Evaluation of DNase activity in seminal plasma and uptake of exogenous DNA by spermatozoa of the Brazilian flounder Paralichthys orbignyanus

Lanes, Carlos Frederico Ceccon; Sampaio, Luís André Nassr de; Marins, Luis Fernando Fernandes


Sperm mediated gene transfer (SMGT) has been successfully used in mammals, amphibians, birds, and some invertebrates. In fish, this methodology has failed or had poor efficiency for the production of transgenic specimens, presumably because the processes regulating the interaction between spermatozoa and exogenous DNA are not well understood. Therefore, the objective was to develop a SMGT protocol for the Brazilian flounder Paralichthys orbignyanus, with an emphasis on the role of seminal plasma DNase on exogenous DNA uptake by fish spermatozoa. In this study, there was strong DNase activity in the seminal plasma of P. orbignyanus; however, this DNase activity was decreased or eliminated by washing the spermatozoa with solutions containing EDTA (DNase activity was completely inhibited by 40 mM EDTA). Three washing solutions were tested, all of which maintained sperm quality. Moreover, it was determined that the no more than 50 ng of exogenous DNA/106 cells should be used for SMGT in fish. Finally, it was demonstrated that fish spermatozoa were capable of spontaneous uptake of exogenous DNA after elimination of DNase activity; this was confirmed by exogenous DNA amplification (PCR using sperm genomic DNA as a template) after DNase I treatment. We concluded that whereas DNase activity was an important obstacle for exogenous DNA uptake by fish spermatozoa;controlling this activity improved the efficiency of SMGT in fish.

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