A complex population of RNAs exists in human ejaculate spermatozoa: implications for understanding molecular aspects of spermiogenesis

J Hamlington, S Rollinson, R Lilford, S A Krawetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The presence of mRNAs in human ejaculate spermatozoa is well established, yet little is known of the representation or function of these transcripts. To address these issues, the complexity of spermatozoal RNA was examined. As expected, testis-expressed mRNAs were detected by RT-PCR in mature human spermatozoa. Interestingly, when a testis cDNA library was probed with total spermatozoal RNA, less than 2% of plaques gave a strong hybridization signal, suggesting a rather unique sperm-derived population. To further define the sequence distribution, 18 strongly hybridizing clones were selected at random for end-sequence analysis. Twelve matched unique sequences in the EST, STS and NR databases, whereas five showed no similarity to any of the sequences in the databases. In addition, one clone belonged to the SINE repetitive element family. As demonstrated by sequencing randomly primed cloned inserts, short (SINE/MER) or long (LINE/ORF2) interspersed repeat-like sequences are also contained as part of the spermatozoal RNA fraction. It is now evident that human spermatozoa contain a rich repertoire of both known and unknown protein-encoding and non-coding RNAs. This provides a unique opportunity to identify and investigate the many genes responsible for the structure and function/dysfunction of the male gamete using spermatozoal RNA as the template.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-92
Number of pages8
JournalGene
Volume237
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 1999

Keywords

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Ejaculation
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Spermatozoa
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

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