Synthesis of human placental lactogen messenger RNA as a function of gestation

I. Boime, D. McWilliams, E. Szczesna, M. Camel

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It was shown previously that 4 to 5 times more human placental lactogen (hPL) was synthesized in cell free extracts from term placentae than in comparable extracts prepared from first trimester tissue. In an attempt to define what accounts for this differential rate of synthesis RNA was prepared from first trimester and term placentae. Following purification through an oligo(dT) cellulose column, these RNA preparations were tested for their ability to direct the synthesis of the hPL precursor in the wheat germ cell free system. With similar amounts of first trimester and term mRNA, the overall efficiency as defined by the stimulation of total amino acid incorporation was comparable. However, there was approximately 4 times more hPL synthesized in the presence of term RNA. This was assessed by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and tryptic fingerprinting. The peak of the hPL precursor messenger activity sedimented at 12 to 13 S on sucrose gradient. Analysis of the RNA by formamide polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis further supported this value. The data indicate that the increased synthesis of hPL at term reflects greater levels of hPL mRNA in term tissue than in first trimester tissue. The data also show that the overall in vivo levels of hPL can be correlated not only with the increase in placental syncytial mass during pregnancy but also in the greater proportion of hPL synthesized per g of tissue. The latter results from the continual differentiation of the placenta occurring throughout gestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-825
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1976


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