Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Olson, Gary E. , Ph.D.
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, Emeritus

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Phone Number: 615-322-0852


Olson, Gary's picture

Office Address   Mailing Address

T-2208 MCN 8240

Research Description
Our research focuses on two developmental processes, mammalian spermiogenesis and post-testicular sperm development in the epididymis, which are required to produce motile spermatozoa that can fertilize the egg. We have recently demonstrated that selenoprotein P (Sepp1), a selenium-rich serum protein produced by the liver, is required for male fertility and that Sepp1 null males are infertile and exhibit a specific set of sperm defects. We hypothesize that Sepp1 functions as a delivery protein that provides germ cells with the selenium required for synthesis of their unique complement of selenoproteins. One objective of our current research is define the trafficking pathway by which Sepp1 delivers its selenium content to developing spermatids and to identify critical testis-specific steps in the pathway that may be potential targets for fertility regulation in the male.

Our second major area of research is focused on identifying the mechanims by which the epididymis promotes the viability of stored spermatozoa. Recently we identified a novel high molecular weight glycoprotein, which is a fibrinogen-related protein, that is secreted by the epididymal epithelium and specifically binds to and then polymerizes into a cocoon-like complex coating defective spermatozoa. We are currently focused on defining the molecular aspects of this sperm quality control pathway, to identify its mechanism of binding to defective spermatozoa and to assess if it prevents them from releasing hydrolases or autoantigens that could result in male infertility.

Nagdas, SK, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. Tyrosine phosphorylation generates multiple isoforms of the mitochondrial capsule protein, phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx), during hamster sperm capacitation. Biol Reprod, 72(1), 164-71, 2005.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Nagdas, SK, Hill, KE, Burk, RF. Selenoprotein P is required for mouse sperm development. Biol Reprod, 73(1), 201-11, 2005.

Melner, MH, Ducharme, NA, Brash, AR, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. Differential expression of genes in the endometrium at implantation: upregulation of a novel member of the E2 class of ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes. Biol Reprod, 70(2), 406-14, 2004.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Bi, M, Hardy, DM, NagDas, SK. Zonadhesin assembly into the hamster sperm acrosomal matrix occurs by distinct targeting strategies during spermiogenesis and maturation in the epididymis. Biol Reprod, 71(4), 1128-34, 2004.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Hill, KE, Burk, RF. Sequential development of flagellar defects in spermatids and epididymal spermatozoa of selenium-deficient rats. Reproduction, 127(3), 335-42, 2004.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, NagDas, SK, Melner, MH. Region-specific expression and secretion of the fibrinogen-related protein, fgl2, by epithelial cells of the hamster epididymis and its role in disposal of defective spermatozoa. J Biol Chem, 279(49), 51266-74, 2004.

Fouch??court, S, Lareyre, JJ, Chaurand, P, DaGue, BB, Suzuki, K, Ong, DE, Olson, GE, Matusik, RJ, Caprioli, RM, Orgebin-Crist, MC. Identification, immunolocalization, regulation, and postnatal development of the lipocalin EP17 (epididymal protein of 17 kilodaltons) in the mouse and rat epididymis. Endocrinology, 144(3), 887-900, 2003.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Nagdas, SK. Structural modification of the hamster sperm acrosome during posttesticular development in the epididymis. Microsc Res Tech, 61(1), 46-55, 2003.

NagDas, SK, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. Identification of ras and its downstream signaling elements and their potential role in hamster sperm motility. Biol Reprod, 67(4), 1058-66, 2002.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Blaeuer, GL, Palisano, JR, NagDas, SK. Stage-specific expression of the intermediate filament protein cytokeratin 13 in luminal epithelial cells of secretory phase human endometrium and peri-implantation stage rabbit endometrium. Biol Reprod, 66(4), 1006-15, 2002.

Lareyre, JJ, Winfrey, VP, Kasper, S, Ong, DE, Matusik, RJ, Olson, GE, Orgebin-Crist, MC. Gene duplication gives rise to a new 17-kilodalton lipocalin that shows epididymal region-specific expression and testicular factor(s) regulation. Endocrinology, 142(3), 1296-308, 2001.

NagDas, SK, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. Identification of a hamster epididymal region-specific secretory glycoprotein that binds nonviable spermatozoa. Biol Reprod, 63(5), 1428-36, 2000.

Hoffman, LH, Olson, GE, Carson, DD, Chilton, BS. Progesterone and implanting blastocysts regulate Muc1 expression in rabbit uterine epithelium. Endocrinology, 139(1), 266-71, 1998.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Matrisian, PE, NagDas, SK, Hoffman, LH. Blastocyst-dependent upregulation of metalloproteinase/disintegrin MDC9 expression in rabbit endometrium. Cell Tissue Res, 293(3), 489-98, 1998.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, NagDas, SK. Acrosome biogenesis in the hamster: ultrastructurally distinct matrix regions are assembled from a common precursor polypeptide. Biol Reprod, 58(2), 361-70, 1998.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Westbrook, VA, Melner, MH. Targeting of the domain-specific integral membrane protein PM52 to the periacrosomal plasma membrane during guinea pig spermiogenesis. Mol Reprod Dev, 50(1), 103-12, 1998.

Olson, GE, Nagdas, SK, Winfrey, VP. Temporal expression and localization of protein farnesyltransferase during spermiogenesis and posttesticular sperm maturation in the hamster. Mol Reprod Dev, 48(1), 71-6, 1997.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Matrisian, PE, Melner, MH, Hoffman, LH. Specific expression of haptoglobin mRNA in implantation-stage rabbit uterine epithelium. J Endocrinol, 152(1), 69-80, 1997.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Neff, JC, Lukas, TJ, NagDas, SK. An antigenically related polypeptide family is a major structural constituent of a stable acrosomal matrix assembly in bovine spermatozoa. Biol Reprod, 57(2), 325-34, 1997.

Hoffman, LH, Winfrey, VP, Blaeuer, GL, Olson, GE. A haptoglobin-like glycoprotein is produced by implantation-stage rabbit endometrium. Biol Reprod, 55(1), 176-84, 1996.

NagDas, SK, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. Identification of hydrolase binding activities of the acrosomal matrix of hamster spermatozoa. Biol Reprod, 55(6), 1405-14, 1996.

NagDas, SK, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. Proacrosin-acrosomal matrix binding interactions in ejaculated bovine spermatozoa. Biol Reprod, 54(1), 111-21, 1996.

Srivastava, A, Olson, GE. Studies on [3H]palmitate-binding proteins of rat spermatozoa: a post-translational modification of membrane proteins by fatty acid acylation. J Reprod Fertil, 108(2), 245-51, 1996.

Westbrook-Case, VA, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. Sorting of the domain-specific acrosomal matrix protein AM50 during spermiogenesis in the guinea pig. Dev Biol, 167(1), 338-49, 1995.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP. Structure of acrosomal matrix domains of rabbit sperm. J Struct Biol, 112(1), 41-8, 1994.

Westbrook-Case, VA, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. Characterization of two antigenically related integral membrane proteins of the guinea pig sperm periacrosomal plasma membrane. Mol Reprod Dev, 39(3), 309-21, 1994.

Westbrook-Case, VA, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. A domain-specific 50-kilodalton structural protein of the acrosomal matrix is processed and released during the acrosome reaction in the guinea pig. Biol Reprod, 51(1), 1-13, 1994.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP. Structural organization of surface domains of sperm mitochondria. Mol Reprod Dev, 33(1), 89-98, 1992.

Flaherty, SP, Olson, GE. Ultrastructural analysis of the acrosome reaction in a population of single guinea pig sperm. Anat Rec, 229(2), 186-94, 1991.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, V. Structure-function relationships in the sperm acrosome. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 637, 240-57, 1991.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP. Changes in actin distribution during sperm development in the opossum, Monodelphis domestica. Anat Rec, 230(2), 209-17, 1991.

Srivastava, A, Olson, GE. Glycoprotein changes in the rat sperm plasma membrane during maturation in the epididymis. Mol Reprod Dev, 29(4), 357-64, 1991.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP. Mitochondria-cytoskeleton interactions in the sperm midpiece. J Struct Biol, 103(1), 13-22, 1990.

Noland, TD, Davis, LS, Olson, GE. Regulation of proacrosin conversion in isolated guinea pig sperm acrosomal apical segments. J Biol Chem, 264(23), 13586-90, 1989.

Noland, TD, Olson, GE. Calcium-induced modification of the acrosomal matrix in digitonin-permeabilized guinea pig spermatozoa. Biol Reprod, 40(5), 1057-66, 1989.

Flaherty, SP, Olson, GE. Membrane domains in guinea pig sperm and their role in the membrane fusion events of the acrosome reaction. Anat Rec, 220(3), 267-80, 1988.

Flaherty, SP, Winfrey, VP, Olson, GE. Localization of actin in human, bull, rabbit, and hamster sperm by immunoelectron microscopy. Anat Rec, 221(2), 599-610, 1988.

Hoos, PC, Olson, GE. Characterization of a 23 kDa sperm-binding polypeptide of the golden hamster epididymis. Biol Reprod, 39(1), 131-40, 1988.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP. Characterization of the postacrosomal sheath of bovine spermatozoa. Gamete Res, 20(3), 329-42, 1988.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Davenport, GR. Characterization of matrix domains of the hamster acrosome. Biol Reprod, 39(5), 1145-58, 1988.

Olson, G. E., Lifsics, M. R., Winfrey, V. P., and Rifkin, J. M. Modifications of the rat sperm flagellar plasma membrane during maturation in the epididymis. J. Androl., 8, 129-147, 1987.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Flaherty, SP. Cytoskeletal assemblies of mammalian spermatozoa. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 513, 222-46, 1987.

Olson, GE, Winfrey, VP, Winer, MA, Davenport, GR. Outer acrosomal membrane of guinea pig spermatozoa: isolation and structural characterization. Gamete Res, 17(1), 77-94, 1987.

Orgebin-Crist, MC, Hoffman, LH, Olson, GE, Skudlarek, MD. Secretion of proteins and glycoproteins by perifused rabbit corpus epididymal tubules: effect of castration. Am J Anat, 180(1), 49-68, 1987.

Olson, G. E. and Winfrey, V. P. Identification of a cytoskeletal network adherent to the mitochondria of mammalian spermatozoa. J. Ultrastructure and Molecular Structure Res, 94, 131-139, 1986.

Rifkin, J. M. and Olson, G. E. Characterization of maturation-dependent extrinsic proteins of the rat sperm surface. J. Cell Biology, 100, 1582-1591, 1985.

Olson, G. E. and Winfrey, V. P. Structure of membrane domains and matrix components of the bovine acrosome. J. Ultrastructure Res., 90, 9-25, .

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