Proteomic identification of Placental Protein 1 (PP1), PP8, and PP22 and characterization of their placental expression in healthy pregnancies and in preeclampsia

Placenta. 2020 Sep 15:99:197-207. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2020.05.013. Epub 2020 Jun 22.


Introduction: Placental Protein 1 (PP1), PP8, and PP22 were isolated from the placenta. Herein, we aimed to identify PP1, PP8, and PP22 proteins and their placental and trophoblastic expression patterns to reveal potential involvement in pregnancy complications.

Methods: We analyzed PP1, PP8, and PP22 proteins with LC-MS. We compared the placental behaviors of PP1, PP8, and PP22 to the predominantly placenta-expressed PP5/TFPI-2. Placenta-specificity scores were generated from microarray data. Trophoblasts were isolated from healthy placentas and differentiated; total RNA was isolated and subjected to microarray analysis. We assigned the placentas to the following groups: preterm controls, early-onset preeclampsia, early-onset preeclampsia with HELLP syndrome, term controls, and late-onset preeclampsia. After histopathologic examination, placentas were used for tissue microarray construction, immunostaining with anti-PP1, anti-PP5, anti-PP8, or anti-PP22 antibodies, and immunoscoring.

Results: PP1, PP8, and PP22 were identified as 'nicotinate-nucleotide pyrophosphorylase', 'serpin B6', and 'protein disulfide-isomerase', respectively. Genes encoding PP1, PP8, and PP22 are not predominantly placenta-expressed, in contrast with PP5. PP1, PP8, and PP22 mRNA expression levels did not increase during trophoblast differentiation, in contrast with PP5. PP1, PP8, and PP22 immunostaining were detected primarily in trophoblasts, while PP5 expression was restricted to the syncytiotrophoblast. The PP1 immunoscore was higher in late-onset preeclampsia, while the PP5 immunoscore was higher in early-onset preeclampsia.

Discussion: PP1, PP8, and PP22 are expressed primarily in trophoblasts but do not have trophoblast-specific regulation or functions. The distinct dysregulation of PP1 and PP5 expression in either late-onset or early-onset preeclampsia reflects different pathophysiological pathways in these preeclampsia subsets.

Keywords: Biomarkers; HELLP syndrome; Immunohistochemistry; Liver dysfunction; Mass spectrometry; Placenta; Preeclampsia; Pregnancy; Small for gestational age; Syncytiotrophoblast; Thrombocytopenia; Tissue microarray; Trophoblast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Placenta / metabolism*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteomics


  • Pregnancy Proteins