ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 274-280

Glycoprotein fucosylation is increased in seminal plasma of subfertile men


1 Department of Chemistry and Immunochemistry, Medical University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland
2 Department and Clinic of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Medical University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland

Correspondence Address:
Mirosława Ferens-Sieczkowska
Department of Chemistry and Immunochemistry, Medical University of Wrocław, Wrocław
Poland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.138187

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Fucose, the monosaccharide frequent in N- and O-glycans, is a part of Lewis-type antigens that are known to mediate direct sperm binding to the zona pellucida. Such interaction was found to be inhibited in vitroby fucose-containing oligo- and polysaccharides, as well as neoglycoproteins. The objective of this study was to screen seminal plasma proteins of infertile/subfertile men for the content and density of fucosylated glycoepitopes, and compare them to samples of fertile normozoospermic subjects. Seminal proteins were separated in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and blotted onto nitrocellulose membrane and probed with fucose-specific Aleuria aurantia lectin (AAL). Twelve electrophoretic bands were selected for quantitative densitometric analysis. It was found that the content, and especially the density of fucosylated glycans, were higher in glycoproteins present in seminal plasma of subfertile men. No profound differences in fucosylation density were found among the groups of normozoospermic, oligozoospermic, asthenozoospermic, and oligoasthenozoospermic subfertile men. According to the antibody probing, AAL-reactive bands can be attributed to male reproductive tract glycoproteins, including prostate-specific antigen, prostatic acid phosphatase, glycodelin and chorionic gonadotropin. Fibronectin, α1 -acid glycoprotein, α1 -antitrypsin, immunoglobulin G and antithrombin III may also contribute to this high fucosylation. It is suggested that the abundant fucosylated glycans in the sperm environment could interfere with the sperm surface and disturb the normal course of the fertilization cascade.


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