Calpain 2 activity increases at the time of implantation in rat uterine luminal epithelial cells and administration of calpain inhibitor significantly reduces implantation sites
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- Kaneko, Y., Murphy, C.R. & Day, M.L. Histochem Cell Biol (2014) 141: 423. doi:10.1007/s00418-013-1165-y
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The present study investigated the role of calpain 2 in rat uterine luminal epithelial cells during early pregnancy. Calpain 2 is an intracellular calcium-dependent proteolytic enzyme which cleaves numerous focal adhesion proteins. Calpain 2 was concentrated along the basal cell surface of uterine luminal epithelial cells at the predicted site of focal adhesions on day 1 of pregnancy and remained unchanged at the time of implantation as observed by immunofluorescence microscopy. However, Western blotting analysis showed a marked increase in the active form and a significant decrease in the latent form of calpain 2 at the time of implantation. The increase in calpain 2 activity coincides with the disassembly of focal adhesion proteins, talin, paxillin, integrin β1 and β3 from the site of focal adhesions. Intraperitoneal injection of calpain inhibitor, calpain inhibitor l (ALLN), significantly reduced the number of implantation sites, implying that calpain 2 plays an important role in implantation. The present study suggests a role for calpain 2 in the disassembly of focal adhesions, which has been previously shown to play a key role in uterine receptivity for implantation.