Glucose-regulated protein 78 (Grp78/BiP) is secreted by human oviduct epithelial cells and the recombinant protein modulates sperm zona pellucida binding

Clara I Marín-Briggiler, María F González-Echeverría, María J Munuce, Sergio Ghersevich, Adriana M Caille, Ulf Hellman, Valerie M Corrigall, Mónica H Vazquez-Levin

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the secretion of Grp78 by human oviduct epithelial cells, its association to spermatozoa, and its involvement in gamete interaction. Design: Prospective study. Setting: Basic research laboratory. Subject(s): Semen samples obtained from normozoospermic volunteers. Tubal tissue provided by patients undergoing hysterectomies. Oocytes collected from women undergoing IVF-ET. Intervention(s): Analysis of Grp78 expression and secretion by oviductal tissue. Gamete incubation with recombinant Grp78 (rec-Grp78). Main Outcome Measure(s): Assessment of protein expression and secretion by immunohistochemistry and Western immunoblotting, respectively. Evaluation of rec-Grp78 binding to human spermatozoa by immunocytochemistry, and analysis of its effect upon gamete interaction using the hemizona assay. Result(s): Grp78 was found in the surface of oviduct epithelial cells. Soluble Grp78 was detected in oviductal fluids from women in the periovulatory period and in oviductal tissue conditioned medium. Rec-Grp78 was able to bind to the sperm acrosomal cap, and its presence during gamete interaction led to a decrease in the number of spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida (ZP). When calcium ions from the incubation medium were replaced by strontium, rec-Grp78 enhanced sperm ZP interaction. Conclusion(S): Grp78 is expressed and secreted by oviduct epithelial cells. The protein would bind to the gametes and may modulate their interaction in a calcium-dependent manner. (Fertil Steril (R) 2010;93:1574-84. (C)2010 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1574 - 1584
Number of pages11
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2010


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