Hormone-free contraceptive pill on the anvilDecember 10th, 2008 - 12:56 pm ICT by ANI
London, Dec 10 (ANI): A side effect of todays contraceptive pills is that they disrupt hormone production in women, but now, scientists have found a protein target, which could pave the way for contraceptive that doesn”t tinker with a woman’’s hormones.
The protein, called ZP3, is present in the coating of mammalian eggs. It plays a crucial role in conception, as the sperm must bind to ZP3 if they are to burrow through the coating and fertilise the egg.
Scientists found that female mice engineered to lack ZP3 do not have this coating, making them infertile, while women with abnormal ZP3 may also suffer fertility problems.
For the study, Luca Jovine at the Karolinska Institute in Huddinge, Sweden, and his colleagues used X-ray crystallography to work out the chemical structure of a stretch of mouse ZP3 that gives the protein its structural properties.
Jovine said as the equivalent stretch of human ZP3 is likely to be similar in structure; they could design drugs that bind to ZP3, reports New Scientist.
It would thus prevent the coating from forming and rendering women temporarily infertile. (ANI)
- Now, a 3D molecular view of the mysterious egg-and-sperm encounter - Oct 22, 2010
- 3-D egg protein structure could pave way for new contraceptives - Oct 27, 2010
- Non-hormonal pill without side-effects soon - Mar 17, 2011
- Will a female birth control vaccine work? - Mar 13, 2011
- Sperm coat protein may be key to male infertility: Study - Jul 21, 2011
- Hope for infertile men as scientists grow test-tube sperm - Mar 24, 2011
- Female hormone could be key to 'ideal' male contraceptive - Mar 17, 2011
- Eggs that bounce like rubber hit China markets - Feb 10, 2012
- Stress, hectic lifestyle raises IVF demand - Sep 03, 2011
- Lifestyle disorders causing infertility in women - Feb 06, 2011
- Hormone free male pill closer to reality - Aug 17, 2012
- Scientists succeed in growing sperm in lab dish - Jan 03, 2012
- Why older women are more prone to fertility problems - Sep 05, 2010
- Sperm identification could improve male fertility - May 29, 2010
- Treatment helps woman deliver twins at 51 - Sep 21, 2010
Tags: anvil, chemical structure, colleagues, contraceptive pill, contraceptive pills, egg, eggs, female mice, fertility problems, hormone production, hormones, huddinge sweden, jovine, karolinska institute, new scientist, protein, sperm, target, tinker, x ray crystallography