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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Involvement of protein serine and threonine phosphorylation in human sperm capacitation.

The involvement of serine and threonine phosphorylation in human sperm capacitation was investigated. Anti-phosphoserine monoclonal antibody (mAb) recognized six protein bands in the 43-55-kDa, 94 +/- 2-kDa, 110-kDa, and 190-kDa molecular regions, in addition to a faint band each in the 18-kDa and 35-kDa regions. Anti-phosphothreonine mAb recognized protein bands in six similar regions, except that the 18-kDa, 35-kDa, and 94 +/- 2-kDa protein bands were sharper and thicker, and an additional band was observed in the 110-kDa molecular region. In the 43-55-kDa molecular region, there was a well-characterized glycoprotein, designated fertilization antigen, that showed a further increase in serine/threonine phosphorylation after exposure to solubilized human zona pellucida. In a cell-free in vitro kinase assay carried out on beads or in solution, four to eight proteins belonging to similar molecular regions, namely 20 +/- 2 kDa, 43-55 kDa, 94 +/- 2 kDa, and 110 +/- 10 kDa, as well as in 80 +/- 4 and 210 +/- 10 kDa regions, were phosphorylated at dual residues (serine/tyrosine and threonine/tyrosine). Capacitation increased the intensity of serine/threonine phosphorylation per sperm cell, increased the number of sperm cells that were phosphorylated, and induced a subcellular shift in the serine/threonine-specific fluorescence. These findings indicate that protein serine/threonine phosphorylation is involved and may have a physiological role in sperm capacitation.[1]


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