Researchers at MMG

New Research Identifies Protein Integral to Sperm Development and Male Fertility

A little-known protein helps safeguard genomic stability while chromosomes are cut and spliced back together

Early in the development of sperm, a strange event happens: the X and Y chromosomes condense into tight packages and are sequestered away from the other 44 human chromosomes. If any part of this process goes awry, the cells cannot mature into sperm. Researchers in the College of Biological Sciences have now identified an important link in this process — a little-known protein called ATF7IP2.

“This could be a critical factor for ensuring male fertility,” says Satoshi Namekawa, a professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, whose team contributed to the new findings. Their results, published Feb. 21 in Genes & Development, could help elucidate the causes of male infertility.

Read the full story here.