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Regional changes in electrophoretic characteristics of sperm proteins in the boar epididymis



Regional changes in electrophoretic characteristics of sperm proteins in the boar epididymis



Journal of Rakuno Gakuen University Natural Science 17(1-2): 53-59



Two-dimensional electrophoretic analyses were performed in order to characterize the modification of protein occurring in sperm cells obtained from the caput, corpus and cauda epididymidis in boars, and to clarify any possible differences in electrophoretic properties of sperm proteins during their passage through the epididymis. Spermatozoa collected from the three regions of the epididymis were ultrasonicated and fractionated by Percoll-gradient centrifugation. The different fractions containing sperm heads, midpieces and small fragments of the principal pieces (tails) were obtained and then analysed. A total of nineteen sperm proteins were detected as specific for the head, midpiece and tail of sperm cells obtained from the three regions of epididymis. Among these proteins, three proteins with a pI of 5.7 and molecular weight range of 85,000 to 95,300 in the cauda epididymidis were identified for the protein from the head of sperm cells. Three proteins with a pI range of 6.7 to 7.03 and a molecular weight range of 33,000 to 34,200, and two proteins with a pI range 4.2 to 4.5 and molecular weight range of 48,300 to 52,400 in the caput epididymidis were characterized for the proteins from the midpieces. Furthermore, six proteins with a pI range of 5.7 to 6.07 and a molecular weight range of more than 90.000 in the caput, two proteins with a pI range of 5.2 to 5.3 and molecular weight range of 21,600 to 29,000 in the corpus and three proteins with a pI range of 4.6 to 4.8 and a molecular weight range of 43,100 to 50,400 in the cauda epididymidis were detected as the specific proteins for the tail of the sperm cells. It is suggested that these proteins may be associated with maturation of boar spermatozoain the epididymis.

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