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Biol Reprod. 2012 Jun 14;86(6):181. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.111.097477. Print 2012 Jun.

ATP-binding cassette transporter G2 activity in the bovine spermatozoa is modulated along the epididymal duct and at ejaculation.

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  • 1Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Universit√© Laval, CHUQ-CHUL, Laval, Quebec, Canada.

Abstract

During their epididymal maturation, stabilizing factors such as cholesterol sulfate are associated with the sperm plasma membrane. Cholesterol is sulfated in epididymal spermatozoa by the enzyme estrogen sulfotransferase. Because of its role in the efflux of sulfate conjugates formed intracellularly by sulfotransferases, the ATP-binding cassette membrane transporter G2 (ABCG2) might have a role in the translocation of this compound across the plasma membrane. In the present study we showed that ABCG2 is present in the plasma membrane overlaying the acrosomal region of spermatozoa recovered from testis, epididymis, and after ejaculation. Although ABCG2 is also present in epididymosomes, the transporter is not transferred to spermatozoa via this mechanism. Furthermore, although epididymal sperm ABCG2 was shown to be functional, as determined by its ability to extrude Hoechst 33342 in the presence of the specific inhibitor Fumitremorgin C, ABCG2 present in ejaculated sperm was found to be nonfunctional. Additional experiments demonstrated that phosphorylation of ABCG2 tyrosyl residues, but not its localization in lipid rafts, is the mechanism responsible for its functionality. Dephosphorylation of ABCG2 in ejaculated spermatozoa is proposed to cause a partial protein relocalization to other intracellular compartments. Prostasomes are proposed to have a role in this process because incubation with this fraction of seminal plasma induces a decrease in the amount of ABCG2 in the associated sperm membrane fraction. These results demonstrate that ABCG2 plays a role in epididymal sperm maturation, but not after ejaculation. The loss of ABCG2 function after ejaculation is proposed to be regulated by prostasomes.

PMID:
22441796
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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