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During sperm capacitation, intracellular signaling leads to protein tyrosine phosphorylation (PTP) of multiple cellular structures. However, the connection of this molecular signaling to the physiology of capacitated spermatozoa is not completely understood. This is the case of the short lifespan of capacitated spermatozoa and their increased susceptibility to initiate acrosomal exocytosis (AE) during incubation. Herein, by employing frozen/thawed bull spermatozoa, we aimed to study the relationship between PTP with AE and with plasma membrane integrity (PMI) at the cellular level. For this, we employed double staining following immunofluorescence for PTP combined with fluorescence probes for the acrosome (PNA-FITC) and PMI (LIVE/DEAD Fixable Dead Cell Stain Kit). Our results revealed that the presence of PTP at sperm head was less abundant in the sperm fraction that triggered the AE after 3 h of incubation under capacitating conditions, or by its induction with calcium ionophore, compared to the unreacted fraction. Furthermore, PTP at the equatorial region of the head (PTP-EQ) was enriched in the fraction showing damaged membrane while induction of AE with calcium ionophore did not alter the PMI and its relation to PTP-EQ. These results suggest that spontaneous AE and induced AE trigger similar cellular events regarding PTP and the spermatozoa showing PTP-EQ are more prone to suffer plasma membrane damage.


Sara Ruiz-Díaz, Sergio Grande-Pérez, Sol Arce-López, Carolina Tamargo, Carlos Olegario Hidalgo, Serafín Pérez-Cerezales. Changes in the Cellular Distribution of Tyrosine Phosphorylation and Its Relationship with the Acrosomal Exocytosis and Plasma Membrane Integrity during In Vitro Capacitation of Frozen/Thawed Bull Spermatozoa. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 Apr 15;21(8)

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PMID: 32326382

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