A03-1 Gamete genome modality and diseases

Mammalian sperm have a unique chromatin structure that consists of a mixture of histone-based nucleosome structures and protamine-based non-nucleosome structures. The sperm chromatin structure is directly related to fertility and may have an effect on the next generation, while the research progress in this area has been significantly delayed compared with that of somatic cells.
   The goal of this project is to develop a new “spermatology” from the viewpoint of DNA properties by linking the sperm chromatin from the nanoscale to the genome scale, and even to the elucidation of cellular functions and pathology, which has not been achieved in the conventional research framework. Specifically, we will focus on the following three subprojects: (1) clarifying the local structure of sperm chromatin by reconstitution, modelling, and simulation, (2) clarifying the chromosome configuration in the sperm nucleus by sequencing and exploring its biological significance through interspecies comparison, and (3) quantifying abnormalities in protamination, which will lead to an understanding of male infertility.

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