OBSERVATIONS ON THE STATE OF SIALIC ACID IN HUMAN AND BOVINE SEMINAL PLASMA

in Reproduction

Sialic acid (N-acetylneuraminic acid) is secreted by male accessory organs and forms a normal constituent of seminal plasma in a number of species including man, bull, boar and stallion (Odin, 1955; Svennerholm, 1958; Warren, 1959b; Buruiana & Hadarag, 1962; Hartree, 1962; Eliasson, 1964; Mann, 1964; Hudson, Wellerson & Kupferberg, 1965; Mann & Rottenberg, 1966). Most of it is present in a bound form from which, however, it can be set free not only by acid hydrolysis but also by the action of the receptor-destroying enzyme (RDE) as shown, for example, by Hudson et al. (1965) in their study of human and bovine semen.

The present investigation had three main objectives: firstly, to define the conditions under which sialic acid can best be liberated enzymatically from the seminal plasma; secondly, to compare the action of RDE with that of purified neuraminidase; and thirdly, to relate the rate at which sialic

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