The cation channels of sperm, also referred to as CatSper or Catsper channels, are ion channels that are correlated with two-pore channels and distantly correlated with TRP channels. It is known that ion channels can modulate the membrane potential and intracellular ionic concentration and thus play a pivotal role in many cellular processes. Several ion channels have been identified in germ cells, involving sperm, highlighting their significance in male fertility and reproduction. The presence of the sperm-associated cation channel (CatSper) gene family and other channel family members suggest an indispensable role for ion channels in sperm physiology and in fertility potential. Ion channels are the key players in very important processes such as capacitation and acrosome reaction. And CatSper family members are proposed to participate in acrosome reactions, thereby making them the most important for sperm fertility.
Here shows part of cation channel sperm-associated proteins in humans as bellows, including cation channel sperm-associated protein 1-4 (CATSPER1-4), cation channel sperm-associated protein subunit beta (CATSPERB), etc. CATSPER1-4, the four members of this family constitute voltage-gated Ca2+ channels that may be specific to sperm. When sperms encounter the more alkaline circumstance of the female reproductive tract, CatSper channels become activated by the altered ion concentration. Furthermore, these channels are required for proper fertilization.
|Human Cation Channel Sperm-associated Protein Family Members|
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