Differential nuclear localization of the cancer/testis-associated protein, SPAN-X/CTp11, in transfected cells and in 50% of human spermatozoa.
ABSTRACT Cancer-testis antigens (CTAs) represent potential targets for cancer immunotherapy because these proteins are widely distributed in tumors but not in normal tissues, except testes. In this paper, we identify homology of the CTA CTp11 with SPAN-X (sperm protein associated with the nucleus mapped to the X chromosome). On two-dimensional Western blots of human sperm extracts, SPAN-X antibodies recognized 19 spots ranging from 20 to 23 kDa with isoelectric points from 5.0 to 5.5. Differential extraction of spermatozoa demonstrated that the SPAN-X protein is highly insoluble. Only 50% of ejaculated spermatozoa exhibited SPAN-X immunofluorescent staining. Dual localization of the sex chromosomes and the SPAN-X protein demonstrated that an equal number of X- and Y-bearing spermatozoa exhibited SPAN-X staining. In transfected mammalian CV1 cells, the SPAN-Xa and SPAN-Xb proteins were localized to the nucleus and cytoplasm, respectively, by indirect immunofluorescence. On immunoblots of CV1 cells, the SPAN-Xa protein migrated at 15-20 kDa, whereas the SPAN-Xb protein migrated at a higher molecular weight of 21-22 kDa. The SPAN-X protein was ultrastructurally associated with nuclear vacuoles and the redundant nuclear envelope. SPAN-X is the first protein specifically localized to these poorly characterized structures of the mammalian sperm nucleus and provides a unique biochemical marker for investigation of their function in spermatozoa as well as the role of SPAN-X/CTp11 in human tumors.
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ABSTRACT: This article presents an update on the variable prognostic significance of different sperm pathologies in patients with severe male factor infertility due to morphology and motility disorders. Severe asthenozoospermia is one of the leading causes of male infertility as spermatozoa cannot reach the oocyte and/or penetrate normally. Identifying structural causes of sperm immotility was of great concern before the advent of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), because immotility was the limiting factor in the treatment of these patients. In these cases, in vitro methods are used to identify live spermatozoa or stimulate sperm motility to avoid selection of non-viable cells. With these advances, fertilization and pregnancy results have improved dramatically. The identification of genetic phenotypes in asthenozoospermia is important to adequately inform patients of treatment outcomes and risks. The one sperm characteristic that seriously affects fertility prognosis is teratozoospermia, primarily sperm head and neck anomalies. Defects of chromatin condensation and acrosomal hypoplasia are the two most common abnormalities in severe teratozoospermia. The introduction of microscopic methods to select spermatozoa and the development of new ones to evaluate sperm quality before ICSI will assure that ultrastructural identification of sperm pathologies will not only be of academic interest, but will also be an essential tool to inform treatment choice. Herein, we review the differential roles played by sperm components in normal fertilization and early embryo development and explore how assisted reproductive technologies have modified our concepts on the prognostic significance of sperm pathologies affecting the head, neck, mid-piece and tail.Asian Journal of Andrology 12/2011; 14(1):14-23. · 2.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The sperm-derived SPANX family proteins can be found expressed in human tumors. Here, we aimed to perform a comprehensive study to evaluate immunotherapeutic relevance of one of its members, SPANX-B. We wanted to test its expression pattern in human tumors and to evaluate CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses in healthy humans after in vitro immunizations. Expression of SPANX-B in human malignancies, including a multitumor tissue array of 145 primary tumors, was assessed using reverse transcription-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemical analysis. T-cell immunogenicity and immunodominant epitopes of SPANX-B were studied using in vitro immunizations of healthy human donor-derived leukocytes. SPANX-B was abundantly expressed in melanoma and carcinomas of lung, ovary, colon, and breast. In melanoma, tissue array data indicated that it was expressed in advanced and metastatic disease. Unlike most tumor-associated antigens, SPANX-B was an immunogenic antigen that was recognized by circulating T-cell precursors in healthy humans. Importantly, these T cells were readily expanded to generate SPANX-B-specific helper CD4(+) and cytolytic CD8(+) T cells that recognized unique immunodominant epitopes: at least one HLA-DR-restricted Pep-9 epitope (SPANX-B(12-23)) and two HLA-A2-restricted Pep-2 and Pep-4 epitopes (SPANX-B(23-31) and SPANX-B(57-65), respectively). CD8(+) T cells were fully functional to recognize and lyse HLA-A2-expressing tumors, including primary human melanomas. SPANX-B is an immunogenic sperm-derived antigen that is expressed in several human tumors. SPANX-B is also efficiently recognized by the human T-cell immune arm, indicating its significant value for the development of protective and therapeutic cancer vaccines.Clinical Cancer Research 04/2009; 15(6):1954-63. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Several linkage studies provided evidence for the presence of the hereditary prostate cancer locus, HPCX1, at Xq27-q28. The strongest linkage peak of prostate cancer overlies a variable region of ~750 kb at Xq27 enriched by segmental duplications (SDs), suggesting that the predisposition to prostate cancer may be a genomic disorder caused by recombinational interaction between SDs. The large size of SDs and their sequence similarity make it difficult to examine this region for possible rearrangements using standard methods. To overcome this problem, direct isolation of a set of genomic segments by in vivo recombination in yeast (a TAR cloning technique) was used to perform a mutational analysis of the 750 kb region in X-linked families. We did not detect disease-specific rearrangements within this region. In addition, transcriptome and computational analyses were performed to search for nonannotated genes within the Xq27 region, which may be associated with genetic predisposition to prostate cancer. Two candidate genes were identified, one of which is a novel gene termed SPANXL that represents a highly diverged member of the SPANX gene family, and the previously described CDR1 gene that is expressed at a high level in both normal and malignant prostate cells, and mapped 210 kb of upstream the SPANX gene cluster. No disease-specific alterations were identified in these genes. Our results exclude the 750-kb genetically unstable region at Xq27 as a candidate locus for prostate malignancy. Adjacent regions appear to be the most likely candidates to identify the elusive HPCX1 locus.Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 06/2012; 51(10):933-48. · 3.55 Impact Factor