Background: Glycodelin-C is a glycodelin isoform isolated from the cumulus matrix. It stimulates spermatozoa-zona pellucida binding. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of a novel glycodelin interacting protein (GIP) from human cumulus matrix.
Methods: GIP was purified by liquid chromatograph and identified by mass spectrometry. The interaction of GIP with glycodelin, matrix molecule and spermatozoa were investigated.
Results: Mass spectrometry analysis suggested that GIP contained the N-terminal region of alpha2-macroglobulin, confirmed by western blot with anti-alpha2-macroglobulin antibody. GIP bound to native but not deglycosylated glycodelin-C in native gel electrophoresis, suggesting that the binding was glycosylation-dependent. GIP did not bind to capacitated and uncapacitated human spermatozoa. The cumulus cells could convert exogenous labeled alpha2-macroglobulin into GIP in vitro. GIP interacted with hyaluronic acid, a major component of the cumulus matrix. Glycodelin-C bound to hyaluronic acid-coated agarose beads in the presence of GIP. Human spermatozoa acquired the hyaluronic acid-GIP-bound glycodelin-C during incubation in vitro.
Conclusion: The hyaluronic acid-GIP complex formed in the cumulus matrix retains and concentrates glycodelin-C in the cumulus matrix for displacing sperm-bound glycodelin-A and -F and stimulating the zona binding activity of the spermatozoa traversing through the cumulus mass.