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Biochem J. 1993 Jul 1;293 ( Pt 1):21-5.

Isolation and characterization of a rat cDNA clone encoding a secreted superoxide dismutase reveals the epididymis to be a major site of its expression.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Bristol, School of Medical Sciences, U.K.


Superoxide dismutase (SOD) plays a key role in combating loss of fertility of spermatozoa due to lipid peroxidation. Here we report the sequence of a cDNA encoding a secreted form of SOD isolated from a rat epididymal library. Northern-blot analysis indicates that the corresponding transcript is expressed principally in the cauda region of the epididymis, consistent with the high levels of SOD enzyme activity found in cauda-epididymidal plasma. Much lower levels of an identically sized transcript exist in all tissues examined, including placenta. PCR and subsequent sequence analysis of rat placental SOD strongly suggest that it is identical in sequence with epididymal SOD.

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