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In our previous Genome-wise Association Study we found that Cystic Fibrosis Transmem- brane Conductance Regulator gene (CFTR) is a candidate gene for sperm motility in fresh semen of Holstein-Friesian bulls. Since in cows thawed semen is commonly used for the artificial insem- ination (AI) we have decided to find out whether functional polymorphism within CFTR gene coding sequence is associated with selected parameters of thawed sperm, including their motility evaluated by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA), the activity of three antioxidant enzymes: glutathione peroxidase (GPx) catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), ATP con- tent and integrity of sperm membranes. One hundred twenty Holstein Friesian bulls kept in uni- form environmental conditions (one AI company) were included in the study. Significant associ- ations between genotypes of missense mutation within exon 11 of the CFTR gene (Met468Leu) and the activity of antioxidant enzymes and sperm mitochondrial function were revealed. No effect of CFTR genotypes on sperm motility was observed. Significant differences in CAT and SOD activity were found between AA and TT homozygous individuals. Bulls with TT genotype had the lowest activity of both antioxidant enzymes. The same bulls also showed the lowest num- ber of sperm with active mitochondria. Our results demonstrate that missense mutation Met468Leu within CFTR gene is associated with antioxidant enzyme activity and mitochondrial function of bovine thawed sperm without affecting their motility.
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