Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 363, Issue 1, pp 85–96 | Cite as

The protein and transcript profiles of human semen

  • Meritxell Jodar
  • Edward Sendler
  • Stephen A. KrawetzEmail author


The increasing use of “-omics” (genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, epigenomic, and metabolomic) high-throughput measurement technologies over the past decade is beginning to reveal the complexity of human biology and physiology through the interactions of DNA, RNA, related proteins and small molecules. In reproductive medicine, the majority of this work, has thus far focused on the female factors, e.g., the oocyte, since they provide both the environment and the majority of elements required for embryogenesis. State-of-the-art sequencing and computational analyses have enabled a deeper understanding of the underlying components. Contrary to being simply a silent delivery vehicle to the oocyte of the packaged male DNA, sperm provide both a specific epigenetically marked genome together with a complex population of RNAs and proteins that are crucial for early embryogenesis. In addition to the sperm, seminal fluid appears to serve multiple roles providing a supplementary series of components that allow the sperm to successfully reach and fertilize the oocyte and prepare the female immune system to tolerate the semiallosteric embryo. A global analysis and review of what is presently known regarding the unique role of each component of the male factor and their associated interactions begins to shed light on this emergent field.


Spermatozoa Seminal fluid Proteomics RNA-sequencing 



Fragments per kilobase of exon per million fragments mapped


Gene Ontology



This work was supported by the Charlotte B. Failing Professorship to SAK. The authors would like to thank Dr. Sergey I. Moskovtsev, Dr. Clifford L. Librach and Ms. Paula Mackie from CReATe Fertility Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada for providing sperm samples for their RNA-seq analysis and Mr. G. Johnson for his review of the manuscript. We apologize to the many other contributors to the field whose contributions we were not able to include.

Supplementary material

441_2015_2237_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (92 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 List of sperm and seminal fluid specific proteins and those detected in both proteomes. (XLSX 91 kb)
441_2015_2237_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (203 kb)
Supplemental Table 2 Interaction of sperm proteins and sperm, testes and seminal fluid RNAs (XLSX 203 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meritxell Jodar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edward Sendler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephen A. Krawetz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and DevelopmentWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA

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