Crystal structure of acidic seminal fluid protein (aSFP) at 1.9 Å resolution: a bovine polypeptide of the spermadhesin family

Maria J. Romão, Ingo Kölln, João M. Dias, Ana L. Carvalho, Antonio Romero, Paloma F. Varela, Libia Sanz, Edda Töpfer-Petersen, Juan J. Calvete

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43 Citations (Scopus)


We report the three-dimensional crystal structure of acidic seminal fluid protein (aSFP), a 12.9 kDa polypeptide of the spermadhesin family isolated from bovine seminal plasma, solved by the multiple isomorphous replacement method and refined with data to 1.9 Å resolution with a final R-factor of 17.3%. aSFP is built by a single CUB domain architecture, a 100 to 110 amino-acid-residue extracellular module found in 16 functionally diverse proteins. The structure of aSFP reveals that the CUB domain displays a β-sandwich topology organised into two 5-stranded β-sheets, each of which contain two parallel and four antiparallel strands. The structure of aSFP is almost identical to that of porcine spermadhesins PSP-I and PSP-II, which in turn show limited structural similarity with jellyroll topologies of certain virus capsid proteins. Essentially, topologically conserved residues in these proteins are those internal amino acids forming the hydrophobic tore of the CUB and the jellyroll domains, suggesting their importance in maintaining the integrity of these protein folds. On the other hand, the structure of aSFP shows structural features that are unique to this protein and which may provide a structural ground for understanding the distinct biological properties of different members of the spermadhesin protein family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-660
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 1997


  • Acidic seminal fluid protein
  • aSFP
  • Bovine seminal plasma protein
  • CUB domain
  • Spermadhesins


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