Essential role for ERK2 mitogen-activated protein kinase in placental development

Naoya Hatano, Yoshiko Mori, Masatsugu Oh-hora, Atsushi Kosugi, Takahiko Fujikawa, Naoya Nakai, Hitoshi Niwa, Jun Ichi Miyazaki, Toshiyuki Hamaoka, Masato Ogata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) has been implicated in cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. However, its role in vivo remains to be determined. Results: Here we show that the targeted disruption of the mouse ERK2 gene results in embryonic lethality by E11.5 and severe abnormality of the placenta. In these animals, the labyrinthine layer of the placenta is very thin and few foetal blood vessels are observed. ERK2 mutants can be rescued by the transgenic expression of ERK2, demonstrating that these abnormalities are caused by ERK2-deficiency. Although ERK2-deficient fetuses are much smaller than wild-type littermates, this seems to be secondary to malfunction of the placenta. When the placental defect is rescued by tetraploid-aggregation, ERK2-deficient foetuses grow as well as littermate controls. Conclusion: These observations indicate that ERK2 is essential for placental development and suggest that ERK2 in the trophoblast compartment may be indispensable for the vascularization of the labyrinth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-856
Number of pages10
JournalGenes to Cells
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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