Decidualization is the process of conversion of endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) into decidual stromal cells (DSCs), which is caused by progesterone production that begins during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and then increases throughout pregnancy dedicated to support embryonic development. Decidualization deficiency is closely associated with various pregnancy complications, such as recurrent miscarriage (RM). Here, we reported that Src-homology-2-containing phospho-tyrosine phosphatase (SHP2), a key regulator in the signal transduction process downstream of various receptors, plays an indispensable role in decidualization. SHP2 expression was upregulated during decidualization. SHP2 inhibitor RMC-4550 and shRNA mediated SHP2 reduction resulted in a decreased level of phosphorylation of ERK and aberrant cytoplasmic localization of progesterone receptor (PR), coinciding with reduced expression of IGFBP1 and various other target genes of decidualization. Solely inhibiting ERK activity recapitulated these observations. Administration of RMC-4550 led to decidualization deficiency and embryo absorption in mouse. Moreover, reduced expression of SHP2 was detected in decidua of RM patients. Our results revealed that SHP2 is key to PR's nuclear localization, thereby indispensable for decidualization and that reduced expression of SHP2 might be engaged in the pathogenesis of RM.
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