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Mammalian spermatozoa acquire functionality during epididymal maturation and ability to penetrate and fertilize the oocyte during capacitation. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of epididymal maturation, ejaculation and capacitation on phosphotyrosine content of sperm proteins. Western blot, immunocytochemical and flow cytometry analyses demonstrated that epididymal maturation in vivo is associated with a progressive loss of phosphotyrosine residues of the sperm head followed by a subtle increase after in vitro capacitation. As cells pass from caput to cauda epididymis, tyrosine phosphorylation becomes confined to a triangular band over the posterior part of midacrosome region, whereas in vitro capacitation causes a spread labeling over the whole head. Different bands with phosphotyrosine residues were detected during epididymal maturation and after in vitro capacitation: 1) 93, 66 and 45 kDa bands with specific phosphotyrosine expression in immature spermatozoa; 2) 76, 23 and 12 kDa bands with specific phosphotyrosine expression in mature spermatozoa, being significantly increased in their expression after in vitro capacitation; 3) 49, 40, 37, 30, 26 and 25 kDa constitutive bands that increased their phosphotyrosine expression after maturation and/or in vitro capacitation; and 4) 28 and 20 kDa bands with a specific phosphotyrosine expression in in vitro capacitated spermatozoa. These results provided integral novel data of expression and location of phosphotyrosine residues during epididymal maturation, ejaculation and in vitro capacitation of boar spermatozoa. Two new constitutive proteins bands of 26 and 25 kDa with phosphotyrosine residues were also identified.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1356 - 1366


Animals, Blotting, Western, Ejaculation, Epididymis, Male, Phosphorylation, Phosphotyrosine, Sperm Capacitation, Spermatozoa, Sus scrofa, Tyrosine