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

Epididymal protein synthesis and secretion in strains of mice bearing single gene mutations which affect fertility.

Mice bearing gene mutations that, among other effects, render the males infertile were examined. Serum testosterone was within the normal range (0.8-1.8 ng/ml), and sperm numbers in the testis and epididymis were not different between mutant animals and coisogenic wild types. All mutants, except mocha and achondroplasia, displayed normal mating behavior. However, in all genotypes, fewer fertilized eggs were recovered from females mated by mutants. In vitro fertilization tests showed that all mutants--except bouncy--fertilized similar numbers of eggs to wild types. Spermatozoa from bouncy mutants also bound to eggs in lower numbers. These findings indicate that spermatozoa from the bouncy mutant have a severe defect in sperm-zona interaction. When bouncy spermatozoa were tested for sperm-vitelline membrane interaction at a low (10:1) sperm to egg ratio, they penetrated fewer zona-free hamster eggs. Epididymal protein synthesis and secretion were comparable between wild-type animals from all genotypes. However, while the regional pattern of protein synthesis was comparable among all mutants, the absolute rate of protein synthesis (cpm per mg tissue) was lower in some cases. Nevertheless, the proportion of the proteins synthesized that appeared in the medium remained constant. When the regional profile of proteins secreted by mutants was compared to that of their coisogenic wild types, three types of differences were noted: (1) changes in the abundance of a protein, (2) changes in the region of the epididymis from which a protein was secreted, or (3) the absence of a protein.[1]


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