Alternative Name: Metalloprotease

Description: Protease-dependent breakdown of the ovulatory follicle is necessary for its rupture and the ovulation of a fertilizable oocyte. Therefore, inhibiting protease activity would serve as an effective contraceptive by blocking oocyte release and fertilization.


Product Details

User: Female

Hormonal: No

Role in reproduction: Oocyte Maturation

Multipurpose Preventive Technology (MPT): No

Status Details

Developer: Oregon Health & Science University

Project Phase: Discovery and Early Development

Development Stage: Target Validation

Began discovery in: 2007

Active Development: Yes

Status Details:
  • Studies are underway to determine if select metalloproteinase family members are critical for ovulation so that more selective inhibitors can be developed.
  • A complete and systematic characterization of the primate follicle transciptome led to the identification of all protease encoding genes that are upregulated following an ovulatory stimulus and prior to follicle rupture.
  • Injection of a metalloproteinase inhibtior into the nonhuman primate ovulatory follicle blocked its rupture, without affecting subsequent luteal phase length or steroid production.

Additional Information

  • Xu F, Stouffer RL, et al. (2011) Dynamics of the transcriptome in the primate ovulatory follicle. Mol Hum Reprod. 17:152-65.

  • Peluffo MC, Murphy MJ, et al. (2011) Systematic analysis of protease gene expression in the rhesus macaque ovulatory follicle: metalloproteinase involvement in follicle rupture. Endocrinology. 152:3963-74.

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