Characterization of RAGE and CK2 Expressions in Human Fetal Membranes

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Feb 17;24(4):4074. doi: 10.3390/ijms24044074.


At the feto-maternal interface, fetal membranes (FM) play a crucial role throughout pregnancy. FM rupture at term implicates different sterile inflammation mechanisms including pathways activated by the transmembrane glycoprotein receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily. As the protein kinase CK2 is also implicated in the inflammation process, we aimed to characterize the expressions of RAGE and the protein kinase CK2 as a candidate regulator of RAGE expression. The amnion and choriodecidua were collected from FM explants and/or primary amniotic epithelial cells throughout pregnancy and at term in spontaneous labor (TIL) or term without labor (TNL). The mRNA and protein expressions of RAGE and the CK2α, CK2α', and CK2β subunits were investigated using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blot assays. Their cellular localizations were determined with microscopic analyses, and the CK2 activity level was measured. RAGE and the CK2α, CK2α', and CK2β subunits were expressed in both FM layers throughout pregnancy. At term, RAGE was overexpressed in the amnion from the TNL samples, whereas the CK2 subunits were expressed at the same level in the different groups (amnion/choriodecidua/amniocytes, TIL/TNL), without modification of the CK2 activity level and immunolocalization. This work paves the way for future experiments regarding the regulation of RAGE expression by CK2 phosphorylation.

Keywords: CK2; RAGE; amniocyte; fetal membranes; inflammation; labor; rupture.

MeSH terms

  • Casein Kinase II* / metabolism
  • Extraembryonic Membranes* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products* / metabolism


  • Casein Kinase II
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.