Delivering value from sperm proteomics for fertility

Cell Tissue Res. 2012 Sep;349(3):783-93. doi: 10.1007/s00441-012-1452-2. Epub 2012 Jun 13.


Fertilization of an egg by a spermatozoon sets the stage for mammalian development. Viable sperm are a prerequisite for successful fertilization and beyond. Spermatozoa have a unique cell structure where haploid genomic DNA is located in a tiny cytoplasmic space in the head, mitochondria in the midpiece and then the tail, all enclosed by several layers of membrane. Proteins in sperm play vital roles in motility, capacitation, fertilization, egg activation and embryo development. Molecular defects in these proteins are associated with low fertility or in some cases, infertility. This review will first summarize genesis, molecular anatomy and physiology of spermatozoa, fertilization, embryogenesis and then those proteins playing important roles in various aspects of sperm physiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acrosome Reaction / physiology
  • Animals
  • Fertilization / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Proteomics
  • Sperm Capacitation / physiology
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology*
  • Spermatozoa / cytology
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*