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Bioscientifica Proceedings (2020) 18 CPRCPR2 | DOI: 10.1530/biosciprocs.18.0002

CPR2009 Control of Pig Reproduction VIII Physiological Roles of The Boar Ejaculate (4 abstracts)

Molecular kinetics of proteins at the surface of porcine sperm before and during fertilization

P.S. Tsai and B.M. Gadella

Department of Biochemistry and Cel/ Biology, Department of Farm Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 2, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands

Fertilization is a decisive moment in life and enables the combination of the DNA from two gametes to ultimately form a new organism. The sperm surface, especially the head area, has distinguishable subdomains that are involved in distinct fertilization processes. It is known that the sperm head surface undergoes constant remodelling during epididymal maturation and migration in the male and female genital tract. But intriguingly, the identity, origin and spatial ordering of proteins at the sperm surface that are involved in mammalian fertilization are essentially unknown. This review deals with sperm surface protein modifications that are under somatic cell control. As soon as the sperm is released from the seminiferous tubules it is subjected to these modifications. These surface reorganisations continue until the sperm reside in the fallopian tube where they meet the oocyte and may fertilize it. Most likely, a selective process allows only functionally mature and intact sperm to optimally interact and fertilize the oocyte. Recent data suggest that even the perivitel I ine fluid is involved in sperm surface remodelling as it contains factors which could facilitate the first penetrating sperm to fertilize the oocyte. In this contribution, the kinetics of proteins at the sperm surface will be overviewed. Better understanding of this would help to design strategies to improve male fertility or to devise novel contraceptives.

© 2009 Society for Reproduction and Fertility

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