Proteomic characteristics of spermatozoa in normozoospermic patients with infertility

Wangjie Xu, Hongliang Hu, Zhaoxia Wang, Xiaohui Chen, Fang Yang, Zijue Zhu, Peng Fang, Jingbo Dai, Lianyun Wang, Huijuan Shi, Zheng Li*, Zhongdong Qiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Male infertility is a vexing yet common problem for men all over the world. However, its etiology remains unknown in most cases. The aim of this study was to screen and investigate the differentially expressed proteins in the sperm of infertile patients, whose sperm clinical parameters met the WHO guidelines. Using MALDI-TOF/TOF analysis, we identified 24 differentially expressed proteins from the 31 most abundant different protein spots in 2D gels of sperm samples, then verified and analyzed localization in sperm of the proteins. Following data mining analysis showed that these 24 proteins were categorized into five functional clustering groups: sexual reproduction, response to wounding, metabolic process, cell growth and/or maintenance, not clear. Additionally, 9 of the 24 differentially expressed proteins are involved in a main pathway network including TGF-β1, MYC, β-estradiol, MYCN, and TP53, which are known to be involved in cell communication, proliferation and differentiation. The observed differences in signaling and metabolic pathways between the infertile sperm and the normal fertile spermatozoa have implications in sperm motility, capacitation, acrosomal reaction and sperm-oocyte communication. These proteins are potential diagnostic markers, and the study of these proteins could help gain further insight into the pathogenic mechanisms in infertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5426-5436
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • Male infertility
  • Normozoospermic patients
  • Spermatozoa proteome
  • The WHO guidelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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