Role of Protamine Disulphide Cross Linking in Counteracting Oxidative Damage to DNA

Juan G. Alvarez and Jaime Gosalvez

Abstract Free radical (oxygen and nitrogen-derived)-induced sperm DNA damage may take place during the process of spermatogenesis, during sperm transit through the epididymis, in the distal seminal ducts of the male genital tract and in vitro during sperm processing. Free radical-induced DNA damage during spermatogenesis may result in damage of the DNA strands and of highly sensitive telomeric DNA sequences. Post-testicular sperm DNA damage in the epididymis is considered one of the main causes of sperm DNA damage. Release of oxygen radical-producing immature spermatozoa into seminiferous tubules may result in damage of mature spermatozoa during co-migration spermatozoa through the epididymis. Post-testicular free radical-induced sperm DNA damage may also take place in the proximal portion of the epididymis through free radicals such as the superoxide anion that leak from redox recycling mechanisms involved in disulphide bond cross-linking of protamines and flagellar proteins; in the cauda epididymis through free radicals produced by the epithelial cells; and during sperm processing.

Keywords Protamine disulphide cross-linking • Counteracting oxidative damage to DNA • Oxygen radical-induced DNA damage • Candidate DNA sequences • Varicocele

Department of Male Infertility, Centro Androgen, La Coruña 15004, La Coruña, Spain e-mail: [email protected]

J. Gosalvez, BSc, PhD

Department of Biology, University Autónoma Madrid, Madrid 28049, Spain

A. Agarwal et al. (eds.), Studies on Men's Health and Fertility, Oxidative Stress 221

in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice, DOI 10.1007/978-1-61779-776-7_11, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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