Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Sperm superoxide dismutase is associated with bull fertility

Kamilah E. Grant A , Rodrigo V. de Oliveira A B H , Bettye Sue Hennington C , Aruna Govindaraju A , Andy Perkins D , John Stokes E , Dennis Rowe F , Einko Topper G , Abdullah Kaya G I , Arlindo Moura B and Erdogan Memili A J
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Mississippi State University, 4025 Wise Center, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.

B Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Ceara, Fortaleza, 60355-970, Brazil.

C Tougaloo College, Department of Biology, 500 W County Line Rd, Tougaloo, MS 39174, USA.

D Department of Computer Science and Engineering, 665 George Perry Street, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.

E Department of Basic Sciences, Mississippi State University, 240 Wise Center Drive, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.

F Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University, 32 Creelman Street, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.

G Alta Genetics, N8350 High Road, Watertown, WI 53094, USA.

H Present address: Department of Animal Production – Animal Sciences Institute, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRRJ, Seropédica-RJ, 23890-000, Brazil.

I Present address: Department of Reproduction and Artificial Insemination, Selcuk University, Konya, 42030, Turkey.

J Corresponding author. Email: em149@ads.msstate.edu

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 28(9) 1405-1413 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD14399
Submitted: 27 July 2014  Accepted: 20 January 2015   Published: 21 April 2015

Abstract

Decreasing mammalian fertility and sperm quality have created an urgent need to find effective methods to distinguish non-viable from viable fertilising spermatozoa. The aims of the present study were to evaluate expression levels of β-tubulin 2C (TUBB2C), heat shock protein 10 (HSP10), hexokinase 1 (HXK1) and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) in spermatozoa from Holstein bulls with varying fertility using western blotting and to analyse the biological networks of these key sperm proteins using a bioinformatics software (Metacore; Thomson-Reuters, Philadelphia, PA, USA). The rationales behind this study were that the sperm proteins play crucial roles in fertilisation and early embryonic development in mammals and ascertaining the biological networks of the proteins helps us better understand sperm physiology and early mammalian development. The results showed that expression of SOD1 was higher in spermatozoa from high fertility bulls (P < 0.05) and that SOD1 is the best protein to diagnose bulls based on the fertility index (P < 0.05). Using Metacore analysis, we identified an SOD1 network with pathways and linkages with other relevant molecules. We concluded that SOD1 sperm expression is associated with in vivo bull fertility. The findings are important because they illuminate molecular and cellular determinants of sperm viability and the identified protein markers can be used to determine bull fertility.

Additional keywords: protein, reproduction, semen.


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