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Fertility is a highly complex and regulated phenomenon essential for the survival of any species. To identify Drosophila fertility-specific neural networks, we used a GAL4/UAS enhancer trap genetic screen that selectively inactivates groups of neurons. We identified a GAL4 line (bwktqs) that has a female sterile phenotype only when it expresses the tetanus(More)
This report describes the isolation, primary structure determination, and functional characterization of two similar toxins from the scorpion Parabuthus granulatus named kurtoxin-like I and II (KLI and KLII, respectively). KLII from P. granulatus is identical to kurtoxin from Parabuthus transvaalicus (a 63 amino-acid long toxin) whereas KLI is a new peptide(More)
P/Q Ca(2+) channel activity is inhibited by G protein-coupled receptor activation. Channel inhibition requires a direct Gbetagamma binding onto the pore-forming subunit, Ca(v)2.1. It is characterized by biophysical changes, including current amplitude reduction, activation kinetic slowing, and an I-V curve shift, which leads to a reluctant mode. Here, we(More)
In a process called capacitation, mammalian sperm gain the ability to fertilize after residing in the female tract. During capacitation the mouse sperm plasma membrane potential (E(m)) hyperpolarizes. However, the mechanisms that regulate sperm E(m) are not well understood. Here we show that sperm hyperpolarize when external Na(+) is replaced by(More)
Spermatozoa must translate information from their environment and the egg to achieve fertilization in sexually reproducing animals. These tasks require decoding a variety of signals in the form of intracellular Ca2+ changes. As TRP channels constitute a large family of versatile multi-signal transducers, they are interesting subjects in which to explore(More)
Ion channels lie at the heart of gamete signaling. Understanding their regulation will improve our knowledge of sperm physiology, and may lead to novel contraceptive strategies. Sperm are tiny (approximately 3 microm diameter) and, until now, direct evidence of ion channel activity in these cells was lacking. Using patch-clamp recording we document here,(More)
Capsaicin (Cap) and its analogs (CAPanalogs) have diverse effects in sensory neurons including analgesia, implying they modulate other cellular targets besides the TRPV1 Cap receptor. Since Cap and CAPanalogs are not largely available and their chemical synthesis is cumbersome, they have been obtained through a direct lipase-catalyzed reaction. Capsiate,(More)
We have investigated the contribution of the Ca(v)beta subunits to the process of inactivation dependent of the I-II loop of Ca(v)alpha(2.1). Two amino acid residues located in the alpha1 interaction domain (AID) of the I-II loop of Ca(v)alpha(2.1) (Arg(387) and Glu(388)) have been directly implicated in voltage-dependent inactivation of this channel.(More)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in humans. It affects 1% of the population over 65-years old. Its causes are environmental and genetic. As the world population ages, there is an urgent need for better and more detailed animal models for this kind of disease. In this work we show that the use of transgenic(More)
Sperm capacitation is a complex and indispensable physiological process that spermatozoa must undergo in order to acquire fertilization capability. Spermatozoa from several mammalian species, including mice, exhibit a capacitation-associated plasma membrane hyperpolarization, which is necessary for the acrosome reaction to occur. Despite its importance,(More)