Selective ablation of the ELF3 transcription factor and its effects on trophoblast stem cell, syncytiotrophoblast, and primitive syncytium differentiation


Carla D'Amato

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2023



JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2023, The Jackson Laboratory


Given ELF3’s high expression in first-trimester syncytiotrophoblasts, we assessed its role in primitive syncytium cells and syncytiotrophoblast cells. ELF3 is a member of the ETS transcription factor family and is closely related to ELF5, a transcription factor that reinforces trophectoderm lineage in mice; Considering their close morphological proximity and the lack of ELF5 expression in humans and ELF3 expression in mice, we examined ELF3’s role in trophoblast stem cells utilizing human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) models. Our results, which include cell fusion index analysis, immunofluorescence, and qPCR of differentiated cells suggest that ELF3 ablation resulted in decreased fusion and syncytin protein expression in primitive syncytium hiPSC ELF3 KO models. Furthermore, we believe ELF3 plays a vital role in the syncytin trophoblast cell differentiation and fusion.

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