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Abstract

Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2011) 13, 24–30; 10.1038/aja.2010.65

Proteomics and the genetics of sperm chromatin condensation

Rafael Oliva1,2 and Judit Castillo1,2

1 Human Genetics Research Group, IDIBAPS, Department of Ciencias Fisiológicas I, Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Barcelona 08036, Spain
2 Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Service, Hospital Clínic i Provincial, Barcelona 08036, Spain

Correspondence: Dr R Oliva, (roliva@ub.edu)

Abstract

Spermatogenesis involves extremely marked cellular, genetic and chromatin changes resulting in the generation of the highly specialized sperm cell. Proteomics allows the identification of the proteins that compose the spermatogenic cells and the study of their function. The recent developments in mass spectrometry (MS) have markedly increased the throughput to identify and to study the sperm proteins. Catalogs of thousands of testis and spermatozoan proteins in human and different model species are becoming available, setting up the basis for subsequent research, diagnostic applications and possibly the future development of specific treatments. The present review intends to summarize the key genetic and chromatin changes at the different stages of spermatogenesis and in the mature sperm cell and to comment on the presently available proteomic studies.

Keywords: epigenetic; imprinting; protamine; proteome; spermatozoa

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