AKAP3 selectively binds PDE4A isoforms in bovine spermatozoa

Biol Reprod. 2006 Jan;74(1):109-18. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.105.043588. Epub 2005 Sep 21.


Cyclic AMP plays an important role in regulating sperm motility and acrosome reaction through activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA). Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) modulate the levels of cyclic nucleotides by catalyzing their degradation. Although PDE inhibitors specific to PDE1 and PDE4 are known to alter sperm motility and capacitation in humans, little is known about the role or subcellular distribution of PDEs in spermatozoa. The localization of PKA is regulated by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs), which may also control the intracellular distribution of PDE. The present study was undertaken to investigate the role and localization of PDE4 during sperm capacitation. Addition of Rolipram or RS25344, PDE4-specific inhibitors significantly increased the progressive motility of bovine spermatozoa. Immunolocalization techniques detected both PDE4A and AKAP3 (formerly known as AKAP110) in the principal piece of bovine spermatozoa. The PDE4A5 isoform was detected primarily in the Triton X-100-soluble fraction of caudal epididymal spermatozoa. However, in ejaculated spermatozoa it was seen primarily in the SDS-soluble fraction, indicating a shift in PDE4A5 localization into insoluble organelles during sperm capacitation. AKAP3 was detected only in the SDS-soluble fraction of both caudal and ejaculated sperm. Immunoprecipitation experiments using COS cells cotransfected with AKAP3 and either Pde4a5 or Pde4d provide evidence that PDE4A5 but not PDE4D interacts with AKAP3. Pulldown assays using sperm cell lysates confirm this interaction in vitro. These data suggest that AKAP3 binds both PKA and PDE4A and functions as a scaffolding protein in spermatozoa to regulate local cAMP concentrations and modulate sperm functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • 3',5'-Cyclic-AMP Phosphodiesterases / metabolism*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 1
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Isoenzymes
  • Male
  • Phosphorylation
  • Solubility
  • Sperm Maturation / physiology
  • Sperm Motility / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism*
  • Spermatozoa / physiology


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Isoenzymes
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • 3',5'-Cyclic-AMP Phosphodiesterases
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 1
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 4