Posted on Jun 11, 2018, 4 p.m.
New structure in human sperm has been identified that functions in the zygote which may provide new paths for addressing male infertility and insights into early embryo development defects, as published in Nature Communications.
It has been shown that males donate two centrioles through sperm during fertilization, discovery may contribute to miscarriages, birth defects, and infertility. Discovery is of importance as abnormalities in function and formation of atypical centriole may be at root of unknown infertility causes in couples with no treatment options. The discovered centriole functions similarly to and along with the known centriole despite being structured differently.
The only essential cellular structure that is solely contributed by the father is the centriole, it is origin of all centrioles in the trillions of cells which make up the adult human body. Centrioles are critical to formation of cell cilia antennae, cytoskeleton, and completing accurate cell division.
A fertilized egg cell zygote requires two centrioles to form life, previously it was thought a single centriole was provided that duplicated itself. Mother eggs do not provide centrioles. The newly discovered centriole was found using cutting edge techniques and super resolution microscopes with high pressure freezing and correlative light electron microscopy while looking for where the second centriole come from, it was previously overlooked as it is completely different from the known centriole in regards to protein and structure composition. The Atypical centriole contains core set of proteins needed to form a fully functional centriole after fertilization within the zygote using the egg proteins.
Materials provided by University of Toledo.
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Emily L. Fishman, Kyoung Jo, Quynh P. H. Nguyen, Dong Kong, Rachel Royfman, Anthony R. Cekic, Sushil Khanal, Ann L. Miller, Calvin Simerly, Gerald Schatten, Jadranka Loncarek, Vito Mennella, Tomer Avidor-Reiss. A novel atypical sperm centriole is functional during human fertilization. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04678-8