Send to

Choose Destination
Endocrinology. 1992 Nov;131(5):2235-43.

Ca(2+)-independent induction of acrosome reaction by protein kinase C in human sperm.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel.


We report that activated protein kinase C (PKC) can induce acrosome reaction independently of elevated Ca2+. Addition of 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate or the membrane-permeable diacylglycerol analog 1-oleoyl-2-acetylglycerol to ejaculated human sperm resulted in stimulation of acrosomal reaction (2- to 3-fold), provided the sperm underwent capacitation. Induction of acrosome reaction by 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate was blocked by the PKC inhibitor staurosporine or by down-regulation of endogenous PKC, but not by removal of extracellular Ca2+. Acrosome reaction was also enhanced by the Ca2+ ionophore ionomycin in a Ca(2+)-dependent, PKC-independent fashion. Immunohistochemical analysis with type-specific PKC antibodies revealed the presence of PKC alpha and PKC beta II in the equatorial segment, whereas PKC beta I and PKC epsilon staining was found in the principal piece of the tail. Acrosome reaction, thus far believed to be induced only by elevated Ca2+, can therefore be triggered by activated PKC in a Ca(2+)-independent fashion. The PKC subtypes potentially involved in acrosome reaction are most likely alpha and beta II, whereas the beta I- and epsilon-subspecies might be involved in regulation of flagellar motility of human sperm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center