P26h and dicarbonyl/L-xylulose reductase are two distinct proteins present in the hamster epididymis

Mol Reprod Dev. 2004 Oct;69(2):137-45. doi: 10.1002/mrd.20089.


We have previously identified a 34 kDa protein (P34H) on the human sperm surface covering the acrosome. Using the hamster, we have also described a sperm protein, P26h, which is acquired by spermatozoa during epididymal transit. Both P34H and P26h belong to the carbonyl reductase family. Using molecular tools derived from P34H, we searched in the hamster epididymis for another protein related to the human sperm protein. Cloning and sequencing of P31h cDNA revealed 100% homology with the kidney DCXR (Dicarbonyl/L-Xylulose reductase). Northern Blot experiments revealed a single mRNA that was more expressed in the caput than in the corpus and cauda segment of adult epididymides. In situ hybridization was performed on sexually mature hamsters showing that the mRNA was localized in the principal cells throughout the epididymis. Using an anti-P34H antibody we have identified a P34H related protein named P31h (for 31 kDa). This protein showed 2D-electrophoretic behavior different from P26h and was detectable all along the epididymis (caput, corpus, and cauda) by Western Blot analysis. Immunohistochemistry techniques showed that P31h was localized in the perinuclear region of the principal cells of the epididymal epithelium within the three sections, both in sexually mature and immature animals. Results are discussed with regards to the potential function of DCXR in the epididymis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Cricetinae
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Epididymis / cytology
  • Epididymis / metabolism*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sugar Alcohol Dehydrogenases / metabolism*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • RNA, Messenger
  • sperm antigen P26h
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases
  • Sugar Alcohol Dehydrogenases
  • L-xylulose reductase