Proteins that bind to sperm offer clues to male fertility and possible male contraception

CHAPEL HILL -- The discovery by University of North Carolina scientists of a distinct family of proteins that bind to human sperm may offer important new clues to male fertility and possible male contraception.

A report of the new findings appears in the March issue of the journal Endocrinology.

The three proteins in the newly identified HE2 family are secreted in the epididymis, a coiled tubular network several yards long attached to the top of each testicle. As they mature, sperm pass through the epididymis and into another tube, the vas deferens, before emptying through the urethra during ejaculation.

Compared to the testes, the epididymis has been overlooked on a molecular level until very recently. Just five years ago, in 1995, it was considered by some as not essential for the development of sperm's fertilizing ability.

"Now it's known that sperm that have not passed through the epididymis fertilize an egg very poorly if at all. And after they pass through, they're more ready to fertilize an egg," said Susan Hall, PhD, research assistant professor of pediatrics at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. "In the epididymis, sperm go through certain maturational steps that are not very well understood at this point. That's why we're studying proteins that are synthesized in the epididymis and secreted into that tubule that might possibly interact with sperm in such a way to affect their maturation."

Attempting to fill in the gaps in epididymis molecular biology and to find possible protein targets for male contraception, Hall and her colleagues at UNC's Laboratories of Reproductive Biology began searching for genes expressed specifically in that organ.

Armed with grants from the privately endowed Contraceptive Research and Development Program (CONRAD), the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the NIH, and the Fogarty International Center, the UNC researchers found that three categories of HE2 epididymal proteins -- alpha, beta, and gamma -- were a

Contact: Leslie H. Lang
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Proteins show promise for mosquito control
2. Proteins transform DNA into molecular velcro
3. Proteins may help identify patients who will respond better to treatments in certain cancers
4. Proteins enable HIV to override cells defenses
5. New Science Press launches Proteins: From Sequence to Structure
6. Report: Proteins can be engineered as widely adaptable bioelectronic sensors
7. Proteins in African HIV strains interact differently with drugs
8. Proteins are vastly more complicated than previously realized
9. Life and death struggle: Proteins play against each other, bringing balance to immune system
10. Scientists Show Proteins Function Individually As Part Of DNA Repair
11. Genes Found That Label Cell Proteins For Disposal

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/6/2019)... ... June 05, 2019 , ... Ziegler, a specialty investment bank, ... Bio-Medical Laboratories (PBM) on its recent acquisition by PathGroup. , Headquartered in ... to more than one dozen hospitals and surgery centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... ... June 04, 2019 , ... Harper was three years ... X-rays revealed severe elbow dysplasia, which caused painful osteoarthritis in the joints. She ... Her parents were heartbroken. , The surgical specialist, Dr. Christopher Eich of Southern ...
(Date:6/3/2019)... ... ... Stay on top of current hot topics through free webinars presented by leading experts ... so be sure to register today to save your place! Participate in the discussion ... upcoming webinars: , CLINICAL TRIALS , June 10 – A Novel Approach to Applying ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/2/2019)... ... July 02, 2019 , ... Leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine company, VetStem ... Meet Biotech. The film focuses on regenerative veterinary medicine as a means of ... recently included in the Brentwood and Pacific Palisades International Film Festival in ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 10, 2019 , ... Thought Technology Ltd ... appointment of Biofeedback Tech Ltd as its authorised distributor for the ... of many therapeutic treatments and clinical assessment protocols to treat stress related disorders ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... , ... June 11, 2019 , ... ... derived from human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-EV) are able to incorporate into human ... In a test on mice, MSC-EVs also increased the cells’ ability to lodge ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... Object Pharma, ... the strategic acquisition of Metabiologics, Inc., a globally recognized leader in the production ... and commercialization rights to a full spectrum of botulinum neurotoxins, as well as ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: