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Fertilization is a matter of life or death. In animals of sexual reproduction, the appropriate communication between mature and competent male and female gametes determines the generation of a new individual. Ion channels are key elements in the dialogue between sperm, its environment, and the egg. Components from the outer layer of the egg induce ion(More)
Here we show a unique example of male infertility conferred by a gene knockout of the sperm-specific, pH-dependent SLO3 potassium channel. In striking contrast to wild-type sperm which undergo membrane hyperpolarization during capacitation, we found that SLO3 mutant sperm undergo membrane depolarization. Several defects in SLO3 mutant sperm are evident(More)
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)
Ion channels are extraordinarily efficient machines that move ions in diversely controlled manners, allowing cells to rapidly exchange information with the outside world and with other cells. Communication is the currency of fertilization, as it is of most fundamental cell signaling events. Ion channels are deeply involved in the dialogue between sperm, its(More)
There is pharmacological evidence that Ca2+ channels play an essential role in triggering the mammalian sperm acrosome reaction, an exocytotic process required for sperm to fertilize the egg. Spermatozoa are small terminally differentiated cells that are difficult to study by conventional electrophysiological techniques. To identify the members of the(More)
Ca2+ entry through Ca2+ channels is likely to play an important role in the differentiation of male germ cells as well as in fertilization by mature sperm. Here we present a detailed analysis of Ca2+ currents expressed in acutely dissociated mouse primary spermatocytes. Patch-clamp recordings demonstrated that the only voltage-gated Ca2+ channels present(More)
Ion channels and transporters, key elements in sperm-egg signaling and environmental sensing, are essential for fertilization. External cues and components from the outer envelopes of the egg influence sperm ion permeability and behavior. Combining in vivo measurements of membrane potential, intracellular ions, and second messengers with new molecular(More)
Generating new life in animals by sexual reproduction depends on adequate communication between mature and competent male and female gametes. Ion channels are instrumental in the dialogue between sperm, its environment, and the egg. The ability of sperm to swim to the egg and fertilize it is modulated by ion permeability changes induced by environmental(More)
Transduction by sperm of the instructive signal provided by the egg peptide speract involves rapid, complex changes in internal ion and cyclic nucleotide content. Here, investigations of hypotonically swollen sperm provide insight into the underlying processes and identify K+ channel activation as an initial ionic event in gamete recognition. A sustained(More)
Motility, maturation and the acrosome reaction (AR) are fundamental functions of mammalian spermatozoa. While travelling through the female reproductive tract, spermatozoa must mature through a process named capacitation, so that they can reach the egg and undergo the AR, an exocytotic event necessary to fertilize the egg. Though Cl⁻ is important for sperm(More)