Sperm plasma membrane remodeling during spermiogenetic maturation in men: Relationship among plasma membrane β1,4-galactosyltransferase, cytoplasmic creatine phosphokinase, and creatine phosphokinase isoform ratios

Gabor Huszar, Marco Sbracia, Lynne Vigue, David J. Miller, Barry D. Shur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sperm creatine phosphokinase (CK) concentrations and the synthesis of the CK-M isoform reflect normal spermiogenesis and predict maturity and fertilizing potential of ejaculated human spermatozoa. Immature spermatozoa, characterized by cytoplasmic retention and low CK-M to CK-B isoform ratios, are deficient in zona binding and fail to cause pregnancies. Because these sperm lack zona-binding ability, we examined in this study whether β1,4- galactosyltransferase (GalTase), a key element of sperm-zona interactions in mice, is diminished in immature human sperm. Unexpectedly, GalTase was overexpressed in immature sperm relative to mature sperm: the levels of cytoplasmic CK and plasma membrane GalTase were positively correlated (r = 0.78, p < 0.001, n = 88). Sperm populations with various levels of cellular maturity, prepared by Percoll gradients, had different CK and GalTase concentrations, but within each subpopulation the relationship between CK and GalTase was maintained (p < 0.01-0.001). GalTase activities in intact and vortex-disrupted sperm fractions were similar, showing that GalTase is present on the surface membrane of human sperm-similar to the situation in all other species assayed. The changes previously reported by our laboratory in zona-binding ability and lipid peroxidation rates (which occur simultaneously with cytoplasmic extrusion), decline in CK activity, and increased expression of the CK-M isoform are suggestive of a remodeling of the sperm surface concomitant with cytoplasmic maturation. The changes reported here in GalTase expression on the surface of maturing spermatozoa prove this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1020-1024
Number of pages5
JournalBiology of reproduction
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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