Sulfated Lewis A trisaccharide on oviduct membrane glycoproteins binds bovine sperm and lengthens sperm lifespan

Sudipta Dutta, Kazuhiro Aoki, Kankanit Doungkamchan, Michael Tiemeyer, Nicolai Bovin, David J. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A fraction of sperm deposited at mating or insemination reaches the oviduct isthmus, where sperm are retained and thereby form a reservoir. This reservoir delays capacitation, prevents polyspermy, selects a fertile population of sperm, and, foremost, increases sperm lifespan. The molecular interactions underlying the formation of a sperm reservoir are becoming clearer in mammals. Sperm lectins bind to oviductal glycans to form the reservoir. Herein, we found that the highest percentage of bovine sperm bound to the 3'-O-sulfated form of Lewis A (suLeA) trisaccharide and sialylated Lewis A and that fluoresceinated versions of each localized to receptors on the anterior head of the sperm. Following capacitation, binding to suLeA decreased significantly, a potential explanation for sperm release from the reservoir. MS and immunohistochemistry analyses indicated that suLeA motifs were present predominantly on O-linked glycans initiated by GalNAc residues, but no sialylated LewisAwas detected.Todeterminewhetherspermbinding to isolatedsuLeAin vitro could mimic in vivo sperm binding to oviduct cells and increase sperm longevity, we immobilized suLeA and incubated it with sperm. Using free-swimming sperm and sperm bound to immobilized laminin as controls, we observed that over 96 h, the viability of free-swimming sperm decreased to 10%, and that of sperm bound to immobilized laminin decreased to about 50%, whereas viability of sperm bound to immobilized suLeA was highest throughout the incubation and 60% at 96 h. These results indicate that bovine sperm binding to oviduct suLeA retains sperm for reservoir formation and extends sperm lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13445-13463
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 6 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sulfated Lewis A trisaccharide on oviduct membrane glycoproteins binds bovine sperm and lengthens sperm lifespan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this