ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 154-159

The expression of the new epididymal luminal protein of PDZ domain containing 1 is decreased in asthenozoospermia


1 International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, Shanghai Key Laboratory for Reproductive Medicine, Institute of Embryo-Fetal Original Adult Disease, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
2 Shanghai Key Laboratory for Assisted Reproduction and Reproductive Genetics, Center for Reproductive Medicine, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200135, China
3 Medical School, Institute of Reproductive Medicine, Nantong University, Nantong 226001, China

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fei Sun
International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, Shanghai Key Laboratory for Reproductive Medicine, Institute of Embryo-Fetal Original Adult Disease, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China; Medical School, Institute of Reproductive Medicine, Nantong University, Nantong 226001, China

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aja.aja_65_17

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Spermatozoa are not mature until they transit the epididymis where they acquire motility and the ability to fertilize an egg through sequential modifications. The epididymis has three functional regions, caput, corpus, and cauda, and the luminal proteins of the epididymis play important roles in the above modifications. However, the proteins with differential enrichment between the caput and cauda are still largely unknown. To reveal the functions of the caput and cauda during sperm maturation, luminal proteins from caput and cauda of mice were analyzed by isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ). Overall, 128 differentially enriched proteins were found, of which 46 were caput enriched and 82 were cauda enriched. Bioinformatic analysis showed that lipid metabolism was active in the caput; while anion- and cation-binding activity and phosphorus and organophosphate metabolism were active in the cauda. A new epididymal luminal protein, the caput-enriched PDZ domain containing 1 (Pdzk1), also named Na+/H+ exchange regulatory cofactor 3 (NHERF3), which plays a critical role in cholesterol metabolism and carnitine transport, was found in the lipid metabolism. Western blotting and immunofluorescence analyses showed that Pdzk1 was expressed in the epididymis but not in the testis, and localized at the middle piece of the sperm tail. Pdzk1 protein level was also reduced in the spermatozoa in case of asthenozoospermic patients compared with that in normozoospermic men, suggesting that Pdzk1 may participate in sperm maturation regulation and may be associated with male infertility. These results may provide new insights into the mechanisms of sperm maturation and male infertility.


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