Understanding the physiology of pre-fertilisation events in the human spermatozoa--a necessary prerequisite to developing rational therapy.
Sperm dysfunction is the single most common defined cause of infertility. One in 15 men is sub-fertile and the condition is increasing in frequency. However, the diagnosis is poor and, excluding assisted conception, there is no treatment. The reason for this is our limited understanding of the biochemical, molecular and genetic functions of the spermatozoon. The underlying premise of our research programme is to establish a rudimentary understanding of the processes necessary for successful fertilisation. In this manuscript, we detail advances in our understanding of calcium signalling in the cell and outline genetic and proteomic technologies that are being used to improve the diagnosis of the condition.