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Proteins involved in motility and sperm-egg interaction evolve more rapidly in mouse spermatozoa

AuthorsVicens, Alberto; Lüke, Lena; Roldán, Eduardo R. S.
Issue Date2014
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 9(3): e91302 (2014)
AbstractProteomic studies of spermatozoa have identified a large catalog of integral sperm proteins. Rapid evolution of these proteins may underlie adaptive changes of sperm traits involved in different events leading to fertilization, although the selective forces underlying such rapid evolution are not well understood. A variety of selective forces may differentially affect several steps ending in fertilization, thus resulting in a compartmentalized adaptation of sperm proteins. Here we analyzed the evolution of genes associated to various events in the sperm's life, from sperm formation to sperm-egg interaction. Evolutionary analyses were performed on gene sequences from 17 mouse strains whose genomes have been sequenced. Four of these are derived from wild Mus musculus, M. domesticus, M. castaneus and M. spretus. We found a higher proportion of genes exhibiting a signature of positive selection among those related to sperm motility and sperm-egg interaction. Furthermore, sperm proteins involved in sperm-egg interaction exhibited accelerated evolution in comparison to those involved in other events. Thus, we identified a large set of candidate proteins for future comparative analyses of genotype-phenotype associations in spermatozoa of species subjected to different sexual selection pressures. Adaptive evolution of proteins involved in motility could be driven by sperm competition, since this selective force is known to increase the proportion of motile sperm and their swimming velocity. On the other hand, sperm proteins involved in gamete interaction could be coevolving with their egg partners through episodes of sexual selection or sexual conflict resulting in species-specific sperm-egg interactions and barriers preventing interspecies fertilization. © 2014 Vicens et al.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091302
issn: 1932-6203
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