Scientists link gene to uterine dysfunction

January 18, 2000

Scientists have discovered an unexpected link between uterine dysfunction and a protein abundant in mammals called centromere protein B (CENP-B). In a study published in this month's issue of Genome Research, Andy Choo and colleagues (The Murdoch Institute) show that the female mice lacking CENP-B, although otherwise apparently normal, suffer reproductive failure due to defects in the uterus.

CENP-B first drew attention because it binds specifically to the centromere, a chromosome region essential for proper cell division. When scientists bred mutant mice that lack CENP-B, however, the mice appeared surprisingly normal. To take a closer look, Choo and colleagues have now mutated the protein in three genetically distinct mouse strains and examined the effect across all strains. The mice again appeared generally normal, except the males had somewhat reduced testis weight and the females, reduced uterus weight. However, in one strain the females suffered from near complete reproductive dysfunction, with complications during pregnancy that were fatal to the pups or mother. The other two strains appeared reproductively normal at first, but deteriorated with maturity so that the mice very rarely achieved pregnancy at 9 months - an age when non-mutant mice still actively bear young.

As smaller uteruses do not explain these serious defects, the researchers looked for other potential causes. The mutants, they found, had grossly defective cells within the uterine lining, tissue that helps the uterus receive and support developing embryos. Choo and colleagues speculate CENP-B plays a role in cell divisions that remodel the lining during estrus and pregnancy, although future studies are necessary to explore this hypothesis. More studies are also necessary to see whether there is any connection between female infertility in humans and CENP-B dysfunction.
Contact (author):

K.H. Andy Choo
The Murdoch Institute
Royal Children's Hospital
Parkville 3052
Fax: 61-3-9348-1391

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Related Pregnancy Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 has a prolonged effect for many during pregnancy
Symptoms for pregnant women with COVID-19 can be prolonged, lasting two months or longer for a quarter of the women who participated in a national study led by UC San Francisco and UCLA.

Relaxed through pregnancy
A group of researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been able to show that maternal psychological wellbeing during pregnancy has a positive effect on newborn infants.

Trajectories of antidepressant medication use during pregnancy
In an analysis of women who started pregnancy when taking antidepressant medications, investigators identified three trajectories of antidepressant dispensing during pregnancy: more than half stopped their treatment, a quarter maintained their treatment throughout pregnancy, and one-fifth discontinued it for a minimum of three months and then resumed it during the postpartum period.

Are women using e-cigarettes during preconception and/or pregnancy?
A new study of 1,365 racially/ethnically diverse, low-income pregnant women found that 4% reported e-cigarette use.

A better pregnancy test for whales
To determine whale pregnancy, researchers have relied on visual cues or hormone tests of blubber collected via darts, but the results were often inconclusive.

Cannabis use during pregnancy
The large health care system Kaiser Permanente Northern California provides universal screening for prenatal cannabis use in women during pregnancy by self-report and urine toxicology testing.

Questions and answers about cannabis use during pregnancy
A new study shows that women have many medical questions about the use of cannabis both before and during pregnancy, and during the postpartum period while breastfeeding.

The effect of taking antidepressants during pregnancy
Exposure to antidepressants during pregnancy and the first weeks of life can alter sensory processing well into adulthood, according to research in mice recently published in eNeuro.

Is ivermectin safe during pregnancy?
Is it safe to give ivermectin to pregnant women? To answer this question, researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by 'la Caixa,' conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that reported cases of accidental exposure to the drug among pregnant women.

Going to sleep on your back in late pregnancy
This study looked at whether going to sleep on your back in the third trimester of pregnancy was associated with average lower birth weights.

Read More: Pregnancy News and Pregnancy Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to