The prostaglandin (PG)-inactivating enzyme 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (PGDH) is highly expressed in the chorion leave. To assess the involvement of PGDH in the regulation of intrauterine PG levels, we have determined the mechanisms that control chorionic PGDH expression in women at term and preterm labor. PGDH gene activity decreased at term and during normal labor. PGDH mRNA abundance also decreased at term due to changing splice variant distribution. Gene activity predicted PGDH mRNA abundance preterm and after normal labor, but not at term before labor. PGDH mRNA decayed rapidly in cultured tissues and was stabilized by transcriptional arrest. PGDH protein levels varied without being significantly different between the patient groups. PGDH mRNA levels predicted PGDH protein levels at term, but not preterm and after labor. PGDH gene activity, mRNA variant, and immunoreactive protein levels were not different between the preterm labor and preterm not in labor groups. Thus, PGDH mRNA is transiently down-regulated before term labor by a posttranscriptional mechanism(s). Protein turnover controls PGDH protein abundance at preterm and after normal labor. At term, PGDH protein levels become dependent on the rapidly turning over PGDH mRNA. This may allow rapid changes in PGDH protein abundance and uterotonic PG concentrations promoting labor.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Vol. 89, Issue 11, p. 5639-5648