Mice from your backyard to Paris are buzzing with excitement after a team of scientists at Baylor may have paved the way for them to “mingle” with fewer consequences. The research team, led by Martin Matzuk, set out to explore ways to target, BRDT, a testes-specific, and bromo-domain containing protein that plays a key role in spermatogenesis.
Building off some previous work that showed a bromodomain inhibitor, JQ1, could significantly diminish the activity of a close structural relative of BRDT, the team put JQ1 to work in this study. Here’s what they found:
- JQ1 exhibited strong dose-and time- dependent inhibition of BRDT
- A close look at JQ1 bound BRDT confirmed that the acetyl-lysine recognition site of BRDT was blocked
- In mice, the inhibitor appears to completely and reversibly prevent fertility
- JQ1 is able to target the male germ cells without affecting hormonal balance
Since humans and mice share very similar BRDT protein sequence with nearly identical bromodomain pockets, the researchers feel very good about being able to translate these results into human oriented therapies in the near future. Check out the details at Cell (August 2012)