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

Disruption of the transmembrane dense core vesicle proteins IA-2 and IA-2beta causes female infertility.

Female infertility is a worldwide problem affecting 10-15% of the population. The cause of the infertility in many cases is not known. In the present report, we demonstrate that alterations in two transmembrane structural proteins, IA-2 and IA-2beta, located in dense core secretory vesicles (DCV) of many endocrine and neuroendocrine cells, can result in female infertility. IA-2 and IA-2beta are best known as major autoantigens in type 1 diabetes, but their normal function has remained an enigma. Recently we showed in mice that deletion of IA-2 and/or IA-2beta results in impaired insulin secretion and glucose intolerance. We now report that double knockout (DKO), but not single knockout, female mice are essentially infertile. Vaginal smears showed a totally abnormal estrous cycle, and examination of the ovaries revealed normal-appearing oocytes but the absence of corpora lutea. The LH surge that is required for ovulation occurred in wild-type mice but not in DKO mice. Additional studies showed that the LH level in the pituitary of DKO female mice was decreased compared with wild-type mice. Treatment of DKO females with gonadotropins restored corpora lutea formation. In contrast to DKO female mice, DKO male mice were fertile and LH levels in the serum and pituitary were within the normal range. From these studies we conclude that the DCV proteins, IA-2 and IA-2beta, play an important role in LH secretion and that alterations in structural proteins of DCV can result in female infertility.[1]


  1. Disruption of the transmembrane dense core vesicle proteins IA-2 and IA-2beta causes female infertility. Kubosaki, A., Nakamura, S., Clark, A., Morris, J.F., Notkins, A.L. Endocrinology (2006) [Pubmed]
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