Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase of Boar Seminal Plasma


Author's address (for correspondence): J. Strzezek, Department of Animal Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Animal Bioengineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 5, 10-718 Olsztyn, Poland. E-mail: strzezek@uwm.edu.pl


Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an enzymatic component of the antioxidant defense system that protects spermatozoa by catalysing the dismutation of superoxide anions to hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. Age and season effects on SOD activity in the seminal plasma were measured in boars at the onset of 8 months through a 35-month period. It was found that age-related changes in SOD activity in the seminal plasma were markedly higher in boars less than 2 years of age. However, it appeared that SOD activity was established at the early sexual maturity age (8–12 months). There were variations in SOD activity throughout the season, being significantly higher in spring and autumn than in summer. A secretory extracellular form of SOD (EC-SOD) was purified to homogeneity (350-fold) from boar seminal plasma, using a three-step purification protocol (affinity chromatography followed by ion exchange and ceramic hydroxyapatite chromatography). The molecular properties and specificity of SOD (molecular mass, isoelectric point, optimum pH, thermostability and susceptibility to inhibitors) confirmed that the purified enzyme is an extracellular form of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase occurring in boar seminal plasma. The results of this study indicate that EC-SOD is an important antioxidant enzyme of boar seminal plasma, which plays an important physiological role in counteracting oxidative stress in spermatozoa.