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Anim Reprod Sci. 2007 Apr;98(3-4):169-88. Epub 2006 May 19.

A comprehensive proteomic analysis of the accessory sex gland fluid from mature Holstein bulls.

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  • 1J.O. Almquist Research Center, Department of Dairy and Animal Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. aam10@psu.edu

Abstract

The expression of proteins in accessory sex gland fluid (AGF) of proven, high use mature Holstein bulls was evaluated. Thirty-seven bulls with documented fertility based on their non-return rates were studied. AGF was obtained by artificial vagina after bulls were surgically equipped with cannulae in the vasa deferentia. Samples of AGF were evaluated by two-dimensional SDS-PAGE, gels stained with Coomassie blue and polypeptide maps analyzed by PDQuest software. A master gel generated by the software representing the best pattern of spots in the AGF polypeptide maps was used as a reference for protein identification. Proteins were identified by Western blots and capillary liquid chromatography-nanoelectrospray ionization tandem-mass spectrometry (CapLC-MS/MS). The product ion spectra were processed using Protein Lynx Global Server 2.1 prior to database search with both PLGS and MASCOT (Matrix Science) software. The entire NCBI database was considered for mass fingerprint matching. An average of 52+/-5 spots was detected in the AGF 2D gels, which corresponded to proteins potentially involved in capacitation (bovine seminal plasma protein-BSP-A1/A2 and A3, BSP 30 kDa, albumin); sperm membrane protection, prevention of oxidative stress, complement-mediated sperm destruction and anti-microbial activity (albumin, clusterin, acidic seminal fluid protein--aSFP, 5'-nucleotidase--5'-NT, phospholipase A2--PLA2); acrosome reaction and sperm-oocyte interaction (PLA2, osteopontin); interaction with the extracellular matrix (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2, clusterin) and sperm motility (aSFP, spermadhesin Z13, 5'-NT). The 20 spots distinguished in all gels were matched to proteins associated with these functions. Proteins identified by tandem mass spectrometry as ecto-ADP-ribosyltransferase 5 and nucleobindin, never described before in the accessory sex gland secretions, were also detected. In summary, we identified a diverse range of components in the accessory sex gland fluid of a select group of Holstein bulls with documented fertility. Known characteristics of these proteins suggest that they play important roles in sperm physiology after ejaculation.

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