Worm sperm gives clue to male infertility

Sep 05, 2006

U.S. scientists say they have used the nematode worm to identify a raft of new proteins vital for healthy sperm production.

Barbara Meyer and colleagues at the University of California-Berkeley said the quality of sperm chromatin -- DNA packaged with associated proteins -- is known to be an important indicator of male fertility. Meyer's team wanted to identify proteins important for sperm chromatin structure.

They purified those proteins uniquely and richly associated with sperm chromatin in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans and tested their function using RNA interference of all 132 proteins identified.

The team found some were vital for DNA packaging, chromosome segregation and fertility.

In some cases, it's already known that disabling the equivalent proteins in mice causes male sterility. That list of proteins may help identify causes of and diagnostic tests for unexplained male infertility in humans or provide targets for male contraceptives.

The findings appear online ahead of publication in a future issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Multiple repeat procedures seem beneficial in A-fib recurrence

Related Stories

Japan's seniors to get tech-savvy with free iPads

38 minutes ago

Millions of Japanese seniors could receive iPads under a programme to supply the elderly with specially equipped tablets that remind them when to take medicine and advise where to find community support services.

Mechanisms for continually producing sperm

39 minutes ago

Continually producing sperm over a long time is important to procreate the next generation. Researchers of the National Institute for Basic Biology, National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan, Ms. Kanako ...

Recommended for you

Nipple-sparing surgery safe in carefully selected patients

26 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Women with early-stage breast cancer who choose to preserve the nipple during a mastectomy have similar survival or recurrence rates to women who undergo full breast removal, according to research ...

ACOG: More women opting for unsupervised home births

36 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Home births without a midwife or doctor present—which have been linked to increased risk of infant death and disease—have jumped 79 percent in the United States in recent years, researchers ...

Cuts in epilepsy drugs boost children's post-op IQ

56 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Withdrawal of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in children is tied to higher IQ post-epilepsy surgery, according to a study published online April 21 in the Annals of Neurology.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.