The reproductive organs are unique among adult organs in that they must undergo continual tissue remodelling as a key aspect of their normal function. The processes for persistent maturation and release of new gametes, as well as fertilisation, implantation, placentation, gestation and parturition involve cyclic development and regression of tissues that must continually regenerate to support fertility. The ADAMTS family of proteases has been shown to contribute to many aspects of the tissue morphogenesis required for development and function of each of the reproductive organs. Dysregulation or functional changes in ADAMTS family proteases have been associated with reproductive disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and premature ovarian failure (POF). Likewise, proteolytic substrates of ADAMTS enzymes have also been linked to reproductive function. New insight into the roles of ADAMTS proteases has yielded a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind fertility with clinical potential to generate therapeutic targets to resolve infertility, develop biomarkers that predict dysfunction of the reproductive organs and potentially offer targets for development of non-hormonal male and female contraceptives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology