Author(s): Liu Q, Hamil KG, Sivashanmugam P, Grossman G, Soundararajan R,
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Abstract Epididymal secreted proteins promote sperm maturation and fertilizing capacity by interacting with sperm during passage through the epididymis. Here we investigate the molecular basis of sperm maturation by isolating cDNA clones for novel epididymis-specific expressed sequences. Thirty-six novel cDNAs were isolated and sequenced from a subtracted Macaca mulatta epididymis library. The clones encode proteins with a range of motifs characteristic of protein-modifying enzymes, protease inhibitors, hydrophobic ligand-binding and transport proteins, extracellular matrix-interacting proteins, and transcription regulatory factors. The full length coding sequences were obtained for 11 clones representing a range of abundance levels. Expression of each is regionally localized and androgen regulated. The most abundant, ESC42, contains a cysteine-rich region similar to the signature binding domain of the trefoil family of motogenic wound repair proteins. The monkey and human proteins are nearly 90\% identical. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that the protein is most abundant in the epithelium of the caput and is also present in the lumen and bound to sperm. The ESC42 gene, located on chromosome 20q11, contains two exons encoding two nearly identical predicted signal peptides and a third exon encoding the rest of the protein.
This article was published in Endocrinology
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology