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Distinct lipid compositions of two types of human prostasomes

Authors

  • Jos F. Brouwers,

    1. Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Marian Aalberts,

    1. Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    2. Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Jeroen W. A. Jansen,

    1. Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Guillaume van Niel,

    1. Institut Curie, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Unité Mixte de Recherche, Paris, France
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  • Marca H. Wauben,

    1. Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Tom A. E. Stout,

    1. Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • J. Bernd Helms,

    1. Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Willem Stoorvogel

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Correspondence: Professor W. Stoorvogel, Biochemistry & Cell Biology Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.176, NL-3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands

E-mail: W.Stoorvogel@uu.nl

Fax: +31-302535492

Abstract

Prostasomes are vesicles secreted by prostate epithelial cells and found in abundance in seminal plasma. They regulate aspects of sperm cell function and are also thought to prevent immune-mediated destruction of sperm cells within the female reproductive tract. In a previous study, we isolated two distinct populations of prostasomes, differing both in size and protein composition, from the seminal fluid of vasectomized men. In the current study, we characterized the lipid content of these two prostasome populations. Both prostasome types had an unusual lipid composition, with high levels of sphingomyelin (SM), cholesterol, and glycosphingolipids at the expense of, in particular, phosphatidylcholine. The different classes of glycerophospholipids consisted mainly of mono-unsaturated species. The sphingosine-based lipids, SM and the hexosylceramides, were characterized by a near absence of unsaturated species. The two types of prostasome differed in lipid composition, particularly with regard to the relative contributions of SM and hexosylceramides. Potential implications of the lipid compositions of prostasomes for the mechanisms of their formation and function are discussed.

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