Embryo culture/selection/transfer techniques have advanced greatly, yet implantation failure still poses a crucial limiting factor. It is believed that the hurdle may lay in the “soil for the seeds”, the endometrium. Currently no biochemical tests are available for endometrial receptivity, and in ART cycles embryos are transferred without knowing the status of the endometrium. Development of diagnostics for endometrial receptivity is critical to improve ART outcomes. Our studies have identified a number of biomarkers for receptivity. In particular, 3 proteins warrant further investigation: PC6, a critical regulator for receptivity; a-DG-N, a protein released from the uterine surface into the cavity at receptivity; and PDGFAA, a growth factor newly identified as a potential receptivity biomarker. We have established specific assays for PC6 and a-DG-N, whereas a PDGFAA ELISA is already commercially available. We aim to validate these 3 candidates in large cohorts of uterine fluids and to uncover the fundamental aspects of endometrial epithelial receptivity.
Reference: Salamonsen LA, Edgell T, Rombauts LJ, Stephens AN, Robertson DM, Rainczuk A, et al. Proteomics of the human endometrium and uterine fluid: a pathway to biomarker discovery. Fertil Steril. 2013 Mar 15;99(4):1086-92.
Reference: Heng S, Paule SG, Li Y, Rombauts LJ, Vollenhoven B, Salamonsen LA, et al. Posttranslational removal of alpha-dystroglycan N terminus by PC5/6 cleavage is important for uterine preparation for embryo implantation in women. FASEB J. 2015 Sep;29(9):4011-22.
Reference: Paule S, Nebl T, Webb AI, Vollenhoven B, Rombauts LJ, Nie G. Proprotein convertase 5/6 cleaves platelet-derived growth factor A in the human endometrium in preparation for embryo implantation. Mol Hum Reprod. 2015 Mar;21(3):262-70.