Regulation of sperm flagellar motility by calcium and cAMP-dependent phosphorylation

Journal of Cellular Biochemistry
C J Brokaw


There is substantial evidence that cAMP-dependent phosphorylation is involved in the activation of motility of spermatozoa as they are released from storage in the male reproductive tract. This evidence includes observations that in vivo activation of motility can be inhibited by protein kinase inhibitors, can be reversed by protein phosphatase treatment of demembranated spermatozoa, and is associated with phosphorylation of sperm proteins, and observations that spermatozoa that have not been activated in vivo can be activated in vitro by cAMP-dependent phosphorylation. Activation in vivo can often be triggered by conditions that increase intracellular pH, but the relevance of this to in vivo activation under natural conditions and the steps between pH increase and cAMP increase have not been fully established. The relationships between changes in the protein substrates for cAMP-dependent phosphorylation and changes in axonemal function are still unknown. Sperm chemotaxis to egg secretions is widespread; in the sea urchin Arbacia, the egg jelly peptide resact has been identified as a chemoattractant. Response to chemoattractants involves changes in asymmetry of flagellar bending waves, and similar changes in asymmetry can be pr...Continue Reading


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