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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Turn out the human sperm have a tiny harpoon on its head

Human sperm has a structure that similar harpoon in its head. It was revealed by a 14-year study recently published in the September 2015 edition of the Andrology journal.

"The findings really impress us," said John Herr, a reproduction researcher of the Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia.
Virginia researchers found a protein within the head of the sperm forms spiky filaments (pictured), which they believe may lash together the sperm and its target. (Picture from: http://dailym.ai/1JM73jo)
Scientists have known for a protein called 'SLLP 1' at the head of the sperm. In the study, scientists revealed that the protein was able to form filaments.
The SLLP1 filament viewed along its cross section. This protein is a member of a family of proteins now known to reside inside the acrosome. (Picture from: http://dailym.ai/1JM73jo)
Herr reveal that the filaments are so thin that play a role in fertilization, helping the sperm merge with the egg.
A protein known as Sperm Lysozyme-Like Protein 1 (SLLP1) works like a harpoon allowing the sperm cell to latch onto and fertilize the egg. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1XdVbRb)
"One of the main proteins are abundant in the sperm acrosome (head) crystallized into filaments, and we now theorize that it plays a role in the penetration of the egg," said Herr.

To find out, scientists "capture" proteins in a static condition. The protein crystals and then cooled to prevent degradation. By the X-ray, scientists reveal that the filaments was cylindrical with a hole in the middle.

This finding gives a new understanding of the fertilization process that filament protein turned out to be very small role in the big things, the creation of a baby. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | DAILYMAIL | TECHTIMES]
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