The guinea pig seminal vesicle epithelium synthesizes and secretes four major secretory proteins (SVP-1-4). Previous work has established that these four proteins are cleaved from two primary translation products in a complex series of protein processing reactions. The present studies suggest that these protein processing reactions are regulated by androgens. In vitro labeling of seminal vesicle proteins revealed significant differences in the patterns of secretory protein intermediates produced by tissue from intact and castrated animals. Seminal vesicle tissue explants from castrated animals secreted a subset of the processing intermediates secreted by tissue from intact animals. The changes in the patterns of secretory protein intermediates became more pronounced with increasing time after castration, and were fully reversible by treatment of castrated animals with testosterone, suggesting that androgens were affecting the processing or secretion of secretory protein precursors. Amino-terminal protein sequencing of secretory protein processing intermediates that accumulate in the seminal vesicle lumen after castration suggests that the guinea pig seminal vesicle contains an androgen-regulated proteolytic processing activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology