Lipocalins in Modulation of Mammalian Reproduction

Lipocalins in Modulation of Mammalian Reproduction

prof. Pavel Stopka, MSc., Ph.D.

prof. Pavel Stopka, MSc., Ph.D. — Project head

The Faculty of Science of the Charles University

About us

Over the past 10 years, a couple of tens of new genes belonging to the protein family of lipokalins (58 in mice – e.g. the main urinary, odorant binding proteins, probasin, Lcn and others) were discovered and described. These proteins participate in a whole series of important biological processes including detoxification (that is the extraction of metals, free radicals, etc.), pheromonal communication and transport of important molecules (e.g. steroids), in the process of the gamete ripening.

All lipocalins which have so far been described have a similar size (approx. 18 – 25 kDa) and tertiary structure, but they differ on the level of the primary and secondary structure. Although this (monophyletic) family of proteins is one of the most numerous gene clusters of the mammals, it is at the same time the least investigated.

Our current research proved that this family of proteins is an extraordinarily universal communication medium by which the information transfer happens both between tissues and cells (i.e. by the hormone transfer) and between individuals (i.e. by the pheromone transfer).

Our latest research even shows that during the sequenation of the mouse genome, some sections were ‘omitted’. That’s why it is necessary to return to the original species from which the laboratory lines were derived and to focus on the sequenation of the transcriptome of the targeted tissues, in which the lipokalins are expressed.  To study the phenotypic plasticity on the lipocalins level it is necessary to set the phenotypic variability on the qPCR level and to take advantage of the microarrays.


The goal of the project:

  • to reconstruct the lipocalin evolution with the use of the interbreed comparison method on the genome level and on the level of the expression profiling,
  • to create a systematic biological model of the function of the individual lipocalins on the level of biological processes (e.g. hormone transport, spermatogenesis, reproduction, pheromonal communication),
  • to clarify the mechanism of the gene duplication within the individual gene clusters of lipocalins on the molecular level.


Potential for cooperation:

Because our team was recently involved in characterizing the potential functions of lipocalins in behavioural processes, we are now moving ahead towards working with other research teams to uncover the potential roles of lipocapalins in imunity and as markers of parasitic and pathogenic invasions.

More info at HERE




Kuntova B, Stopkova R, and Stopka P. 2018. Transcriptomic and Proteomic Profiling Revealed High Proportions of Odorant Binding and Antimicrobial Defense Proteins in Olfactory Tissues of the House Mouse. Front Genet 9:26.


Cerna M, Kuntova B, Talacko P, Stopkova R, and Stopka P. 2017. Differential regulation of vaginal lipocalins (OBP, MUP) during the estrous cycle of the house mouse. Sci Rep 7:11674.

Dong, L. F., Kovarova, J., Bajzikova, M., Bezawork-Geleta, A., Svec, D., Endaya, B., Sachaphibulkij, K., Coelho, A. R., Sebkova, N., Ruzickova, A., Tan, A. S., Kluckova, K., Judasova, K., Zamecnikova, K., Rychtarcikova, Z., Gopalan, V., Sobol, M., Yan, B., Pattnaik, B., Bhatraju, N., Truksa, J., Stopka, P., Hozak, P., Lam, A., Sedlacek, R., Oliveira, P. J., Kubista, M., Agrawal, A., Dvorakova-Hortova, K., Rohlena, J., Berridge, M. V., Neuzil, J. Horizontal transfer of whole mitochondria restores tumorigenic potential in mitochondrial DNA-deficient cancer cells. eLife, 6:e22187, 2017. doi: 10.7554/eLife.22187. ISSN 2050-084X.

Stopkova R, Klempt P, Kuntova B, and Stopka P. 2017. On the tear proteome of the house mouse (Mus musculus musculus) in relation to chemical signalling. PeerJ 6:e3541.


Jankovicova J, Frolikova M, Sebkova N, Simon M, Cupperova P, Lipcseyova D, Michalkova K, Horovska L, Sedlacek R, Stopka P, Antalikova J, Dvorakova-Hortova K. Characterization of tetraspanin protein CD81 in mouse spermatozoa and bovine gametes. Reproduction. 2016 Dec;152(6):785-793.

Stopka P, Kuntova B, Klempt P, Havrdova L, Cerna M, and Stopkova R. 2016. On the saliva proteome of the Eastern European house mouse (Mus musculus musculus) focusing on sexual signalling and immunity. Sci Rep 6:32481.

Stopkova R, Vinkler D, Kuntová B, Sedo O, Albrecht T, Suchan J, Dvorakova-Hortova K, Zdrahal Z, and Stopka P. 2016. Mouse lipocalins (MUP, OBP, LCN) are co-expressed in tissues involved in chemical communication. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 4.


prof. Pavel Stopka, MSc., Ph.D. prof. Pavel Stopka, MSc., Ph.D.

Pavel Stopka, MSc., Ph.D.

Head of Group Lipocalins in Modulation of Mammalian Reproduction
Mgr. Romana Stopková, Ph.D. Mgr. Romana Stopková, Ph.D.

Romana Stopková, Ph.D.