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The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 284  |  Issue: 26  |  Page No.: 17411 - 17419

Mechanism of Hypoxia-induced GCM1 Degradation: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PATHOGENESIS OF PREECLAMPSIA

M. H Chiang, F. Y Liang, C. P Chen, C. W Chang, M. L Cheong, L. J Wang, C. Y Liang, F. Y Lin, C. C Chou and H. Chen    

Abstract:

Preeclampsia is a major pregnancy-specific disorder affecting 5–7% of pregnancies worldwide. Although hypoxia caused by incomplete trophoblast invasion and impaired spiral arterial remodeling is thought to be a major cause of preeclampsia, how hypoxia affects placental development remains uncertain. GCM1 (glial cells missing homolog 1) is a transcription factor critical for placental development. In preeclampsia, GCM1 and its target genes syncytin 1 and placental growth factor, important for syncytiotrophoblast formation and placental vasculogenesis, are all decreased. Here we present evidence that GCM1 is a major target of hypoxia associated with preeclampsia. We show that hypoxia triggers GCM1 degradation by suppressing the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt signaling pathway, leading to GSK-3β activation. Activated GSK-3β phosphorylates GCM1 on Ser322, which in turn recruits the F-box protein FBW2, leading to GCM1 ubiquitination and degradation. Importantly, the GSK-3β inhibitor LiCl prevented hypoxia-induced GCM1 degradation. Our study identifies a molecular basis for the disrupted GCM1 transcription network in preeclampsia and provides a potential avenue for therapeutic intervention.

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