Laeverin/aminopeptidase Q induces trophoblast invasion during human early placentation

Akihito Horie, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Yukiyasu Sato, Koh Suginami, Hisanori Matsumoto, Masato Maruyama, Ikuo Konishi, Akira Hattori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background In primate placenta, extravillous trophoblast (EVT) invades maternal tissue in temporally-and spatially-regulated fashions. We previously identified a novel placenta-specific cell-surface aminopeptidase, laeverin/aminopeptidase Q, which is expressed on EVT-lineage cells in the fetal membrane. Laeverin possesses a peptide-binding site that is evolutionally unique to primates, suggesting possible involvement of laeverin in a primate-specific phenomenon during placentation. Thus, this study was designed to elucidate the molecular characteristics and physiological roles of laeverin in human EVT. Methods Placental tissues of various developmental stages were subjected to immunostaining and western blotting. Effects of siRNA and a soluble form of recombinant laeverin on EVT cells isolated from primary villous explant cultures were examined using Matrigel invasion assays and cell proliferation assays. Results Laeverin was specifically immunolocalized to HLA-G-positive EVT in placentas from early and term pregnancy. In primary villous explant cultures, laeverin expression was induced on the cell surface of the outgrowing EVT. In western blotting, laeverin protein was detected as two distinct bands at 130 and 160 kDa along with a broad band ranging from 200 to 270 kDa. De-glycosylation treatment showed that these native laeverin isotypes are N-linked glycoproteins sharing a common 115-kDa core protein. In invasion assays, the reduction of laeverin expression by siRNA suppressed migration of the isolated EVT, while the soluble form of recombinant laeverin enhanced its migration. Conclusions Laeverin is a specific cell-surface marker for human EVT and plays a regulatory role in EVT migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1267-1276
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Differentiation
  • Extravillous trophoblast
  • Glycosylation
  • Isotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Laeverin/aminopeptidase Q induces trophoblast invasion during human early placentation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this