Failure of the endometrium to achieve receptivity results in infertility, and it is also a rate-limiting step in in vitro fertilization (IVF) success. The microenvironments provided by the endometrium during the receptive phase and that support implantation are highly complex and constantly changing as implantation progresses. Although a number of gene array studies have defined mRNA changes across the cycle, with infertility, and in IVF cycles, these have not generally been informative due in part to the subsequent regulation of transcription and posttranslational modifications of the proteins. State-of-the-art proteomic technologies now enable analysis of changes in the endometrium and its secretome related to cycle phase and associated with infertility. These techniques include two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis, isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation, and multiplex analyses of selected panels of markers. Subsequent definition of cellular location, timing of production of identified proteins, and their regulation by steroid hormones and blastocyst-derived factors provide indications of their functions and their relationship to the establishment of pregnancy. Proteins discovered by proteomic analyses and fully evaluated will provide the differentiative profiles necessary to inform clinical practice and serve as an end point for optimizing stimulation cycles in IVF clinics as well as more clearly defining the molecular mechanisms underlying successful implantation.
Salamonsen, L. A., Edgell, T., Rombauts, L., Stephens, A. N., Robertson, D., Rainczuk, A., Nie, G., & Hannan, N. J. (2013). Proteomics of the human endometrium and uterine fluid: a pathway to biomarker discovery. Fertility and Sterility, 99(4), 1086 - 1092. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.09.013