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

Soluble adenylyl cyclase ( sAC) is indispensable for sperm function and fertilization.

We previously demonstrated that male mice deficient in the soluble adenylyl cyclase ( sAC) are sterile and produce spermatozoa with deficits in progressive motility and are unable to fertilize zona-intact eggs. Here, analyses of sAC(-/-) spermatozoa provide additional insights into the functions linked to cAMP signaling. Adenylyl cyclase activity and cAMP content are greatly diminished in crude preparations of sAC(-/-) spermatozoa and are undetectable after sperm purification. HCO(3)(-) is unable to rapidly accelerate the flagellar beat or facilitate evoked Ca(2+) entry into sAC(-/-) spermatozoa. Moreover, the delayed HCO(3)(-)-dependent increases in protein tyrosine phosphorylation and hyperactivated motility, which occur late in capacitation of wild-type spermatozoa, do not develop in sAC(-/-) spermatozoa. However, sAC(-/-) sperm fertilize zona-free oocytes, indicating that gamete fusion does not require sAC. Although ATP levels are significantly reduced in sAC(-/-) sperm, cAMP-AM ester increases flagellar beat frequency, progressive motility, and alters the pattern of tyrosine phosphorylated proteins. These results indicate that sAC and cAMP coordinate cellular energy balance in wild-type sperm and that the ATP generating machinery is not operating normally in sAC(-/-) spermatozoa. These findings demonstrate that sAC plays a critical role in cAMP signaling in spermatozoa and that defective cAMP production prevents engagement of multiple components of capacitation resulting in male infertility.[1]


  1. Soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) is indispensable for sperm function and fertilization. Xie, F., Garcia, M.A., Carlson, A.E., Schuh, S.M., Babcock, D.F., Jaiswal, B.S., Gossen, J.A., Esposito, G., van Duin, M., Conti, M. Dev. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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