The rhesus macaque (macaca mulatta) sperm proteome

Sheri Skerget, Matthew Rosenow, Ashoka Polpitiya, Konstantinos Petritis, Steve Dorus, Timothy L. Karr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Mass spectrometry based proteomics has facilitated sperm composition studies in several mammalian species but no studies have been undertaken in non-human primate species. Here we report the analysis of the 1247 proteins that comprise the Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) sperm proteome (termed the MacSP). Comparative analysis with previously characterized mouse and human sperm proteomes reveals substantial levels of orthology (47% and 40% respectively) and widespread overlap of functional categories based on Gene Ontology analyses. Approximately 10% of macaque sperm genes (113/1247) are significantly under-expressed in the testis as compared with other tissues, which may reflect proteins specifically acquired during epididymal maturation. Phylogenetic and genomic analyses of three MacSP ADAMs (A-Disintegrin and Metalloprotease proteins), ADAM18-, 20- And 21-like, provides empirical support for sperm genes functioning in non-human primate taxa which have been subsequently lost in the lineages leading to humans. The MacSP contains proteasome proteins of the 20S core subunit, the 19S proteasome activator complex and an alternate proteasome activator PA200, raising the possibility that proteasome activity is present in mature sperm. Robust empirical characterization of the Rhesus sperm proteome should greatly expand the possibility for targeted molecular studies of spermatogenesis and fertilization in a commonly used model species for human infertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3052-3067
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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