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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2019 Jan;18(1):41-50. doi: 10.1074/mcp.RA118.000840. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

The Proteome of Pig Spermatozoa Is Remodeled During Ejaculation.

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From the ‡Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Murcia, Spain.
§Department of Clinical & Experimental Medicine (IKE), Linköping University, Sweden.
From the ‡Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Murcia, Spain;


Proteins are essential for sperm function, including their fertilizing capacity. Pig spermatozoa, emitted in well-defined ejaculate fractions, vary in their functionality, which could be related to different sperm protein composition. This study aimed (i) to update the porcine sperm proteome and (ii) to identify proteins differentially expressed in mature spermatozoa from cauda epididymis and those delivered in separate ejaculate fractions. Ejaculates from nine mature and fertile boars were manually collected in three separate portions: the first 10 ml of the sperm-rich ejaculate fraction (SRF), the rest of the SRF and the post-SRF. The contents of cauda epididymides of the boars were collected post-mortem by retrograde duct perfusion, generating four different semen sources for each boar. Following centrifugation, the resulting pellets of each semen source were initially pooled and later split to generate two technical replicates per source. The resulting eight sperm samples (two per semen source) were subjected to iTRAQ-based 2D-LC-MS/MS for protein identification and quantification. A total of 1,723 proteins were identified (974 of Sus scrofa taxonomy) and 1,602 of them were also quantified (960 of Sus scrofa taxonomy). After an ANOVA test, 32 Sus scrofa proteins showed quantitative differences (p < 0.01) among semen sources, which was particularly relevant for sperm functionality in the post-SRF. The present study showed that the proteome of boar spermatozoa is remodeled during ejaculation involving proteins clearly implicated in sperm function. The findings provide valuable groundwork for further studies focused on identifying protein biomarkers of sperm fertility.


Boar; Clinical Proteomics; Ejaculate; Epididymis; Protein Identification; Quantification; Tandem Mass Spectrometry; iTRAQ

[Available on 2020-01-01]

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