Recent Progress

Yu Wang and Colleagues Review the Basic and Translational Studies of Hedgehog Signaling in Cell Chemical Biology
Hedgehog (HH) signaling plays an important role in certain types of adult stem cells and cancer stem cells. Its aberrant activity is linked to degenerative diseases and a multitude of cancers. Considerable interest has focused on studying the mechanisms of HH signaling pathway and the identification of drugs that modulate the pathway activity. Decades of work delivered successful cancer therapies out of basic biology, exemplified by two leading drugs, vismodegib and sonidegib, recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug A......

Chinese scientists discover an important regulator involved in alternative mRNA splicing in mouse spermatogonia and the transition to meiosis
Alternative splicing significantly expands the form and function of the genome of organisms with limited gene number and is especially important for several stages of mouse spermatogenesis. In addition, a number of trans-acting regulators of pre-mRNA splicing are primarily or exclusively expressed in mouse testis and may regulate the proper alternative splicing of germ cells. Despite protracted effort, deciphering how pre-mRNA splicing functions during spermatogenesis remains a great challenge for the field....

From subtlety to fate: new insights for the first mammalian embryo fate decision
In mammalian preimplantation embryo development, when the first asymmetry emerges and how it develops to direct distinct cell fates are two longstanding questions. It remains debatable whether the first bifurcation of cell fate emerges randomly at morula stage, or has been predetermined at earlier stages before morphological distinction....

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Water Channel-dependent excessive uterinefluid impairs embryo implantation
In mammalian species, embryo implantation is the threshold for pregnancy establishment, the abnormality of which accounts for ~75% of human pregnancy loss. Abnormal preimplantation hormonal environment is a common cause for defective embryo implantation, usually attributed to the changed endometrium receptivity. Here, a research group lead by Prof. EnkuiDuan at institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, showed that the abnormal preimplantation hormonal environment also disrupt intrauterine fluid homeostasis that c......

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Embryo-uterine orientation at implantation requires uterine RBPJ signaling
Rodent blastocysts show remarkably consistent embryonic orientation with respect to the uterine structure, an orientation established at initial implantation which blueprints the direction of future embryo-uterine axis. However, despite this interesting phenomenon having been discovered more than 100 years (since 1894), there have been few molecular mechanisms found responsible for this trait....

Integrative Proteomic and Transcriptomic Analyses Reveal Multiple Post-transcriptional Regulatory Mechanisms of Mouse Spermatogenesis
Dr.Chunsheng Han’s group in SKLRB collaborated with Dr. Fuquan Yang’s team in the Key Laboratory of Protein and Peptide Pharmaceuticals & Laboratory of Proteomics, Institute of Biophysics, CAS in examining protein expression during mouse spermatogenesis using iTRAQ technology—an up-to-date high throughput quantitative proteomic strategy—coupled with in-depth bioinformatics analysis. Their integrative proteomic and transcriptomic analyses have revealed multiple post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of mouse sperma......

Fragile X Premutation RNA is Sufficient to Cause Primary Ovarian Insufficiency in Mice
Research group led by Prof. Dahua Chen created and characterized a mouse model carrying the human FMR1 premutation allele and show that FMR1 premutation RNA can cause a phenotype mimicking human “remature menopause” or “premature ovarian failure” (POF), the phenotype includes a reduction in the number of growing follicles in ovaries which is sufficient to impair female fertility, and alterations of selective serum hormone levels, including FSH, LH, and 17β-estradiol. The researchers also show that the FMR1 premutatio......

High levels of activin A detected in preeclamptic placenta induce trophoblast cell apoptosis by promoting nodal signaling
Research group led by Prof. Yan-ling wang discovered that Plasma and placental productions of Activin A were significantly higher in preeclamptic patients when compared with normal pregnant subjects in a Chinese Han population. They found that abnormally high level of Activin A cause trophoblast cell apoptosis through activation of Nodal signaling. These results were recently published in The Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism....

Self-control of HGF regulation on human trophoblast cell invasion via enhancing c-Met receptor shedding by ADAM10 and ADAM17.
Research group led byProf. Yan-ling wang discovered that HGF could negatively self-control its regulatory effect on trophoblast cell invasion via enhancing proteolysis of its receptor. This study also showed that unbalanced HGF self-control by pathological conditions such as oxidative stress could lead to impeded placentation in relevance to preeclampsia. These results were recently published in The Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism....

High Frequency of SERPINA6 Polymorphisms that Reduce Plasma Corticosteroid-Binding Globulin Activity in Chinese Subjects
Dr. Hongmei WANG’s group discovered four nonsynonymous SNPs in SERPINA6 gene encoding corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG): CBG R64Q, CBG R64W, CBG A51V and CBG E102G. The CBG A51V variant has a surprisingly high frequency of 1:37, and plasma CBG levels in individuals heterozygous for this variant are ~50% lower than normal. In vitro biochemistry studies showed that CBG A51V bound steroid normally but its production/secretion was severely impaired....

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