A new study led by Professor Kui Liu at the University of Gothenburg has identified the key molecule ‘Greatwall kinase’ which protects women’s eggs against problems that can arise during the maturation process.
In order to be able to have a child, a woman needs eggs that can grow and mature. One of these eggs is then fertilised by a sperm, forming an embryo. During the maturation process, the egg needs to go through a number of stages of reductional division, called meiosis.
Kui Liu, professor, University of Gothenburg
University of Gothenburg
If problems occur during any of these stages, the woman can become infertile. Around 10-15% of all women experience fertility problems, caused by factors such as genetics, environment and age.
Human studies are the next stage
Using genetically modified mouse models, Professor Liu’s team has now discovered that the molecule Greatwall kinase is of great importance in order for the eggs of the female mouse to be able to complete the first phase and move on to the second meiotic division during the maturation of the egg.
When Greatwall kinase is removed from the egg, not all the stages can be completed. Instead, the egg enters an interphase with an abnormal DNA structure and problematic cell cycles. These problems make the females infertile.
Professor Liu believes it is highly likely that Greatwall kinase is important in the human egg maturation process. His group aims to carry out studies on human eggs as the next stage. The Greatwall kinase molecule is important in the regulation of the cell cycle.
“If we discover that there are women whose eggs do not mature due to levels of Greatwall kinase being too low, we can inject the molecule into the egg,” says Professor Liu. “Hopefully, the maturation process will thereby be corrected, and eventually the woman may be able to have children.”
Dr. Kui Liu is a professor at the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology. His group focuses on studies of genetic and epigenetic regulation of the development of female gametes.
In recent years, their research has included both preclinical basic research and transferring the results generated from studies of mouse models to clinically applicable techniques for treating female infertility.
Link to the article: http://jcb.rupress.org/content/206/7/843.abstract
For further information:
Professor Kui Liu
+46 70 888 77 93
Henrik Axlid | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy