RETIF Info

RETIF is a web-accessible database that hosts data from proteomic analysis of REproductive TIssues and Fluids samples. Furthermore, it facilitates data mining and information extraction as well as it provides the scientific community with a reliable proteomics data repository to facilitate further research on reproductive material. Retif has been developed and hosted by the Academy of Athens Foundation for Biomedical Research

For more information about the responsible research group, you can visit the related BioAcademy Proteomics Group

Proteomics Analysis & Reproductive Tissues and Fluids

Reproductive Tissues and Fluids

A remarkable development in the post-genome era is the emergence of proteomics, a new discipline that stems from chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and genomics. Chemistry provided the basic strategies for sorting proteins into classes with different properties and for elucidating their post-translational modifications. Biochemistry helped with the clarification of functional aspects of proteins and their involvement in different pathways. Genomics provided a sequence-based framework for mining proteomic data and molecular biology contributed numerous tools for manipulating proteins and examining their interactions and occurrence as part of complexes. Proteomics deals with the study of the expression and composition of the entire complement of proteins produced by a cell under the control of a particular set of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. This process is complicated because of the ability of the gene to produce more than one proteins, post- translational processing and structural modifications which lead to functional proteins. Proteome analysis is based on the isolation, identification and quantitation of large number of proteins and addresses a variety of diverse problems contributing greatly to our understanding of gene function. Proteomic technologies enable a systematic analysis of the proteins involved on a much larger scale than is being currently undertaken. High-resolution 2-DE can be used to separate large number of proteins and compare patterns of protein expression under various physiological and pathological conditions. MS provides a powerful tool for rapid identification of protein spots on 2-DE gel. Bioinformatics, combining biology and computer science, has become one of the fastest growing fields in biological research, allowing data analysis and storage in databases that can be easily explored. During the past few years tremendous interest has developed regarding the ability of proteomics to address some unsolved problems in medical science. The major goal is to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanism involved in various physiological and pathological conditions and to identify, in tissues or body fluids, appropriate marker proteins which are involved in disease onset and development. Proteomic approaches are already used in some fields of medical research, such as liver, heart disease and certain forms of cancer, but they have not as yet been widely used in human reproduction.

Pregnancy and proteomicsPregnancy is a unique biological phenomenon in which maternal immune responses are modified to allow the semi-allogenic fetus to survive within the uterine environment and physiological processes of the mother undergo significant changes to adapt to the rapidly developing fetus. Successful fertilization, implantation, placentation, pregnancy progression and delivery depend on a complex interaction of intracellular and extracellular factors which include hormones, adhesion molecules, growth factors and immunomodulators. Follicle cell function and FF biochemistry influence the development of human oocytes and affect fertilization and early embryonic development. Several published studies have aimed to determine the protein composition of human follicular fluid and elucidate their role in cases of infertility. Fetal tissues serve as endocrine organs which produce a wide range of proteins and peptides that enter maternal and fetal circulation and have diverse effects on various systems. An intricate balance of these substances is required throughout pregnancy and in cases of gestational disease or fetal aneuploidy this balance seems to be disturbed. Emerging proteomic technology is only recently beginning to be employed in pregnancy research. Identification of proteins specific to reproduction and pregnancy is likely to contribute to the comprehension of the underlying pathophysiology and to the discovery of relevant biomarkers. If detected in early pregnancy or before the development of clinical symptoms they can be used as suitable disease markers, whereas those detected at later stages are likely to be more specific and may be closely related to the phenotype of the disease. With the advent of high resolution ultrasonography, gestational tissues are accessible for extensive studies and application of proteomic methods has yielded significant information regarding the physiology of reproduction and pathological conditions related to pregnancy. A considerable amount of data are now available on several aspects including preimplantation, pregnancy progression and delivery.