Involvement of the prostate and testis expression (PATE)-like proteins in spermoocyte interaction

M. Margalit, L. Yogev, H. Yavetz, O. Lehavi, R. Hauser, A. Botchan, S. Barda, F. Levitin, M. Weiss, I. Pastan, D. H. Wreschner, G. Paz, S. E. Kleiman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background The prostate and testis expression (PATE)-like family of proteins are expressed mainly in the male genital tract. They are localized in the sperm head and are homologous to SP-10, the acrosomal vesicle protein also named ACRV1. Our aim was to characterize the expression and functional role of three PATE-like proteins in the testis and ejaculated sperm. Methods The expression and localization of PATE-like proteins in human testis biopsies (n 95) and sperm cells were assessed by RTPCR, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining (at least 600 sperm cells per specimen). The function of the PATE protein was tested by the hemizona assay and hamster egg penetration test (HEPT). Results PATE and PATE-M genes and proteins were present almost exclusively in germ cells in the testis: immunoflourescence showed that the percentage of germ cells positive for PATE, PATE-M and PATE-B was 85, 50 and 2, respectively. PATE and PATE-M proteins were localized in the equatorial segment of the sperm head, while PATE-B protein was localized in the post-acrosomal region. A polyclonal antibody (Ab, at 1:50 and 1:200 dilutions) against the PATE protein did not inhibit spermzona binding in the hemizona assay (hemizona index of 89.6 ± 10 and 87 ± 36, respectively). However, there was inhibition of spermoolemma fusion and penetration in the HEPT (penetration index: without Ab 7 ± 3.9; Ab dilution of 1:100, 4 ± 3.5; Ab dilution of 1:20, 0.6 ± 1.2, P < 0.001). Conclusions Our data suggest that PATE protein is involved in spermoolemma fusion and penetration but not spermzona binding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238-1248
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer InstituteZIABC010298


    • Human sperm
    • Human spermatogenesis
    • Oolemma penetration
    • PATE genes
    • TFP/Ly-6/uPAR proteins


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