Could the glycosylation analysis of seminal plasma clusterin become a novel male infertility biomarker?

Mol Reprod Dev. 2020 May;87(5):515-524. doi: 10.1002/mrd.23340. Epub 2020 Mar 28.


Male infertility is becoming a rapidly growing problem around the world, mainly in the highly developed countries. Seminal proteome composition seems to be one of the crucial factors of the proper course of fertilization - clusterin (CLU) is among the most important ones. CLU, as one of the crucial seminal plasma glycoproteins, plays a very important role in sperm capacitation and immune tolerance in the female reproductive tract. CLU is also known as a sensitive marker of oxidative stress. It has six n-glycosylation sites and also exhibits chaperone activity. An analysis of changes in the profile and degree of CLU glycosylation may shed some new light on the molecular mechanisms of the fertilization process and may be used as an additional diagnostic marker of male fertility. This study constitutes a review of the recently available literature concerning human seminal CLU, including changes in its glycosylation, analyzed in the context of human reproduction.

Keywords: clusterin; male fertility; semen quality; seminal clusterin glycosylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Clusterin / analysis
  • Clusterin / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / diagnosis*
  • Infertility, Male / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Semen / chemistry
  • Semen / metabolism*
  • Sperm Capacitation / physiology


  • Biomarkers
  • CLU protein, human
  • Clusterin
  • Glycoproteins
  • Proteome