Whole mount preparations of dissociated testicular cells from the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, were exposed to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against sperm surface proteins. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy and Western immunoblot analysis show that mAb J18/29 binds to the entire surface of the mature spermatozoon and membrane proteins ranging in relative molecular masses from 25 to 340 kDa. MAb J18/2 binds to the acrosomal and tail regions of the mature spermatozoon and mainly to a 210-kDa membrane protein. MAb J17/30 binds to the midpiece and tail regions and monospecifically to a 60-kDa membrane protein. MAb J16/33 binds specifically to the sperm midpiece but does not bind to Western immunoblots of sperm membrane proteins. With the exception of J16/33, which shows a punctate binding pattern, all of these mAbs show uniform binding over the entire surface of the early spermatid. This uniform and complete surface binding is observed through all stages of spermiogenesis for mAb J18/29. By the midspermatid stage, when tail formation first begins, but before the nucleus condenses and the cytoplasm decreases in volume, localized binding patterns of mAbs J17/30 and J16/33 become evident. Localized binding of mAb J18/2 is not observed until the late spermatid stage. These results show that the sea urchin sperm surface is composed of at least four different domains and provide the first insight into differentiation of the cell surface during sea urchin spermatogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology