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Protein kinases A and C and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase regulate glycogen synthase kinase-3A serine 21 phosphorylation in boar spermatozoa

Authors

  • Maria J. Bragado,

    1. Research Team of Intracellular Signaling and Technology of Reproduction (SINTREP), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Extremadura, Cáceres 10071, Spain
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  • Ines M. Aparicio,

    1. Research Team of Intracellular Signaling and Technology of Reproduction (SINTREP), Department of Physiology, University of Extremadura, Cáceres 10071, Spain
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  • Maria C. Gil,

    1. Research Team of Intracellular Signaling and Technology of Reproduction (SINTREP), Faculty of Veterinary, Department of Animal Health, University of Extremadura, Cáceres 10071, Spain
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  • Luis J. Garcia-Marin

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Team of Intracellular Signaling and Technology of Reproduction (SINTREP), Department of Physiology, University of Extremadura, Cáceres 10071, Spain
    • Research Team of Intracellular Signalling and Technology of Reproduction (SINTREP), Department of Physiology, Veterinary School, University of Extremadura, Avda. de la Universidad, s/n 10071 Caceres, Spain.
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Abstract

The cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), protein kinase C (PKC) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways control most relevant functions in male germ cells including motility. Recently we demonstrated that phosphorylation state of glycogen synthase kinase-3α (GSK3A) is also a key event in the control of boar spermatozoa motility. However, the upstream regulators of GSK3A serine phosphorylation (inhibition) in male germ cells remain largely unknown. This work investigates the involvement of PKA, PKC and PI3K pathways in GSK3A phosphorylation in boar spermatozoa. A capacitating medium (TCM) or the phosphodiesterase-resistant cell permeable cAMP analogue 8Br-cAMP cause a significant increase in Ser21 GSK3A phosphorylation associated with a simultaneous significant increase in boar spermatozoa motility. These effects are blocked after preincubation of spermatozoa with PKA inhibitor H89 or PKC inhibitor Ro-32-0432. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 increases both spermatozoa motility parameters and the basal GSK3A phosphorylation, but does not affect either TCM- or 8Br-cAMP-stimulated GSK3A phosphorylation. PI3K inhibition effects are mediated by an increase in intracellular cAMP levels in boar spermatozoa and are suppressed by PKA inhibitor H89. In summary, we demonstrate that PKA, PKC and PI3K pathways crosstalk in porcine male germ cells to crucially regulate GSK3A phosphorylation which subsequently controls cell motility. In addition, our results suggest that PI3K is upstream of PKA which lies upstream of PKC in this regulatory cascade(s). Our findings contribute to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of one of the most relevant male germ cell functions, motility. J. Cell. Biochem. 109: 65–73, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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