Expression of the male reproduction-related gene (Mar-Mrr) in the spermatic duct of the giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii
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Phosphorylated sperm proteins are crucial for sperm maturation and capacitation as a priori to their fertilization with eggs. In the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii, a male reproduction-related protein (Mar-Mrr) was known to be expressed only in the spermatic ducts as a protein with putative phosphorylation and may be involved in sperm capacitation in this species. We investigated further the temporal and spatial expression of the Mar-Mrr gene using RT-PCR and in situ hybridization and the characteristics and fate of the protein using immunblotting and immunocytochemistry. The Mar-Mrr gene was first expressed in 4-week-old post larvae and the protein was produced in epithelial cells lining the spermatic ducts, at the highest level in the proximal region and decreased in the middle and distal parts. The native protein had a MW of 17 kDa and a high degree of serine/threonine phosphorylation. It was transferred from the epithelial cells to become a major protein at the anterior region of the sperm. We suggest that it is involved in sperm capacitation and fertilization in this open thelycal species and this is being investigated.
KeywordsMacrobrachium rosenbergii Spermatic duct Histology Sperm Phosphorylated proteins Capacitation
This work was supported by a Distinguished Research Professor Grant (jointly funded by the Thailand Research Fund-TRF, the Office of Higher Education Commission-OHEC and Mahidol University) to P. Sobhon, a Research Grant for New Scholar (TRF-OHEC-Mahidol University, MRG5480061) to Y. Tinikul and an OHEC-Ph.D. scholarship to I. Phoungpetchara from Naresuan University. We are grateful to Miss Sriprapa Buddama and Mr. Tanes Poomtong from Coastal Fisheries Research and Development Center, Banlaem, Petchaburi, Thailand for supplying larval and post-larval samples.
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