Proteomic profile of maternal-aged blastocoel fluid suggests a novel role for ubiquitin system in blastocyst quality

Gabriella Tedeschi, Elena Albani, Elena Monica Borroni, Valentina Parini, Anna Maria Brucculeri, Elisa Maffioli, Armando Negri, Simona Nonnis, Mauro Maccarrone, Paolo Emanuele Levi-Setti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The etiology of maternal aging, a common cause of female factor infertility and a rate-limiting step in vitro fertilization (IVF) success, remains still unclear. Proteomic changes responsible for the impaired successful pregnancy outcome after IVF with aged blastocysts have not been yet evaluated. The objective of this prospective study was to employ proteomic techniques and bioinformatic tools to enlight differences at the protein level in blastocoel fluid of aged and younger woman. Methods: Protein composition of human blastocoel fluid isolated by micromanipulation from 46 blastocysts of women aged <37 years (group A) and 29 of women aged ≥37 years (group B) have been identified by a shotgun proteomic approach based on high-resolution nano-liquid chromatography electrospray-ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (nLC-ESI-MS/MS) using label free for the relative quantification of their expression levels. Results: The proteomic analysis leads to the identification and quantification of 148 proteins; 132 and 116 proteins were identified in groups A and B, respectively. Interestingly, the identified proteins are mainly involved in processes aimed at fine tuning embryo implantation and development. Among the 100 proteins commonly expressed in both groups, 17 proteins are upregulated and 44 downregulated in group B compared to group A. Overall, the analysis identified 33 proteins, which were increased or present only in B while 76 were decreased in B or present only in A. Conclusions: Data revealed that maternal aging mainly affects blastocyst survival and implantation through unbalancing the equilibrium of the ubiquitin system known to play a crucial role in fine-tuning several aspects required to ensure successful pregnancy outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 6 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Blastocoel fluid
  • Embryo implantation
  • Proteomics
  • Shotgun

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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