1. Methods of homogenizing suspensions of washed mammalian spermatozoa were studied. The most useful methods were those using sonication and those using a French press. 2. Hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, glucose phosphate isomerase and adenosine triphosphatase activities in ram, bull and boar spermatozoa were investigated by using these two homogenization methods. Glucose phosphate isomerase, representative of soluble cytoplasmic material, was very readily extracted and remained entirely in the supernatant after centrifugation at 145000g for 60min. In contrast, the other three activities were less easily extracted and were sedimented in various proportions under the described conditions of centrifugation. 3. Attempts to obtain subcellular fractions from sperm homogenates by ‘classical’ methods failed, owing apparently to the inhomogeneity of subcellular particles in the homogenates. It is concluded that, after removal of sperm heads, the only meaningful fractionation is a separation of spermatozoal material which sediments at 145000g during 60min from that which does not. 4. The stabilities of hexokinase and phosphofructokinase activities in bull, boar and ram sperm homogenates were investigated. Hexokinases showed very little dependence on the various environments tested, whereas the optimum conditions for phosphofructokinase stability were: a minimum of sonication, the presence of phosphate ions and of a thiol-group protectant, and a pH7.5. Activities of hexokinase, phosphofructokinase and glucose phosphate isomerase per sperm cell were compared with published data on rates of fructolysis by spermatozoa; the potential catalytic activities were shown to be considerably in excess of these rates. However, phosphofructokinase may be the rate-limiting enzyme of glycolysis in vivo in bull and ram spermatozoa.

This content is only available as a PDF.