Human Disease




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Infertility (both in male and female) is one of the most important and burning issue of the present time as there is marked increase in the frequency of infertility cases all over the world (Wu, Lu et al. 2013, Sen, Kushnir et al. 2014). According to the current reports from the developed countries, approximately 10-15% of the couples there are infertile and the incidence must be several folds higher in developing countries1-3. In most of the cases, the infertility remains idiopathic as reproduction is a long and complicated process, through which the germ and supporting cells are differentiated, processed, matured and gets fully functional (Gaffan, Holden et al. 2003, Kalogera, Dowdy et al. 2014).

Meiosis is the most important part of this process that is the key to the multiplication for all the sexually reproducing organisms (including males and females) (Watanabe, Yokobayashi et al. 2001, Marston and Amon 2004). It is an elaborately regulated cell division process that reduces the number of chromosomes in reproductive cells to half, from diploid to haploid, and it is an essential and conservative stage in gamete formation in all sexually reproducing organisms (Marston and Amon 2004). During meiosis, the key processes embrace meiosis initiation, homologous paring, synapsis, chromosome recombination, meiosis arrest and resumption6. In mammal, two successive segregations results in four round spermatids in males. While in females, the first meiotic division gives rise to one secondary oocyte and a polar body. The process remains arrested for long time until preovulatory LH surge and then the secondary oocytes are produced that also maintains meiosis arrest until they get fertilized by sperm (Handel and Schimenti 2010). Characterizing the genes involved in meiosis is fundamental to understand the mechanisms underlying this biological process and to develop treatments for human infertility (Champion and Hawley 2002).

Until now, great progress has been made in the field of meiosis based on gene modification in cell or animal models (Champion and Hawley 2002, Handel and Schimenti 2010). Although, the results and data generated out of these experimental studies, in different species, was widely distributed in the form of research reports and also a number of databases have been developed for germ cell development, such as GermOnline 4.0 (Lardenois, Gattiker et al. 2010), SpermPress (Vibranovski, Lopes et al. 2009), GermSAGE (Lee, Cheung et al. 2009), ReCGiP (Yang, Zhang et al. 2010), only limited resources are dedicated to meiosis-related experimental results and candidate genes associated with meiosis from genome-wide data mining.

Here, we are reporting a browsable database, MeiosisOnline which is the first resource, to our knowledge, consisting of both verified and the predicted genes associated with meiosis along with related scientific information concentrated entirely on meiosis in a variety of species. The unique feature of this database is that it is not only a collection of experimentally verified data but it is also a tool to find out the candidate genes for further experimental or computational studies. The basic idea behind the development of this database is to disseminate the latest information about meiosis not only to the scientific community but also to all those couples suffering from the infertility problem and to pave the way towards the potential treatment for meiosis related human infertility problems.

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