Prion protein 2 (dublet) gene (PRND): role in ovine semen capacitation, cryopreservation and fertility

L M Ferreira, M Garcia-Herreros, A Domingos, C C Marques, P. Mesquita, J P Barbas, M C Baptista, J Pimenta, A E M Horta, José A. M. Prates, R M L N Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to examine the role of Doppel protein in the capacitation process and fertilising ability of both fresh and frozen-thawed (FT) spermatozoa from rams carrying different prion protein 2 (dublet) (PRND) gene polymorphisms. The detection efficacy of new anti-Doppel monoclonal antibodies and PRND mRNA quantification were also explored in ovine spermatozoa. Three different genotypes (AA, GA, GG) were identified for codon 26 of ovine PRND-c.78G>A. Using flow cytometry, a higher fluorescence was detected in fresh compared with FT sperm samples incubated with anti-Doppel primary and fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated secondary antibodies (P < 0.05). Capacitation was affected by semen treatment (fresh and FT) and male PRND genotype (P < 0.05). After IVF, the use of fresh semen resulted in a higher cleavage rate than the use of FT spermatozoa (P = 0.004). IVF using spermatozoa from individuals classified as carriers of the AA or GA PRND genotypes resulted in higher cleavage rates than seen using spermatozoa from GG carriers (P ≤ 0.0006). Finally, using semen from rams with the AA PRND genotype resulted in the highest Day 6 and Day 8 embryo rates (P ≤ 0.04). In conclusion, the results of the present study confirm that the identification of different PRND genotypes is important for studying the sperm capacitation process and for improving sperm cryoresistance and embryo production. Furthermore, the detection of Doppel in ejaculated ovine spermatozoa, along with its low expression after cryopreservation, strongly suggests an important physiological function of this protein in male fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-997
Number of pages12
JournalReproduction, fertility, and development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2017


  • Doppel protein
  • IVF
  • Ovine
  • Sperm capacitation
  • Sperm cryopreservation


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