A recent study has demonstrated that porcine spermatozoa recognize with high affinity carbohydrate structures containing Lewis X motifs. Sperm adhesion to Lewis X is proposed to mediate sperm binding to the oviduct epithelium to form a reservoir. The objective of this study was to identify Lewis X-binding proteins from porcine spermatozoa as candidate receptors for oviduct glycans. To identify low-abundance proteins typically masked by proteins originating from seminal fluid, Lewis X candidate receptors were enriched from cauda epididymal boar spermatozoa. Plasma membrane preparations from cauda epididymal spermatozoa were subjected to RP-HPLC and glycan blotting assays to isolate and detect proteins that bind Lewis X. Following bottom-up LC-MS/MS analysis, among the two bands that bound sulfated Lewis X, ADAM5, which spermatozoa, was confidently identified. ADAM family members have been established as contributors to sperm entry into the oviduct. A second sulfated Lewis X-binding protein identified was the peripheral membrane protein lactadherin (also known as P47, SED1 and MFG-E8 in different species). The interaction between Lewis X and lactadherin was functionally important because competitive inhibition by soluble recombinant lactadherin reduced sperm binding to the oviduct epithelium. Furthermore, far-western blotting demonstrated that purified lactadherin could bind oviduct cells. In summary, these findings reveal that, in addition to the previously reported glycan affinity of accessory gland proteins that adhere to spermatozoa, multiple proteins intrinsic to spermatozoa have affinity for a specific oviduct glycan. Further, in addition to binding to the zona pellucida, lactadherin is now implicated in binding to oviduct glycans to promote formation of the sperm reservoir.
- Lewis X
- cell adhesion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Reproductive Medicine