Myeloid ecotropic viral integration site 1 (MEIS) 1 involvement in embryonic implantation

Bei Xu, Dirk Geerts, Kun Qian, Hanwang Zhang, Guijin Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The HOXA10 homeobox gene controls embryonic uterine development and adult endometrial receptivity. The three-amino-acid loop extension (TALE) family homeobox genes like myeloid ecotropic viral integration site 1 (MEIS) provide enhanced target gene activation and specificity in HOX-regulated cellular processes by acting as HOX cofactors. METHODS AND RESULTS: Analysis of an Affymetrix data set in the public domain showed high expression of MEIS1 in human endometrium. MEIS1 expression was confirmed during the human menstrual cycle by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization and was increased during the secretory compared with proliferative phase of the cycle (P = 0.0001), the time of implantation. To assess the importance of maternal Meis1 expression in a mouse model, the uteri of Day 2 pregnant mice were injected with Meis1 over-expression or small interfering RNA (siRNA) constructs. Blocking Meis1 expression by siRNA before implantation significantly reduced average implantation rates (P = 0.00001). Increased or decreased Meis1 expression significantly increased or decreased the expression of integrin beta3, a transcriptional target of HOXA10 and an important factor in early embryo-endometrium interactions (P = 0.006). Manipulating Meis1 expression before implantation also dramatically affected the number of pinopodes, uterine endometrial epithelial projections that develop at the time of endometrial receptivity. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that in mouse, meis1 contributes to regulating endometrial development during the menstrual cycle and establishing the conditions necessary for implantation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394-1406
JournalHuman reproduction (Oxford, England)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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