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Elife 2015 Dec 09;4. doi: 10.7554/eLife.07624.
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A K(+)-selective CNG channel orchestrates Ca(2+) signalling in zebrafish sperm.

Fechner S , Alvarez L , Bönigk W , Müller A , Berger TK , Pascal R , Trötschel C , Poetsch A , Stölting G , Siegfried KR , Kremmer E , Seifert R , Kaupp UB .

Calcium in the flagellum controls sperm navigation. In sperm of marine invertebrates and mammals, Ca(2+) signalling has been intensely studied, whereas for fish little is known. In sea urchin sperm, a cyclic nucleotide-gated K(+) channel (CNGK) mediates a cGMP-induced hyperpolarization that evokes Ca(2+) influx. Here, we identify in sperm of the freshwater fish Danio rerio a novel CNGK family member featuring non-canonical properties. It is located in the sperm head rather than the flagellum and is controlled by intracellular pH, but not cyclic nucleotides. Alkalization hyperpolarizes sperm and produces Ca(2+) entry. Ca(2+) induces spinning-like swimming, different from swimming of sperm from other species. The "spinning" mode probably guides sperm into the micropyle, a narrow entrance on the surface of fish eggs. A picture is emerging of sperm channel orthologues that employ different activation mechanisms and serve different functions. The channel inventories probably reflect adaptations to species-specific challenges during fertilization.

PubMed ID: 26650356
PMC ID: PMC4749565
Article link: Elife

Species referenced: Echinodermata
Genes referenced: ddx4 LOC100887844 LOC100893907 LOC115919910 LOC576733 LOC587482 LOC591473

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Alavi, Sperm motility in fishes. I. Effects of temperature and pH: a review. 2005, Pubmed