In mammals, transit through the epididymis, which involves the acquisition, loss and modification of proteins, is required to confer motility and fertilization competency to sperm. The overall dynamics of maturation is poorly understood, and a systems level understanding of the complex maturation process will provide valuable new information about changes occurring during epididymal transport.We report the proteomes of sperm collected from the caput, corpus and cauda segments of the mouse epididymis, identifying 1536, 1720 and 1234 proteins respectively. This study identified 765 proteins that are present in sperm obtained from all three segments. We identified 1766 proteins that are potentially added (732) or removed (1034) from sperm during epididymal transit. Phenotypic analyses of the caput, corpus and cauda sperm proteomes identified 60 proteins that have known sperm phenotypes when mutated, or absent from sperm. Our analysis indicates that as much as one-Third of proteins with known sperm phenotypes are added to sperm during epididymal transit. GO analyses revealed that cauda sperm are enriched for specific functions including sperm-egg recognition and motility, consistent with the observation that sperm acquire motility and fertilization competency during transit through the epididymis. In addition, GO analyses revealed that the immunity protein profile of sperm changes during sperm maturation. Finally, we identified components of the 26S proteasome, the immunoproteasome, and a proteasome activator in mature sperm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences