Evolution of the spermadhesin gene family

Haase, Bianca; Schlötterer, Christian; Hundrieser, Mahnaz Ekhlasi; Kuiper, Heidi; Distl, Ottmar; Töpfer-Petersen, Edda; Leeb, Tosso (2005). Evolution of the spermadhesin gene family. Gene, 352, pp. 20-29. Elsevier 10.1016/j.gene.2005.04.015

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Spermadhesins belong to a novel family of secretory proteins of the male genital tract. They are major proteins of the seminal plasma and have been found peripherally associated to the sperm surface. So far, they have only been detected in ungulates, specifically in pig, cattle, and horse, respectively. Spermadhesins form a subgroup of the superfamily of proteins with a CUB-domain that has been found in a variety of developmentally regulated proteins. The structure and function of the spermadhesins have been investigated in the pig. They are multifunctional proteins showing a range of ligand-binding abilities, e.g. to carbohydrates, phospholipids, and protease inhibitors, suggesting that they may be involved in different steps of fertilization. We report here the genomic organization of the porcine spermadhesin gene cluster as well as a detailed comparative analysis with respect to other mammalian species. The porcine spermadhesin genes are located on SSC 14q28-q29 in a region syntenic to HSA 10q26. The pig contains five closely linked spermadhesin genes, whereas only two spermadhesin genes are present in the cattle genome. Inactive copies of spermadhesin genes are still detectable in the human, chimp, and dog genome while the corresponding region was lost from the rodent genomes of mouse and rat. Within the pig, the five spermadhesin genes contain both highly diverged and highly conserved regions. Interestingly, the pattern of divergence does not correlate with the position of the exons. Evolutionary analyses suggest that the pattern of diversity is shaped by ancestral variation, recombination, and new mutations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Haase, Bianca, Leeb, Tosso


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Tosso Leeb

Date Deposited:

17 Aug 2015 15:59

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:48

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