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J Androl. 2011 May-Jun;32(3):240-59. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.110.010967. Epub 2010 Oct 21.

Differential proteomics leads to identification of domain-specific epididymal sperm proteins.

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Department of Gamete Immunobiology, National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (ICMR), Mumbai, India.


The alteration in the protein signatures of the testicular sperm during its epididymal sojourn makes it functionally competent for successful fertilization. The present study was undertaken to identify the proteins acquired on its 2 domains, that is, the head and the flagellum, during the epididymal transit using a differential proteomics approach. Testicular sperm proteome was compared with cauda epididymal sperm proteome in rat. The protein spots exclusively present in the cauda epididymal sperm proteome were searched in the cauda sperm head proteome and the cauda sperm flagella proteome, and a total of 335 spots were found by alignment and auto-matching of the gels, of which 140 could be identified by mass spectrometry. Database search revealed that of these 9 proteins were novels. Gene Ontology annotation revealed that the identified proteins were distributed across different cellular components and were primarily involved in metabolic processes. The study also provides information on the localization of these proteins on the sperm domains, which indirectly gives a clue about its putative function. Validation of 3 proteins, namely MMSDH, NDUFS1, and UQCRC2, using antibodies very elegantly demonstrates that the strategy has been very effective. This comprehensive data of domain-specific epididymal sperm proteins will be useful in development of newer targets for posttesticular contraception and diagnostic markers for infertility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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