remodeling were evaluated using human EVT from HTR-8/SVneo cell lines. The expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and Akt pathways in HTR-8/SVneo cells treated with recombinant EG-VEGF alongside anti-PROKR1 and/or anti-PROKR2 antibodies was evaluated using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and western blotting. Wound-healing and cell invasion assays were performed to assess the migration and invasion of these treated cells. Interestingly, 20 nM EG-VEGF activated ERK1/2 signaling and upregulated MMP-2 and MMP-9. This effect was suppressed by anti-PROKR2 antibody via ERK1/2 downregulation. Anti-PROKR2 antibody inhibited the migration and invasion of EG-VEGF-stimulated HTR-8/SVneo cells. Elevated concentrations of EG-VEGF enhance EVT invasion in a human trophoblast cell line by upregulating MMP-2 and MMP-9 via PROKR2. These new insights into the regulation of epithelial cell invasion may help in developing therapeutic interventions for placental-related diseases during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-684
Number of pages18
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Endocrine gland-derived vascular endothelial growth factor
  • Extravillous trophoblast
  • Matrix metalloproteinase
  • Obstetric diseases
  • Prokineticin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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