Cysteine-rich secretory protein 4 is an inhibitor of transient receptor potential M8 with a role in establishing sperm function

Gerard Gibbs, Gerardo Orta, Thulasimala Reddy, Adam Koppers, Pablo Martinez-Lopez, Jose de la Vega-Beltran, Jennifer Chi Lo, Niholas Veldhuis, Duangporn Jamsai, Peter B McIntyre, Alberto Darszon, Moira O'Bryan

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84 Citations (Scopus)


The cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are a group of four proteins in the mouse that are expressed abundantly in the male reproductive tract, and to a lesser extent in other tissues. Analysis of reptile CRISPs and mouse CRISP2 has shown that CRISPs can regulate cellular homeostasis via ion channels. With the exception of the ability of CRISP2 to regulate ryanodine receptors, the in vivo targets of mammalian CRISPs function are unknown. In this study, we have characterized the ion channel regulatory activity of epididymal CRISP4 using electrophysiology, cell assays, and mouse models. Through patch-clamping of testicular sperm, the CRISP4 CRISP domain was shown to inhibit the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel TRPM8. These data were confirmed using a stably transfected CHO cell line. TRPM8 is a major cold receptor in the body, but is found in other tissues, including the testis and on the tail and head of mouse and human sperm. Functional assays using sperm from wild-type mice showed that TRPM8 activation significantly reduced the number of sperm undergoing the progesterone-induced acrosome reaction following capacitation, and that this response was reversed by the coaddition of CRISP4. In accordance, sperm from Crisp4 null mice had a compromised ability to undergo to the progesterone-induced acrosome reaction. Collectively, these data identify CRISP4 as an endogenous regulator of TRPM8 with a role in normal sperm function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7034 - 7039
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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