Protein crucial for sperm-egg fertilization discovered

ANI| Updated: Apr 17, 2014, 10:29 AM IST

Washington: A new research has discovered interacting proteins on the surface of the sperm and the egg essential to begin mammalian life.

According to the research, the proteins which allow the sperm and egg to recognize one another, offer new paths towards improved fertility treatments and the development of new contraceptives.

The Izumo protein displayed on the sperm that recognizes the egg was identified in 2005 by Japanese researchers but its mate on the egg has remained a mystery, however, researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have identified a single protein that paired with Izumo and is necessary for fertilization and have named it Juno.

Senior author Dr Gavin Wright said that identifying the molecules displayed on all sperm and egg that must bind each other is crucial as this discovery could help in improving fertility treatments and develop new contraceptives.