Identification and characterization of novel mammalian spermatogenic genes conserved from fly to human

Edmundo Bonilla, Eugene Yujun Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Spermatogenesis is a complex and highly regulated developmental process by which round spermatogonial stem cells undergo mitotic proliferation and meiosis, followed by extraordinary differentiation into highly specialized elongated mature sperm. Extensive differences in terms of sperm production such as testicular structure and organization, hormonal regulation are reported between humans and insects, yet it is not known to what extent components of the process could be conserved and furthermore to what extent the underlying genetic regulators could be shared from insects to mammals. We hence take a genomic approach to identify genes which are expressed in the testes of both fly and mouse through in silico analysis and are phylogenetically conserved across metazoans. Fifty eight testis-enriched, phylogenetically conserved from fly to mouse genes were identified. Among them, 12 genes are novel. Detailed characterization of their murine and human homologs indicate most of them are testis-restricted or enriched and developmentally regulated, thus suggesting that they are important regulators of sperm development in mammals and potential human fertility factors. Our results reveal the existence of spermatogenic homologs with similar testicular expression across a large evolutionary distance, further functional study will be needed to explore the functional conservation among those spermatogenic orthologs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular human reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Conserved genes
  • Germline development
  • Male fertility
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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