Institute of Human Genetics; Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Capecchi, Mario R.;
Hobbs, Nicole K.; Bondareva, Alla A.; Barnett, Sheila; Schmidt, Edward E.;
Removing the vertebrate-specific TBP N terminus disrupts placental beta2m-dependent interactions with the maternal immune system
Mammalian TBP consists of a 180 amino acid core that is common to all eukaryotes, fused to a vertebrate-specific N-terminal domain. We generated mice having a modified tbp allele, tbp(DeltaN), that produces a version of TBP lacking 111 of the 135 vertebrate-specific amino acids. Most tbp(DeltaN/DeltaN) fetuses (>90%) died in midgestation from an apparent defect in the placenta. tbp(DeltaN/DeltaN) fetuses could be rescued by supplying them with a wild-type tetraploid placenta. Mutants also could be rescued by rearing them in immunocompromised mothers. In immune-competent mothers, survival of tbp(DeltaN/DeltaN) fetuses increased when fetal/placental beta2m expression was genetically disrupted. These results suggest that the TBP N terminus functions in transcriptional regulation of a placental beta2m-dependent process that favors maternal immunotolerance of pregnancy.