Functional Evaluation of STOX1 (STORKHEAD-BOX PROTEIN 1) in Placentation, Preeclampsia, and Preterm Birth

Caroline E Dunk, Marie van Dijk, Ruhul Choudhury, Thomas J Wright, Brian Cox, Katherine Leavey, Lynda K Harris, Rebecca L Jones, Stephen J Lye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Revaluation of the association of the STOX1 (STORKHEAD_BOX1 PROTEIN 1) transcription factor mutation (Y153H, C allele) with the early utero-vascular origins of placental pathology is warranted. To investigate if placental STOX1 Y153H genotype affects utero-vascular remodeling-compromised in both preterm birth and preeclampsia-we utilized extravillous trophoblast (EVT) explant and placental decidual coculture models, transfection of STOX1 wild-type and mutant plasmids into EVT-like trophoblast cell lines, and a cohort of 75 placentas from obstetric pathologies. Primary EVT and HTR8/SVneo cells carrying STOX1 Y153H secreted lower levels of IL (interleukin) 6, and IL-8, and higher CXCL16 (chemokine [C-X-C motif] ligand 16) and TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) than wild-type EVT and Swan71 cells. Media from wild-type EVT or Swan71 cells transfected with wild-type STOX1 stimulated: endothelial chemokine expression, angiogenesis, and decidual natural killer cell and monocyte migration. In contrast, Y153H EVT conditioned medium, Swan71 transfected with the Y153H plasmid, or HTR8/SVneo media had no effect. Genotyping of placental decidual cocultures demonstrated association of the placental STOX1 CC allele with failed vascular remodeling. Decidual GG NODAL R165H increased in failed cocultures carrying the placental CC alleles of STOX1. Multivariate analysis of the placental cohort showed that the STOX1 C allele correlated with premature birth, with or without severe early-onset preeclampsia, and small for gestational age babies. In conclusion, placental STOX1 Y153H is a precipitating factor in preterm birth and placental preeclampsia due to defects in early utero-placental development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-490
Number of pages16
JournalHypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979)
Issue number2
Early online date28 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

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