Participating Faculty

Kenneth Roberts

Kenneth Roberts

Department:WWAMI Medical Education Program, WSU Spokane
Credentials:1989~Ph.D., Washington State University
Office:Health Sciences Building, Rm 320N
Mailing Address:WSU Spokane
PO Box 1495
Spokane, WA 99210-1495

Research Interests

Epididymal sperm maturation and sperm function

Research Summary

Sperm are produced in the testis and gain the ability to fertilize an egg as they transit the epididymis. During spermatogenesis many germ cell proteins are produced that are necessary for the function of mature sperm. Likewise, as sperm transit the epididymis they acquire proteins necessary for normal function from the epididymal fluid, which is a secretory product of the epididymal epithelium. The purpose of our research is to understand this maturation process. Our current research focus in on the role of Crisp-1, an epididymal protein acquired by the sperm, in the storage of sperm in the epididymis and in the regulation of the acrosome reaction. This work has implications for clinical conditions of sperm dysfunction leading to male infertility. Other projects include sperm proteomics analysis to discover other sperm maturation proteins, as potential targets for sperm function and contraception development, and characterization of the infertility phenotype resulting from knock out of the Jaw1 gene in mice.

Research Publications


Vadnais ML, Foster DN and Roberts KP. 2008 "Molecular Cloning and Expression of the CRISP Family of Proteins in the Boar." Biology of Reproduction 79:1129-1134

Roberts KP, Ensrud-Bowlin KM, Piehl LB, Parent KR, Bernhardt ML and Hamilton DW. 2008. "Association of the Protein D and Protein E Forms of Rat CRISP1 with Epididymal Sperm." Biology of Reproduction 79:1046-1053

Vadnais ML and Roberts KP, 2007. "Effects of Seminal Plasma on Cooling-induced Capacitative Changes in Boar Sperm." Journal of Andrology 28:416-422

Roberts KP, Johnston DS, Nolan MA, Wooters JL, Waxmonsky NC, Piehl LB, Ensrud-Bowlin KM, Hamilton DW. 2007. "Structure and function of epididymal protein cysteine-rich secretory protein-1." Asian J Andrology 9:508-514

Roberts KP, Ensrud KM, Wooters JL, Nolan MA, Johnston DS and Hamilton DW 2006. Epididymal Secreted Protein Crisp-1 and Sperm Function Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 250:122-127

Nolan MA, Wu L, Bang HJ, Turner TT, Jelinsky SA, Roberts KP, Kopf GS, Johnston DS 2006. Identification of Rat Cysteine Rich Secretory Protein-4 (Crisp4) as the Ortholog to Human CRISP1 and Mouse Crisp4 Biology of Reproduction 74:984-991

Lavers AE, Swanlund DJ, Hunter BA, Tran ML, Pryor JL and Roberts KP. 2006. "Effect of Vasectomy on the Function of the Rat Epididymal Epithelium and Vas Deferens." Journal of Andrology 27:826-36.

Johnston DS, Wooters JL, Kopf GS, Qiu Y and Roberts KP 2005. Analysis of the Human Sperm Proteome Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1061:190-202.

Washington State University