Previous studies have shown that a soluble protein fraction derived from preparations of apical plasma membrane (APM) of the oviductal epithelium enhances the in vitro survival of mammalian spermatozoa. Here, we show that the survival enhancing property of the soluble protein fraction seems to depend significantly upon heat shock 70 kDa protein 8 (HSPA8 previously known as HSPA10). The following findings in the present study enabled us to draw this conclusion: first, using proteomic analysis, we identified a subset of 70 kDa oviductal surface proteins that bound to spermatozoa, one of which was HSPA8. Second, pre-treatment of the soluble protein fraction with anti-HSPA8 antibody reduced the 24 h (at 39 °C) sperm survival enhancement effect normally induced by the presence of 200 μg/ml soluble APM proteins. Third, complementary experiments showed that substituting the soluble protein fraction with bovine recombinant HSPA8 (0.5–2 μg/ml) also elicited the sperm survival effect. Finally, we also tested the effect of bovine recombinant HSPA8 on bull spermatozoa and found similar, dose-responsive, sperm survival promoting effects. The conserved nature of HSPA8 between mammalian species suggests that this protein may represent a common biological mechanism for the maintenance of sperm survival in the oviduct.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2009|