Researchers have found that protein in cell membranes of spermatozoa plays a key role in how they find their way to eggs. PMCA protein can also help in explaining how oocytes communicate only with sperm of the same species. PMCA can even be the target of drug discovery.
Sperm are great navigators. If they were not, we would not even be here. Professor Manabu Ioshida of Tokyo's Misaaki biological station and colleagues are researching why sperm behaves in the way they work.
Sperm cells, bacteria, and other microscopic organisms use different concentrations of chemicals in their concentration concentrations of the environment – to approach or avoid something in a process called hemotaxis. Egg cells release an attractive chemical that attracts sperm. The researchers studied this action in an ascidia-sea skirt, anhydrous tubular creatures, which are only mobile as larvae.
"We have identified that the calcium protein membrane with Ca2 + ATPase (PMCA) transports the protein – plays a key role in the sperm count of the spermatozoa," says Ioshida. "PMCA is rich in tail or membrane of the ascidic sperm count of the membrane, which binds to an attractively specific species and changes how the waves fly, thus directing the movement of the sperm cell."
The team used a number of techniques to measure the effects they watched. These included a highly selective chromatography (separation of mixed compounds by diffusion in a liquid) called affinity column chromatography to isolate an attractor from the egg; Laser mass spectrometry, which uses lasers to identify chemicals in a sample; quartz crystal microbial, sensitive microscopic scale for measurement, for sample measurement and how they are changed; and a rapid-motion camera to see sperm of behavior in slow motion.
"With these methods, we also found that PMCA was responsible for regulating cell calcium, while it was previously believed that PMCA had no role in it," Ioshida continued. "Now we know that PMCA plays an important role in the cellular function and makes it a full-scale drug research."
Scientists discover an indefinite molecule that helps the sperm to find an egg
Kaoru Ioshida et al. Ca2 + efflux mediates Ca2 + -ATPase plasma membranes by chemotaxis in the ascidic sperm, Scientific reports (2018). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-018-35013-2