Formation of atypical podosomes in extravillous trophoblasts regulates extracellular matrix degradation
Patel, A. and Dash, P. R. (2012) Formation of atypical podosomes in extravillous trophoblasts regulates extracellular matrix degradation. European Journal of Cell Biology, 91 (3). pp. 171-179. ISSN 0171-9335
To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2011.11.006
Throughout pregnancy the cytotrophoblast, the stem cell of the placenta, gives rise to the differentiated forms of trophoblasts. The two main cell lineages are the syncytiotrophoblast and the invading extravillous trophoblast. A successful pregnancy requires extravillous trophoblasts to migrate and invade through the decidua and then remodel the maternal spiral arteries. Many invasive cells use specialised cellular structures called invadopodia or podosomes in order to degrade extracellular matrix. Despite being highly invasive cells, the presence of invadapodia or podosomes has not previously been investigated in trophoblasts. In this study these structures have been identified and characterised in extravillous trophoblasts. The role of specialised invasive structures in trophoblasts in the degradation of the extracellular matrix was compared with well characterised podosomes and invadopodia in other invasive cells and the trophoblast specific structures were characterised by using a sensitive matrix degradation assay which enabled visualisation of the structures and their dynamics. We show trophoblasts form actin rich protrusive structures which have the ability to degrade the extracellular matrix during invasion. The degradation ability and dynamics of the structures closely resemble podosomes, but have unique characteristics that have not previously been described in other cell types. The composition of these structures does not conform to the classic podosome structure, with no distinct ring of plaque proteins such as paxillin or vinculin. In addition, trophoblast podosomes protrude more deeply into the extracellular matrix than established podosomes, resembling invadopodia in this regard. We also show several significant pathways such as Src kinase, MAPK kinase and PKC along with MMP-2 and 9 as key regulators of extracellular matrix degradation activity in trophoblasts, while podosome activity was regulated by the rigidity of the extracellular matrix.