George Bousfield, Lawrence M Jones Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences, was awarded a five-year renewal of a grant from the National Institute on Aging.
This grant will potentially yield over $8 million for women’s fertility research.
The grant allows Bousfield the opportunity to conduct research that could help women worried about their biological clocks and could be one of the first tests available for clinicians to treat for infertility.
Newswise — George Bousfield, Lawrence M Jones Distinguished Professor, biological sciences at Wichita State University, was awarded a five-year renewal of a grant that will potentially yield over $8 million to conduct research that could affect fertility diagnosis and treatment for millions of women.
The National Institute on Aging, one of the National Institutes of Health, funded Bousfield’s proposal in September, starting with $1,801,381 for the first year. This five-year award could potentially give $8,628,697 by the time it’s finished.
The grant allows Bousfield the opportunity to conduct research that could help women worried about their biological clocks and could be one of the first tests available for clinicians to use for diagnosing age-related infertility.
The research will determine the effects of an age-related change in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) glycosylation on fertility, osteoporosis and obesity.
“We want to develop an assay to measure both fully and partially glycosylated FSH in serum and urine samples,” says Bousfield. “This will let us study the variation in abundance of both FSH forms during normal physiological events, such as the menstrual cycle, and as a function of age.”
In young women, most FSH is missing one of its four carbohydrates and is more active. As women age, more of the FSH is fully glycosylated – the process by which sugars are chemically attached to proteins to form glycoproteins – and has less biological activity.
The loss in FSH activity causes the body to secrete more of the less active FSH forms. This action, however, is believed to contribute to bone loss and increased obesity.
Three Wichita State students also assist Bousfield with this research. Two students screen monoclonal antibodies raised against FSH subunits for those that prefer one FSH form over another, and a graduate student studies the mechanism responsible for inhibition of FSH glycosylation.
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