Use of Differential Isotopic Labeling and Mass Spectrometry To Analyze Capacitation-Associated Changes in the Phosphorylation Status of Mouse Sperm Proteins

Departments of Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180, USA.
Journal of Proteome Research (Impact Factor: 4.25). 03/2009; 8(3):1431-40. DOI: 10.1021/pr800796j
Source: PubMed


Mammalian sperm need to reside in the female reproductive tract for a finite period of time before acquiring fertilizing competence. The biochemical changes associated with this process are collectively known as "capacitation". With the use of the mouse as an experimental model, we have previously demonstrated that capacitation is associated with a cAMP-dependent increase in protein tyrosine phosphorylation. However, little is known about the identity and function of the protein targets of this phosphorylation cascade. In the present work, we have used differential isotopic labeling coupled with immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC)-based phosphopeptide enrichment and analysis on a hybrid linear ion trap/FT-ICR mass spectrometer to measure the changes in protein phosphorylation resulting from the capacitation process. As no kinase activators and/or phosphatase inhibitors were used in the preparation of the sperm samples, phosphorylated residues identified in this study represent in vivo sites of phosphorylation. Also, in contrast to other methods which rely on the incorporation of isotopically labeled amino acids at the protein level (e.g., SILAC), the present technique is based on the Fisher esterification of protein digests, allowing for the comparison of phosphorylation status in the absence of protein synthesis. This approach resulted in the identification of 55 unique, in vivo sites of phosphorylation and permitted the relative extent of phosphorylation, as a consequence of capacitation, to be calculated for 42 different phosphopeptides. This work represents the first effort to determine which specific protein phosphorylation sites change their phosphorylation status in vivo as a result of the mammalian capacitation process.

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Available from: Ana M Salicioni, Jul 03, 2014
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    • "Using RII binding assays, two sperm-specific AKAPs were described, AKAP3 [126] [127] [128] and AKAP4 [129]. These proteins are distributed throughout the sperm flagellum, and have been found to become phosphorylated during capacitation [129] [130] [131] [132]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP), the first second messenger to be described, plays a central role in cell signaling in a wide variety of cell types. Over the last decades, a wide body of literature addressed the different roles of cAMP in cell physiology, mainly in response to neurotransmitters and hormones. cAMP is synthesized by a wide variety of adenylyl cyclases that can generally be grouped in two types: transmembrane adenylyl cyclase and soluble adenylyl cyclases. In particular, several aspects of sperm physiology are regulated by cAMP produced by a single atypical adenylyl cyclase (Adcy10, aka sAC, SACY). The signature that identifies sAC among other ACs, is their direct stimulation by bicarbonate. The essential nature of cAMP in sperm function has been demonstrated using gain of function as well as loss of function approaches. This review unifies state of the art knowledge of the role of cAMP and those enzymes involved in cAMP signaling pathways required for the acquisition of fertilizing capacity of mammalian sperm. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The role of soluble adenylyl cyclase in health and disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease
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    • "Results from caudal sperm revealed that cSrc is present in mature sperm; however, this kinase was completely absent from sperm obtained from the caput epididymal region (Fig. 7A, left panel). Equal loading of sperm was validated using anti-tubulin western blots and the tyrosine phosphorylated form of hexokinase type I, which is independent of the sperm capacitation status (Platt et al., 2009;Kalab et al., 1994). In addition, as a second sperm-specific marker, the same experiment was conducted using spermatozoa from transgenic mice expressing GFP in their acrosomes (Nakanishi et al., 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Changes that occur to mammalian sperm upon epididymal transit and maturation render these cells capable of moving progressively and capacitating. Signaling events leading to mammalian sperm capacitation depend on the modulation of proteins by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation cascades. Recent experiments have demonstrated that the Src family of kinases plays an important role in the regulation of these events. However, sperm from cSrc null mice display normal tyrosine phosphorylation associated with capacitation. We report here that, despite normal phosphorylation, sperm from cSrc null mice display a severe reduction in forward motility, and are unable to fertilize in vitro. Histological analysis of seminiferous tubules in the testes, caput and corpus epididymis do not reveal obvious defects. However, the cauda epididymis is significantly smaller, and expression of key transport proteins in the epithelial cells lining this region is reduced in cSrc null mice compared to wild type littermates. Although previously, we and others have shown the presence of cSrc in mature sperm from cauda epididymis, a closer evaluation indicates that this tyrosine kinase is not present in sperm from the caput epididymis, suggesting that this protein is acquired by sperm later during epididymal maturation. Consistent with this observation, cSrc is enriched in vesicles released by the epididymal epithelium known as epididymosomes. Altogether, these observations indicate that cSrc is essential for cauda epididymal development and suggest an essential role of this kinase in epididymal sperm maturation involving cSrc extracellular trafficking.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Developmental Biology
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    • "Protein phosphorylation is a hallmark of sperm capacitation (Visconti & Kopf, 1998; Tardif et al., 1999). Phosphorylated , for example, possibly enzymatically active, UBA1 has been identified in phosphoproteomes of noncapacitated and capacitated rat spermatozoa (Baker et al., 2010), and ubiquitin itself was found in the phosphoproteome of capacitated mouse spermatozoa (Platt et al., 2009). Perhaps, the most conspicuous phosphoprotein in boar spermatozoa is ACRBP ⁄ p32, which becomes tyrosine-phosphorylated during capacitation (Dube et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Protein ubiquitination is a stable, covalent post-translational modification that alters protein activity and/or targets proteins for proteolysis by the 26S proteasome. The E1-type ubiquitin-activating enzyme (UBA1) is responsible for ubiquitin activation, the initial step of ubiquitin-protein ligation. Proteasomal proteolysis of ubiquitinated spermatozoa and oocyte proteins occurs during mammalian fertilization, particularly at the site of sperm acrosome contact with oocyte zona pellucida. However, it is not clear whether the substrates are solely proteins ubiquitinated during gametogenesis or if de novo ubiquitination also occurs during fertilization supported by ubiquitin-activating and -conjugating enzymes present in the sperm acrosome. Along this line of inquiry, UBA1 was detected in boar sperm-acrosomal extracts by Western blotting (WB). Immunofluorescence revealed accumulation of UBA1 in the nuclei of spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids, and in the acrosomal caps of round and elongating spermatids. Thiol ester assays utilizing biotinylated ubiquitin and isolated sperm acrosomes confirmed the enzymatic activity of the resident UBA1. A specific UBA1 inhibitor, PYR-41, altered the remodelling of the outer acrosomal membrane (OAM) during sperm capacitation, monitored using flow cytometry of fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated peanut agglutinin (FITC-PNA). Although viable and motile, the spermatozoa capacitated in the presence of PYR-41, showed significantly reduced fertilization rates during in vitro fertilization (IVF; p < 0.05). Similarly, the fertilization rate was lowered by the addition of PYR-41 directly into fertilization medium during IVF. In WB, high Mr bands, suggestive of protein ubiquitination, were detected in non-capacitated spermatozoa by antibodies against ubiquitin; WB with anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies and antibodies against acrosomal proteins SPINK2 (acrosin inhibitor) and AQN1 (spermadhesin) revealed that the capacitation-induced modification of those proteins was altered by PYR-41. In summary, it appears that de novo protein ubiquitination involving UBA1 contributes to sperm capacitation and acrosomal function during fertilization.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · International Journal of Andrology
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