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Genes Dev. 2006 Feb 15;20(4):411-6. Epub 2006 Jan 31.

Mammalian sperm translate nuclear-encoded proteins by mitochondrial-type ribosomes.

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1
Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel.

Abstract

It is widely accepted that spermatozoa are translationally silent. The present study demonstrates, for the first time, incorporation of labeled amino acids into polypeptides during sperm capacitation, which was completely inhibited by mitochondrial translation inhibitors but not by the cytoplasmic translation inhibitor. Unlike 80S cytoplasmic ribosomes, 55S mitochondrial ribosomes were present in polysomal fractions, indicating that these ribosomes are actively involved in protein translation in spermatozoa. Inhibition of protein translation significantly reduced sperm motility, capacitation and in vitro fertilization rate. Thus, contrary to the accepted dogma, nuclear genes are expressed as proteins in sperm during their residence in the female reproductive tract until fertilization.

PMID:
16449571
PMCID:
PMC1369042
DOI:
10.1101/gad.367606
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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