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Clin Exp Reprod Med. 2015 Sep;42(3):77-85. English. Review.
Cheon YP , Kim CH .
Division of Developmental Biology and Physiology, School of Biosciences and Chemistry, Sungshin Women's University, Seoul, Korea.
Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Asan Medical Center, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Seoul, Korea.

One of the key factors of early development is the specification of competence between the oocyte and the sperm, which occurs during gametogenesis. However, the starting point, growth, and maturation for acquiring competence during spermatogenesis and oogenesis in mammals are very different. Spermatogenesis includes spermiogenesis, but such a metamorphosis is not observed during oogenesis. Glycosylation, a ubiquitous modification, is a preliminary requisite for distribution of the structural and functional components of spermatids for metamorphosis. In addition, glycosylation using epididymal or female genital secretory glycans is an important process for the sperm maturation, the acquisition of the potential for fertilization, and the acceleration of early embryo development. However, nonemzymatic unexpected covalent bonding of a carbohydrate and malglycosylation can result in falling fertility rates as shown in the diabetic male. So far, glycosylation during spermatogenesis and the dynamics of the plasma membrane in the process of capacitation and fertilization have been evaluated, and a powerful role of glycosylation in spermatogenesis and early development is also suggested by structural bioinformatics, functional genomics, and functional proteomics. Further understanding of glycosylation is needed to provide a better understanding of fertilization and embryo development and for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for infertility.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.