Prokineticin-1 (PROK1) modulates interleukin (IL)-11 expression via prokineticin receptor 1 (PROKR1) and the calcineurin/NFAT signalling pathway

Ian H. Cook, Jemma Evans, David Maldonado-Pérez, Hilary O. Critchley, Kurt J. Sales, Henry N. Jabbour

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Prokineticin-1 (PROK1) is a multifunctional secreted protein which signals via the G-protein coupled receptor, PROKR1. Previous data from our laboratory using a human genome survey microarray showed that PROK1-prokineticin receptor 1 (PROKR1) signalling regulates numerous genes important for establishment of early pregnancy, including the cytokine interleukin (IL)-11. Here, we have shown that PROK1-PROKR1 induces the expression of IL-11 in PROKR1 Ishikawa cells and first trimester decidua via the calcium-calcineurin signalling pathway in a guanine nucleotide-binding protein (Gq/11), extracellular signal-regulated kinases, Ca2+ and calcineurin-nuclear factor of activated T cells dependent manner. Conversely, treatment of human decidua with a lentiviral miRNA to abolish endogenous PROK1 expression results in a significant reduction in IL-11 expression and secretion. Importantly, we have also shown a regulatory role for the regulator of calcineurin 1 isoform 4 (RCAN1-4). Overexpression of RCAN1-4 in PROKR1 Ishikawa cells using an adenovirus leads to a reduction in PROK1 induced IL-11 indicating that RCAN1-4 is a negative regulator in the calcineurin-mediated signalling to IL-11. Finally, we have shown the potential for both autocrine and paracrine signalling in the human endometrium by co-localizing IL-11, IL-11Rα and PROKR1 within the stromal and glandular epithelial cells of non-pregnant endometrium and first trimester decidua. Overall we have identified and characterized the signalling components of a novel PROK1-PROKR1 signalling pathway regulating IL-11.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergap084
Pages (from-to)158-169
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2009


  • Endometrium
  • Interleukin-11
  • Prokineticin-1
  • RCAN1-4

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