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Abstract

Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2011) 13, 111–117; 10.1038/aja.2010.77

The role of cysteine-rich secretory proteins in male fertility

Adam J Koppers*, Thulasimala Reddy* and Moira K O Bryan

Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

advance online publication, October 25, 2010

Abstract

The cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are a subgroup of the CRISP, antigen 5 and Pr-1 (CAP) protein superfamily, and are found only in vertebrates. They show a strong expression bias to the mammalian male reproductive tract and the venom of poisonous reptiles. Within the male reproductive tract CRISPs have been implicated in many aspects of male germ cell biology spanning haploid germ cell development, epididymal maturation, capacitation, motility and the actual processes of fertilization. At a structural level, CRISPs are composed of two domains, a CAP domain, which has been implicated in cell–cell adhesion, and a CRISP domain, which has been shown to regulate several classes of ion channels across multiple species. Herein, we will review the current literature on the role of CRISPs in male fertility, and by inference to related non-mammalian protein, infer potential biochemical functions.

Keywords: CRISPs; epididymis; fertility; spermatozoa; testis

Keywords: Professor MK O Bryan, (Moira.O Bryan@monash.edu)

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