The phosphorylation of a putative sperm microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) is uniquely sensitive to regulation

D. W. Carr, T. S. Acott

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16 Scopus citations


We have identified a bovine sperm phosphoprotein, pp255 (M(r) = 255,000) which reacts strongly and specifically with an antibody to rat brain microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2). The phosphorylation state of this putative sperm MAP2 in intact bovine epididymal sperm is uniquely sensitive to regulation by intracellular pH (pHi), calcium, isobutyl-3-methylxanthine (MIX), H-8, and fluoride. Increasing pHi by approximately 0.4 units or exposure to calcium (0.1 μM with the ionophore A23187) or to the protein kinase inhibitor, H-8, decreases sperm MAP2 phosphorylation. Decreasing sperm pHi or exposure to MIX or fluoride increases MAP2 phosphorylation. Numerous other detectable sperm phosphoproteins are either unresponsive to most of these modulators or are considerably less sensitive to them. This phosphoprotein co-sediments with the particulate sperm heads during subcellular fractionation, and is not detectable in other sperm fractions. Two-dimensional electrophoresis separates sperm MAP2 into multiple species, indicative of varying degrees of phosphorylation. Sperm MAP2 is phosphorylated on serine residues, changes electrophoretic mobility slightly on one-dimensional gels with changes in phosphorylation levels, and exhibits the highest specific radioactivity of any sperm phosphoprotein observed. The phosphorylation state of sperm MAP2 can be uncoupled from sperm motility levels under several conditions. The co-localization of sperm MAP2 with the head fraction and the unique sensitivity of its phosphorylation level to modulators, which are known to regulate capacitation and the acrosome reaction, suggest that sperm MAP2 phosphorylation may be an intermediate step in the regulation of one or both of these sperm processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-805
Number of pages11
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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