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Protein complex mcm8/mcm9, inhibitors thereof, and their use for enhancing or reducing animal fertility



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European priority patent application n°EP11306082.6 filed on August 30, 2011 and entitled “Protein complex, inhibitors thereof, and their use as drugs”


Bernard DE MASSY
Corinne GREY

Statut commercial

Exclusive or non-exclusive licenses, Collaborative agreement


Institut de Génétique Humaine (IGH, UPR1142) in Montpellier, France



The MiniChromosome Maintenance family (MCM2-9) comprises structurally related proteins required to initiate DNA synthesis in eukaryotes. These proteins function in a complex very likely as a DNA helicase in promoting the opening of the DNA double helix at replication origins.
MCM8 and MCM9 are the last discovered members of the eight MCM family proteins. The functions of MCM8 and MCM9, which are present in all vertebrates but absent in yeast, C. elegans, and some other eukaryotic taxa, are far less documented.

A mechanism essential to preserve genome integrity during both mitotic cell division and the formation of germ cells at meiosis is the repair of double strand DNA breaks (DSBs) by homologous recombination (HR).


The inventors have observed that lack of MCM8/MCM9 complex induces animal sterility. They have shown that deficiency for these genes impairs homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DNA repair during gametogenesis and somatic cells cycles.

This invention concerns a composition comprising either an isolated protein complex comprising MCM8 and MCM9 proteins, or nucleic acid molecules coding for the proteins that constitute said complex, or compounds inhibiting the formation and/or the stability, or the activity of said complex, for its use for enhancing or reducing animal fertility.


This innovation could be used for controlling fertility or sterility:

  • Increasing fertility by restoring the absent MCM8/MCM9 complex
  • ​Reducing fertility by inhibiting the formation and/or the stability and/or the activity of MCM8/MCM9 complex

For further information, please contact us (Ref 00017-04)

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