Navigation Links
Male Contraception: Discovery Stirring Interest Among Scientists, Drug Developers

In a study recently published online by Developmental Biology, members of Dr. John Herr’s laboratory at the University of Virginia Health System report the discovery// of a new protein within a sperm’s tail that could prove a key target for male contraceptive drugs.

“There’s considerable interest in developing new male contraceptives,” said Herr, who heads UVa’s Center for Research in Contraceptive and Reproductive Health. “To support this effort, our team has been searching for proteins that might serve as target sites for small-molecule drugs.”

The newly discovered protein is called sperm flagellar energy carrier (SFEC). It is the fourth in a family of proteins that perform transfer processes to help cells make and use energy. Inside the cell, these proteins operate much like a shuttle bus, binding and exchanging energy-carrying molecules known as ATP and ADP.

The discovery of SFEC has sparked interest among both basic scientists and contraceptive drug developers because of where it is located in the sperm and the kind of energy-making process that occurs there.

“One approach to male contraception is to disable sperm from swimming, and we think SFEC may be able to play a role in that process,” Herr noted.

Dr. Young-Hwan Kim, the UVa researcher who discovered SFEC and led the study, found the new protein in the distal part of the sperm tail, or flagella. This was an unexpected finding because the three previously identified ATP/ADP carrier proteins reside in cell organelles called mitochondria. In sperm, the mitochondria reside in a region called the midpiece.

UVa researchers also found that SFEC has extensions at both ends of its amino acid sequence. Other ATP/ADP carriers do not have these extensions, which may explain why SFEC is able to perform its shuttling function in the distal sperm tail.

“The distal sperm tail does not have mitochondria, which means that SFEC operates in a different environment than the other ATP/ADP carriers,” Kim explained. “While mitochondria generate energy through an oxidative process, recent research indicates that the sperm flagella mainly produces and consumes energy through a process called glycolysis.”

According to Kim, finding that SFEC is associated with glycolysis is particularly significant. “This is the first time that such an ATP carrier protein has been linked to glycolysis,” he said. “In experiments where glycolysis was blocked, the sperm barely quivered, showed no progressive motion and were infertile.”

By contrast, prior experiments found that when the oxidative processes in the sperm’s mitochondria are blocked, sperm continue to swim and fertilize eggs.

“Because they will aim at specific proteins like SFEC and target a unique sub-domain on the protein’s surface, future male contraceptive drugs will be known as intelligent spermicides,” Herr explained. “At UVa, we’ve coined a great name for this new drug class, spermistatic.”

Related medicine news :

1. Discovery of bone gene
2. New Discovery May Help Treat Infertility
3. New Discovery to Increase Survival of Breast cancer Patients
4. Discovery of World’s smallest laser
5. Discovery of a built-in fat sensor
6. OHSU Researchers Announce New Discovery
7. Discovery Of New Molecule Could Solve Cancer Spread Mystery
8. Discovery Of Human Skeletons Could Unfold Facts About By-Gone Ages
9. New Discovery Shows That Brain Could repair Itself After Stroke
10. New Sleep Gene Discovery Wakes Up Scientists
11. Discovery of Elevated Amyloid Peptide levels could lead to Alzheimer’s Preventio
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, ... treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic ... osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin ... companies that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and ... This will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented ... in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the ... Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... Las Vegas client, The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing ... Grove, in Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased ... and genomics experience, as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG ... leading the sales team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or ... protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... India , June 24, 2016 ... Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen ... Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, ... by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the ... expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: