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Comparative profiling of the sperm proteome

Authors

  • Ashling Holland,

    1. Department of Biology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland
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  • Kay Ohlendieck

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland
    • Correspondence: Professor Kay Ohlendieck, Department of Biology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland

      E-mail: kay.ohlendieck@nuim.ie

      Fax: +353-1-708-3845

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Abstract

The highly complex and species-selective mechanism of fertilization is a central theme of developmental biology. Gametogenesis, sperm activation, and egg–sperm recognition are fundamental biological processes, warranting detailed studies into the molecular composition of gametes. Biological MS has been instrumental for the comprehensive itemizing of gamete proteomes. The protein constellation of sperm cells and its subcellular structures has been established for a variety of animal species. Spermatogenesis and the crucial activation of sperm cells as a prerequisite of successful fertilization and physiological adaptations to external stressors was investigated using proteomics, as well as the underlying mechanisms of male infertility with respect to proteome-wide alterations. This review outlines recent achievements of sperm proteomics and exemplifies the usefulness of gel-based surveys by outlining the comparative analysis of abnormal spermatozoa in globozoospermia. Besides label-free MS techniques and cell-based labeling methodology, high-resolution fluorescence 2DE has been shown to be highly suitable as a proteomic biomarker discovery tool in sperm protein research. The appropriateness of novel protein markers for improving our understanding of normal spermatogenesis and sperm activation versus the molecular pathogenesis of male infertility will be discussed. New biomarker candidates might be useful to improve diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic aspects of infertility.

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