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In the female reproductive tract, mammalian sperm undergo a regulated sequence of prefusion changes that "prime" sperm for fertilization. Among the least understood of these complex processes are the molecular mechanisms that underlie sperm guidance by environmental chemical cues. A "hard-wired" Ca(2+) signaling strategy that orchestrates specific motility(More)
BACKGROUND The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) evolved from a common ancestor. Still not completely understood is how specificity for glucocorticoids (e.g. cortisol) and mineralocorticoids (e.g. aldosterone) evolved in these receptors. RESULTS Our analysis of several vertebrate GRs and MRs in the context of 3D structures(More)
BACKGROUND Lamprey, basal vertebrate, is an important model system for understanding early events in vertebrate evolution. Lamprey contains orthologs of the estrogen receptor [ER], progesterone receptor and corticoid receptor. A perplexing property of lamprey is that 15alpha-hydroxy-steroids are active steroids. For example, 15alpha-hydroxy-estradiol(More)
Relatives of the vertebrate estrogen receptor (ER) are found in Aplysia californica, Octopus vulgaris, Thais clavigera, and Marisa cornuarietis. Unlike vertebrate ERs, invertebrate ERs are constitutively active and do not bind estradiol. To investigate the molecular basis of the absence of estrogen binding, we constructed a 3D model of the putative(More)
BACKGROUND Organotins are highly toxic and widely distributed environmental chemicals. Dibutyltin (DBT) is used as stabilizer in the production of polyvinyl chloride plastics, and it is also the major metabolite formed from tributyltin (TBT) in vivo. DBT is immunotoxic, however, the responsible targets remain to be defined. Due to the importance of(More)
The origins of steroid-dependent regulation of the vertebrate estrogen receptor (ER) are poorly understood. We used artificial-intelligence-based software to construct 12 motifs specific to the estrogen-binding domain of ERalpha and ERbeta in land vertebrates and teleosts. We mapped these ER-specific motifs onto the sequences of lamprey, amphioxus, and(More)
Ecdysone and thyroid hormone are 2 ligands that have important roles in regulating metamorphosis in animals. Ecdysone is a steroid that regulates molting in insects. Thyroid hormone regulates differentiation and development in fish and amphibia. Although ecdysone and thyroid hormone have different chemical structures, both hormones act by binding to(More)
Bisphenol A [BPA] is a widely dispersed environmental chemical that is of much concern because the BPA monomer is a weak transcriptional activator of human estrogen receptor α [ERα] and ERβ in cell culture. A BPA metabolite, 4-methyl-2,4-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)pent-1-ene [MBP], has transcriptional activity at nM concentrations, which is 1000-fold lower than(More)
The combination of laser tweezers, fluorescent imaging, and real-time automated tracking and trapping (RATTS) can measure sperm swimming speed and swimming force simultaneously with mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). This approach is used to study the roles of two sources of ATP in sperm motility: oxidative phosphorylation, which occurs in the(More)
BACKGROUND The role of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1) in the regulation of energy metabolism and immune system by locally reactivating glucocorticoids has been extensively studied. Experiments determining initial rates of enzyme activity revealed that 11beta-HSD1 can catalyze both the reductase and the dehydrogenase reaction in(More)