Presence of a 16 kd protein in human seminal plasma counteracts the effects of the anti-fertility agent, gossypol

Masahisa Nakamura*, Makoto Ikeda, Masayuki Komukai, Takashi Suyemitsu, Shoichi Okinaga, Kiyoshi Arai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Gossypol inhibited lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) non-competitively in human spermatozoa. The inhibitory effect of gossypol on LDH was cancelled by the addition of human serum albumin, human γ-globulin, bovine serum albumin or human seminal plasma. Seminal plasma was at least 10 times more effective than the other three proteins, when expressed on a per mg protein basis. Attempts were made to purify the active fraction from human seminal plasma. The purification steps included gel filtration, ammoniun sulphate precipitation, centrifugal microconcentration and fast-performance liquid chromatography. A single active protein of Mr = 16 000 was purified to a final yield of 0.18%. The 16 kd protein was not observed in male blood plasma. The protein was found to be heat-stable and leucine-rich (16% of the molecule), and has been designated 'gossact'. The inhibitory effect of gossypol on the LDH reaction was completely blocked by the addition of gossact (5 μg/ml); human blood plasma (25 μg/ml) and human serum albumin (200 μg/ml) were far less potent in this assay. In addition, gossact bound 1.4 mol of gossypol/mol of protein with the dissociation constant (Kd = 3.06 × 10-5 M. The role of gossact in the protection of LDH from gossypol is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-721
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1991 May
Externally publishedYes


  • 16 kd protein
  • Gossypol
  • Human
  • Seminal plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physiology
  • Developmental Biology


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