Mitochondria of sperm

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Although mitochondria are best known for being the eukaryotic cell powerhouses, these organelles participate in various cellular functions besides ATP production, such as calcium homoeostasis, generation of reactive oxygen species ROSthe intrinsic apoptotic pathway and steroid hormone biosynthesis. The aim of this review was to discuss the putative roles of mitochondria in mammalian sperm function and how they may relate to sperm quality and fertilisation ability, particularly in humans. Although paternal mitochondria are degraded inside the zygote, sperm mitochondrial functionality seems to be critical for fertilisation.

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Human sperm samples are very heterogeneous and include a low amount of truly functional gametes. Distinct strategies have been developed to characterize and isolate this specific subpopulation. In this study we have used fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-activated cell sorting to determine if mitochondrial function, as assessed using mitochondrial-sensitive probes, could be employed as a criterion to obtain more functional sperm from a given ejaculate.

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It's common knowledge that all organisms inherit their mitochondria -- the cell's "power plants" -- from their mothers. But what happens to all the father's mitochondria? Surprisingly, how -- and why -- paternal mitochondria are prevented from getting passed on to their offspring after fertilization is still shrouded in mystery; the only thing that's certain is that there must be a compelling reason, seeing as this phenomenon has been conserved throughout evolution.

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Sperm is the male reproductive cell. In the types of sexual reproduction known as anisogamy and its subtype oogamythere is a marked difference in the size of the gametes with the smaller one being termed the "male" or sperm cell. A uniflagellar sperm cell that is motile is referred to as a spermatozoonwhereas a non-motile sperm cell is referred to as a spermatium.

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Peter Sutovsky, Ricardo D. The strictly maternal inheritance of mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA mtDNA in mammals is a developmental paradox promoted by an unknown mechanism responsible for the destruction of the sperm mitochondria shortly after fertilization. We have recently reported that the sperm mitochondria are ubiquitinated inside the oocyte cytoplasm and later subjected to proteolysis during preimplantation development P.

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But he told me that this theory was now being challenged. This was news to me. Is this true?

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Mitochondria are important and unique organelles, and ongoing research keeps highlighting novel ways in which they participate in cellular functions. One main characteristic that separates the mitochondrion from other organelles is the presence of its own circular genome, mitochondrial DNA mtDNA and specific ribosomes, thus allowing for local protein synthesis St John et al. Although mtDNA only codes for 13 mitochondrial proteins Fig.

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Mitochondria of spermatozoa are different from the corresponding organelles of somatic cells, in both their morphology and biochemistry. The biochemical differences are essentially related to the existence of specific enzyme isoforms, which are characterized by peculiar kinetic and regulatory properties. As mitochondrial energy metabolism is a key factor supporting several sperm functions, these organelles host critical metabolic pathways during germ cell development and fertilization.

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Paternal mtDNA inheritance is observed in a small proportion of species; in general, mtDNA is passed unchanged from a mother to her offspring, [1] making it an example of non- Mendelian inheritance. In contrast, mtDNA transmission from both parents occurs regularly in certain bivalves. Paternal mtDNA inheritance in animals varies.

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