Alan Diekman

Associate Member Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute

Ph.D., Northwestern University
B.S., Hope College
Office:  (501)686-5812 – Biomedical Research Center 421B
Lab:  (501)686-5195 – Biomedical Research Center 419
FAX:  (501)686-8169

Lectins and glycoconjugates in the mammalian reproductive tract

Glycoconjugates in the mammalian reproductive tract are critical components of the molecular mechanisms that control sperm maturation, sperm transport, and sperm-egg interactions. The dense carbohydrate layer on the mammalian sperm surface, the glycocalyx, is extensively modified during sperm transport and maturation. Multiple functions have been proposed for the sperm glycocalyx and sperm-surface carbohydrates have been implicated in immune-mediated human infertility. Our research has focused on CD52, a low molecular weight, highly acidic, GPI-anchored glycoprotein that is a major component of the sperm glycocalyx. CD52 is a maturation factor acquired by spermatozoa during epididymal transport, is potentially involved in gamete interactions during fertilization, and may serve as a target for antibodies involved in immune response to spermatozoa. Research has focused on both structural and functional aspects of the molecule.

Selected Publications

Saraswati, S. Block, A. S., Davidson, M. K., Rank, R. G., Mahadevan, M., Diekman, A. B. (2010) Galectin-3 is a substrate for prostate-specific antigen in human seminal plasma. The Prostate DOI: 10.1002/pros.21236.

Block, A. S., Saraswati, S. Lichti, C. F., Mahadevan, M., Diekman, A. B. (2010) Co-purification of Mac-2 binding protein with galectin-3 and association with prostasomes in human semen. The Prostate  In Press.

Saraswati, S., Block, A. S., Diekman, A. B. (2010) Galectins and theirs role in various biological processes. In: Carbohydrate Recognition: Biological Problems, Methods, and Applications (Eds. Binghe Wang and Geert-Jan Boons). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. In Press.

Naaby-Hansen, S., Diekman, A., Shetty, J., Flickinger, C. J., Westbrook, A., Herr, J. C. Identification of calcium-binding proteins associated with the human sperm plasma membrane (2010) Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 8:6 DOI 10.1186/1477-7827-8-6 [Abstract]

Jones, J. L., Saraswati S., Block A. S., Lichti C. F., Mahadevan M., Diekman A. B. (2010) Galectin-3 is associated with prostasomes in human semen. Glycoconjugate Journal 27:227-36 DOI 10.1007/s10719-009-9262-9 [Abstract]

Tyler, C., Lichti, C., Diekman, A.B., Foley, S. (2008) Evaluation of differentially expressed proteins following complement exposure in avian pathogenic Escherichia coli. Avian Diseases 52:23-27 [Abstract].

Parry, S., Wong, N.K., Easton, R.L., Panico, M., Haslam, S.M., Morris, H.R., Anderson, P., Klotz, K.L., Herr, J.C., Diekman, A.B., Dell, A. (2007) The sperm agglutination antigen-1 (SAGA-1) glycoforms of CD52 are O-glycosylated. Glycobiology 17:1120- 126 [Abstract].

Westbrook, V. A., Schoppee, P. D., Diekman, A. B., Klotz, K. L., Allietta, M., Hogan, K. T., Slingluff, C. L., Patterson, J. W., Frierson, H. F., Irvin, W. P. Jr, Flickinger, C.J., Coppola, M.A., Herr, J. C. (2004) Genomic organization, incidence, and localization of the SPAN-x family of cancer-testis antigens in melanoma tumors and cell lines.Clinical Cancer Research 10:101-112. [Abstract]

Diekman, A. B. (2003) Glycoconjugates in Sperm Transport and Gamete Interactions: How Much Sugar Does It Take to Sweet Talk the Egg? Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 60:298-308. [Abstract]

Norton, E. J., Diekman, A. B., Westbrook, V. A., Klotz, K. L., Thomas, T. S., Wright, D. C., Brisker, J., Flickinger, C. J., Herr, J. C. (2003) A male genital tract-specific carbohydrate epitope on human CD52: Implications for immunocontraception. Tissue Antigens 60:354-364. [Abstract]

Visconti, P. E., Westbrook, V. A., Chertihin, O., Demarco, I., Sleight, S., Diekman, A. B. (2002) Novel signaling pathways involved in sperm acquisition of fertilizing capacity. Journal of Reproductive Immunology 53:133-150. [Abstract]

McCauley, T. C., Kurth, B. E., Norton, E. J., Klotz, K. L., Westbrook, V. A., Rao, A. J., Herr, J. C., Diekman, A. B. (2002) Analysis of a human sperm CD52 glycoform in primates: Identification of an animal model for immunocontraceptive vaccine development. Biology of Reproduction 66:1681-1688. [Abstract]

Shetty, J., Diekman, A. B., Jayes, F., Sherman, N., Naaby-Hansen, S., Flickinger, C. J., Herr, J. C. (2001) Differential extraction and enrichment of human sperm surface proteins in a proteome: Identification of immunocontraceptive candidates. Electrophoresis 22:3053-3066. [Abstract]

Diekman, A. B., Norton, E. J., Klotz, K. L., Westbrook-Case, V. A., Shibahara, H., Naaby-Hansen, S., Flickinger, C. J., Herr, J. C. (1999) N-linked glycan of a sperm CD52 glycoform associated with human infertility. The FASEB Journal  13:1303-1313.


Member of the American Society of Andrology. The Society fosters a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of male reproduction and exists to promote scientific interchange and knowledge of the male reproductive system.