Nov 1, 2018

EFCAB9 is a pH-Dependent Ca2+ Sensor that Regulates CatSper Channel Activity and Sperm Motility

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jae Yeon HwangJean-Ju Chung


Varying pH of luminal fluid along the female reproductive tract is a physiological cue that modulates sperm motility. CatSper is a sperm-specific, pH-sensitive calcium channel essential for hyperactivated motility and male fertility. Multi-subunit CatSper channel complexes organize linear Ca2+ signaling nanodomains along the sperm tail. Here, we identify EF-hand calcium-binding domain-containing protein 9 (EFCAB9) as a dual function, cytoplasmic machine modulating the channel activity and the domain organization of CatSper. Knockout mice studies demonstrate that EFCAB9, in complex with the CatSper subunit, CATSPERζ, is essential for pH-dependent and Ca2+ sensitive activation of the CatSper channel. In the absence of EFCAB9, sperm motility and fertility is compromised and the linear arrangement of the Ca2+ signaling domains is disrupted. EFCAB9 interacts directly with CATSPERζ in a Ca2+ dependent manner and dissociates at elevated pH. These observations suggest that EFCAB9 is a long-sought, intracellular, pH-dependent Ca2+ sensor that triggers changes in sperm motility.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Channel Activity
Cell Motility
Regulation of Biological Process
Complex (molecular entity)
Infertility Study
Female Reproductive System

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