Browsing by Subject "Sperm-oocyte binding"

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  • Bjorkgren, Ida; Alvarez, Luis; Blank, Nelli; Balbach, Melanie; Turunen, Heikki; Laajala, Teemu Daniel; Toivanen, Jussi; Krutskikh, Anton; Wahlberg, Niklas; Huhtaniemi, Ilpo; Poutanen, Matti; Wachten, Dagmar; Sipila, Petra (2016)
    During epididymal maturation, sperm acquire the ability to swim progressively by interacting with proteins secreted by the epididymal epithelium. Beta-defensin proteins, expressed in the epididymis, continue to regulate sperm motility during capacitation and hyperactivation in the female reproductive tract. We characterized the mouse beta-defensin 41 (DEFB41), by generating a mouse model with iCre recombinase inserted into the first exon of the gene. The homozygous Defb41(iCre/iCre) knock-in mice lacked Defb41 expression and displayed iCre recombinase activity in the principal cells of the proximal epididymis. Heterozygous Defb41(iCre/+) mice can be used to generate epididymis specific conditional knock-out mouse models. Homozygous Defb41(iCre/iCre) sperm displayed a defect in sperm motility with the flagella primarily bending in the pro-hook conformation while capacitated wild-type sperm more often displayed the anti-hook conformation. This led to a reduced straight line motility of Defb41(iCre/liCre) sperm and weaker binding to the oocyte. Thus, DEFB41 is required for proper sperm maturation. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.