Tubulointerstitial nephritis antigen-like 1 (Tinagl1, also known as adrenocortical zonation factor 1 [AZ-1] or lipocalin 7) has been cloned from mouse adrenocortical cells and is known to be closely associated with zonal differentiation of adrenocortical cells. In cell culture systems, TINAGL1 is a matricellular protein that interacts with both structural matrix proteins and cell surface receptors. However, the physiological roles of TINAGL1 and regulation of its expression are still not clearly understood. In the present study, the expression and localization of TINAGL1 in peri-implantation mouse embryos was examined. During preimplantation, the expression of both Tinagl1 mRNA and TINAGL1 protein was increased just prior to implantation. In blastocysts, TINAGL1 expression was localized to the trophectoderm. Using a progesterone-treated, delayed-implantation model, TINAGL1 was found to be upregulated in implantationcompetent blastocysts after estrogen treatment. During postimplantation, TINAGL1 expression was restricted to extraembryonic regions. Marked expression was detected in the Reichert membrane on Embryonic Days 6.5 (E6.5) and E7.5. Colocalization of laminin 1 and TINAGL1 was also examined. Using an anti-LAMA1 antibody, colocalization of LAMA1 and TINAGL1 was observed in postimplantation embryos. Colocalization was also detected in the Reichert membrane. Immunoprecipitation analysis determined that LAMA1 and TINAGL1 interact in embryos on E7.5. These results demonstrate that after implantation, TINAGL1 is an extraembryonic tissue-specific protein. In particular, TINAGL1 is a novel component of the Reichert membrane that interacts with laminin 1. These results suggest that TINAGL1 most likely plays a physical and physiological role in embryo development at postimplantation.
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