Polypeptide composition of rat sperm outer dense fibers. A simple procedure to isolate the fibrillar complex

J. C. Vera, M. Brito, T. Zuvic, L. O. Burzio

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96 Citations (Scopus)


Treatment of caput or cauda epididymal rat sperm with a low concentration (0.05%) of the cationic detergent cetyltrimethylammonium bromide and 30 mM 2-mercaptoethanol solubilized most of the sperm structures except for the sperm head and the outer dense fiber-connecting piece complex. The latter were purified, and about 10% of these complexes are formed by nine fibers attached to the connecting piece. Of these fibers, two are shorter than the other seven and presumably correspond to fibers 3 and 8 (Fawcett, D.W. (1975) Dev. Biol. 44, 394-436). Electron microscopy confirmed the purity of the isolated outer dense fibers and revealed their characteristic irregular cross-sectional shape. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate showed six major polypeptides (M(r) = 87,000, 30,400, 26,000, 18,400, 13,000, and 11,500) with a high content of serine, aspartic and glutamic acids, proline, cysteine, leucine, and tryosine. Furthermore, several lines of evidence indicate a close structural relationship between the components of 30,400 and 26,000 Da. The six major components of the fibers are phosphorylated at serine residues. These results indicate that the major components of rat sperm outer dense fibers are a unique family of phosphoproteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5970-5977
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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