Semenogelin I: A coagulum forming, multifunctional seminal vesicle protein

Martin Robert, C. Gagnon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


Human seminal plasma spontaneously coagulates after ejaculation. The major component of this coagulum is semenogelin I, a 52-kDa protein expressed exclusively in the seminal vesicles. Recently, a sperm motility inhibitor has been found to be identical to semenogelin II suggesting that it may also be a physiological sperm motility inhibitor. The protein is rapidly cleaved after ejaculation by the chymotrypsin-like prostatic protease prostate-specific antigen, resulting in liquefaction of the semen coagulum and the progressive release of motile spermatozoa. Some of the cleavage products of Sg I may also have various biological functions. While the semenogelin I protein is unique to human and higher primates, it has recently been shown to belong to a gene family having a similar gene structure but encoding widely differing proteins. The recently elucidated characteristics of the semenogelin I gene as well as the biochemical and functional properties of the encoded protein are reviewed, and an attempt is made to integrate the various findings into a model for semen coagulation, sperm immobilization and potential other functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-960
Number of pages17
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jul 12
Externally publishedYes


  • Inhibin-like peptides
  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • REST gene
  • Seminal plasma
  • Seminal vesicle-specific antigen
  • Sperm hyaluronidase
  • Sperm motility inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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