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Marine invertebrate oocytes establish chemoattractant gradients that guide spermatozoa towards their source. In sea urchin spermatozoa, this relocation requires coordinated motility changes initiated by Ca(2+)-driven alterations in sperm flagellar curvature. We discovered that Lytechinus pictus spermatozoa undergo chemotaxis in response to speract, an(More)
Sperm chemotaxis is a long-term puzzle and most of our knowledge comes from studying marine animals that are external fertilizers. Sperm are attracted by diffusible chemical factors (chemoattractants) released from the egg which redirect their swimming paths towards their source. This redirection is driven by increases in flagellar curvature that correlate(More)
Members of the polo-like kinase (PLK) family are crucial regulators of cell cycle progression, centriole duplication, mitosis, cytokinesis and the DNA damage response. PLKs undergo major changes in abundance, activity, localization and structure at different stages of the cell cycle. They interact with other proteins in a tightly controlled spatiotemporal(More)
Progesterone is a physiological agonist for mammalian sperm, modulating its flagellar movement and facilitating the acrosome reaction. To study the initial action of progesterone, we developed a caged analog with a photosensitive group: nitrophenylethanediol, at position 20. Using this compound combined with stroboscopic illumination, we performed Ca(2)(+)(More)
Internal organs are asymmetrically positioned inside the body. Embryonic motile cilia play an essential role in this process by generating a directional fluid flow inside the vertebrate left-right organizer. Detailed characterization of how fluid flow dynamics modulates laterality is lacking. We used zebrafish genetics to experimentally generate a range of(More)
Echinoderm sperm use cyclic nucleotides (CNs) as essential second messengers to locate and swim towards the egg. Sea urchin sperm constitute a rich source of membrane-bound guanylyl cyclase (mGC), which was first cloned from sea urchin testis by the group of David Garbers. His group also identified speract, the first sperm-activating peptide (SAP) to be(More)
The spermatozoon must find its female gamete partner and deliver its genetic material to generate a new individual. This requires that the spermatozoon be motile and endowed with sophisticated swimming strategies to locate the oocyte. A common strategy is chemotaxis, in which spermatozoa detect and follow a gradient of chemical signals released by the egg(More)
Understanding how spermatozoa approach the egg is a central biological issue. Recently a considerable amount of experimental evidence has accumulated on the relation between oscillations in intracellular calcium ion concentration ([Ca2+]i) in the sea urchin sperm flagellum, triggered by peptides secreted from the egg, and sperm motility. Determination of(More)
Spermatogenic cell differentiation involves changes in the concentration of cytoplasmic Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]i); however, very few studies exist on [Ca(2+)]i dynamics in these cells. Other tissues display Ca(2+) oscillations involving multicellular functional arrangements. These phenomena have been studied in acute slice preparations that preserve tissue(More)
BACKGROUND Malaria affects 200-300 million individuals per year worldwide. Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of the most severe and mortal type of malaria. The need for new antimalarials comes from the widespread resistance to those in current use. New antimalarial targets are required to increase chemical diversity and effectiveness of the(More)