Molecular cloning of the cDNA for two major androgen-dependent secretory proteins of 18.5 kilodaltons synthesized by the rat epididymis.
cDNA clones representing two closely related androgen-dependent secretory proteins of 18.5 kDa were selected by screening a rat epididymal cDNA library constructed in lambda gt 11 with affinity-purified antibody directed against the 18.5-kDa proteins. The entire amino acid sequence of the 18.5-kDa secretory proteins and a putative signal sequence of 18 amino acids was derived from 682 base pairs of the nucleotide sequence of overlapping cDNA clones. Confirmation of the identity of the cDNA clones was obtained by matching a partial amino acid sequence obtained for the N terminus of the pure protein with that of the sequence derived from the nucleotide code of the cDNA. Evidence is presented that the difference between the two closely related proteins may be associated with differential post-translational modification of the N terminus of the protein following cleavage of the signal sequence. Northern blot analysis revealed that the mRNA for the proteins is approximately 850 nucleotides long and that the concentration of the mRNA in the tissue is androgen-dependent. The proteins and their mRNAs were restricted to the epididymis as determined by Western and Northern blots, respectively, since signals were absent from the skin, brain, liver, kidney, heart, skeletal muscle, and testis. With the exception of a weak cross-reaction with mouse epididymis, the proteins were not detected by Western blots of extracts of guinea pig, rabbit, or bull epididymis. The two proteins account for a substantial proportion of the total protein in epididymal luminal fluid and become incorporated as components of the sperm plasma membrane where they may play a specific role in the post-testicular phase of sperm development.
Brooks, DE; Means, AR; Wright, EJ; Singh, SP; Tiver, KK
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)