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Mouse epididymal Spam1 (PH-20) is released in vivo and in vitro, and Spam1 is differentially regulated in testis and epididymis.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biology of reproduction
Publication Date
Volume
65
Issue
5
Pages
1586–1593
Identifiers
PMID: 11673279
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The sperm adhesion molecule 1 (SPAM1 or PH-20) is an important sperm surface protein with a hyaluronidase activity and bifunctional roles in mammalian fertilization. Recently we reported that in the mouse, Spam1 is synthesized independently in the testis and the epididymis, where it is found in membranous vesicles in the principal cells of the epithelium in all three regions. Here we used mouse epididymal luminal fluid and cultured epididymal epithelial cells to demonstrate that epididymal Spam1 may be a secretory protein. Using a dual environment culture chamber system in which corpus or cauda epithelial cells are cocultured with their corresponding epididymal fibroblasts in medium supplemented with androgens and epidermal growth factor, we show that in 2- to 6-day cultures Spam1 can be detected immunocytochemically in the epithelial cells. The protein was also detected by Western blot analysis in extracts of the cultured cells and in their serum-free conditioned medium, as well as in luminal fluid from fresh caput, corpus, and caudal epididymis. Importantly, it was shown to have hyaluronidase activity, using hyaluronic acid substrate gel electrophoresis, and to be expressed in greater quantities in the corpus compared with the cauda and caput. The results not only confirm our previous finding that Spam1 is synthesized in the epididymis, but extend them by showing that it is released in the luminal fluid where it may effect posttesticular maturation and function of sperm. Results from transcript analysis indicate that epididymal and testicular Spam1 are under different transcriptional regulation.

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