Gene Involved in Sperm-to-egg Binding is Key to Fertility in Mammals, Durham University Study
Published: May 01, 2012
Experts from Durham University have identified a new gene that could help the development of fertility treatments in humans in the future. Scientists from Durham University, UK, and Osaka University, Japan, looking at fertility in mice, have discovered for the first time that the gene, which makes a protein called PDILT, enables sperm to bind to an egg, a process essential to fertilisation. The team found that when the gene was 'switched off' in male mice, less than three per cent of females' eggs were fertilised compared to more than 80 per cent in mice when the gene was left switched on.