Capillary morphogenesis protein-2 is required for mouse parturition by maintaining uterine collagen homeostasis

Diane E. Peters, Yi Zhang, Alfredo A. Molinolo, Sharmina Miller-Randolph, Roman Szabo, Thomas H. Bugge, Stephen H. Leppla, Shihui Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Capillary morphogenesis protein-2 (CMG2) functions as an anthrax toxin receptor that plays an essential role in anthrax pathogenesis. Although mutations in CMG2 have been identified to cause two human autosomal recessive disorders, Juvenile Hyaline Fibromatosis and Infantile Systemic Hyalinosis, both characterized by excess hyaline material deposition in connective tissues, the physiologic function of CMG2 remains elusive. To study the roles of CMG2 in normal physiology, here we performed detailed histological analyses of the CMG2-null mice we generated previously. While no morphological or histological defects were observed in CMG2 -/- male mice, CMG2 -/- female mice were unable to produce any offspring due to a defect in parturition. We found that deletion of CMG2 resulted in a diffuse deposition of collagen within the myometrium of CMG2 -/- females, causing remarkable morphological changes to their uteri. This collagen accumulation also led to loss of smooth muscle cells in the myometrium of CMG2 -/- mice, apparently disabling uterine contractile function during parturition. As a consequence, even though pregnant CMG2 -/- mice were able to carry the gestation to full term, they were unable to deliver pups. However, the fully-developed fetuses could be successfully delivered by Cesarean section and survived to adulthood when fostered. Our results demonstrate that CMG2 is not required for normal mouse embryonic development but is indispensable for murine parturition. In parallel to its role in anthrax toxin binding and internalization, herein we provide evidence that CMG2 may function as a collagen receptor which is essential for maintaining collagen homeostasis in the uterus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-397
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 8 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthrax
  • Anthrax toxin receptor
  • Capillary morphogenesis protein-2
  • Collagen
  • Parturition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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