A novel serine protease of the mammalian HtrA family is up-regulated in mouse uterus coinciding with placentation

Gui Ying Nie, Ying Li, Hiroyuki Minoura, Leigh Batten, Guck T. Ooi, Jock K. Findlay, Lois A. Salamonsen

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68 Citations (Scopus)


This paper characterizes a novel gene, previously identified as uniquely regulated at implantation in mouse uterus. We cloned its full mRNA sequence encoding a serine protease possessing an IGF-binding domain and named it pregnancy-related serine protease (PRSP). PRSP is structurally similar to mammalian HtrA1 (56% amino acid similarity). Northern analysis revealed that the expression of PRSP mRNA was low before pregnancy, but it was increased at implantation and markedly up-regulated post-implantation. In-situ hybridization localized low levels of mRNA expression to the epithelium and stroma during very early pregnancy, but high expression to the decidual cells on day 8.5, primarily at the mesometrial pole where the placenta was forming. By day 10.5, PRSP mRNA was detected in the placenta. We also cloned an alternatively spliced PRSP mRNA that is expressed at a very low level. We located PRSP gene on chromosome 5 and established its intron/exon structure, which unambiguously explains how the two mRNA variants are produced through alternative splicing. Based on PRSP protein domain structure and its unique expression during pregnancy, we propose that PRSP plays an important role in the formation/function of the placenta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-290
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


  • Htr A
  • Implantation
  • Mouse uterus
  • Placentation
  • Pregnancy-related serine protease

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