News on Wellness

Researchers Unravel How Sperm and Egg Bind

Sperm and Egg Bind

What scientists and researchers have discovered could be a breakthrough for the field of fertility and its research. They have unraveled a protein that allows the sperm to bond with the egg. This is a major breakthrough in the field of fertility and its treatments.

Sperm and Egg Bind

Couples who are infertile and are having a tough time conceiving can now find hope in this new found research. Scientists have found a protein that allows the sperm to ‘dock’ with an egg. This discovery could even lead to new forms of contraceptives.

Interestingly, the molecule has been named Juno, after the Roman goddess of fertility. It was found that this molecule was seated on the surface of the egg and forms a bond with a similar protein on the cell of the sperm. The very process of this binding is indeed the first step towards conception.

This research had been conducted earlier in 2005 by a group of Japanese scientists. They had discovered the males function and part of the process however, the other half remained obscure. “We have solved a long-standing mystery in biology by identifying the molecules displayed on all sperm and egg that must bind each other at the moment we were conceived,” said lead researcher Dr Gavin Wright, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire. He went on to say that, “Without this essential interaction, fertilisation just cannot happen. We may be able to use this discovery to improve fertility treatments and develop new contraceptives.”

Researchers, based on the data recovered found that the protein found in sperm known as Izumo acts like a sort of seeker to the female protein Juno. The lack of either Izumo or Juno caused the other failure to latch on. “The Izumo-Juno pairing is the first known essential interaction for sperm-egg recognition in any organism,” said co-author Dr. Enrica Bianchi, also from the Sanger Institute. What was even more interesting is that 40 minutes after the initial binding, scientists found, that Juno vanishes ad this prevents any other sperm from latching on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *