Journal of Korean Endocrine Society 2004;19(4):346-357.
Published online August 1, 2004.
Increased Activity of Insulin-like Growth Factor binding Protein-4 Protease in H-mole Patients.
Woo Seok Seo, Dong Won Byun, Ji Oh Mok, Ji Sung Yoon, Yeo Joo Kim, Hyung Kyu Park, Chul Hee Kim, Sang Jin Kim, Kyo Il Suh, Myung Hi Yoo, Hae Hyeog Lee, Soo Kyoon Rah
1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Korea.
2Department of Obstetrics, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Korea.
3Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Korea.
Hydatidiform mole (H-mole) is characterized by the neoplastic proliferation of trophoblasts. Only 1~10% of patients with partial H-mole will develop a trophoblastic tumor, but 18~29% of those with complete H-mole will develop a persistent trophoblastic tumor. Therefore, the early diagnosis and monitoring after operation of an H-mole disease are very important. Recently, the pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) was proved to have a similar role as that of IGF binding protein-4 (IGFBP-4) protease, which has shown an increasing function in fetal growth and development by degradation of IGFBP-4 and an increase in IGF in the serum during pregnancy. Our hypothesis is "the H-mole, which shows placental hyperplasia will also have an IGFBP-4 protease activity, which may be used as in the early diagnosis and monitoring of H-mole disease". METHODS: Serum samples from 6 non-pregnant, 18 pregnant (5 in the 1st trimester, 10 in the 2nd, and 3 in the 3rd), 12 postpartum women and 3 H-mole patients(2 with complete H-mole and 1with partial H-mole) were collected and measured for the -HCG, IGF and PAPP-A levels and IGFBP-4 protease activities by a IGF-II ligand blot analysis and electrophoresis method. The IGFBP-4 protease activity of the serum during normal pregnancy was compared with that of H-mole disease. RESULTS: The results from the in vitro protease assays using recombinant IGFBP-4 determined that IGFBP-4 proteolysis was significantly increased during the first (56%) and second trimesters (90%), but reached a plateau by the third trimester (94%). In H-mole disease diagnosed 11 weeks after conception, the IGFBP-4 proteolytic activity was 97%, which was nearly the same as at terminal pregnancy. This activity gradually decreased to 75% at 1 week, 58.7% at 2 and 33% at 3 weeks after the operation. The -HCG was also decreased from 490,400 to 123,822.7, 1,352.3, and 128.5 mIU/mL at 1, 2 and 3 weeks after the operation, respectively. The PAPP-A level also gradually decreased from 34.87 to 25.5, 12.0 and 2.7 g/mL 1, 2 and 3 weeks after the operation, respectively. However, the IGF decreased from 238.3 to 172.9 ng/mL 1 week after the operation, but increased to 251.4 and 295 ng/mL at 2 and 3 weeks after the operation, respectively. CONCLUSION: These results demonstrated that the IGFBP-4 protease activity was significantly increased during pregnancy, and was extremely elevated durimg the early stages of H-mole disease, but gradually decreased after removal of molar tissue. Therefore, measuring the IGFBP-4 protease activity may play an important role in the early diagnosis and monitoring of H-mole disease
Key Words: Hydatidiform mole, Trophoblastic disease, IGF, GFBP-4 protease, PAPP-A, Pregnancy

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