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Article

Molecular Evolution of CatSper in Mammals and Function of Sperm Hyperactivation in Gray Short-Tailed Opossum

1
Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
2
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
3
Yale Systems Biology Institute, Yale University, West Haven, CT 06516, USA
4
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tomer Avidor-Reiss
Cells 2021, 10(5), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10051047
Received: 12 April 2021 / Revised: 25 April 2021 / Accepted: 26 April 2021 / Published: 29 April 2021
Males have evolved species-specifical sperm morphology and swimming patterns to adapt to different fertilization environments. In eutherians, only a small fraction of the sperm overcome the diverse obstacles in the female reproductive tract and successfully migrate to the fertilizing site. Sperm arriving at the fertilizing site show hyperactivated motility, a unique motility pattern displaying asymmetric beating of sperm flagella with increased amplitude. This motility change is triggered by Ca2+ influx through the sperm-specific ion channel, CatSper. However, the current understanding of the CatSper function and its molecular regulation is limited in eutherians. Here, we report molecular evolution and conservation of the CatSper channel in the genome throughout eutherians and marsupials. Sequence analyses reveal that CatSper proteins are slowly evolved in marsupials. Using an American marsupial, gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), we demonstrate the expression of CatSper in testes and its function in hyperactivation and unpairing of sperm. We demonstrate that a conserved IQ-like motif in CatSperζ is required for CatSperζ interaction with the pH-tuned Ca2+ sensor, EFCAB9, for regulating CatSper activity. Recombinant opossum EFCAB9 can interact with mouse CatSperζ despite high sequence divergence of CatSperζ among CatSper subunits in therians. Our finding suggests that molecular characteristics and functions of CatSper are evolutionarily conserved in gray short-tailed opossum, unraveling the significance of sperm hyperactivation and fertilization in marsupials for the first time. View Full-Text
Keywords: marsupials; gray short-tailed opossum; sperm; hyperactivated motility; CatSper marsupials; gray short-tailed opossum; sperm; hyperactivated motility; CatSper
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hwang, J.Y.; Maziarz, J.; Wagner, G.P.; Chung, J.-J. Molecular Evolution of CatSper in Mammals and Function of Sperm Hyperactivation in Gray Short-Tailed Opossum. Cells 2021, 10, 1047. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10051047

AMA Style

Hwang JY, Maziarz J, Wagner GP, Chung J-J. Molecular Evolution of CatSper in Mammals and Function of Sperm Hyperactivation in Gray Short-Tailed Opossum. Cells. 2021; 10(5):1047. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10051047

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hwang, Jae Y., Jamie Maziarz, Günter P. Wagner, and Jean-Ju Chung. 2021. "Molecular Evolution of CatSper in Mammals and Function of Sperm Hyperactivation in Gray Short-Tailed Opossum" Cells 10, no. 5: 1047. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10051047

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