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Proteins from male and female reproductive tracts involved in sperm function regulation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 January 2019

Gabriela Hernández-Silva
Departamento de Biología de la Reproducción, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, México City 14080, México Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Av. Ciudad Universitaria 3000, Coyoacán 04360, México City, México
Mayel Chirinos*
Departamento de Biología de la Reproducción, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, México City 14080, México
Address for correspondence: Mayel Chirinos. Departamento de Biología de la Reproducción, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Vasco de Quiroga 15, Col. Belisario Domínguez Sección XVI, Tlalpan 14080, México City, México. Tel: +52 55 54870900, ext. 2417. E-mail:


Spermatogenesis is a dynamic process that culminates in the production of mature spermatozoa in the seminiferous tubules of sexually mature animals. Although sperm leaving the testis are fully differentiated, they must further undergo two additional maturation steps before acquiring the capability to fertilize the egg. Such processes take place during the epididymal residency and transport in the seminal fluid during ejaculation and, after delivery into the female reproductive tract, during the journey aiming the encountering the egg in the oviduct. Throughout this trip, spermatozoa are exposed to different reproductive fluids whose molecular compositions regulate the progress towards obtaining a fertilized competent cell. This review summarizes the evidence obtained so far supporting the participation of male and female reproductive tract-derived proteins in the modulation of sperm fertilizing ability and discusses the mechanisms by which such regulation may be accomplished.

Review Article
© Cambridge University Press 2019 

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