A plasma membrane-associated hyaluronidase is localized to the posterior acrosomal region of stallion sperm and is associated with spermatozoal function

Stuart A Meyers, Anne E. Rosenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Sperm hyaluronidase has been implicated in sperm penetration of the extracellular matrix of the cumulus oophorus and may play a crucial role in gamete interaction and fertility in mammals. The objectives of this study were to characterize the enzyme activity of equine sperm hyaluronidase and to investigate its cellular distribution. Zymography of stallion sperm plasma membrane extracts was used to identify hyaluronidase activity in protein bands. Affinity-purified polyclonal IgG raised against equine sperm hyaluronidase was used to label fresh and capacitated stallion sperm, followed by indirect immunofluorescence. Equine sperm plasma membrane extracts displayed 3 major protein bands with potent hyaluronidase activity of approximately 54, 59, and 83 kDa. Under reducing conditions, a single protein band was observed at 62 kDa, although the reduced sample exhibited no enzyme activity. The polyclonal IgG labeled the postacrosomal region of stallion sperm and was redistributed over the acrosomal region during in vitro capacitation in a significant percentage of sperm cells. These studies suggest that a specific protein localized to the equine sperm head displays hyaluronidase activity, gets redistributed over the acrosomal region during capacitation, and may be important in fertility in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-451
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology

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