November 1, 2011
Live-Action Films Of Worm Sperm Help Researchers Track Critical Fertility Enzymes
San Francisco State University study published by the journal Genetics
Compared to most other cells in an organism, sperm undergo a radical transformation to become compact and mobile delivery systems for paternal DNA. Even though sperm looks and moves quite differently across species, SF State researcher Diana Chu and colleagues now say that there are at least a few key enzymes that are critical for sperm development and mobility in species as different as mice and nematode worms. The study by Chu, et al., was published today online by the journal Genetics.
Sperm in mammals like mice–and men–don't have pseudopods and don't move in the same way, but they still rely on the phosphatases for development and mobility. Further study of the phosphatases could someday shed light on some of the causes of human infertility, since the enzymes seem to be critical for sperm function.
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