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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jun 17;331(4):1374-83.

Molecular, biochemical, and cellular characterization of epididymal ADAMs, ADAM7 and ADAM28.

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Department of Life Science, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju 500-712, Republic of Korea.


The mammalian epididymis is critical for sperm to acquire motility and fertilizing capacity. This maturation process involves the interaction of epididymal secretory proteins with sperm. We analyzed mouse a disintegrin and metalloprotease (ADAMs) 7 and 28 expressed specifically or predominantly in the epididymis. We found that these ADAM genes are expressed in an epididymal region-specific manner and their gene expression is regulated by both androgen and testicular factors (ADAM7) or only testicular factors (ADAM28). We identified an ADAM28 transcript isoform that lacks the transmembrane domain. Protein analysis revealed that ADAM7, but not ADAM28, is transferred from the epididymis to the sperm surface and redistributed in the sperm head during acrosome reaction. These processes were shown to occur without processing of the protein. Taken together, our results indicate that the two epididymal ADAMs closely related in phylogeny are differential in various characteristics and ADAM7 has unique secretory feature and interactive relationship with sperm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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