Peculiar subcellular localization of fas antigen in human and mouse spermatozoa

Donatella Starace, Barbara Muciaccia, Emanuela Morgante, Matteo A. Russo, Simona Pensini, Angela D'Agostino, Paola De Cesaris, Antonio Filippini, Elio Ziparo, Anna Riccioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The highly polarized structure and function of mammalian spermatozoa dictate that these cells compartmentalize specific metabolic and signaling pathways to regions where they are needed. Fas was initially identified as membrane receptor for pro-apoptotic signals, has been recently recognized as a molecule with pleiotropic functions. In this article, we provide evidence of a peculiar Fas localization: it is closely associated to the perinucleus, mainly at the level of the inner acrosomal membrane, as well as in the inner compartment of mitochondria. Immunoelectron microscopy and Western blot analysis indicated that intracellular Fas was associated with mitochondria in mouse epididymal spermatozoa. Accordingly, also in human ejaculated sperm, immunofluorescence analysis showed Fas localized in the middle piece of sperm flagellum where mitochondria are grouped. The potential functional implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-579
Number of pages7
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • Apoptosis
  • CD-95
  • Mitochondria
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Instrumentation
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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