Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists identify new sperm protein required for fertilization

22.08.2003


In the United States, nearly 2.6 million couples have been treated for infertility with about 40 percent of those cases thought to be due to male infertility. Now, a study published in the August 22 issue of Cell identifies a new protein that is required for a sperm to bind to an egg during the process of fertilization. This research provides important new insight into the molecular mechanisms that are involved in the initial events of sperm-egg association and may shed light on what underlies some instances of male infertility.



There are a variety of factors that can lead to male infertility, including defects in sperm motility and insufficient sperm production. However, in many cases, the sperm of infertile men appear to be completely normal. Barry D. Shur, PhD, professor and chair of cell biology at Emory University School of Medicine, and postdoctoral fellow Michael A. Ensslin, PhD, took a close look at the specific molecules and events required for a sperm to recognize an egg so that fertilization can take place. The researchers identified a protein on the surface of mouse sperm that is required for the sperm to successfully bind to the outside of the egg. The protein, called SED1, binds specifically to unfertilized eggs and no longer recognizes an egg after it has been fertilized. When examined in the laboratory, sperm without SED1 were unable to bind to an egg. Further, mice without SED1 had greatly reduced fertility even though the sperm appeared normal in number and motility.

These results strongly suggest that SED1 plays a critical role in the initial association between sperm and egg. "An understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying sperm-egg binding may give insight into the basis for at least some percentage of male infertility," explains Dr. Shur. "In addition, this work is of interest because the composition of SED1 is similar to other types of cell-cell binding proteins, which have not previously been implicated in sperm-egg binding."


Holly Korschun | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.emory.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>