Relocation of myosin and actin, kinesin and tubulin in the acrosome reaction of bovine spermatozoa

Oikonomopoulou, I and Patel, H and Watson, P F and Chantler, P D (2009) Relocation of myosin and actin, kinesin and tubulin in the acrosome reaction of bovine spermatozoa. Reproduction Fertility and Development, 21 (2). pp. 364-377.

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Abstract

The mammalian acrosome reaction is a specialised exocytotic event. Although molecular motors are known to be involved in exocytosis in many cell types, their potential involvement in the acrosome reaction has remained unknown. Here, it has been shown that actin is localised within the equatorial segment and in the marginal acrosomal ridge of the heads of unreacted bull spermatozoa. Myosins IIA and IIB are found within the anterior acrosomal margins of virtually all sperm cells and, less prominently, within the equatorial segment. Tubulin was detected in the equatorial segment and around the periphery of the acrosome while kinesin was prominent in the equatorial segment. After induction of the acrosome reaction by means of the calcium ionophore A23187, the number of cells exhibiting actin fluorescence intensity in the anterior acrosomal margin decreased four-fold and those displaying equatorial segment fluorescence decreased 3.5-fold; myosin IIA immunofluorescence decreased in intensity with most spermatozoa losing equatorial staining, whereas there was little change in the distribution or intensity of myosin IIB immunofluorescence, except for a approx equal to 20% decrease in the number of cells exhibiting acrosomal staining. Tubulin became largely undetectable within the head and kinesin staining spread rostrally over the main acrosome region. A possible sequence of events that ties in these observations of molecular motor involvement with the known participation of SNARE proteins is provided.