Navigation Links
Research breakthrough on male infertility
Date:5/13/2011

Around one in 20 men is infertile, but despite the best efforts of scientists, in many cases the underlying causes of infertility have remained a mystery.

New findings by a team of Australian and Swedish researchers, however, will go a long way towards explaining this mystery.

According to their research published in Science this week, a small set of genes located within the power-plants of our cells the mitochondria are crucial to unravelling the secrets of male infertility.

Most of our genes are subjected to a rigorous quality-control process that prevents harmful mutations from freely accumulating within the gene pools of most species. If nasty mutations appear, then the individuals that harbor these mutations tend to do very poorly when it comes to reproducing and surviving, and hence these mutations are kept at low levels within the general population. But while this vital screening process works well for most of our genes, it is prone to breaking down in the set of genes housed inside of the mitochondria.

Lead researcher, Dr Damian Dowling, of Monash University, Australia, explains that mitochondrial genes are unusual because they are passed only from mother to child.

"This seemingly trivial fact actually has an enormous consequence for males. It means that mutations in the mitochondria can slip through the quality control checks unnoticed and therefore build up to high levels, if these mutations are harmful in their effects on males but not on females. This is because all of the screening of mitochondrial mutations is done in females as a result of their maternal inheritance," Dr Dowling said.

Dr Dowling and research colleagues Paolo Innocenti and Ted Morrow of Uppsala University, Sweden, have presented compelling evidence for this process in action in the common fruit fly.

Their studies show that the particular set of mitochondrial genes an individual harbours has major effects on the expression of about 10 per cent of all the other genes inside of males, but virtually no effect on females. Crucially, the genes that are most affected in males are expressed almost exclusively in the male reproductive organs and associated with male fertility.

"What our results suggest is that the mitochondria have inadvertently evolved to be bad for males, but good for females, as a by-product of their maternal transmission. This might well put the sexes in conflict when it comes to the question of which mitochondrial genes should be passed on to future generations," Dr Dowling said.

"While medical practitioners have a fairly good idea that certain mitochondrial mutations can bring about male infertility, the evolutionary process that we uncover actually suggests that the mitochondria might well harbor very many unidentified mutations, all of which could contribute to the problem of male infertility. At the very least, our results should therefore provide a road-map of where we should be looking for these mutations."


'/>"/>

Contact: Samantha Blair
samantha.blair@monash.edu
61-399-034-841
Monash University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Embedded Mobile & M2M Device revenues to Rise to Almost $19 Billion Globally by 2014, Says Juniper Research
2. 2010 HSR Impact Award recognizes surgical safety research
3. MSU launches first anti-counterfeiting research program
4. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
5. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
6. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
7. Family Research Council: Planned Parenthood Report Oversexualizes Ten-Year-Olds, Undermines Parental Authority
8. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1 Million to Drive Critical New Research Tools and Technologies in Parkinsons Drug Development
9. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
10. International Diabetes Federation awards $2 million to 9 global diabetes research projects
11. Gladstones Robert Mahley to receive Research!America advocacy award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... , ... The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) launched today the University Research ... in Hong Kong to support teaching, learning and research. It is also the largest ... in Hong Kong. , With an area of 620 square metres and more ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... Care products, announced an exciting new partnership with the highly regarded and well ... Airway Management’s highly innovative, myTAP & myTAP PAP Nasal Pillow Mask, and will ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Providing for loved ones before one’s passing is ... where to even begin. “Now more than ever there are some questions that are ... and your family,” said attorney Lisa Edgar Dickman, founder of the Law Offices of ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Each year, everyone is urged to give back to the ... look forward to a better future. However, supporting the environment should be an everyday ... can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, reports the Environmental ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Indiana Fiber Network, LLC ... infrastructure service to Tele-Media Solutions. IFN is delivering Multi-Gigabit data rates as ... Tele-Media Solution’s protect transport with 3GB Dual Access Internet access now available in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017  Novartis today announced the ... Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the ... of patients with treatment-naïve severe aplastic anemia (SAA) ... with eltrombopag at the initiation of and concurrently ... evaluated three sequential treatment groups, or cohorts. Cohort ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. ... market to grow at a CAGR of 6.35% during the period ... has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 2017  Spero Therapeutics, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company founded ... infections, will present preclinical data supporting the use of ... (MDR) Gram-negative infections at the 27th European Congress of ... in Vienna, Austria . ... "Our ongoing preclinical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: