The mechanism by which p32 protein increases during capacitation in boar spermatozoa is unknown. This manuscript shows a new mechanism of induction of p32 in boar spermatozoa: the proteolysis of the phosphorylated and glycosylated form of SPACA1.
Protein tyrosine phosphorylation (PY) induction is associated with sperm capacitation. We previously showed that calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) inhibition by NPS2143 induces the 32 kDa tyrosine-phosphorylated protein (p32) in boar spermatozoa. We showed that NPS2143 induced an increase in p32 and loss of acrosomal integrity in live and dead spermatozoa in capacitating conditions (Tyrode's complete medium); the p32 rise occurred in dead spermatozoa, as shown by flow cytometry sorting. EGTA addition blunted the increase in p32, the loss of acrosomal integrity, and the increase in dead spermatozoa induced by NPS2143, indicating that the effects of NPS2143 are calcium-dependent. Mass spectrometry was used to identify which tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins were induced by NPS2143, but only serine/threonine-phosphorylated proteins were found; among these, SPACA1 was identified with different molecular weights (18, 32, and 35–45 kDa). We confirmed tyrosine phosphorylation of SPACA1 at 32 and 35–45 kDa by immunoprecipitation and co-localization of PY and SPACA1 in the presence of NPS2143 by immunofluorescence. The molecular weight of SPACA1 (35–45 kDa) decreased after treatment with peptide-N-glycosidase F, indicating that this protein is N-glycosylated. The soybean trypsin inhibitor (STI), a serine protease inhibitor, suppressed the appearance of p32 and SPACA1 (30 and 32 kDa) induced by NPS2143. Also, 8-Br-cAMP and A23187 treatments induced an increase in p32 and SPACA1 (30–32 kDa) and a parallel induction of the acrosome reaction. These findings suggest that CASR inhibition induces loss of acrosomal integrity and proteolysis of the glycosylated and phosphorylated SPACA1 (35–45 kDa) resulting in a SPACA1 rise at 32 kDa (p32).