Journal of Cell Science 13 January 2021 | doi: 10.1242/jcs.246900
Pallavi Chinnu Varghese, Sruthy Manuraj Rajam, Debparna Nandy, Aurelie Jory, Ananda Mukherjee, Debasree Dutta
Our recent findings demonstrated that the histone chaperone and DNA repair factor aprataxin and PNK-like factor (APLF) could regulate epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) during the reprogramming of murine fibroblasts and in breast cancer metastasis. Therefore, we investigated the function of APLF in EMT associated with mouse development. Here, we show that APLF is predominantly enhanced in trophectoderm (TE) and lineages derived from TE in pre- and post-implantation embryos. Downregulation of APLF induced the hatching of embryos in vitro, with a significant increase in Cdh1 and Cdx2 expression. Aplf short hairpin RNA-microinjected embryos failed to implant in vivo. Rescue experiments neutralized the knockdown effects of APLF both in vitro and in vivo. Reduced expression of Snai2 and Tead4, and the gain in Cdh1 and sFlt1 (also known as Flt1) level, marked the differentiation of APLF-knocked down trophoblast stem cells that might contribute towards the impaired implantation of embryos. Hence, our findings suggest a novel role for APLF during implantation and post-implantation development of mouse embryos. We anticipate that APLF might contribute to the establishment of maternal-fetal connection, as its fine balance is required to achieve implantation and thereby attain proper pregnancy.