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
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy