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J Biol Chem. 2001 May 18;276(20):17332-8. Epub 2001 Feb 7.

Identification of sperm-specific proteins that interact with A-kinase anchoring proteins in a manner similar to the type II regulatory subunit of PKA.

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA.


The cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) is targeted to specific subcellular compartments through its interaction with A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). AKAPs contain an amphipathic helix domain that binds to the type II regulatory subunit of PKA (RII). Synthetic peptides containing this amphipathic helix domain bind to RII with high affinity and competitively inhibit the binding of PKA with AKAPs. Addition of these anchoring inhibitor peptides to spermatozoa inhibits motility (Vijayaraghavan, S., Goueli, S. A., Davey, M. P., and Carr, D. W. (1997) J. Biol. Chem. 272, 4747-4752). However, inhibition of the PKA catalytic activity does not mimic these peptides, suggesting that the peptides are disrupting the interaction of AKAP(s) with proteins other than PKA. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we have now identified two sperm-specific human proteins that interact with the amphipathic helix region of AKAP110. These proteins, ropporin (a protein previously shown to interact with the Rho signaling pathway) and AKAP-associated sperm protein, are 39% identical to each other and share a strong sequence similarity with the conserved domain on the N terminus of RII that is involved in dimerization and AKAP binding. Mutation of conserved residues in ropporin or RII prevents binding to AKAP110. These data suggest that sperm contains several proteins that bind to AKAPs in a manner similar to RII and imply that AKAPs may have additional and perhaps unique functions in spermatozoa.

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