TITLE

The Dynamic of the Apical Ectoplasmic Specialization between Spermatids and Sertoli Cells: The Case of the Small GTPase Rap1

AUTHOR(S)
Berruti, Giovanna; Paiardi, Chiara
PUB. DATE
January 2014
SOURCE
BioMed Research International;2014, Vol. 2014, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Despite advances in assisted reproductive technologies, infertility remains a consistent health problem worldwide. Spermiation is the process through which mature spermatids detach from the supporting Sertoli cells and are released into the tubule lumen. Spermiation failure leads to lack of mature spermatozoa and, if not occasional, could result into azoospermia, major cause of male infertility in human population. Spermatids are led through their differentiation into spermatozoa by the apical ectoplasmic specialization (aES), a testis-specific, actin-based anchoring junction restricted to the Sertoli-spermatid interface. The aES helps spermatid movement across the seminiferous epithelium, promotes spermatid positioning, and prevents the release of immature spermatozoa. To accomplish its functions, aES needs to undergo tightly and timely regulated restructuring. Even if components of aES are partly known, the mechanism/s through which aES is regulated remains still elusive. In this review, we propose a model by which the small GTPase Rap1 could regulate aES assembly/remodelling. The characterization of key players in the dynamic of aES, such as Rap1, could open new possibility to develop prognostic, diagnostic, and therapeutic approaches for male patients under treatment for infertility as well as it could lead to the identification of new target for male contraception.
ACCESSION #
100579713

 

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