News & Events
Detected protein sensor of sperm, able to help in the fight against infertility
- May 9, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
The history of the evolutionary type of fertilization in humans has quite a lot of theoretical issues and nuances – some of which may play a role in the development of new methods of fertilization and the fight against infertility. So a team of researchers from the United States presented the results of their new study on how sperms activate their calcium channel to search and fertilize an egg – this is a complex calcium channel called CatSper, which they use to determine environmental conditions and factors having or repelling from pregnancy.
The basis of the new study was the question of which of the many proteins that work with this calcium channel activates it and, as a result, the mechanism of sperm action. After going through many options for sperm proteins, scientists discovered the most promising and multifunctional candidate – the protein under the designation EFCAB9, which functions as a kind of sensor for opening channels and searching for an egg cell.
As the researchers themselves indicate, until now they did not know the process of activation of this calcium channel in all its details, and therefore they could not answer the question of exactly how it starts the process of its activation and sperm work. Experiments on male mice that had previously removed this protein, demonstrated that they were less able to fertilize females, and when fertilization was successful, they produced significantly fewer offspring compared to the control group.
Thus, the new study and its results have become a kind of potential discovery of how to effectively and quickly deal with infertility in people, as well as how you can initially increase the reproductive ability of men. However, the research is still ongoing and it is too early to talk about any conclusive results regarding it.