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

Expression and characterization of a novel human sperm membrane protein.

A cDNA fragment (HSD-1) coding for part of a human sperm membrane protein (hSMP-1) was previously isolated from a human testis cDNA expression library, with the serum from an infertile patient used as a probe. By rescreening human testis cDNA libraries with the HSD-1 insert and using rapid amplification of cDNA ends, the complete cDNA of 2482 bp was identified and sequenced. An open reading frame of 1572 bp encodes 523 amino acid residues with a computed molecular mass of 55.08 kDa. This protein sequence does not match any other sequence in the databases, indicating that it represents a novel sperm antigen. Northern blot analysis of human and rat testis poly(A) mRNA detected a band of approximately 2.5 kb in both species. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that hSMP-1 mRNA was present in human testis but was not in either kidney or liver. When the cDNA was expressed in Escherichia coli under the control of the T7 promoter, the expressed protein accumulated to a level of about 50% of the total cellular protein. The expressed protein, which contained an N-terminal poly(his) sequence tag, was purified by chromatography on an nitrilo-tri-acetic acid affinity resin. Approximately 10 mg of pure protein was obtained from a 500-ml culture, purified, and used as antigen to generate a polyclonal antiserum in rabbits. Western blot analysis of human sperm extracts showed a single specific band at 55.5 kDa. Immunofluorescence data showed that hSMP-1 was localized to the head of human sperm. The fluorescent staining formed a cap-shaped pattern that was similar in morphology to the human sperm acrosome. The availability of large amounts of recombinant hSMP-1 and its antiserum will facilitate studies on the function and expression of the protein during spermatogenesis and the assessment of its potential value as a contraceptive immunogen.[1]


  1. Expression and characterization of a novel human sperm membrane protein. Liu, Q.Y., Wang, L.F., Miao, S.Y., Catterall, J.F. Biol. Reprod. (1996) [Pubmed]
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