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1 May 2000 Evidence for the Involvement of Calmodulin in Mouse Sperm Capacitation
Yuming Si, Patricia Olds-Clarke
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Although Ca2 is of fundamental importance in mammalian sperm capacitation, its downstream targets have not been definitively demonstrated. The purpose of this study was to use the calmodulin (CaM) antagonists W7 and calmidazolium (CZ) to investigate the possible role of CaM, a Ca2 -specific binding protein, in capacitation. Sperm membrane changes associated with capacitation were assessed by the B pattern after chlortetracycline staining and by the ability to undergo the acrosome reaction (AR) in response to lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC). The percentage of B pattern sperm was significantly inhibited by W7 or CZ in a concentration-dependent manner. At 100 μM W7 or 10 μM CZ, these inhibitors also significantly reduced the sperm's ability to undergo the LPC-induced AR. Inhibition of the B pattern and the LPC-induced AR was overcome by exogenous cAMP analogues. Treatment of the sperm with 100 μM W7 also resulted in a significant decrease in their ability to fertilize eggs in vitro. At 100 μM, W5, a less potent dechlorinated W7 analogue, had no effect on the B pattern, LPC-induced AR, or fertilization competence. Sperm viability and protein tyrosine phosphorylation were not substantially affected by 100 μM W7 (relative to 100 μM W5) or 10 μM CZ; however, the percentages of motile and hyperactivated sperm were significantly reduced. The antagonist-inhibited sperm motility was restored by dilution in control medium, but not by cAMP analogues. These results suggest that CaM participates in the regulation of membrane changes important for mouse sperm capacitation, at a point upstream from cAMP, and that this pathway is at least partially separable from pathways controlling tyrosine phosphorylation and hyperactivation.

Yuming Si and Patricia Olds-Clarke "Evidence for the Involvement of Calmodulin in Mouse Sperm Capacitation," Biology of Reproduction 62(5), 1231-1239, (1 May 2000).
Received: 25 October 1999; Accepted: 1 December 1999; Published: 1 May 2000
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