Scientific article

Plasminogen activator and mouse spermatozoa: urokinase synthesis in the male genital tract and binding of the enzyme to the sperm cell surface

Published inThe Journal of cell biology, vol. 104, no. 5, p. 1281-1289
Publication date1987

When ejaculated mouse spermatozoa were embedded in a plasminogen-containing insoluble protein substrate, a zone of proteolysis developed progressively, centered around the sperm head region. Lysis did not occur in absence of plasminogen or in presence of antibodies against the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA). Zymographic and immunological analyses confirmed the presence of u-PA in extracts of ejaculated mouse spermatozoa. In contrast, the u-PA activity of sperm cells obtained from testis or from vas deferens was low, although these cells were able to bind added murine u-PA. The sites of u-PA synthesis were identified by measuring u-PA activity and u-PA mRNA content in protein extracts and in total RNA preparations of various portions of the male genital tract. The highest levels of u-PA activity and of u-PA mRNA were found in vas deferens and seminal vesicles. The cells that synthesize u-PA were localized by hybridizing frozen sections of various portions of the genital tract to a u-PA cRNA probe. In all tissues examined, u-PA mRNA was predominantly located in the epithelial layer, and the strongest signal was observed over that of the vas deferens. Hence, the u-PA associated with ejaculated sperm cells is probably acquired from genital tract secretions. Sperm-bound u-PA may participate in the proteolytic events that accompany capacitation and fertilization.

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane/metabolism
  • Enzyme Precursors/ biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Plasmids
  • Plasminogen Activators/ biosynthesis/genetics/metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Spermatozoa/ enzymology
  • Testis/physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator/ biosynthesis/genetics/metabolism
Citation (ISO format)
HUARTE, Joachim et al. Plasminogen activator and mouse spermatozoa: urokinase synthesis in the male genital tract and binding of the enzyme to the sperm cell surface. In: The Journal of cell biology, 1987, vol. 104, n° 5, p. 1281–1289. doi: 10.1083/jcb.104.5.1281
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal0021-9525

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