Key protein offers hope for preventing premature births
Local medical experts have discovered a protein that plays a key role in the onset of labor, which offers a new strategy for premature birth prevention and control.
The incidence of premature birth is 7 in every 100 births in China, with more than 1 million premature babies delivered every year. Premature birth is the leading cause of death and disability for children under 5 years old. Many premature babies who have survived suffer from serious complications.
Previous research found premature labor is related to many factors.
Dr Sun Gang from Renji Hospital's research team found protein C/EBPδ is a key factor during the onset of labor. In an animal experiment, knockout of protein in mice delays the onset of labor.
This discovery offers a new target for drug development to help reduce premature births and protect the safety and health of both mothers and children, experts said.
The research was published by the leading journal Clinical and Translational Medicine.