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FEBS Lett. 1993 Aug 23;329(1-2):210-4.

Ionic bases of the membrane potential and intracellular pH changes induced by speract in swollen sea urchin sperm.

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Instituto de Biotechnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuernavaca.


Signal transduction initiated by the egg peptide, speract, in sea urchin sperm is not fully understood. Hypotonically swollen sperm are a suitable model to study peptide signal transduction. Ion substitution experiments now indicate (i) that the permeability to Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ contributes to the sperm resting membrane potential; (ii) the repolarization induced by nM concentrations of speract is Na+ dependent and mediated by an as yet unidentified channel; (iii) the depolarization triggered by nM concentrations of speract involves Ca2+ channels since it is Ca(2+)-dependent and blocked by Co2+ and Ni2+, two Ca2+ channel blockers; (iv) hyperpolarizing swollen sperm with valinomycin increases intracellular pH (pHi) in the same way as speract, thus the speract-induced hyperpolarization may be responsible for the pHi increase.

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