Matching Items (4)

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Sperm Proteome Maturation in the Mouse Epididymis

Description

In mammals, transit through the epididymis, which involves the acquisition, loss and modification of proteins, is required to confer motility and fertilization competency to sperm. The overall dynamics of maturation

In mammals, transit through the epididymis, which involves the acquisition, loss and modification of proteins, is required to confer motility and fertilization competency to sperm. The overall dynamics of maturation is poorly understood, and a systems level understanding of the complex maturation process will provide valuable new information about changes occurring during epididymal transport. We report the proteomes of sperm collected from the caput, corpus and cauda segments of the mouse epididymis, identifying 1536, 1720 and 1234 proteins respectively. This study identified 765 proteins that are present in sperm obtained from all three segments. We identified 1766 proteins that are potentially added (732) or removed (1034) from sperm during epididymal transit. Phenotypic analyses of the caput, corpus and cauda sperm proteomes identified 60 proteins that have known sperm phenotypes when mutated, or absent from sperm. Our analysis indicates that as much as one-third of proteins with known sperm phenotypes are added to sperm during epididymal transit. GO analyses revealed that cauda sperm are enriched for specific functions including sperm-egg recognition and motility, consistent with the observation that sperm acquire motility and fertilization competency during transit through the epididymis. In addition, GO analyses revealed that the immunity protein profile of sperm changes during sperm maturation. Finally, we identified components of the 26S proteasome, the immunoproteasome, and a proteasome activator in mature sperm.

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  • 2015-11-10

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The Use of Controlled Mating Experiments of Drosophila Melanogaster to Identify Paternal Effect Genes

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It is important to consider factors that contribute to successful fertilization and the development of viable offspring. Better understanding the factors that contribute to infertility can be used to assist

It is important to consider factors that contribute to successful fertilization and the development of viable offspring. Better understanding the factors that contribute to infertility can be used to assist in the development of viable offspring, especially for human beings looking to successfully reproduce. Identifying paternal effect genes, genes that come from the father, introduces more targets that can be manipulated to produce specific reproductive effects. Use of Drosophila melanogaster as a model to study reproduction has increased, in part, due to the use of the GAL4 system. In this system, the GAL4 gene encodes an 881 amino acid protein that binds to the 4-site Upstream Activating Sequence (UAS) to induce transcription of the gene of interest. These sequences constitute the two components of the system: the driver (GAL4) and the responder (gene of interest) \u2014 each of which is maintained as a separate parental line. Effects of the GAL4 driver line "driving" transcription of the responder can be assessed by examining the offspring. One of the more common uses of the GAL4 system involves analyzing phenotypic effects of reducing or eliminating expression of a target gene through the induction of RNAi transcription, which often results in toxicity, lethality, or reduced viability. Utilizing these principles, we strove to demonstrate the effect of knocking down the expression of testis-specific sperm-leucyl-aminopeptidases gene CG13340 on progeny by inducing expression of RNAi with two distinct GAL4 driver lines - one with a nonspecific actin-binding activation sequence and the other with a testis-specific activation sequence. Comparison of both GAL4 driver lines to crosses using N01 wild type ("wt") flies verify that inducing RNAi transcription using the GAL4 system results in reduction of proper offspring development. Further studies using D. melanogaster and the GAL4 system can improve knowledge of factors contributing to male fertility and also be applied to better understand mammalian, specifically human, fertility.

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  • 2014-05

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Identification and characterization of functional biomolecules by in vitro selection

Description

In vitro selection technologies allow for the identification of novel biomolecules endowed with desired functions. Successful selection methodologies share the same fundamental requirements. First, they must establish a strong link

In vitro selection technologies allow for the identification of novel biomolecules endowed with desired functions. Successful selection methodologies share the same fundamental requirements. First, they must establish a strong link between the enzymatic function being selected (phenotype) and the genetic information responsible for the function (genotype). Second, they must enable partitioning of active from inactive variants, often capturing only a small number of positive hits from a large population of variants. These principles have been applied to the selection of natural, modified, and even unnatural nucleic acids, peptides, and proteins. The ability to select for and characterize new functional molecules has significant implications for all aspects of research spanning the basic understanding of biomolecules to the development of new therapeutics. Presented here are four projects that highlight the ability to select for and characterize functional biomolecules through in vitro selection.

Chapter one outlines the development of a new characterization tool for in vitro selected binding peptides. The approach enables rapid screening of peptide candidates in small sample volumes using cell-free translated peptides. This strategy has the potential to accelerate the pace of peptide characterization and help advance the development of peptide-based affinity reagents.

Chapter two details an in vitro selection strategy for searching entire genomes for RNA sequences that enhance cap-independent initiation of translation. A pool of sequences derived from the human genome was enriched for members that function to enhance the translation of a downstream coding region. Thousands of translation enhancing elements from the human genome are identified and the function of a subset is validated in vitro and in cells.

Chapter three discusses the characterization of a translation enhancing element that promotes rapid and high transgene expression in mammalian cells. Using this ribonucleic acid sequence, a series of full length human proteins is expressed in a matter of only hours. This advance provides a versatile platform for protein synthesis and is espcially useful in situations where prokaryotic and cell-free systems fail to produce protein or when post-translationally modified protein is essential for biological analysis.

Chapter four outlines a new selection strategy for the identification of novel polymerases using emulsion droplet microfluidics technology. With the aid of a fluorescence-based activity assay, libraries of polymerase variants are assayed in picoliter sized droplets to select for variants with improved function. Using this strategy a variant of the 9°N DNA polymerase is identified that displays an enhanced ability to synthesize threose nucleic acid polymers.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Whole cell proteomics: understanding sperm composition and maturation

Description

Infertility has become an increasing problem in developed countries and in many cases can be attributed to compromised sperm quality. Assessment of male fertility typically utilizes semen analysis which mainly

Infertility has become an increasing problem in developed countries and in many cases can be attributed to compromised sperm quality. Assessment of male fertility typically utilizes semen analysis which mainly examines sperm morphology, however many males whose sperm appear normal are sub- or infertile, suggesting that sperm from these males may be deficient in a protein or suite of proteins. To date, very little is known about the composition of sperm or the complex maturation process that confers motility and fertilization competency to sperm. Chapter 1 discusses the use of whole cell mass spectrometry to identify 1247 proteins comprising the Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) sperm proteome, a commonly used model of human reproduction. This study provides a more robust proxy of human sperm composition than was previously available and facilitates studies of sperm using the rhesus macaque as a model. Chapters 2 & 3 provide a systems level overview of changes in sperm proteome composition that occurs during epididymal transit. Chapter 2 reports the proteomes of sperm collected from the caput, corpus and cauda segments of the mouse epididymis, identifying 1536, 1720 and 1234 proteins respectively. Chapter 3 reports the sperm proteome from four distinct segments of the Rhesus macaque epididymis, including the caput, proximal corpus, distal corpus and cauda, identifying 1951, 2014, 1764 and 1423 proteins respectively. These studies identify a number of proteins that are added and removed from sperm during epididymal transit which likely play an important role in the sperm maturation process. To date no comparative evolutionary studies of sperm proteomes have been undertaken. Chapter 4 compares four mammalian sperm proteomes including the human, macaque, mouse and rat. This study identified 98 proteins common to all four sperm proteomes, 82 primate and 90 rodent lineage-specific proteins and 494, 467, 566, and 193 species specific proteins in the human, macaque, mouse and rat sperm proteomes respectively and discusses how differences in sperm composition may ultimately lead to functional differences across species. Finally, chapter 5 uses sperm proteome data to inform the preliminary design of a rodent contraceptive vaccine delivered orally using recombinant attenuated Salmonella vaccine vectors.

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Date Created
  • 2013