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The proteasome increases its activity at the onset of sperm capacitation due to the action of the SACY/PRKACA pathway; this increase is required for capacitation to progress. PRKA activity also increases and remains high during capacitation. However, intracellular levels of cAMP decrease in this process. Our goal was to evaluate the role of the proteasome in regulating PRKA activity once capacitation has started. Viable human sperm were incubated in the presence and absence of epoxomicin or with 0.1% DMSO. The activity of PRKA; the phosphorylation pattern of PRKA substrates (pPRKAs); and the expression of PRKAR1, PRKAR2, and AKAP3 were evaluated by Western blot. The localization of pPRKAs, PRKAR1, PRKAR2, and AKAP3 was evaluated by immunofluorescence. Treatment with epoxomicin changed the localization and phosphorylation pattern and decreased the percentage of pPRKAs-positive sperm. PRKA activity significantly increased at 1 min of capacitation and remained high throughout the incubation. However, epoxomicin treatment significantly decreased PRKA activity after 30 min. In addition, PRKAR1 and AKAP3 were degraded by the proteasome but with a different temporal kinetic. Our results suggest that PRKAR1 is the target of PRKA regulation by the proteasome.


Héctor Zapata-Carmona, Lina Barón, Milene Kong, Patricio Morales. Protein Kinase A (PRKA) Activity Is Regulated by the Proteasome at the Onset of Human Sperm Capacitation. Cells. 2021 Dec 11;10(12)

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PMID: 34944009

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