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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Investigation of Recombinant Mouse Sperm Protein Izumo as a Potential Immunocontraceptive Antigen


Tian-Hua. Huang, Research Center for Reproductive Medicine, Shantou University Medical College, 22 Xinling Road, Shantou 515041, Guangdong, China.



To determine if the recombinant mouse Izumo (mIzumo) could be used as a potential immunocontraceptive antigen.

Method of study

The recombinant mIzumo fused with 6His tag (6His-mIzumo) was purified by immobilized Ni2+ affinity chromatography. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot were used to detect anti-6His-mIzumo activities of serum from the mice immunized with 6His-mIzumo. Inhibition of the anti-6His-mIzumo antibody on mouse sperm–egg fusion in vitro was performed using the zona free oocytes and acrosome reacted sperm. Fertility of the 6His-mIzumo immunized male and female mice was compared with control mice.


The recombinant mIzumo was successfully produced. Female and male mice inoculated with 6His-mIzumo developed a specific serum antibody and the highest antibody titer lasted at least 6 weeks. The serum anti-6His-mIzumo antibody almost completely blocked mouse sperm–egg fusion in vitro. However, there was no significant reduction in fertility for both male and female mice immunized with 6His-mIzumo compared with control mice.


The circulated anti-mIzumo antibody can block mouse sperm–egg fusion in vitro but has no effect on fertility in vivo. It seems that application of Izumo as a candidate antigen in development of contraceptive vaccine needs further investigation.