Spermatogenesis, the process of producing mature spermatozoa from premature germ cells, is critical for the propagation and sustenance of a population. Understanding the mechanisms governing this developmental process is therefore crucial. The hallmark of mammalian spermatogenesis is the dramatic chromatin remodeling that occurs during the various stages of sperm development. During the spermatocytic stages, testis specific histone variants TH2A, H2A.X and TH2B, H2B-RP replace the conventional histones H2A and H2B respectively. H1 histone is similarly replaced by the variants H1t, H1t2 and HILS1 in the spermatid stages. Furthermore specifically during spermiogenesis, transition proteins (TP1, TP2 and TP4) followed by protamines (P1, P2) replace conventional nucleosomal histones. Our lab is focused on understanding the molecular events that occur and how post-translational modifications on these histone variants aid the aforesaid phenomena.
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