Conserved properties of Drosophila and human spermatozoal mRNA repertoires

Bettina E. Fischer, Elizabeth Wasbrough, Lisa A. Meadows, Owen Randlet, Steve Dorus, Timothy L. Karr, Steven Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is now well established that mature mammalian spermatozoa carry a population of mRNA molecules, at least some of which are transferred to the oocyte at fertilization, however, their function remains largely unclear. To shed light on the evolutionary conservation of this feature of sperm biology, we analysed highly purified populations of mature sperm from the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster. As with mammalian sperm, we found a consistently enriched population of mRNA molecules that are unlikely to be derived from contaminating somatic cells or immature sperm. Using tagged transcripts for three of the spermatozoal mRNAs, we demonstrate that they are transferred to the oocyte at fertilization and can be detected before, and at least until, the onset of zygotic gene expression. We find a remarkable conservation in the functional annotations associated with fly and human spermatozoal mRNAs, in particular, a highly significant enrichment for transcripts encoding ribosomal proteins (RPs). The substantial functional coherence of spermatozoal transcripts in humans and the fly opens the possibility of using the power of Drosophila genetics to address the function of this enigmatic class of molecules in sperm and in the oocyte following fertilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2636-2644
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume279
Issue number1738
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 7 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

sperm
Drosophila
Spermatozoa
spermatozoa
Messenger RNA
Fertilization
Molecules
Oocytes
Conservation
oocytes
Diptera
Ribosomal Proteins
Gene expression
Population
ribosomal proteins
gene expression
fruit flies
Drosophila melanogaster
somatic cells
immatures

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • Sperm
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Spermatozoa
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Conserved properties of Drosophila and human spermatozoal mRNA repertoires. / Fischer, Bettina E.; Wasbrough, Elizabeth; Meadows, Lisa A.; Randlet, Owen; Dorus, Steve; Karr, Timothy L.; Russell, Steven.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 279, No. 1738, 07.07.2012, p. 2636-2644.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fischer, BE, Wasbrough, E, Meadows, LA, Randlet, O, Dorus, S, Karr, TL & Russell, S 2012, 'Conserved properties of Drosophila and human spermatozoal mRNA repertoires', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 279, no. 1738, pp. 2636-2644. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.0153
Fischer, Bettina E. ; Wasbrough, Elizabeth ; Meadows, Lisa A. ; Randlet, Owen ; Dorus, Steve ; Karr, Timothy L. ; Russell, Steven. / Conserved properties of Drosophila and human spermatozoal mRNA repertoires. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2012 ; Vol. 279, No. 1738. pp. 2636-2644.
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