Reproduction (Cambridge, England)

PARK7 protein translocating into spermatozoa mitochondria in Chinese asthenozoospermia.

PMID 24920663


PARK7 (DJ1) is a multifunctional oxidative stress response protein that protects cells against reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial damage. PARK7 defects are known to cause various physiological dysfunctions, including infertility. Asthenozoospermia (AS), i.e. low-motile spermatozoa in the ejaculate, is a common cause of human male infertility. In this study, we found that downregulation of PARK7 resulted in increased levels of lipid peroxide and ROS, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, and reduced mitochondrial complex I enzyme activity in the spermatozoa from AS patients. Furthermore, it was observed that PARK7 was translocated into the mitochondria of damaged spermatozoa in AS. Finally, we examined the oxidative state of PARK7 and the results demonstrated the enhancement of oxidation, expressed by increased sulfonic acid residues, the highest form of oxidation, as the sperm motility decreased. Taken together, these results revealed that PARK7 deficiency may increase the oxidative stress damage to spermatozoa. Our present findings open new avenues of therapeutic intervention targeting PARK7 for the treatment of AS.