Understanding molecular biology can improve the clinical acumen of the practicing obstetrician/gynecologist. An area of basic research now becoming clinically relevant involves the G proteins and G protein-coupled receptors. Clinicians already manipulate G protein-coupled receptors in their daily practice. Examples include the administration of oxytocin (oxytocin receptors), β-2 tocolytic agents (β2-adrenergic receptors), GnRH agonists (GnRH receptors), exogenous gonadotropins (FSH and LH receptors), and bromocriptine (dopamine receptor). Clinically important disorders presenting to the obstetrician/gynecologist include some forms of precocious puberty, delayed puberty, premature ovarian failure, and pituitary adenomas which are due to mutations of G proteins and G protein-coupled receptors. The importance of these proteins is demonstrated by the fact that G protein- related genes comprise about 1 percent of the human genome. Additionally, the knowledge that some G protein gene mutations are present in the germ line, and others are somatic cell in origin (and not heritable), aids in more accurate genetic counseling to patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology