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PloS one

Heat shock protein 90 has roles in intracellular calcium homeostasis, protein tyrosine phosphorylation regulation, and progesterone-responsive sperm function in human sperm.


PMID 25541943

Abstract

Heat shock protein 90 plays critical roles in client protein maturation, signal transduction, protein folding and degradation, and morphological evolution; however, its function in human sperm is not fully understood. Therefore, our objective in this study was to elucidate the mechanism by which heat shock protein 90 exerts its effects on human sperm function. By performing indirect immunofluorescence staining, we found that heat shock protein 90 was localized primarily in the neck, midpiece, and tail regions of human sperm, and that its expression increased with increasing incubation time under capacitation conditions. Geldanamycin, a specific inhibitor of heat shock protein 90, was shown to inhibit this increase in heat shock protein 90 expression in western blotting analyses. Using a multifunctional microplate reader to examine Fluo-3 AM-loaded sperm, we observed for the first time that inhibition of heat shock protein 90 by using geldanamycin significantly decreased intracellular calcium concentrations during capacitation. Moreover, western blot analysis showed that geldanamycin enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of several proteins, including heat shock protein 90, in a dose-dependent manner. The effects of geldanamycin on human sperm function in the absence or presence of progesterone was evaluated by performing chlortetracycline staining and by using a computer-assisted sperm analyzer. We found that geldanamycin alone did not affect sperm capacitation, hyperactivation, and motility, but did so in the presence of progesterone. Taken together, these data suggest that heat shock protein 90, which increases in expression in human sperm during capacitation, has roles in intracellular calcium homeostasis, protein tyrosine phosphorylation regulation, and progesterone-stimulated sperm function. In this study, we provide new insights into the roles of heat shock protein 90 in sperm function.