Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 1393–1398 | Cite as

Protease in sturgeon sperm and the effects of protease inhibitors on sperm motility and velocity

  • Sayyed Mohammad Hadi AlaviEmail author
  • Pavla Postlerová-Maňásková
  • Azadeh Hatef
  • Martin Pšenička
  • Jana Pěknicová
  • Kazuo Inaba
  • Andrzej Ciereszko
  • Otomar Linhart


In mammals, proteases are present in sperm acrosome and play key role in fertilization. Sturgeon sperm has an acrosome, but its physiology, biochemistry, and potential role in fertilization are unknown. In the present study, we have observed high protease activity in acidic extract of intact sperm compared to that of seminal plasma in sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus). The protease activity was decreased and increased in acidic extract of motility-activated sperm and in the activation medium, respectively. Molecular analysis revealed total protease and serine (acrosin) protease activities in sperm acidic extract which was accumulated in a protein band with relative molecular mass of 35 kDa. Immunoelectron microscopy using an affinity-purified polyclonal antibody for boar acrosin localized the protease at the acrosome region. Moreover, initiation of sperm motility was inhibited after activation in the presence of inhibitors for both trypsin-like and chymotrypsin-like proteases, while the effects of protease inhibitors on sperm velocity were uncertain. Our results indicate similarities in physiology and biochemistry of acrosome between sturgeon and mammals and suggest potential role of protease in the initiation of sperm motility in sturgeon.


Acrosome AGB Electron microscopy Sperm motility TPCK 



This work was supported by GACR P503/12/1834 (to J.P. and S.M.H.A.), AVOZ 50520701 (to P.P.-M), CENAKVA CZ.1.05/2.1.00/01.0024 (to O.L.), GACR P503/13/34049P (to A.H.), BIOCEVCZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0109 (to J.P. and P.P.-M.), and UNCE204025/2012 (to J.P. and P.P.-M.). S.M.H. Alavi wrote the article during stay at the Tohoku University, supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. We warmly appreciate the Polish Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Tsukuba University and Japanese Association for Marine Biology, for supporting A. Ciereszko and K. Inaba.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sayyed Mohammad Hadi Alavi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
    Email author
  • Pavla Postlerová-Maňásková
    • 3
  • Azadeh Hatef
    • 1
    • 4
  • Martin Pšenička
    • 1
  • Jana Pěknicová
    • 3
  • Kazuo Inaba
    • 5
  • Andrzej Ciereszko
    • 6
  • Otomar Linhart
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters, Research Institute of Fish Culture and HydrobiologyUniversity of South BohemiaVodňanyCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Biological Resource Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  3. 3.Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of BiotechnologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic
  4. 4.Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  5. 5.Shimoda Marine Research CenterUniversity of TsukubaShizuokaJapan
  6. 6.Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food ResearchPolish Academy of SciencesOlsztynPoland
  7. 7.Department of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural ResourcesCzech University of Life SciencesPrague 6Czech Republic

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