Xenopus tropicalis allurin: Expression, purification, and characterization of a sperm chemoattractant that exhibits cross-species activity

Lindsey A. Burnett, Serenity Boyles, Christopher Spencer, Allan L. Bieber, Douglas E. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previously we reported the identification of the first vertebrate sperm chemoattractant, allurin, in the frog Xenopus laevis (Xl) and demonstrated that it was a member of the CRISP family of proteins. Here we report identification, purification, and characterization of Xenopus tropicalis (Xt) allurin, a homologous protein in X. tropicalis. "Egg water" as well as purified allurin from both species exhibit efficient cross-species sperm chemoattractant activity. Western blots show that Xt egg water contains a single anti-allurin cross-reactive protein whose molecular weight (20,497 Da by MALDI MS) agrees well with the molecular weight of the hypothetical gene product for a newly recognized "Crisp A" gene in the X. tropicalis genome. A recombinant form of the protein, expressed in 3T3 cells, exhibits chemoattraction for both Xt and Xl sperm and cross reacts with anti-allurin antibodies. Examination of Crisp protein expression in the Xt oviduct using RT-PCR showed that of five documented Xt Crisp genes (Crisps 2, 3, LD1, LD2 and A) only Crisp A was expressed. In contrast, Crisp 2, Crisp 3, Crisp LD1, and Crisp LD2, but not Crisp A, were all found to be expressed in the Xt testes while subsets of Crisp proteins where expressed in the Xt ovary. These data suggest that Crisp proteins in amphibians may play multiple roles in sperm production, maturation and guidance just as they are thought to in mammals indicating that Crisp protein involvement in reproduction may not be limited to mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-416
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume316
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2008

Keywords

  • CRISP proteins
  • Crisp A gene
  • Egg jelly
  • Fertilization
  • Sperm chemotaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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