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: Scientists set their sights on first whole-eye transplant

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Flies give another twist in the evolving story of heredity

Oct 10, 2014

Thanks to the father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel, and his experiments cross-breading peas, the textbooks tell us that we know how inheritance works: we get 50% of our genes from our mums and 50% of our genes ...

Mutation causing one type of male infertility found

Jul 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A genetic mutation that lies behind one type of male infertility has been discovered by researchers at Oxford University, Ghent University in Belgium, and the University of Massachusetts, ...

Solving the mystery of what puts sperm 'in the mood'

Apr 08, 2009

In a potential advance toward a male contraceptive pill and new treatments for infertility, researchers are reporting the identification of key biochemical changes that put sperm “in the mood” for fertilization.

Recommended for you

US sues Gerber over claims on infant formula

7 minutes ago

US government regulators announced Thursday they were suing Gerber, the well-known baby food maker, for claiming that its Good Start Gentle formula can prevent or reduce allergies in children.

Sadness lasts longer than other emotions

17 minutes ago

Why is it that you can feel sad up to 240 times longer than you do feeling ashamed, surprised, irritated or even bored? It's because sadness often goes hand in hand with events of greater impact such as death ...

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.