1932

Abstract

A number of placenta-specific genes (e.g., , , , and retrotransposon-associated genes such as , , , , , , and ), enhancer elements (e.g., glycoprotein hormone α-subunit) and gene isoforms (e.g., , ), as well as placenta-specific members of gene families (e.g., , , , , , , , , ) have been identified. This review summarizes their evolution, regulation, and biochemical functions and discusses their significance for placental development and function. Strikingly, the number of unique, truly placenta-specific genes that have been discovered to date is very small. The vast majority of placenta-specific gene products have resulted from one of three mechanisms: evolution of placenta-specific promoters, evolution of large gene families with several placenta-specific members, or adoption of functions associated with endogenous retroviruses and retroelements. Interestingly, nearly all the examples of placenta-specific genes that have been discovered to date are not present in all placental mammals.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.cellbio.24.110707.175418
2008-11-10
2024-04-16
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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