The zona pellucida-induced acrosome reaction of human spermatozoa involves extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation

The zona pellucida-induced acrosome reaction of human spermatozoa involves extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation

Du Plessis S.S. ; Page C. ; Franken D.R. ; Du Plessis S.S. ; Page C. ; Franken D.R. (2001)

Article

Article

Extracellular signal-regulated kinases(ERKs), belonging to the family of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), are cytoplasmic and nuclear serine/threonine kinases involved in the signal transduction of several extracellular effectors. Recent evidence indicates the presence of p21 Ras and the phosphorylation of ERK1 and ERK2, suggesting the occurrence of the Ras/ERK cascade in mammalian spermatozoa. The present article describes the biological role of ERK during the acrosome reaction of human spermatozoa on stimulation with zona pellucida (ZP). The mitogen-activated protein-kinase inhibitor PD098059 was used as a pharmacological tool to study the involvement of extracellular signal-regulated kinases in the induction of the acrosome reaction in human spermatozoa. This compound significantly inhibited the acrosome reaction induced by both ZP and the calcium ionophore A23187. These results suggest that ERKs are involved in the signal trans-duction pathway through which ZP stimulation works during the process of fertilization.

Extracellular signal-regulated kinases(ERKs), belonging to the family of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), are cytoplasmic and nuclear serine/threonine kinases involved in the signal transduction of several extracellular effectors. Recent evidence indicates the presence of p21 Ras and the phosphorylation of ERK1 and ERK2, suggesting the occurrence of the Ras/ERK cascade in mammalian spermatozoa. The present article describes the biological role of ERK during the acrosome reaction of human spermatozoa on stimulation with zona pellucida (ZP). The mitogen-activated protein-kinase inhibitor PD098059 was used as a pharmacological tool to study the involvement of extracellular signal-regulated kinases in the induction of the acrosome reaction in human spermatozoa. This compound significantly inhibited the acrosome reaction induced by both ZP and the calcium ionophore A23187. These results suggest that ERKs are involved in the signal trans-duction pathway through which ZP stimulation works during the process of fertilization.

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