About this Research Topic
The male gamete, spermatozoon is a unique cell in many ways - mature sperm is believed to be transcriptionally and translationally inactive, also in healthy individuals these cells never come in contact to blood due to presence of a blood-testis barrier. The process of spermatogenesis is a long and very tightly controlled process involving multiple special transcription regulators. While the differentiation steps cease, the spermatozoa still remain immature; it then transits through epididymis where its maturation events commences and last till it attains the 'capacitation' stage inside the female reproductive tract, after ejaculation. During the stages of maturation, capacitation and hyperactivation sperm cells undergo various changes through complex signaling cascades governed by specific ions (viz. Ca2+, HCO3-, etc.) and enzymes (e.g. certain kinases, phosphatases, adenylyl cyclases, etc.). These ions and enzymes along with some other molecules (like sterols, albumin, and certain neucleotide-derivatives) regulate motility and fertility potential of the male gamete.
The processes of acetylation/deacetylation and demethylation that take place inside the germ cells during the development of spermatozoa from spermatogonia are not well understood. These processes involve multiple stages, each regulated by intracellular molecular signaling events. Similarly, the epidydimal sperm maturation process which involves interplay of various signaling molecules still largely remains a mystery. The effect of evolution on testis/sperm-specific enzyme functions of different classes of organisms from fishes to birds and mammals is a fascinating subject to study. With the increase in use of epitranscriptomics, phosphoproteomics as well as chemical-genetics approach have made it possible to look into finer details of enzyme-led signaling events in sperm biology. These areas need more research and documentations. The fertilizing ability of sperm cells is target for manipulation to develop novel contraceptives besides identifying male-specific infertility traits. This aspect of study allows growth of translational and clinical research work that needs more exposure to publication.
The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover promising, recent, and novel research trends in the field of sperm biology. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
· Roles of Isoform-specific enzymes in development and functions of sperm cells
· Study of different ion channels with regards to sperm cell maturation and fertilization
· Development of contraceptives
· Identification of male infertility at molecular level
· Study and application of omics in male reproductive health
All types of articles with new information and data analysis including review, original research papers, meta-analysis, etc. are welcome.
Keywords: spermatogenesis, capacitation, hyperactivation, motility, fertility potential
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