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Sperm Differentiation: The Role of Trafficking of Proteins

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA 23298, USA
Department of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), 28006-Madrid, Spain
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA 23298, USA
Department of Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA, 23298, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3702;
Received: 4 March 2020 / Revised: 10 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 24 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Regulation of Spermatozoa Function)
Sperm differentiation encompasses a complex sequence of morphological changes that takes place in the seminiferous epithelium. In this process, haploid round spermatids undergo substantial structural and functional alterations, resulting in highly polarized sperm. Hallmark changes during the differentiation process include the formation of new organelles, chromatin condensation and nuclear shaping, elimination of residual cytoplasm, and assembly of the sperm flagella. To achieve these transformations, spermatids have unique mechanisms for protein trafficking that operate in a coordinated fashion. Microtubules and filaments of actin are the main tracks used to facilitate the transport mechanisms, assisted by motor and non-motor proteins, for delivery of vesicular and non-vesicular cargos to specific sites. This review integrates recent findings regarding the role of protein trafficking in sperm differentiation. Although a complete characterization of the interactome of proteins involved in these temporal and spatial processes is not yet known, we propose a model based on the current literature as a framework for future investigations. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein trafficking; sperm differentiation; manchette; acrosome protein trafficking; sperm differentiation; manchette; acrosome
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Teves, M.E.; Roldan, E.R.S.; Krapf, D.; Strauss III, J.F.; Bhagat, V.; Sapao, P. Sperm Differentiation: The Role of Trafficking of Proteins. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 3702.

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