Dysregulation of Key Proteins Associated with Sperm Motility and Fertility Potential in Cancer Patients.

Cancer has adverse effects on male reproductive health. Conventional semen analysis does not explain the molecular changes in the spermatozoa of cancer patients. Currently, proteomics is being widely used to identify the fertility-associated molecular pathways affected in spermatozoa. The objective of this study was to evaluate the sperm proteome of patients with various types of cancer. Cryopreserved semen samples from patients (testicular cancer, n = 40; Hodgkin's disease, n = 32; lymphoma, n = 20; leukemia, n = 17) before starting therapy were used for proteomic analysis, while samples from fertile donors (n = 19) were included as controls. The proteomic profiling of sperm was carried out by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and differentially expressed proteins involved in the reproductive processes were validated by Western blotting. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that proteins associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative phosphorylation, and Sirtuin signaling pathways were dysregulated in cancer patients, while oxidative phosphorylation and tricarboxylic acid cycle were predicted to be deactivated. Furthermore, the analysis revealed dysregulation of key proteins associated with sperm fertility potential and motility (NADH:Ubiquinone oxidoreductase core subunit S1, superoxide dismutase 1, SERPINA5, and cytochrome b-c1 complex subunit 2) in the cancer group, which were further validated by Western blot. Dysfunctional molecular mechanisms essential for fertility in cancer patients prior to therapy highlight the potential impact of cancer phenotype on male fertility.

International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 Sep 15*** epublish ***

Manesh Kumar Panner Selvam, Renata Finelli, Saradha Baskaran, Ashok Agarwal

American Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.