Diisopropyl fluorophosphate labeling of sperm-associated proteinases

R. R. Odem, J. L. Willand, K. L. Polakoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Proteinase inhibitors have been shown to be capable of preventing various aspects of fertilization. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) is an irreversible inhibitor of trypsin-like enzymes that is commercially available in a radiolabeled form. The experiments described herein were designed to determine if DFP would prevent sperm function in live, motile sperm and to identify the sperm proteins bound with DFP. DFP at 5 mM concentrations had no observable effect on sperm molity, but inhibited the penetration of zona-free hamster ova by human sperm (5.5%) compared to controls (33.5%). Acid extracts of motile sperm that had been incubated with radiolabeled DFP and collected by the swim-up procedure demonstrated the presence of radiolabeled DFP, and the autoradiography of the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) gels of these extracts localized the uptake of radiolabeled DFP to proteins int he molecular weight region of the proacrosinacrosin system. Acid-extracted proteinases from semen samples incubated with DFP demonstrated a concentration-dependent inhibition of both esterolytic hydrolysis of benzoyl-arginine ethyl ester on spectrophotometric analysis and proteolytic activity on gelatin SDS-PAGE zymography. DFP-labeled proteins were precipitated by highly specific antibodies to proacrosin. These results demonstrated that DFP is capable of inhibiting sperm function, and that it associates with the proacrosin-acrosin system in live motile sperm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


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