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1 June 2009 Egg Coat Proteins Activate Calcium Entry into Mouse Sperm via CATSPER Channels
Jingsheng Xia, Dejian Ren
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During mammalian fertilization, the contact between sperm and egg triggers increases in intracellular Ca2 concentration ([Ca2 ]i) in sperm. Voltage-gated Ca2 channels (CaVs) are believed to mediate the initial phase of [Ca2 ]i increases in sperm induced by egg coat (zona pellucida [ZP]) glycoproteins, while store depletion-activated Ca2 entry is thought to mediate the sustained phase. Using patch-clamp recording and Ca2 imaging, we show herein that CaV channel currents, while found in spermatogenic cells, are not detectable in epididymal sperm and are not essential for the ZP-induced [Ca2 ]i changes. Instead, CATSPER channels localized in the distal portion of sperm (the principal piece) are required for the ZP-induced [Ca2 ]i increases. Furthermore, the ZP-induced [Ca2 ]i increase starts from the sperm tail and propagates toward the head.

Jingsheng Xia and Dejian Ren "Egg Coat Proteins Activate Calcium Entry into Mouse Sperm via CATSPER Channels," Biology of Reproduction 80(6), 1092-1098, (1 June 2009).
Received: 6 October 2008; Accepted: 1 January 2009; Published: 1 June 2009
acrosome reaction
signal transduction
sperm motility
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