Current and Future Perspectives on Sperm RNAs

  • Luke Simon
  • Douglas T. CarrellEmail author


The presence of RNA in sperm was originally thought to be a controversial topic as transcription was absent in the mature mammalian sperm. With the recent development of RNA-seq and advanced molecular techniques, an unexpectedly rich and complex repertoire of RNAs has been identified in the mature sperm. Although a vast majority of RNAs packed in sperm are known to be remnants of spermatogenic process, some studies using animal model have proved that some RNAs are deliberately packed in sperm. Recent evidence suggests that some sperm RNAs are linked to transgenerational inheritance of paternal traits, in a non-Mendelian fashion, and some RNAs may have potential roles during early embryonic development. In this chapter, we summarize the different types of RNAs identified in sperm and their functional significance, clinical potential, and role in transgenerational inheritance.


RNA Epigenetics Transgenerational inheritance Fertility 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Andrology and IVF LaboratoriesUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human GeneticsUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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