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Proteomics. 2009 Mar;9(5):1385-99. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200800353.

Role of translation by mitochondrial-type ribosomes during sperm capacitation: an analysis based on a proteomic approach.

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Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, PR China.


Mammalian spermatozoa contain a complex population of mRNAs, some of which have been demonstrated to be translated de novo by mitochondrial-type ribosomes using D-chloramphenicol (CP), a specific inhibitor of mitochondrial translation. However, little is known about the functions of these mRNAs in mature sperm. In the present study, differential proteomic approaches were applied to study sperm protein profiles translated by mitochondrial-type ribosomes using the inhibitor CP and 44 proteins were identified with lower expression in CP-treated sperm in comparison to capacitated sperm (ratio >or= 1.5, p<0.05). Results of Western blot and real-time PCR suggest that four proteins were translated by mitochondrial-type ribosomes. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that 26 of 44 proteins were involved in some critical processes correlated to sperm-egg interaction event. In addition, Mups, whose functions in reproduction have never been studied, were chosen for further study. Our results showed that Mups proteins were localized to the acrosome and flagellum of precapacitated sperm, and were also expressed in the equatorial segment of capacitated sperm. The depletion of Mups using neutralizing antibodies significantly inhibited capacitation in a dose-dependent manner, subsequently inhibited acrosome reaction and sperm-egg fusion. In summary, mitochondrial translation during capacitation can store proteins beneficial for sperm-egg interaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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