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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Proteolytic degradation of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins by ovarian follicles: a control mechanism for selection of dominant follicles.

This review summarizes evidence for the role of proteolytic enzymes that degrade and inactivate insulin-like growth factor binding proteins ( IGFBP) during follicular development in mammals. In some species (e.g., bovine), evidence indicates that decreases in IGFBP-4 and -5 levels in estrogen-dominant preovulatory follicles are likely due, in part, to increased protease activity, whereas lower levels of IGFBP-2 are not due to increased proteolysis. Increased IGFBP-4 and -5 protease along with lower amounts of IGFBP-4 binding activity and greater amounts of free IGF-I are some of the earliest developmental changes documented in bovine growing antral follicles. This protease activity has recently been ascribed to serine metalloprotease(s), including pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A ( PAPP-A), which was first detected in human follicular fluid nearly 20 yr ago. Other recent studies verified the presence of PAPP-A mRNA in granulosa cells of humans, monkeys, cattle, mice, and pigs. Increases in the amount of PAPP-A mRNA in granulosa cells during follicular development occurs in some but not all species, indicating that other proteases or protease inhibitors may be involved in IGFBP degradation. Whether the hormonal control of PAPP-A production/activity by the ovary differs between monotocous and polytocous animals will require further study. These protease-induced decreases in IGFBP-4 and -5 likely cause increased levels of bioavailable (or free) IGFs that stimulate steroidogenesis and mitogenesis in developing dominant follicles, which ultimately prepare the follicle(s) and oocyte(s) for successful ovulation and fertilization.[1]


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