This study identified prostaglandin D2 synthase (PGDS) in murine epididymal fluid using a proteomic approach combining two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry (MS). The caudal epididymal fluid was collected by retroperfusion, and proteins were separated by 2D gel electrophoresis followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization MS analyses after trypsin digestion. The identification was based on the protein-specific peptide map as well as on sequence information generated by nano-electrospray ionization MS/MS. By in situ hybridization, the mRNA was detected in caput, corpus, and cauda, but it was not detected in the initial segment. The PGDS protein was mostly detected in the corpus and cauda by Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry using a specific polyclonal antibody. In caudal fluid, PGDS was distributed among several isoforms (pI range, 6.5–8.8), suggesting that this protein undergoes posttranslational modification of its primary sequence. After N-glycanase digestion, the molecular mass decreased from 20–25 to 18.5 kDa, its theoretical mass. The PGDS was also detected in the epididymis of rat, hamster, and cynomolgus monkey from the caput to the cauda. In conclusion, MS is a powerful and accurate technique that allows unambiguous identification of the murine epididymal PGDS. The protein is 1) present throughout the epididymis, except in the initial segment, with an increasing luminal concentration from distal caput to cauda; 2) a major protein in caudal fluid; 3) an N-glycosylated, highly polymorphic protein; and 4) conserved during evolution.
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