Alberto Darszon

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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)
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)
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)
A proper dialogue between spermatozoa and the egg is essential for conception of a new individual in sexually reproducing animals. Ca(2+) is crucial in orchestrating this unique event leading to a new life. No wonder that nature has devised different Ca(2+)-permeable channels and located them at distinct sites in spermatozoa so that they can help fertilize(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)
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)
Mammalian sperm are incapable of fertilizing eggs immediately after ejaculation; they acquire fertilization capacity after residing in the female tract for a finite period of time. The physiological changes sperm undergo in the female reproductive tract that render sperm able to fertilize constitute the phenomenon of "sperm capacitation." We have(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)
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)
Exocytosis of the acrosome (the acrosome reaction) relies on cAMP production, assembly of a proteinaceous fusion machinery, calcium influx from the extracellular medium, and mobilization from inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-sensitive intracellular stores. Addition of cAMP to human sperm suspensions bypasses some of these requirements and elicits exocytosis in(More)