Bovine sperm forward motility protein. Partial purification and characterization

T. S. Acott, D. D. Hoskins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


A protein, present in bovine seminal plasma, initiates forward motility in immature, immotile caput spermatozoa that have been incubated with a cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor. An improved motility assay was developed to study this process and the protein involved. This forward motility protein exhibits multiple forms when fractionated on the basis of charge or molecular weight. Molecular sieving in urea or sodium dodecyl sulfate and dithiothreitol results in a single peak of activity which will re-form the larger aggregates in the absence of these agents. The molecular weight of this monomeric motility protein, as estimated from molecular sieving under these dissociating conditions, is 37,500. The forward motility protein can be partially purified by heat treatment, gel chromatography in urea, and affinity chromatography on concanavalin A/agarose. Enzymatic treatments further suggest a glycoprotein nature, i.e. treatment with β-galactosidase, neuraminidase, α-mannosidase, or galactose oxidase reduces its activity by 50%; treatment with trypsin completely abolishes forward motility protein activity. On the basis of concurrent studies on the activity, properties, and distribution of forward motility protein in bovine body fluids, it is suggested that this protein is involved in the development of the capacity for motility as sperm traverse the epididymis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6744-6750
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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