Study of unique reproductive-cell protein in mice could lead to new contraceptives for women and men
Mice lacking a special protein found only in germ-line cells results in infertility in both males and females, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Norman Hecht, PhD, Professor of Human Reproduction in Penns Center for Research in Reproduction and Womens Health, and colleagues say that these investigations point the way to a new type of contraceptive for both men and women. They report their findings in this weeks online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Not many proteins are expressed in both male and female germ lines that are specific only to the germ line," says Hecht. Germ line refers to the group of cells that give rise to either sperm or eggs in animals, as opposed to all other cell types, which are called somatic cells. "There are many proteins whose deletion will cause male infertility, and others for creating female infertility, but not many that will lead to both male and female infertility without affecting the somatic cells."
Karen Kreeger | EurekAlert!
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