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Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2003 May;49(3):371-80.

Pentoxifylline induced signalling events during capacitation of hamster spermatozoa: significance of protein tyrosine phosphorylation.

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1
Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India. polani@mrdg.iisc.ernet.in

Abstract

To fertilize the oocyte, mammalian spermatozoa must undergo capacitation and acrosome reaction. These events are believed to be associated with various biochemical changes primarily mediated by cAMP, Ca2+ and protein kinases. But the precise signaling mechanisms governing sperm function are not clear. To study this, we used pentoxifylline (PF), a sperm motility stimulant and a cAMP-phosphodiesterase inhibitor, during capacitation and acrosome reaction of hamster spermatozoa. PF induced an early onset of sperm capacitation and its action involved modulation of sperm cell signaling molecules viz, cAMP, [Ca2+]i and protein kinases. The PF-induced capacitation was associated with an early and increased total protein phosphorylation coupled with changes in the levels of reactive oxygen species. Protein kinase (PK)-A inhibitor (H-89) completely inhibited phosphorylation of a 29 kDa protein while PK-C inhibitor (staurosporine) did not inhibit phosphorylation. Interestingly, PF induced protein tyrosine phosphorylation of a set of proteins (Mr 45-80 K) and a greater proportion of PF-treated spermatozoa exhibited protein tyrosine phosphorylation, compared to untreated controls (82 + 9% vs 34 +/- 10%; p < 0.001); tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins were localized specifically to the mid-piece of the sperm. The profile of protein tyrosine phosphorylation was inhibitable by higher concentrations (> 0.5 mM) of tyrosine kinase inhibitor, tyrphostin A47. However, at lower (0.1-0.25 mM) concentrations, the compound interestingly induced early sperm capacitation and protein tyrosine phosphorylation, like PF. These results show that protein tyrosine phosphorylation in the mid-piece segment (mitochondrial sheath) appears to be an early and essential event during PF-induced capacitation and a regulated level of tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins is critical for capacitation of hamster spermatozoa.

PMID:
12887089
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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