Semen modulated secretory activity of oviductal epithelial cells is linked to cellular proteostasis network remodeling: Proteomic insights into the early phase of interaction in the oviduct in vivo.
The oviductal epithelium is crucial for the integrity of the female organ. Previously we got evidence that the surface proteome of oviductal epithelial cells (Oecs) is promptly altered in response to insemination and thus suggested that this early phase plays a notable regulatory role in maintaining cellular function. This study further aimed to assess the effect of semen on the cellular and molecular mechanisms in rabbit Oecs. A quantitative gel-based proteomic approach was applied to analyze changes at three time points (0h, 1h, 2h) after intrauterine insemination (IUI) compared to time matched controls. Within two hours the abundance of 22 protein species was evidently altered in the intracellular fraction. Functional analysis revealed that the proteins were primarily involved in proteostasis as well as metabolic processes. The analysis of phosphoproteins specified a role of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling molecules. Concurrently, semen increased oviduct-specific glycoprotein (OVGP1) secretion. A correlation between OVGP1 abundance and microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B-light chain 3 lipidation was observed. The localization and changes in abundance of selected proteins were corroborated by antibody-based methods. These results clearly show that the early phase of interaction acts as a trigger for cellular adaptation to meet an altered demand in the female organ.