MicroRNAs Absent in Caput Sperm Are Required for Normal Embryonic Development

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genes and Development

Publication Date


Document Type

Letter to the Editor


Cell Biology | Cells | Developmental Biology | Embryonic Structures | Nucleic Acids, Nucleotides, and Nucleosides


Zhou et al. (2019) report that embryos generated using sperm from the caput epididymis are fully capable of supporting full-term development, in contrast to our recent article (Conine et al., 2018). They also suggest that successful development of embryos generated using detergent-extracted sperm argues against the possibility that sperm delivers functional microRNAs (miRNAs) to the embryo. However, as several groups have demonstrated that sperm miRNAs are largely unaffected even by heavy detergent washes (Sharma et al., 2018,Yan et al., 2008), this experiment is not informative. We therefore focus on the primary finding of Zhou et al.: that embryos generated via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) using caput epididymal sperm are viable and develop to term, which contrasts with Figures 3 and 7 of Conine et al., where we report that caput-derived embryos implant inefficiently and fail to develop further.

DOI of Published Version



Dev Cell. 2019 Jul 1;50(1):7-8. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.06.007. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Developmental cell

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID