[Pharmwaste] hormone-free contraceptive pill on the horizon

Tenace, Laurie Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
Fri Dec 12 10:38:31 EST 2008

the whole article requires a subscription, but I thought I'd share this
snippet - 


Hormone-free contraceptive pill on the horizon 
09 December 2008 

A PROTEIN that plays a crucial role in conception could be the key to
creating a contraceptive that doesn't tinker with a woman's hormones.

The coating of mammalian eggs contains a protein called ZP3, which sperm must
bind to if they are to burrow through the coating and fertilise the egg.
Female mice engineered to lack ZP3 do not have this coating, making them
infertile, while women with abnormal ZP3 may also suffer fertility problems.

Luca Jovine at the Karolinska Institute in Huddinge, Sweden, and his
colleagues have used X-ray crystallography to work out the chemical structure
of a stretch of mouse ZP3 that gives the protein its structural properties
(Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature07599). As the equivalent stretch of human ZP3 is
likely to be similar in structure, Jovine says it may be possible to design
drugs that bind to ZP3, thereby preventing the coating from forming and
rendering women temporarily infertile.

Such a drug might avoid some of the side effects of today's oral
contraceptives, which disrupt hormone production throughout the body.

Laurie Tenace
Environmental Specialist
Waste Reduction Section
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Rd., MS 4555
Tallahassee FL 32399-2400
P: 850.245.8759
F: 850.245.8811

Mercury: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/mercury/default.htm 

Unwanted Medicine:

The Department of Environmental 

Protection values your feedback as a customer. DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole is committed to continuously assessing and 

improving the level and quality of services provided to you. Please take a few minutes to comment on the quality of 

service you received. Copy the url below to a web browser to complete the DEP 

survey: http://survey.dep.state.fl.us/?refemail=Laurie.Tenace@dep.state.fl.us Thank you in advance for completing the survey.

More information about the Pharmwaste mailing list