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1 October 2008 Dynamics of the Global Tyrosine Phosphorylation During Capacitation and Acquisition of the Ability to Fuse with Oocytes in Human Spermatozoa
A. Barbonetti, M. R. C. Vassallo, B. Cinque, C. Antonangelo, F. Sciarretta, R. Santucci, A. D'Angeli, S. Francavilla, F. Francavilla
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Abstract

Phosphorylation of tyrosine residues in cellular proteins represents a major event during sperm capacitaton, but its relationship with the acquisition of sperm-fertilizing ability is still unclear. In this study we explored the relationship between the kinetics of the global tyrosine phosphorylation, monitored with a flow cytometric assay, and the acquisition of the human sperm ability to fuse with oocytes, evaluated with the progesterone-enhanced hamster egg penetration test. Sperm tyrosine phosphorylation appeared to be an early event in the capacitation process, with a 3.6-fold mean increase within 1 h of capacitation, but at this time sperm-oocyte fusion was extremely poor compared with that observed at 5 h of capacitation. Capacitation in calcium-free medium produced a 2-fold mean increase in tyrosine phosphorylation compared with that seen in complete capacitation medium both at 1 h and 5 h of capacitation, whereas sperm-oocyte fusion significantly increased only at 1 h, remaining unchanged at 5 h of capacitation. The cAMP analog, N,2-O-dibutyryladenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (dbcAMP), prevented the inhibitory effect of seminal plasma on tyrosine phosphorylation but not on sperm-oocyte fusion. In conclusion, these results suggest that the acquisition of sperm-fertilizing ability is always associated with an increase of the global tyrosine phosphorylation, but tyrosine phosphorylation does not necessarily reflect the acquisition of the sperm-fertilizing ability. Flow cytometry assay, a reliable technique to quickly quantify the global levels of the human sperm tyrosine phosphorylation, could be useful for a further elucidation of the biological meaning of this process, with the perspective of its clinical use as a measure of the sperm-fertilizing potential.

A. Barbonetti, M. R. C. Vassallo, B. Cinque, C. Antonangelo, F. Sciarretta, R. Santucci, A. D'Angeli, S. Francavilla, and F. Francavilla "Dynamics of the Global Tyrosine Phosphorylation During Capacitation and Acquisition of the Ability to Fuse with Oocytes in Human Spermatozoa," Biology of Reproduction 79(4), 649-656, (1 October 2008). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.108.068254
Received: 7 February 2008; Accepted: 1 June 2008; Published: 1 October 2008
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