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Mol Reprod Dev. 2012 Aug;79(8):517-24. doi: 10.1002/mrd.22056. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Expression of M6 and M7 lysin in Mytilus edulis is not restricted to sperm, but occurs also in oocytes and somatic tissue of males and females.

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Junior Research Group Antibody Technologies, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.


Sperm proteins of marine sessile invertebrates have been extensively studied to understand the molecular basis of reproductive isolation. Apart from molecules such as bindin of sea urchins or lysin of abalone species, the acrosomal protein M7 lysin of Mytilus edulis has been analyzed. M7 lysin was found to be under positive selection, but mechanisms driving the evolution of this protein are not fully understood. To explore functional aspects, this study investigated the protein expression pattern of M7 and M6 lysin in gametes and somatic tissue of male and female M. edulis. The study employs a previously published monoclonal antibody (G26-AG8) to investigate M6 and M7 lysin protein expression, and explores expression of both genes. It is shown that these proteins and their encoding genes are expressed in gametes and somatic tissue of both sexes. This is in contrast to sea urchin bindin and abalone lysin, in which gene expression is strictly limited to males. Although future studies need to clarify the functional importance of both acrosomal proteins in male and female somatic tissue, new insights into the evolution of sperm proteins in marine sessile invertebrates are possible. This is because proteins with male-specific expression (bindin, lysin) might evolve differently than proteins with expression in both sexes (M6/M7 lysin), and the putative function of both proteins in females opens the possibility that the evolution of M6/M7 lysin is under sexual antagonistic selection, for example, mutations beneficial to the acrosomal function that are less beneficial the function in somatic tissue of females.

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