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Theriogenology. 2008 Nov;70(8):1352-5. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.07.013. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

Major proteins of boar seminal plasma as a tool for biotechnological preservation of spermatozoa.

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  • 1Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, University of Murcia, Murcia Spain.


Boar seminal plasma is a complex mixture of secretions from the testes, epididymides, and the male accessory reproductive organs which bathe the spermatozoa at ejaculation. The seminal plasma contains factors, mostly proteins, which influence the spermatozoa, the female genital tract, and the ovum. In boars, most of the proteins belong to the spermadhesin family and bind to the sperm surface. Spermadhesins are multifunctional proteins with a wide range of ligand-binding abilities to heparin, phospholipids, protease inhibitors and carbohydrates; the family can be roughly divided into heparin-binding (AQN-1, AQN-3, AWN) and non-heparin-binding spermadhesins (PSP-I/PSP-II heterodimer). These proteins have various effects promoting or inhibiting sperm functions including motility, oviduct binding, zona binding/penetration, and ultimately fertilization. The complexity of the environmental signals that influence these actions have implications for the uses of these proteins in vivo and in vitro, and may lead to uses in improving sperm storage.

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