Determining the Role of the ELF3 gene in trophoblast cell differentiation. The Jacksons Laboratory Summer Student Program


Abraham Lopez

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2021

JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2021, The Jackson Laboratory


Placentation begins with the outer layer at the blastocyst stage, the trophectoderm. This layer further differentiates to give rise to the trophoblast lineage. Since the placenta is not conserved across mammals, there are many differences in the development of the trophoblast including mice. It is well documented that ELF5 is essential for trophoblast differentiation in mice, but that is not the case in humans. However, the ELF3, another member of the ETS family, is highly expressed in the human trophoblast. In this study, hiPSC were differentiated into the trophectoderm lineage using BMP4, and ELF3 knock-out (KO) gene-phenotype was characterized. ELF3-KO showed a reduced expression for the markers in the trophoblast lineage, implying that the ELF3 gene regulates trophoblast specification. This paper also discusses the possible existence of the extra-embryonic mesoderm.

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