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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited