Pattern of expression of HtrA1 during mouse development

Antonio De Luca, Maria De Falco, Luca De Luca, Roberta Penta, Viji Shridhar, Feliciano Baldi, Mara Campioni, Marco G. Paggi, Alfonso Baldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The human HtrA family of proteases consists of four members: HtrA1, HtrA2, HtrA3, and HtrA4. In humans the four HtrA homologues appear to be involved in several important functions such as cell growth, apoptosis, and inflammatory reactions, and they control cell fate via regulated protein metabolism. In previous studies it was shown that the expression of HtrA1 was ubiquitous in normal adult human tissues. Here we examined the expression of HtrA1 protein and its corresponding mRNA during mouse embryogenesis using Northern blotting hybridization, RT-PCR, and immunohistochemical staining analyses. Our results indicate that HtrA1 is expressed in a variety of tissues in mouse embryos. Furthermore, this expression is regulated in a spatial and temporal manner. Relatively low levels of HtrA1 mRNA are detected in embryos at the beginning of organogenesis (E8), and the levels of expression increase during late organogenesis (E14-E19). Our results show that HtrA1 was expressed during embryonic development in specific areas where signaling by TGFβ family proteins plays important regulatory roles. The expression of HtrA1, documented both at mRNA and protein levels by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry in the developing nervous system, is consistent with a possible role of this protein both in dividing and postmitotic neurons, possibly via its documented inhibitory effects on TGFβ proteins. An exhaustive knowledge of the different cell- and tissue-specific patterns of expression of HtrA1 in normal mouse embryos is essential for a critical evaluation of the exact role played by this protein during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1609-1617
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Expression in mouse embryo
  • HtrA1
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Northern blotting
  • RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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