The proteome of cauda epididymal fluid (CEF) from Holstein bulls was defined. Fluid was collected from the vas deferens, subjected to 2-D SDS-PAGE and spots identified by CapLC-MS/MS and MALDI-ToF/ToF. Because albumin accounted for 21.1% of all spot intensities in the gels examined by PDQuest, samples were subjected to albumin depletion and then analyzed again as before. Original CEF gels had 114 ± 3 spots, including as the most abundant: albumin, epididymal secretory protein E1, prostaglandin d-synthase and gelsolin. Epididymal fluid also expressed: clusterin, transferrin, N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase, cauxin, glutathione peroxidase, acidic seminal fluid protein (aSFP), aldehyde reductase, α-l-fucosidase, α-1-β-glycoprotein, apolipoprotein A-1, β actin, calmodulin, cathepsin D, cystatin E/M, enolase, galectin 3-binding protein, leucine amino-peptidase and nucleobindin. Albumin depletion decreased that very spot to 10% of its original intensity and the resulting gels had, on average, 137 ± 4 spots. Spots identified as dipeptidyl-peptidase 7, angiotensin-converting enzyme, arylsulfatase A, aspartylglucosaminidase, serine protease inhibitors, new isoforms of calmodulin, cystatin E/M and a 17-kDa nucleobindin appeared only in depleted maps. This study is the first to report nucleobindin and aSFP as epididymal components. We suggest that CEF proteins act to facilitate membrane remodeling, transport of lipophilic substances, protect sperm and prevent premature acrosome reaction.
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