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The reference human genome sequence set the stage for studies of genetic variation and its association with human disease, but epigenomic studies lack a similar reference. To address this need, the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Consortium generated the largest collection so far of human epigenomes for primary cells and tissues. Here we describe the integrative(More)
FAK is known as an integrin- and growth factor-associated tyrosine kinase promoting cell motility. Here we show that, during mouse development, FAK inactivation results in p53- and p21-dependent mesodermal cell growth arrest. Reconstitution of primary FAK-/-p21-/- fibroblasts revealed that FAK, in a kinase-independent manner, facilitates p53 turnover via(More)
The mechanism by which the mammalian mother accepts the implanting fetus as an allograft remains unexplained, but is likely to be the result of a combination of factors. Mononuclear cytotrophoblasts, the specialized fetal cells of the placenta that invade the uterus, play an important role. These cells express HLA-G, an unusual major histocompatibility(More)
The specialized interaction between embryonic and maternal tissues is unique to mammalian development. This interaction begins with invasion of the uterus by the first differentiated embryonic cells, the trophoblasts, and culminates in formation of the placenta. The transient tumor-like behavior of cytotrophoblasts, which peaks early in pregnancy, is(More)
Preterm birth is associated with 5 to 18% of pregnancies and is a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality. Spontaneous preterm labor, a syndrome caused by multiple pathologic processes, leads to 70% of preterm births. The prevention and the treatment of preterm labor have been long-standing challenges. We summarize the current understanding of the(More)
HLA-G is the only class I determinant of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) expressed by the trophoblasts, the fetal cells invading the maternal decidua during pregnancy. A unique feature of this nonclassical HLA molecule is its low polymorphism, a property that has been postulated to play an important role in preventing local activation of maternal(More)
The placenta is a remarkable organ. In normal pregnancy its specialized cells (termed cytotrophoblasts) differentiate into various specialized subpopulations that play pivotal roles in governing fetal growth and development. One cytotrophoblast subset acquires tumor-like properties that allow the cells to invade the decidua and myometrium, a process that(More)
Trophoblast adhesion to the uterine wall is the requisite first step of implantation and, subsequently, placentation. At the maternal-fetal interface, we investigated the expression of selectin adhesion systems that enable leukocyte capture from the bloodstream. On the maternal side, human uterine epithelial cells up-regulated selectin oligosaccharide-based(More)
During human pregnancy, the specialized epithelial cells of the placenta (cytotrophoblasts) come into direct contact with immune cells in several locations. In the fetal compartment of the placenta, cytotrophoblast stem cells lie adjacent to macrophages (Hofbauer cells) that reside within the chorionic villus stroma. At sites of placental attachment to the(More)
Clinical observations indicate that some autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, frequently remit during pregnancy but exacerbate, or have their onset, in the postpartum period. The immune basis for these phenomena is poorly understood. Recently, excessive production of IL-12 and TNF-alpha was causally linked to rheumatoid(More)