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1 June 2004 Different Signaling Pathways in Bovine Sperm Regulate Capacitationand Hyperactivation
Becky Marquez, Susan S. Suarez
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Hyperactivated sperm motility is characterized by high-amplitude and asymmetrical flagellar beating that assists sperm in penetrating the oocyte zona pellucida. Other functional changes in sperm, such as activation of motility and capacitation, involve cross talk between the cAMP/PKA and tyrosine kinase/phosphatase signaling pathways. Our objective was to determine the role of the cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway in hyperactivation. Western blot analyses of detergent extracts of whole sperm and flagella were performed using antiphosphotyrosine antibody. Bull sperm capacitated by 10 μg/ml heparin and/or 1 mM dibutyryl-cAMP plus 100 μM 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine exhibited increased protein tyrosine phosphorylation without becoming hyperactivated. Procaine (5 mM) or caffeine (10 mM) immediately induced hyperactivation in nearly 100% of motile sperm but did not increase protein tyrosine phosphorylation. After 4 h of incubation with caffeine, sperm expressed capacitation-associated protein tyrosine phosphorylation but hyperactivation was significantly reduced. Sperm initially hyperactivated by procaine or caffeine remained hyperactivated for at least 4 h in the presence of Rp-cAMPS (cAMP antagonist) or PKA inhibitors H-89 or H-8. Pretreatment with inhibitors also failed to block induction of hyperactivation; however, the inhibitors did block protein tyrosine phosphorylation when sperm were incubated with capacitating agents, thereby verifying inhibition of the cAMP/PKA pathway. While induction of hyperactivation did not depend on cAMP/PKA, it did require extracellular Ca2 . These findings indicate that hyperactivation is mediated by a Ca2 signaling pathway that is separate or divergent from the pathway associated with acquisition of acrosomal responsiveness and does not involve protein tyrosine phosphorylation downstream of the actions of procaine or caffeine.

Becky Marquez and Susan S. Suarez "Different Signaling Pathways in Bovine Sperm Regulate Capacitationand Hyperactivation," Biology of Reproduction 70(6), 1626-1633, (1 June 2004).
Received: 10 December 2003; Accepted: 1 February 2004; Published: 1 June 2004
cyclic adenosine monophosphate
signal transduction
sperm capacitation
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