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Effect of aryl 4-guanidinobenzoates on the acrosin activity of human spermatozoa

, : Effect of aryl 4-guanidinobenzoates on the acrosin activity of human spermatozoa. Biology of Reproduction 36(5): 1170-1176

Certain aryl 4-guanidinobenzoates (AGs; inhibitors of proteinases, including the sperm enzyme acrosin) have been shown to be more potent vaginal contraceptives in rabbits and less toxic than nonoxynol-9, the active ingredient of most marketed vaginal contraceptive formulations. To determine if these AGs can contact sperm and inhibit acrosin when mixed with the entire human ejaculate for a short period of time (roughly imitating clinical conditions), the inhibitors were added to semen at various concentrations for 2 min, after which the seminal plasma and unbound inhibitor were removed from the sperm by Ficoll centrifugation. Subsequently, the total arginine amidolytic activity of the spermatozoa was determined spectrophotometrically after a combined treatment that resulted in extraction, proacrosin activation, and reaction with substrate. Dose-response curves were prepared. All AGs studied were effective inhibitors of the amidolytic activity under these conditions, with ED50 values (the dose levels at which half of the acrosin associated with 10(6) sperm is inhibited) ranging from 10(-5) to 10(-7) M. To determine the effect on the proteolytic activity of individual spermatozoa, the experiment was repeated with 4'-acetamidophenyl 4-guanidinobenzoate (AGB), and the protease released from the sperm was measured by the gelatin-plate assay. The inhibition results were similar to those obtained by extraction of the spermatozoa and measurement of amidolytic activity. Thus, when mixed with the human ejaculate, AGs interact rapidly with spermatozoa to inhibit both their arginine amidolytic and proteolytic activity (probably due primarily or only to inhibition of acrosin) and remain bound even after removal of the seminal plasma. These data encourage further study of the compounds for contraceptive purposes.


PMID: 3304435

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