Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 46, Number 5, September-October 2006
5th annual INRA-Meeting: Mammary gland and milk
Page(s) 481 - 502
Published online 23 September 2006
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 46 (2006) 481-502
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2006034

Biodiversity of multiple Pregnancy-Associated Glycoprotein (PAG) family: gene cloning and chorionic protein purification in domestic and wild eutherians (Placentalia) - a review

Bozena Szafranska, Grzegorz Panasiewicz and Marta Majewska

Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warmia and Mazury, Oczapowskiego Str 1A/222, 10-719 Olsztyn-Kortowo, Poland

(Published online 23 September 2006)

Abstract - This review presents a broad overview of chorionic glycoproteins encoded by the Pregnancy-Associated Glycoprotein (PAG) gene family and also serves to illustrate how the recent discovery of the PAG family has contributed to our general knowledge of genome evolution, placental transcription and placental protein expression. The complex and large PAG family is restricted to the Artiodactyla order, although single PAG-like genes have also been identified in species outside the Artiodactyla. The PAGs are members of the aspartic proteinase (AP) superfamily. Unexpectedly, however, some members of the PAG family possess amino acid substitutions within and around the active site that likely render them unable to act as proteinases. This paper summarises the available information regarding biodiversity of PAG gene expression based on cDNA cloning, mRNA localisation studies and the structural organisation of the PAG genes with a particular emphasis on PAG promoters. It also compares available data regarding PAG protein purifications, sequencing and their N-glycodiversity. Finally, it discusses the scientific relevance, possible functional roles of the PAGs and describes possible profitable applications related to the detection of PAG proteins in the blood of pregnant domestic and wild species.

Key words: chorionic glycoproteins / eutherian PAG family / diagnostic PAG markers

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006