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Author Notes:

To whom correspondence may be addressed. E-mail: lmiao@moon.ibp.ac.cn or dongmengqiu@nibs.ac.cn.

Author contributions: M.-Q.D. and L.M. designed research

Y.Z., W.S., P.Z., H.C., M.-J.Z., C.-Q.S., X.M., Y.S., B.W., Y.H., S.-M.H., M.-Q.D., and L.M. performed research

Z.H., A.F.H., S.W.L., and S.-M.H. contributed new reagents/analytic tools

Y.Z., W.S., P.Z., H.C., M.-J.Z., C.-Q.S., X.M., Y.S., B.W., Y.H., F.M., S.W.L., S.-M.H., M.-Q.D., and L.M. analyzed data

Y.Z., F.M., S.W.L., M.-Q.D., and L.M. wrote the paper.

We thank Dr. Li-Lin Du for valuable ideas regarding the BLAST search; Dr. Jian Ren for advice with Fig. 3F; Ning Yang for help with Fig. 1E; Gail Ekman for advice in degenerate PCR; Dr. Taotao Wei for providing various protease inhibitors; Drs. Hengbin Wang and Yixian Zheng for critically reading the manuscript; and Wei Zhuang for excellent technical assistance.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Subject:

Research Funding:

This research was supported by Grants 2012CB94502, 2010CB912303, and 30971648 (to L.M.), 2007AA02Z1A7 and 2010CB835203 (to M.-Q.D.), 2010CB912701 (to S.-M.H.), 30871226 and 31071180 (to Y.Z.) from the government of the People's Republic of China. L.M. is supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences 100-Talents Program.

S.W.L. was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant GM082932.

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Multidisciplinary Sciences
  • Science & Technology - Other Topics
  • MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES
  • cell motility
  • regulated exocytosis
  • sperm competition
  • postcopulatory sexual selection
  • de novo sequencing
  • SEMINAL FLUID PROTEINS
  • CAENORHABDITIS-ELEGANS
  • DROSOPHILA-MELANOGASTER
  • AMEBOID SPERM
  • MICE LACKING
  • IN-VITRO
  • COMPETITION
  • FERTILIZATION
  • SPERMATOZOA
  • MOTILITY

Nematode sperm maturation triggered by protease involves sperm-secreted serine protease inhibitor (Serpin)

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Journal Title:

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Volume:

Volume 109, Number 5

Publisher:

, Pages 1542-1547

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF

Abstract:

Spermiogenesis is a series of poorly understood morphological, physiological and biochemical processes that occur during the transition of immotile spermatids into motile, fertilization-competent spermatozoa. Here, we identified a Serpin (serine protease inhibitor) family protein (As-SRP-1) that is secreted from spermatids during nematode Ascaris suum spermiogenesis (also called sperm activation) and we showed that As-SRP-1 has two major functions. First, As-SRP-1 functions in cis to supportmajor spermprotein (MSP)- based cytoskeletal assembly in the spermatid that releases it, thereby facilitating sperm motility acquisition. Second, As-SRP-1 released froman activated sperminhibits, in trans, the activation of surrounding spermatids by inhibiting vas deferens-derived As-TRY-5, a trypsin- like serine protease necessary for sperm activation. Because vesicular exocytosis is necessary to create fertilization-competent sperm in many animal species, components released during this process might be more important modulators of the physiology and behavior of surrounding sperm than was previously appreciated.
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