Prediction of Male Fertility Using Ras-related Proteins

Jeong-Won Bae1, Ju-Mi Hwang1, Woo-Sung Kwon1,*
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1Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Kyungpook National University, Sangju 37224, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Woo-Sung Kwon, Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Kyungpook National University, Sangju 37224, Korea, Republic of. E-mail:

© Copyright 2022 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Identifying effective biomarkers for the diagnosis of male fertility is crucial for improving animal production and treating male infertility in humans. Ras-related proteins (Rab) are associated with morphological and motion kinematic functions in spermatozoa. Moreover, Rab2A, a Rab protein, is a possible male fertility-related biomarker. The present study was designed to identify additional fertility-related biomarkers among the various Rab proteins. First, the expression of Rab proteins (Rab3A, 4, 5, 8A, 9, 14, 25, 27A, and 34A) from 31 duroc boar spermatozoa was measured before and after capacitation; correlation between Rab protein expression and litter size was evaluated by statistical analysis. The results showed that the expression of Rab3A, 4, 5, 8A, 9, and 25 before capacitation and Rab3A, 4, 5, 8A, 9, and 14 after capacitation were negatively correlated with litter size. Moreover, depending on the cut-off values calculated by receiver operating curves, an increase in litter size was observed when evaluating the ability of the Rab proteins to forecast litter size. Therefore, we suggest that Rab proteins may be potential fertility-related biomarkers that could help select superior sires in the livestock industry.

Keywords: Ras-related Proteins; Biomarkers; Prediction; Male Fertility; Pig