Haploid spermatids exhibit translationally repressed mRNAs

Anat Embryol (Berl). 2001 May;203(5):323-34. doi: 10.1007/s004290100176.


During spermiogenesis, DNA-binding histones are replaced by protamines. DNA-protamine-interactions result in chromatin condensation causing cessation of transcription in elongating spermatids. Thus, in haploid spermatids, processes of transcription and translation need to be temporally uncoupled in order to ensure protein synthesis in transcriptionally silent germ cells. Post-transcriptional events, such as processing, transport, and storage of mRNAs, therefore, play important roles in determining when transcripts become functionally available for translation. This review focuses on mechanisms of translational regulation in haploid spermatids and male infertility caused by defects of translational control processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Haploidy*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / genetics
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribonucleoproteins / analysis
  • Spermatids / chemistry*
  • Spermatogenesis / genetics


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • messenger ribonucleoprotein