Male infertility treatment through targeting an enzyme

The cell division time of different cells varies; some cells divide within a few hours, whereas cells like sperm need overall fourteen days to divide completely from the initial stage to the end of the process. Pachytene takes six days and during this period pairs of chromosomes from an individual’s mother and father align and attach.

Man infertility treatmet using enzyme trigger

In the Pachytene stage, the genetic materials exchanging between the two chromosomes present in a pair occurs though the chromosomal alignment. Thus, this stage is very important for sperm maturation. Any faulty arrangement that happens in this stage leads to defective cell division and resultant of this causes infertility, loss of the pregnancy, and congenital defects.

Researchers reported in a recently published research article in the Science Advances that an identified enzyme could play a vital role in upholding chromosomal pairing during the pachytene stage of cell division. This proteinous nature of enzyme is known as SKP1, and without this component, meiosis cannot proceed to the next stage, which is known as metaphase. Metaphase is a primary developmental stage for sperm cell generation.

This finding helps those men who are suffering from infertility issues due to no sperm production, but they have spermatogonia, the precursor cells of sperm.

Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) including in vitro fertilization make possible to create a huge revolutionary change infertility treatment. But sperm production from the male partner is one of the essential criteria to create a biological embryo. Otherwise, donor sperm must be used to continue the process. But this recent research outcome showed the possibility of introducing SKP1 in the sperm generation through inducing meiosis cell division could be a solution for those male infertile patients who have spermatogonia, but no sperm.

The chief researcher of this study also expected that this finding might helpful in fundamental sperm developmental research. They and other colleagues also involved in such research proposal development for pursuing the same.  

Researchers have already found that the SKP1 is not only essential for sperm maturation through entering metaphase cell division through inducing meiosis cell division, but SKP1 is also essential for egg maturation in females. Without SKP1, chromosomes from germ-cells prematurely separate or developed misaligned chromosomes and eventually lost.  

Currently, this research is an animal-based study. But this research team is very much optimistic about their findings. They are hopeful to produce in-vitro sperm by manipulating the SKP1 enzyme and its pathway shortly. Obtaining this success will bring a boon to the ART industry.

Reference

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200325212205.htm

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