Safe Birth Con­trol Pill for Men a Step Closer

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Wash­ing­ton: Sci­en­tists, in­clud­ing one of In­dian-ori­gin, have dis­cov­ered a way to pro­duce a key en­zyme found only in sperm, an ad­vance that may help de­velop a birth con­trol drug for men that is free of side-ef­fects. “The mile­stone reached is the pro­duc­tion and iso­la­tion of a full-length, ac­tive ki­nase en­zyme in suf­fi­cient quan­ti­ties to con­duct drug screens,” said cell bi­ol­o­gist John C Herr of the Univer­sity of Vir­ginia. Re­searchers have man­aged to iso­late and man­u­fac­ture an en­zyme that is found ex­clu­sively in the testes. The en­zyme is found only in sper­matids, cells which give rise to sperm. By tar­get­ing this en­zyme, the re­searchers hope to in­hibit its func­tion as sperm are made, thus de­creas­ing the sperm’s abil­ity to swim, so that fer­til­i­sa­tion can­not oc­cur.

While there are sev­eral drugs that tar­get ki­nases to battle dis­eases such as leukemia, this would be the first time the ap­proach has been used to cre­ate a form of birth con­trol, said re­search sci­en­tist Ja­gath­pala Shetty. The re­search was pub­lished in the jour­nal Pro­tein Ex­pres­sion and Pu­rifi­ca­tion.

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