Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 36, Issue 9, pp 1891–1900 | Cite as

Identification and characterization of RSIY-11, a novel seminal peptide derived from semenogelin-1, which acts as a neutral endopeptidase inhibitor modulating sperm motility

  • Rani Fritz
  • Amarnath Mukherjee
  • Sahar Zaghi
  • Ilir Agalliu
  • Sangita Jindal
  • Alexandre K. Tashima
  • Lloyd D. Fricker
  • Kelvin P. DaviesEmail author
Gamete Biology



Based on prior reports demonstrating that neutral endopeptidase (NEP) inhibitors increase sperm motility, the goal of our studies was to identify endogenous seminal peptides that inhibit NEP and investigate their potential effect on sperm motility.


Peptidomic analysis was performed on human seminal fluid, identifying 22 novel peptides. One peptide, named RSIY-11, derived from semenogelin-1, was predicted through sequence analysis to be a substrate and/or potential inhibitor of NEP. Enzymatic analysis was conducted to determine the inhibitory constant (Ki) of RSIY-11 as an inhibitor of NEP. Total and progressive sperm motility was determined at baseline and 30 and 60 min following addition of RSIY-11 to seminal fluid in 59 patients undergoing an infertility workup at an urban medical center. Additionally, the effects of RSIY-11 on sperm motility were evaluated in 15 of the 59 patients that met criteria for asthenospermia.


RSIY-11 was shown to act as a competitive inhibitor of NEP with a Ki of 18.4 ± 1.6 μM. Addition of RSIY-11 at concentrations of 0.75 μM, 7.5 μM, and 75 μM significantly increased sperm motility at all time points investigated, with increases of 6.1%, 6.9%, and 9.2% at 60 min, respectively. Additionally, within the subgroup of patients with asthenospermia, RSIY-11 at concentrations of 0.75 μM, 7.5 μM, and 75 μM significantly increased sperm motility at all time points investigated, with increases of 7.6%, 8.8%, and 10.6% at 60 min, respectively.


RSIY-11 is a newly identified semenogelin-1-derived peptide present in seminal fluid. RSIY-11 acts as a potent competitive inhibitor of NEP, which when added to seminal fluid significantly increases sperm motility. RSIY-11 could play a potential role in the treatment for male factor infertility related to asthenospermia and improve intrauterine insemination outcomes.


Semenogelin Asthenospermia Sperm motility Neutral endopeptidase inhibitor RSIY-11 


Funding information

Funding for these studies were provided by NIH R01 DK107807 (PI: Kelvin P. Davies) and by FINEP and FAPESP 2017/20106-9 (to A. K. Tashima).

Compliance with ethical standards

All studies involving human subjects were approved by the Institutional Review Board of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Supplementary material

10815_2019_1524_MOESM1_ESM.docx (178 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 177 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s HealthAlbert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Montefiore’s Institute for Reproductive Medicine and HealthNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of UrologyAlbert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and Population HealthAlbert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biochemistry, Escola Paulista de MedicinaFederal University of Sao PauloSao PauloBrazil
  6. 6.Department of Molecular PharmacologyAlbert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.Department of NeuroscienceAlbert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  8. 8.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsAlbert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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