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Gynécologie Obstétrique & Fertilité
Volume 34, n° 9
pages 840-846 (septembre 2006)
Doi : 10.1016/j.gyobfe.2006.07.013
Received : 17 July 2006 ;  accepted : 21 July 2006
Spermatozoal RNA: why is it there and what does it do?
L'ARN spermatique a-t-il une fonction réelle ?

D. Miller a, , G.C. Ostermeier b
a Reproduction and Early Development Research Group, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Leeds, Level D, Clarendon Wing, Leeds General Infirmary, Belmont Grove, Leeds, LS2 9NS, United Kingdom 
b The Jackson Laboratory, Technology Evaluation and Development, Reproductive Technology Resources, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, United States 

Corresponding author.

The mammalian male gamete is transcriptionally silent as a consequence of the highly condensed architecture of its chromatin and there is also little or no cytoplasm capable of supporting translation; however, we now understand that these cells carry a full complement of mRNAs and that under certain conditions, spermatozoa can translate their mRNAs de novo . Moreover, there is now good evidence that spermatozoal RNA can potentially affect phenotypic traits in offspring. This epigenetic phenomenon may involve the transmission of extra-chromosomal episomal elements. These data indicate that the spermatozoon is well matched to its role of delivering the paternal genome, but that additional male-benefits may also be accrued by the delivery of spermatozoal RNA.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Du fait de son architecture chromatinienne très condensée, le gamète mâle des mammifères est transcriptionnellement silencieux et il ne possède pas ou peu de cytoplasme capable d'abriter de traduction. Toutefois, il est maintenant admis que ces cellules possèdent un set complet d'ARNm et que sous certaines conditions, les spermatozoïdes peuvent traduire ces ARNm de novo. De plus, il existe aujourd'hui des éléments tendant à prouver que l'ARN spermatique peut affecter le phénotype de la descendance. Ce phénomène épigénétique pourrait impliquer la transmission d'éléments épisomaux extrachromosomaux. Ces données indiquent que non seulement le spermatozoïde est parfaitement adapté à son rôle de délivrance du génome paternel mais aussi que des bénéfices supplémentaires pourraient être apportés par la délivrance additionnelle d'ARN spermatique.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Keywords : Spermatozoal RNA, Epigenetics, Male infertility, Gene expression

Mots clés : ARN spematique, Épigénétique, Infertilité masculine, Expression génétique

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