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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human seminal clusterin (SP-40,40). Isolation and characterization.

Molecular cloning of the human complement inhibitor SP-40,40, has revealed strong homology to a major rat and ram Sertoli cell product, sulfated glycoprotein-2, known also as clusterin. This study reports the purification and characterization of human seminal clusterin. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed charge differences between clusterin purified from semen and the serum-derived material. Both preparations demonstrate comparable hemagglutination (clustering) activity and inhibition of C5b-6 initiated hemolysis. The average clusterin concentration in normal seminal plasma is considerably higher than that found in serum. Mean seminal plasma clusterin concentrations were significantly lower in azoospermia caused by obstruction or seminiferous tubule failure than with oligospermia or normospermia. Only men with vasal agenesis had undetectable seminal clusterin, suggesting that some of the seminal clusterin is produced by the seminal vesicles. Immunofluorescence of human spermatozoa revealed that clusterin was detected on 10% of spermatozoa, predominantly those that were immature or had abnormal morphology. A pilot study of 25 patients suggests that seminal clusterin concentration, together with sperm motility and morphology, is correlated with the fertilization rate in vitro. The function of seminal clusterin is unknown. Its extensive distribution in the male genital tract and its high concentration in seminal plasma suggests an important role in male fertility.[1]


  1. Human seminal clusterin (SP-40,40). Isolation and characterization. O'Bryan, M.K., Baker, H.W., Saunders, J.R., Kirszbaum, L., Walker, I.D., Hudson, P., Liu, D.Y., Glew, M.D., d'Apice, A.J., Murphy, B.F. J. Clin. Invest. (1990) [Pubmed]
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