The 15th Issue of Genes & Development has carried a paper that gives us a different depth into understanding changes in cells in a sperm, when they are in the female reproductive tract. This paper gives us a different perspective of the genetics of successful fertilization.
Previous theory contends that the spermatozoa are really quiet in the female reproductive tract. Gur and Haim Breitbart of the Bar-Ilan University, have differed in this, expressing that protein translation takes place in the sperm of mammals, before fertilization. According to the findings, sperms stay in the female reproductive tract for a good many hours after they are ejaculated, and during this time they experience a lot of bio-chemical changes , technically called as "capacitation", that qualifies the sperm to fertlize the egg.
In their new report, Drs. Gur and Breitbart have shown that in mammals, when the sperms are in the female reproductive tract, amino acids get converted into polypeptides, during the capitation stage. This finding can provide renewed thrust to treatment of male infertility and development of contraceptives. Their paper is available in the online edition of Genes and Development, accessible at www.genesdev.org.