Sperm start their sprint to the ovum when they detect changes in the environment through a series of calcium channels arranged like racing stripes on their tails. A team of Yale researchers has identified a key molecule that coordinates the opening and closing of these channels, a process that activates sperm and helps guides them to the egg.
When the gene that encodes for the molecule is removed through gene editing, male mice impregnate fewer females, and females who are impregnated produce fewer pups. Also, the sperm of the altered male mice are less active and fertilize fewer eggs in lab experiments, the Yale researchers report May 2 in the journal Cell.
The calcium channel complex aligned on a sperm’s tail, called CatSper, is evolutionarily conserved across many species and consists of multiple subunits, but “we didn’t know what each did,” said Jean-Ju Chung, assistant professor of cellular and molecular physiology and senior author of the paper.
Previous studies failed to identify the exact mechanism in CatSper that allows sperm to respond to cues such as acidity levels along the female reproductive tract and trigger changes in their motility to better navigate to the egg. Chung’s lab screened all sperm proteins to identify which ones interacted with the CatSper channel complex. They zeroed in on one, EFCAB9, which acts as a sensor that orchestrates the opening and closing of the channels according to environmental cues.
“This molecule is a long-sought sensor for the CatSper channel, which is essential to fertilization, and explains how sperm respond to physiological cues,” Chung said.
EFCAB9 seems to play “a dual role in regulating the activity and the arrangement of channels on a sperm’s tail, which help regulate sperm motility towards the egg,” Chung said.
Mutations have been found in the CatSper genes of infertile men and could be a target for fertility treatments. Since the CatSper channel is necessary for sperm to function, blocking it could lead to development of non-hormonal contraceptives with minimal side effects in both men and women, Chung said.
Learn more: Single molecule puts sperm on track
The Latest on: Contraceptives
via Google News
The Latest on: Contraceptives
- Study reveals use of continuous combined oral contraceptives demonstrates bone health benefitson June 24, 2020 at 10:30 am
While women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) become estrogen deficient at an early age, which makes them more vulnerable to the loss of bone mineral density, a new study suggests that use of ...
- Use of continuous combined oral contraceptives demonstrates bone health benefitson June 24, 2020 at 12:28 am
Women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) become estrogen deficient at an early age, which makes them more vulnerable to the loss of bone mineral density. A new study suggests that use of ...
- Study: Use of continuous combined oral contraceptives may reduce bone mass losson June 23, 2020 at 11:17 pm
Women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) become estrogen deficient at an early age, which makes them more vulnerable to the loss of bone mineral density.
- FACT CHECK: Are Hindus being fed biryani laced with contraceptives in Coimbatoreon June 22, 2020 at 1:51 pm
A Facebook user by the name of Pankaj Ahir posted four photos claiming that in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore city, a Muslim man is selling biryani to Hindus ...
- Zimbabwe: Migrant Women Struggle to Access Contraceptiveson June 19, 2020 at 3:41 am
Women are finding it difficult to get contraceptive pills that are smuggled from Zimbabwe due to the lockdown regulations.
- Global Contraceptives Market 2020 Industry Outlook, Key Players, Segmentation Analysis, Business Growth and Forecast to 2026on June 17, 2020 at 6:44 pm
MarketsandResearch.biz has released an exclusive report named Global Contraceptives Market 2020 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2026 which comprehensively provides a quick ...
- Iran's state hospitals are no longer giving out contraceptives to try revive its dwindling populationon June 15, 2020 at 11:11 pm
In Iran, families are currently having 1.7 children on average. Maintaining a population requires 2.2 children per family.
- Iran bans vasectomies and contraceptives to improve birth rateon June 15, 2020 at 10:23 am
Economic factors are to blame for men not having a family, a health ministry official says ...
- Iran ends provision by state of contraceptives and vasectomieson June 15, 2020 at 10:23 am
Government move to boost birth rate does not affect pharmacies or private hospitals ...
- Iran scraps state-run vasectomies and contraceptiveson June 15, 2020 at 8:27 am
The move comes as the country's annual population growth dropped to below 1 per cent and statistics show Iran's marriage and birth rates have fallen.
via Bing News