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Gamete Biology Group

Male Germ Cell Genetics

Mitch Eddy, Ph.D.
Mitch Eddy, Ph.D.
Deputy Chief, Reproductive & Developmental Biology Laboratory and Principal Investigator
Tel (919) 541-3015
Fax (919) 541-0696
eddy@niehs.nih.gov
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop C4-01
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

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Research Summary

Transgenic mice were generated using the promoter of the Hspa2 gene to express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in spermatocytes and spermatids in the mouse testis. When the testis and epididymis from an Hspa2-GFP transgenic mouse (upper right) and from a male mouse lacking the transgene (lower left) are viewed under ultraviolet light, green fluorescence is seen in the testis from the transgenic mouse, but not in the testis from a mouse lacking the Hspa2-GFP transgene.
Testes from Hspa2-GFP mouse (right) and wild type littermate

Edward (Mitch) Eddy, Ph.D., is Deputy Chief of the Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory, and leads the Gamete Biology Group. He also holds a secondary appointment in the NIEHS Epigenetics & Stem Cell Biology Laboratory. The research goals of the group are to identify genes essential for the development and function of male germ cells, determine the roles of their encoded proteins, and define the mechanisms regulating their functions. The main approaches used are genomic and proteomic tools; bioinformatics and transcriptome analysis to identify genes expressed specifically in male germ cells; and gene targeting, phenotypic analysis and in vitro functional assays to define the roles of the products of these genes.

Major areas of research:

  • Initiation and progression of meiosis in male germ cells
  • Sperm motility — novel scaffold proteins, signaling molecules and glycolytic isozymes of the flagellum

Current projects:

  • Role of a retinoic acid-responsive homeobox gene in initiation of meiosis and the translational regulation of its expression in male germ cells
  • Regulation of transition from prophase I to metaphase I of meiosis during spermatogenesis
  • Defining the function of a centrosomal protein unique to male germ cells
  • Determining structure-function relationships of novel scaffold proteins in fibrous sheath of sperm flagellum
  • Characterizing sperm-specific and fibrous sheath-associated isozymes of glycolytic pathway essential for generating ATP required for sperm motility
  • Androgen regulation of peritubular myoid cell influences on renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells in the testis niche
  • Influence of genetic background on infertility due to protamine 2 haploinsufficiency

Eddy received his Ph.D. in 1967 at University of Texas–Galveston and further training as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School.  He was a Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine before joining NIEHS in 1983.

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