Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 132, Issue 1, pp 33–38 | Cite as

The metastasis-associated genes MTA1 and MTA3 are abundantly expressed in human placenta and chorionic carcinoma cells

  • Ansgar Brüning
  • Josef Makovitzky
  • Andrea Gingelmaier
  • Klaus Friese
  • Ioannis Mylonas
Original Paper


Normal placenta development relies on the ability of trophoblast cells to invade into the uterus and to build up an extensively vascularized feto-maternal tissue, necessary for the nutrition of the embryo. The ability of cell migration, invasion, and the ability to induce neovascularization are likewise hallmarks of cancer cells. The metastasis-associated genes MTA1 and MTA3 are known to be involved in cancer cell migration by regulation of cell adhesion proteins and to induce the expression of neoangiogenic cytokines, as recently shown by us for ovarian cancer cells. Therefore, we analyzed the expression of MTA1 and MTA3 in normal human placenta tissues and the chorionic cancer cell lines BeWo, JEG, and JAR. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed a rather strong expression of MTA1 and MTA3 in the nuclei of human trophoblast cells. A high expression level of MTA1 and MTA3 was further observed in the nuclei of human chorionic carcinoma cells, as shown by immunofluorescence analysis, and confirmed by Western blot and RT-PCR analysis. We conclude that the high expression level of MTA proteins in human chorionic cells might facilitate trophoblast cell migration and neoangiogenesis, and might further predispose human chorionic cancer cells with properties that are characteristic for this highly aggressive and metastatic carcinoma type.


MTA1 MTA3 Placenta Chorionic carcinoma 



We thank Susanne Kunze for excellent help in immunohistochemical analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ansgar Brüning
    • 1
  • Josef Makovitzky
    • 2
  • Andrea Gingelmaier
    • 1
  • Klaus Friese
    • 1
  • Ioannis Mylonas
    • 1
  1. 1.1st Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyLudwig-Maximilians University MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeuropathologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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