In the present study we describe the localization of proteasomes in human spermatozoa by means of immunolabelling with different monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies detected by confocal microscopy. Western blotting confirmed the specificity of the antibodies and has shown that proteasomes are present in spermatozoa and in seminal fluid. In spermatozoa proteasomes are concentrated in the neck region where the centrioles are located. Some labelling was also detected at the periphery of the head, but no proteasomal antigens were detected in either the nucleus or associated with the flagellum. Proteasome inhibitors did not affect the motility of the spermatozoa, acrosome reaction nor zona binding. It is hypothesized that paternal proteasomes enter the oocyte during fertilization in tight association with the centrioles and may serve a special function during further development which can be associated with the function of a hypothetical proteolysis centre.
- Proteasome activator
- Proteolytic centre
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Reproductive Medicine