Bioinformatics for spermatogenesis: annotation of male reproduction based on proteomics

Asian J Androl. 2013 Sep;15(5):594-602. doi: 10.1038/aja.2013.67. Epub 2013 Jul 15.


Proteomics strategies have been widely used in the field of male reproduction, both in basic and clinical research. Bioinformatics methods are indispensable in proteomics-based studies and are used for data presentation, database construction and functional annotation. In the present review, we focus on the functional annotation of gene lists obtained through qualitative or quantitative methods, summarizing the common and male reproduction specialized proteomics databases. We introduce several integrated tools used to find the hidden biological significance from the data obtained. We further describe in detail the information on male reproduction derived from Gene Ontology analyses, pathway analyses and biomedical analyses. We provide an overview of bioinformatics annotations in spermatogenesis, from gene function to biological function and from biological function to clinical application. On the basis of recently published proteomics studies and associated data, we show that bioinformatics methods help us to discover drug targets for sperm motility and to scan for cancer-testis genes. In addition, we summarize the online resources relevant to male reproduction research for the exploration of the regulation of spermatogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Gene Ontology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Proteomics
  • Reproduction / physiology*
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology*
  • Spermatozoa / physiology