TMEM16F phospholipid scramblase mediates trophoblast fusion and placental development.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Cell-cell fusion or syncytialization is fundamental to the reproduction, development, and homeostasis of multicellular organisms. In addition to various cell type-specific fusogenic proteins, cell surface externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS), a universal eat-me signal in apoptotic cells, has been observed in different cell fusion events. Nevertheless, the molecular underpinnings of PS externalization and cellular mechanisms of PS-facilitated cell-cell fusion are unclear. Here, we report that TMEM16F, a Ca2+-activated phospholipid scramblase (CaPLSase), plays an essential role in placental trophoblast fusion by translocating PS to cell surface independent of apoptosis. The placentas from the TMEM16F knockout mice exhibit deficiency in trophoblast syncytialization and placental development, which lead to perinatal lethality. We thus identified a new biological function of TMEM16F CaPLSase in trophoblast fusion and placental development. Our findings provide insight into understanding cell-cell fusion mechanism of other cell types and on mitigating pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, intrauterine growth restriction, and preeclampsia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, Y; Le, T; Grabau, R; Mohseni, Z; Kim, H; Natale, DR; Feng, L; Pan, H; Yang, H

Published Date

  • May 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 19

Start / End Page

  • eaba0310 -

PubMed ID

  • 32494719

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7202889

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2375-2548

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/sciadv.aba0310


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States