[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, DNA arrays have been employed to monitor gene expression patterns in testis of mice exposed to tobacco smoke for 24 weeks and compared to control animals. The results of the analysis revealed significant changes in expression of several genes that may have a role in spermatogenesis. Cdk14 was chosen for further characterization because of a suggested role in the testis and in regulation of Wnt signaling,. RT-PCR analysis confirmed down regulation of Cdk14 in mice exposed to cigarette smoke (CS). Cdk14 is expressed in all testicular cells; spermatogonia- and Sertoli-derived cell lines treated with cigarette smoke extract (CSE) in vitro showed down-regulation of CDK14 mRNA and protein levels as well as down-regulation of β-catenin levels. CS-induced down-regulation of CDK14 mRNA and protein levels was also observed in several lung epithelium-derived cell lines including primary normal human bronchial epithelial cells (NHBE), suggesting that the effect is not restricted to the testis. Similar to testicular cells, CS-induced down-regulation of CDK14 in lung cells correlated with decreased levels of β-catenin, a finding suggesting impaired Wnt signaling. In the lungs, CDK14 was localized to the alveolar and bronchial epithelium.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sperm are highly dependent on posttranslational modifications of proteins. Massive phosphorylation on tyrosine residue is required for sperm capacitation. Sumoylation has also been recently implicated in spermatogenesis and sperm functions. Cigarette smoke is known to cause oxidative stress in different tissues, and several studies suggest that it causes oxidative stress in sperm. Whether tobacco affects posttranslational modifications in human sperm is currently unknown. In this study, we show that a short exposure of human sperm to physiological concentrations of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) causes the partial de-sumoylation of many sperm proteins. Furthermore, the presence of a low concentration of CSE in the human tubal fluid during an induction of in vitro capacitation inhibits the capacitation-associated increase in protein phosphorylation. Collectively, changes in posttranslational modifications may be one of the mechanisms through which exposure to tobacco can negatively affect sperm functions and cause fertility problems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Sumoylation is a type of post-translational modification that is implicated in the regulation of numerous cellular events. However, its role in the function of human sperm has not yet been characterized.
Methods and results:
In this study, both immunofluorescence and electron microscopy revealed that small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMO) SUMO1 and SUMO2/3 were highly enriched in the neck area of human sperm that is associated with the redundant nuclear envelope and were also detectable in the flagella and some head regions. Similar localization patterns of SUMO were also observed in mouse and fly sperm. Nonmotile, two-tailed, curled tailed, misshapen, microcephalic (small head) and aciphalic (no head) sperm exhibited abnormally high levels of sumoylation in their neck and tail regions relative to normal sperm. Numerous sumoylated proteins, ranging from 20 to 260 kDa, were detected via western blotting and identified by mass spectrometry, and 55 SUMO targets that were present specifically in human sperm, and not in the control fraction, corresponded to flagella proteins, proteins involved in the maturation and differentiation of sperm, heat shock proteins and important glycolytic and mitochondrial enzymes. The targets that were identified included proteins with specific functions in germ cells and sperm, such as heat shock-related 70-kDa protein 2, outer dense fiber protein 3, A-kinase anchor proteins 3 and 4, L-lactate dehydrogenase C, sperm protein associated with the nucleus on the X chromosome B/F, valosin-containing protein, seminogelins, histone H4 and ubiquitin. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirmed the sumoylation of semenogelin and indicated that some sperm proteins are modified by sumoylation and ubiquitination simultaneously.
Numerous proteins are modified by sumoylation in human sperm; excessive sumoylation is a marker of defective spermatozoa.
Human Reproduction 10/2012; 28(1). DOI:10.1093/humrep/des317 · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spermatogenesis consists of the mitotic division of spermatogonia, meiosis of spermatocytes, and postmeiotic differentiation of spermatids, processes tightly controlled by hormones and growth factors secreted by testicular somatic cells. The events during spermatogenesis are precisely regulated by the sequential appearance of different proteins and their posttranslational modifications. Sumoylation (covalent modification by small ubiquitin-like modifiers; SUMO proteins) has emerged as an important regulatory mechanism in different cell types, and data obtained from studies on germ cells imply that SUMO proteins are involved in multiple aspects of spermatogenesis. Although progress has been made in the initial characterization of sumoylated proteins during spermatogenesis, the targets of sumoylation, their corresponding pathways in the testis, are mostly unknown. In this chapter, I review what we know about sumoylation in somatic cells, summarize the expression patterns, suggest possible functions of SUMO proteins in testicular cells, and discuss some difficulties and perspectives on the studies of sumoylation during spermatogenesis.
International review of cell and molecular biology 01/2011; 288:227-59. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-386041-5.00006-6 · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMO) proteins have been implicated in cellular stress response in different tissues, but whether sumoylation has a similar role during spermatogenesis is currently unknown. In this study, changes in the levels of both free SUMO isoforms and high-molecular weight (HMW) SUMO conjugates were monitored before and after the induction of different types of cellular stresses. Using cell lines and primary cells freshly isolated from mouse testes, significant changes were detected in the levels of SUMO1 and SUMO2/3 conjugates following short exposure of the cells to heat stress and oxidative stress. While high concentrations of H(2)O(2) caused an increase in protein sumoylation, low concentrations of H(2)O(2) mostly caused protein desumoylation. Immunofluorescence studies localized SUMO to the sites of DNA double-strand breaks in stressed germ cells and during meiotic recombination. To study the effect of oxidative stress in vivo, animals exposed to tobacco smoke for 12 weeks were used. Changes in sumoylation of HMW proteins were consistent with their oxidative damage in the tobacco-exposed mice. Our results are consistent with the important roles of different SUMO isoforms in stress responses in germ cells. Furthermore, this study identified topoisomerase 2 alpha as one of the targets of sumoylation during normal spermatogenesis and under stress.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins are involved in a variety of cellular processes. Alterations in SUMO conjugation have been implicated in several human diseases, including cancer. Although the main cause of failure in cancer treatment is the development of drug resistance by cancer cells, the mechanisms of drug resistance are not fully understood. SUMO proteins are thought to play roles in various cellular pathways, but no studies have as yet compared the expression of the different SUMO proteins in chemosensitive and drug-resistant cancer cells. To determine the relationship between protein sumoylation and drug resistance, the expression of various SUMO isoforms has been studied and compared in the HL-60 cell line (a model for leukemic cells) and in HL-60RV cells (resistant to vincristine). Co-immunostaining of cells by anti-SUMO antibodies and antibodies against various nuclear subdomains has been examined by an advanced type of bioimaging analysis. Whereas SUMO-2/3 co-localizes exclusively with nuclear bodies containing promyelocytic leukemia protein in both cell types, SUMO-1 has also been seen in nucleolar regions of HL-60, but not in HL-60RV, cells. In HL-60 cells, SUMO-1 occurs adjacent to, but not co-localized with, the nucleolar marker fibrillarin. Western blot analysis has revealed higher levels of free SUMO and sumoylated products in drug-resistant cells and the presence of specific SUMO-1 conjugates in drug-sensitive HL-60 cells, possibly consistent with a specific nucleolar signal. Shortly after the induction of ethanol and oxidative stress, HL-60RV, but not HL-60, cells show increased accumulation of high-molecular-weight SUMO-2/3 conjugates. Thus, SUMO-1 probably has a specific role in the nucleoli of HL-60 cells, and the alteration of sumoylation might be a contributing factor in the development of drug resistance in leukemia cells.
Cell and Tissue Research 04/2009; 336(2):277-86. DOI:10.1007/s00441-009-0775-0 · 3.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During meiosis in male mammals, X and Y chromosomes undergo the process of meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). A crucial role in MSCI has recently been reported for BRCA1, ATR kinase, and phosphorylated histone H2AX, but the exact mechanism remains to be determined. Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins have recently been shown to localize to the sex body in mouse meiotic spermatocytes, but the role they play during MSCI is unknown. In this study, in order to better understand the molecular events of MSCI, we followed dynamic changes in gammaH2AX and SUMO localization patterns during MSCI. Using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) as an analytical tool for visualizing numerous spermatocytes from the same development stage and for consecutively following the meiotic progression, we were able to demonstrate a very early appearance of SUMO-1, which preceded gammaH2AX accumulation on the sex chromosomes during their meiotic inactivation. In contrast to SUMO-1, SUMO-2/3 was undetectable in zygotene spermatocytes, suggesting a possible specific role for SUMO-1 in the initiation of MSCI.
Chromosome Research 02/2009; 17(1):37-45. DOI:10.1007/s10577-008-9006-x · 2.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sumoylation affects multiple cellular events, including chromatin inactivation and transcriptional repression. Our data provide the first characterization of small ubiquitin-related modifier-1 (SUMO-1) expression during human spermatogenesis by the use of high-resolution cellular SUMO-1 bioimaging. During human meiotic prophase, SUMO-1 localizes to sex chromosomes and centromeric and pericentromeric chromatin. As human spermatocytes progress toward the end of prophase in meiosis I, SUMO-1 is no longer detected within the sex body and pericentromeric heterochromatin but localizes exclusively to centromeres. SUMO-1 localization along sex chromosome axes, pseudoautosomal region, and centromeres of both chromosomes supports a role for SUMO-1 sumoylation in epigenetic events occurring over the entire sex body, e.g., meiotic sex chromosome inactivation and chromatin condensation. Centromeric SUMO-1 throughout meiotic prophase suggests a role in centromeric chromatin condensation and/or other centromere/kinetochore functions. SUMO-1 is likely involved in both facultative and constitutive heterochromatin processes in spermatocytes. Haploid round spermatids show a consistent association of SUMO-1 with centromeric clusters. During spermatid elongation, SUMO-1 localizes in the manchette perinuclear ring. Steroidogenic Leydig cells show some cytoplasmic but strong nuclear and perinuclear SUMO-1. Peritubular myoepithelial cell SUMO-1 colocalizes with centromeric heterochromatin. In epithelial Sertoli cells, when associated with centromeric heterochromatin, SUMO-1 is adjacent but not colocalized with the nucleolus. Male germ cells demonstrate no SUMO-1 nucleolar association. Human and rodent Sertoli cells consistently show an inverse correlation between androgen receptor (AR) and SUMO-1 expression and compartmentalization. Sertoli cells from certain infertile patients, however, showed greatly decreased SUMO-1 and AR. Our data suggest that human testicular SUMO-1 has specific functions in heterochromatin organization, meiotic centromere function, and gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the effect of two different techniques of testicular fixation on testicular function.
Surgical animal laboratory at an academic medical center.
Sixteen mature golden hamsters underwent classic transfixation orchiopexy and true dartos pouch orchiopexy.
Classic transfixation orchiopexy (CTO) involved transfixation of the testicular wall at two different points and fixation of the dartos fascia. True dartos pouch orchiopexy (TDPO) involved creating a window in the dartos fascia, passage of the testicle, and closure of the window from both sides of the testicle.
Flow cytometric separation of testicular cells into haploid, diploid, and tetraploid fractions for histogram analysis.
A significant decrease in testicular weight was observed in 6 out of 16 animals undergoing CTO. Diploid cells comprised the main cell fraction, and almost no haploid or tetraploid cells were observed, while in the 16 animals undergoing TDPO no change from the control pattern was observed.
This experimental work supports our clinical impression that TDPO should replace CTO as the method of choice for the treatment of an undescended testicle in children.
Fertility and sterility 10/2005; 84(3):749-55. DOI:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2005.02.039 · 4.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SUMO-1 is a member of a ubiquitin-related family of proteins that mediates important post-translational effects affecting diverse physiological functions. Whereas SUMO-1 is detected in the testis, little is known about its reproductive role in males. Herein, cell-specific SUMO-1 was localized in freshly isolated, purified male germ cells and somatic cells of mouse and rat testes using Western analysis, high-resolution single-cell bioimaging, and in situ confocal microscopy of seminiferous tubules. During germ cell development, SUMO-1 was observed at low but detectable levels in the cytoplasm of spermatogonia and early spermatocytes. SUMO-1 appeared on gonosomal chromatin during zygotene when chromosome homologues pair and sex chromatin condensation is initiated. Striking SUMO-1 increases in the sex body of early-to-mid-pachytene spermatocytes correlated with timing of additional sex chromosome condensation. Before the completion of the first meiotic division, SUMO-1 disappeared from the sex body when X and Y chromosomal activity resumed. Together, these data indicate that sumoylation may be involved in non-homologous chromosomal synapsis, meiotic sex chromosome inactivation, and XY body formation. During spermiogenesis, SUMO-1 localized in chromocenters of certain round spermatids and perinuclear ring and centrosomes of elongating spermatids, data implicating SUMO-1 in the process of microtubule nucleation and nuclear reshaping. STAT-4, one potential target of sumoylation, was located along the spermatid nuclei, adjacent but not co-localized with SUMO-1. Androgen receptor-positive Leydig, Sertoli, and some peritubular myoepithelial cells express SUMO-1, findings suggesting a role in modulating steroid action. Testicular SUMO-1 expression supports its specific functions in inactivation of sex chromosomes during meiosis, spermatid microtubule nucleation, nuclear reshaping, and gene expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The number of cells in the S-phase fraction of the cell cycle reflects proliferative activity. Using flow cytometry histograms and the Phoenix M+ cell cycle program, the percent of cells in the S-phase fraction was measured in single cell suspensions prepared from testes of hamsters of different ages. A cyclical pattern with a period of 9 days, superimposed on another rhythm with a 38 day period was observed (p < 0.01) during hamster maturation and it disappeared after the second spermatogenic wave, where the S phase values reached a plateau. It was concluded that maturing animals passed through a stage in which testicular biological rhythm was involved. Therefore it was concluded that it takes approximately two spermatogenic waves before the proliferation rate in the testis reached a steady state.
Life Sciences 02/2004; 74(9):1119-26. DOI:10.1016/j.lfs.2003.07.028 · 2.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human spermatogenesis begins at adolescence and continues throughout life. This process includes morphologic, cytologic and biological changes, leading to the formation of mature spermatozoa. Male infertility may be caused by several reasons, including oligozoospermia at variable degrees and complete absence of mature spermatozoa. Routine spermatogram, measuring sperm counts, motility and morphology, might not provide complete information in the evaluation of these cases. This study is aimed to evaluate the possible use of flow cytometry in the identification of different sperm cell populations in sperm samples obtained from infertile men, and in determining the different cell types in various groups of infertile men.
Sperm samples from normal and infertile men (the latter were azoospermic or oligoteratozoospermic OTA) underwent flow cytometry analysis, after preparation with TNE buffer and staining with Propidium Iodide. The separation of germinal cells into different populations, according to their DNA content and chromatin condensation, was evaluated. The WINMDI (http://fac.-scripps.edu, J. Trotter) software was used for data analysis.
Flow cytometric analysis enabled identification of several cell populations in sperm samples, including haploid, diploid and tetraploid cells. Certain cellular distribution patterns were observed in sperm samples from infertile men: mature haploid cells, diploid cells, domination of tetraploid or non-mature haploid cells, and combination of these patterns. These patterns appeared in a statistically different manner among fertile and infertile men; the median value of mature haploid cells was higher in normal men (91%, compared to 85% in the OTA group and 0% in the azoospermic men), while the median value of diploid and tetraploid cells was higher in azoospermic men (72% and 8.5% respectively, compared to only 1% and 0% in normal men).
These findings suggest that flow cytometry of sperm samples may serve as a non-invasive tool for investigations of male infertility and for identification of appropriate candidates for interventional treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Artificial unilateral cryptorchidism was performed in golden hamsters which were then held for different periods of time. The non-operated side was used as a control. At various times from 4 to 15 days, hamsters were killed, testes were removed and weighed, single cell suspensions were prepared for flow cytometry analysis and seminiferous tubules were fixed for confocal microscopy. Using DNA staining by propidium iodide or acridine orange followed by flow cytometry analysis, a marked decrease in the haploid condensed cell fraction was detected at the beginning stages of experimental cryptorchidism. In correlation with flow cytometry results, spermiogenic arrest at stages IX and X of seminiferous epithelium was detected in these animals by confocal microscopy and there were no mature forms of haploid cells in the cryptorchid testis. In the testis with more severe damage, there were almost no haploid cells in the seminiferous tubules of cryptorchid animals. In addition, a significant decrease in tetraploid cell fraction and an increase in S-phase fraction was obtained in severe cases. This may be explained by cell arrest before entrance into meiosis. Destruction of tubule structure and cell arrangement were also observed by confocal microscopy in such cases. In conclusion, flow cytometry, combined with confocal analysis, added useful information about spermatogenesis disturbances in cryptorchid testis and it may be used as diagnostic tools in other cases of spermatogenic disorders.
International Journal of Andrology 05/2003; 26(2):84-90. DOI:10.1046/j.1365-2605.2003.00390.x · 3.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, confocal microscopy and flow-cytometry were utilized to follow meiosis in hamster spermatogenesis. Confocal microscopy was used as an analytical tool to observe spermatocytes inside the tubules following meiotic progression consecutively at defined spermatogenic stages. To study spermatocyte differentiation, the structure of the synaptonemal complex was studied in detail at various stages of hamster spermatogenesis using the antibody against SC3 (the protein of axial/lateral element). The synaptonemal complex was observed from the leptotene stage until the first meiotic division with maximal staining in mid-pachytene spermatocytes, suggesting a role for SC3 at this postrecombinational stage. In addition, 3-dimensional (3D) images of synaptonemal complex were observed, providing information about spatial distribution of the chromosomes within the nuclei of spermatocytes at different stages of meiosis. Changes in spermatocyte sizes and DNA condensation allowed assessment of meiosis by flow cytometry. Changes in chromatin condensation at different stages of hamster meiosis were followed, revealing decondensation from early to late pachytene stages. The analysis also allowed a comparing of chromatin status of mitotic and meiotic chromosomes, confirming the less compact structure of the latter, possibly connected to increased transcriptional activity during meiosis.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 01/2003; 64(1):86-95. DOI:10.1002/mrd.10212 · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spermatogenesis consists of spermatogonial proliferation, meiosis and spermatid differentiation. Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) may be used as an advanced analytical tool to follow spermatogenesis inside the seminiferous tubules without performing histological sections. For this purpose, separated seminiferous tubules are fixed in 0.5% paraformaldehyde, stained for DNA with propidium iodide and analyzed by LSCM. By producing longitudinal optical sections in the layer of spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids, stage-specific changes in their structure may be followed within the tubules by LSCM. Longitudinal z-sections may be obtained to produce three-dimensional images of the seminiferous tubules. In addition, different proteins may be followed during spermatogenesis in a stage specific manner within the tubule by incubation of the fixed seminiferous tubules with appropriate antibodies.
As an example of the spermatogenesis studies using described LSCM techniques, detailed examination of spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids during golden hamster spermatogenesis is presented. LSCM analysis of c-kit and SC3 protein expression at different stages of hamster spermatogenesis is demonstrated.
Methods in Cell Science 02/2002; 24(4):169-80. DOI:10.1023/A:1024490707972
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: c-kit is related to the family of transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptors. Mutations in genes for either c-kit or its ligand, Steel factor, result in infertility, but the role of c-kit/SCF system in spermatogenesis is not well understood. In this study Western blot analysis together with confocal microscopy were used to follow c-kit expression in hamsters during the first spermatogenic wave in mature animals and in old age. Three antibodies raised against different domains of c-kit were tested on Western Blot. Confocal microscopy was performed after incubation of fixed seminiferous tubules with tested antibodies followed by binding of FITC-labeled secondary antibody. Longitudinal sections of seminiferous tubule were observed by confocal microscopy to determine in which stages of spermatogenesis and in which cell types c-kit was found. C-kit bands of 80,140, and 150 kDa were observed on Western blot, indicating that c-kit is a name related to several proteins sharing some common domains. Only the band of 150 kDa correlated with positive staining of c-kit in tubules using confocal microscopy. We term this protein c-kit150T (150 kDa, testis). We demonstrated that c-kit150T appeared in differentiating hamster spermatogonia at stages VII-VIII of adult spermatogenesis and at day 13-14 during the first spermatogenic wave. It remained attached to the cell until late pachytene. This suggests that c-kit may play a role in preparing the germinal cells to enter meiosis. In order to evaluate the effect of aging on the number of germ cells, B2 spermatogonia/Sertoli cell ratio was calculated in the group of young animals (5-7 months) compared to this ratio in older ones (20-26 months). A significant decrease (P < 0.01) in the number of B2 spermatogonia in the group of old hamsters as compared to young ones was seen. The calculated value for the B2 spermatogonia/Sertoli cell ratio was 5.6 +/- 0.7 in young animals and 3.8 +/- 1.2 in the 20-26 months ones. In addition, decrease in the intensity of staining for c-kit was detected in the old hamsters. These may be the reasons for subfertility in old age and in other cases of testicular disorders.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 12/2001; 60(4):562-8. DOI:10.1002/mrd.1121 · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA-staining of hamster testis cell suspensions followed by flow cytometry demonstrated appearance of the first haploid cells at 23 days post partum (dpp) and of condensed chromatin (in elongated spermatids and spermatozoa) at 33-34 dpp. Mature spermatozoa were first observed in the caput epididymis at 36-37 dpp, thus completing the first spermatogenic wave. Testicular cell suspensions from animals from 23 to 38 dpp were stained with acridine orange, and flow cytometer gating was adjusted to include only the haploid cells. Acridine orange intercalated into double-stranded DNA to produce green fluorescence. The decrease in green fluorescence intensity from 23 until 37 dpp was caused by changes in the binding of DNA to basic proteins in such a fashion as to impede the access of the dye to the DNA double helix. When the green fluorescence values (of the most advanced spermatids) were plotted against the age of the hamsters (in dpp) or the corresponding steps of spermiogenesis, the decrease in fluorescence could be seen to occur in three phases. The inflection point between the first and second phases was observed at about spermiogenesis step 7, consistent with the hypothesis that this represents removal of histone from the chromatin. The second phase presumably represents the period in which transition proteins are bound to the DNA. At approximately steps 15 or 16 a further inflection point was seen where protamines replaced the transition proteins. The red fluorescence produced when acridine orange bound to RNA in spermatids, increased early in spermiogenesis and decreased dramatically at 34 dpp, consistent with the fact that elongating spermatids discard the bulk of their cytoplasm during the maturation process.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 05/2000; 56(1):105-12. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2795(200005)56:1<105::AID-MRD13>3.0.CO;2-8 · 2.53 Impact Factor