EVISA Print | Contact EVISA | Sitemap | Home   
 Advanced search
The establishment of EVISA is funded by the EU through the Fifth Framework Programme (G7RT- CT- 2002- 05112).

Supporters of EVISA includes:

Selenoprotein P is required for normal sperm development


While selenoprotein P was believed to play a role as an antioxidant and to transport selenium throughout the body,  its physiological function was unknown.

Over 20 selenoproteins have been identified, including key enzymes for oxidant defense such as the glutathione peroxidases and the thioredoxin reductases. Selenoproteins are usually enzymes that contain a single selenocysteine as a constituent of the active site. Dietary selenium is essential for normal sperm development and male fertility. Selenoprotein P (SEPP1) is a unique family member that is an extracellular glycoprotein and depending on the species, contains 10-17 selenocysteine residues in its primary structure, thereby carrying about 60 percent of the selenium in blood plasma.

To understand the physiological function of SEPP1 in the testes and epididymis of mammals, a team of scientists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville studied male mice that lack the gene to produce SEPP1. These genetically altered males have levels of selenium in the testis that are less than 10 percent of the normal concentration.

The research team, headed by Dr. Gary E. Olson, found that the mutant male mice lacking SEPP1 were generally infertile because of  sperm development with defective tails, similar to the sperm produced by unaltered male mice fed a low-selenium diet. Even further, the infertility of the mutant mice could not be cured by prolonged feeding on a diet supplemented with high levels of selenium.

According to Olson and his colleagues, these findings strongly indicate that SEPP1 is the source of the selenium needed for development of normal sperm and for male mice to maintain their fertility.

The original paper:

Gary E. Olson, Virginia P. Winfrey, Subir K. NagDas, Kristina E. Hill, Raymond F. Burk, Selenoprotein P Is Required for Mouse Sperm Development, Biol. Reprod., 73 (2005) 201-2011. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.105.040360

Related publications:

Carlo Foresta, Leopold Flohé, Andrea Garolla, Antonella Roveri, Fulvio Ursini, Matilde Maiorino, Male Fertility Is Linked to the Selenoprotein Phospholipid Hydroperoxide Glutathione Peroxidase, Biol. Reprod., 67/3 (2002) 967-971. DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod.102.003822

L. Flohé, Selenium in mammalian spermiogenesis, Biol. Chem., 388/10 (2007) 987-995. DOI: 10.1515/BC.2007.112

Sonia Shalini, M.P. Bansal, Alterations in selenium status influences reproductive potential of male mice by modulation of transcription factor NFKB, BioMetals, 20 (2007) 49–59. DOI: 10.1007/s10534-006-9014-2

M. Sánchez-Gutiérrez, E. A. García-Montalvo, J. A. Izquierdo-Vega, L. M. Del Razo, Effect of dietary selenium deficiency on the in vitro fertilizing ability of mice spermatozoa, Cell. Biol. Toxicol., 24 (2008) 321–329. DOI 10.1007/s10565-007-9044-8

A.A. Turanov, M. Malinouski, V.N. Gladyshev, Selenium in Male Reproduction, in: D.L: Hatfield, M.J. Berry, V.N. Gladyshev, Selenium: Its Molecular Biology and Role in Human Health, Springer, 2012, 409-417. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-1025-6_32

Related EVISA Resources

Link Database: Selenium and Human health
Link Database; Research projects related to selenium
Link database: All about proteins containing selenium

Related EVISA News (newest first)

September 28, 2022: Selenium May Play a More Important Role in Microbes Than Previously Thought
May 14, 2019: Selenoneine is a major selenium species in red blood cells of Inuit from Nunavik
February 14, 2018: Essentiality of selenium for brain development
October 15, 2016: Researchers discover how selenium is incorporated into proteins

July 21, 2015: Polish selenium supplements not always labeled accurately
December 17, 2014: Decreased risk of colorectal cancer linked with higher selenium status
August 9, 2011: New selenium metabolites found in human serum
May 22, 2011: Does Selenium Prevent Cancer? It May Depend on Which Form People Take
May 12, 2011: Review: Selenium doesn't prevent cancer
June 19, 2010: A new Selenium-containing compound, Selenoneine, found as the predominant Se-species in the blood of Bluefin Tuna
July 20, 2009: Researchers Reveal Selenium's Metabolism In Life-Giving Amino Acids
October 28, 2008: National Cancer Institute ends Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial, or SELECT
March 16, 2008: New selenium-containing proteins identified in selenium-rich yeast
October 16, 2005: New light on human selenium metabolism
October 6, 2005:  Selenomethionine shows promising results as a protective agent against Esophageal Cancer
August 2, 2005: New CRM for Selenomethionine in yeast developed by NRC Canada is now on the market

last time modified: March 6, 2024

Imprint     Disclaimer

© 2003 - 2024 by European Virtual Institute for Speciation Analysis ( EVISA )