Sperm diaphorase: genetic polymorphism of a sperm-specific enzyme in man

Science  19 Mar 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4232, pp. 1185-1187
DOI: 10.1126/science.3851


Human sperm contains en enzyme with diaphorase activity that appears to be unique to sperm. Electrophoretic analysis of the diaphorase activity in sperm of different individuals reveals three phenotypic patterns. This polymorphism can be explained in terms of two alleles segregating at an autosomal locus; the allele frequencies have been determined to be 0.71 and 0.29. This appears to be the first reported example of a sperm-specific genetic polymorphism in man; its existence raises a number of genetic and biochemical questions.