Open Access Research

Peripheral myelin protein-22 (PMP22) modulates alpha 6 integrin expression in the human endometrium

Rajiv G Rao1, Deepthi Sudhakar1, Claire P Hogue1, Stephanie Amici2, Lynn K Gordon3, Jonathan Braun14, Lucia Notterpek2, Lee Goodglick14 and Madhuri Wadehra1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA

2 Department of Neuroscience, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA

3 Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA

4 Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA

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Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2011, 9:56  doi:10.1186/1477-7827-9-56

Published: 25 April 2011

Abstract

Background

PMP22, a member of the GAS3 family of tetraspan proteins, is associated with a variety of neurological diseases. Previous studies have shown that PMP22 is expressed in proliferative endometrium, but its function within this tissue is poorly understood. In this study, we first characterized the expression of PMP22 in the human menstrual cycle and began to characterize its function in the endometrium.

Methods

Using a combination of immunohistochemistry and quantitative PCR, we characterized the expression of PMP22 in both proliferative and secretory endometrium. Differences in PMP22 expression between proliferative and secretory endometrium were determined using a Mann-Whitney U test. In order to investigate the influence of PMP22 on α6 integrin expression, cells were created that ectopically overexpressed PMP22 or expressed a siRNA to inhibit its expression. These cells were analyzed for changes in integrins and binding to extracellular matrices.

Results

In this study, we show that PMP22 expression is higher in proliferative phase than secretory phase. Functionally, we have begun to characterize the functional significance of this expression. Previous studies have suggested a link between PMP22 and α6 integrin, and therefore we asked whether PMP22 could associate or potentially modulate the expression of α6 integrin. Expression of both PMP22 and α6 integrin were detectable in endometrial epithelial and stromal cells, and we show that both proteins can associate and colocalize with each other. To understand if PMP22 directly altered the expression of a6 integrin, we examined cell lines with modulated levels of the protein. Overexpression of PMP22 was sufficient to increase α6 integrin surface expression with a concominant increase in binding to the extracellular matrix laminin, while a reduction in PMP22 suppressed α6 integrin surface expression.

Conclusion

These findings suggest a physiologic role for PMP22 on the expression of α6 integrin. We predict that this may be important for the maintainence of endometrial integrity and to the disease biology associated with altered levels of α6 integrin expression in the endometrium.