Endometrial gene expression profiling of recurrent implantation failure after in vitro fertilization

Albayrak I. G., Azhari F., Colak E. N., Balci B., Ulgen E., Sezerman O. U., ...More

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY REPORTS, vol.48, no.6, pp.5075-5082, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11033-021-06502-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.5075-5082
  • Keywords: RIF, IVF, mRNA, Endometrium, Gene Expression, EARLY-PREGNANCY, TENASCIN, UTERUS, POLYMORPHISM
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Recurrent implantation failure (RIF) is diagnosed when good-quality embryos repeatedly fail to implant after transfer in several in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment cycles. Different expression profiles in maternal mRNAs could be referring to many diseases including RIF. This study aimed to reveal significantly dysregulated selected genes expression between healthy fertile women and RIF patients in the implantation window days of the natural menstrual cycle. MME, WWC1, TNC, and FOXP3 genes were chosen as target genes regarding their possible relations with the implantation process. Pathways with these genes were identified and the relationship between these pathways and RIF was investigated. In this study, the endometrial biopsy samples were collected in the secretory phase (cycle day 20-24) of the menstrual cycle from RIF patients (n = 34) and healthy fertile controls (n = 34). After "Pathway and network-oriented GWAS analysis" (PANOGA) and "Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes" (KEGG) pathway analysis; "Membrane Metalloendopeptidase" (MME), "WW and C2 Domain Containing 1" (WWC1), "Tenascin C" (TNC) and "Forkhead Box P3" (FOXP3) genes were chosen as target genes by regarding their possible relation with implantation process. Detection of differences in mRNA expressions between the control group and RIF patients has been performed with the droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) method. Results of the study showed that MME and WWC1 genes expression levels are significantly (p < 0,05) up-regulated 4.9 and 5.2 times respectively and TNC gene expression level is significantly (p < 0,05) down-regulated 9 times in the RIF samples compared to the control group. However, no statistically significant difference was observed between the patient group and the control group in the expression of the FOXP3 gene (p < 0.05). Changes are observed in the expression of the renin-angiotensin system pathway in which the MME gene is involved in the implantation process. The increase in MME gene expression can be speculated to cause implantation failure by restricting the invasion of trophoblast cells. Increasing WWC1 gene expression in the Hippo signaling pathway inhibits "Yes-associated protein 1" (YAP) expression, which is a transcriptional cofactor. Inhibition of YAP protein expression may impair the implantation process by causing the failure of endometrial decidualization. The TNC gene is located in the focal adhesion pathway and this pathway reduces cell adhesion on the endometrial surface to facilitate the attachment of the embryo to the endometrium. The reason for implantation failure might be that the intercellular connections are not suitable for implantation as a result of decreased expression of the focal adhesion pathway in which the TNC gene is effective. Considering the relations between the pathways of the target genes and the implantation process, changes in the expression of target genes might be a cause of RIF.