NAADP and the two-pore channel protein 1 participate in the acrosome reaction in mammalian spermatozoa

Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Mar;25(6):948-64. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E13-09-0523. Epub 2014 Jan 22.


The functional relationship between the formation of hundreds of fusion pores during the acrosome reaction in spermatozoa and the mobilization of calcium from the acrosome has been determined only partially. Hence, the second messenger NAADP, promoting efflux of calcium from lysosome-like compartments and one of its potential molecular targets, the two-pore channel 1 (TPC1), were analyzed for its involvement in triggering the acrosome reaction using a TPCN1 gene-deficient mouse strain. The present study documents that TPC1 and NAADP-binding sites showed a colocalization at the acrosomal region and that treatment of spermatozoa with NAADP resulted in a loss of the acrosomal vesicle that showed typical properties described for TPCs: Registered responses were not detectable for its chemical analogue NADP and were blocked by the NAADP antagonist trans-Ned-19. In addition, two narrow bell-shaped dose-response curves were identified with maxima in either the nanomolar or low micromolar NAADP concentration range, where TPC1 was found to be responsible for activating the low affinity pathway. Our finding that two convergent NAADP-dependent pathways are operative in driving acrosomal exocytosis supports the concept that both NAADP-gated cascades match local NAADP concentrations with the efflux of acrosomal calcium, thereby ensuring complete fusion of the large acrosomal vesicle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrosome / drug effects
  • Acrosome / metabolism*
  • Acrosome Reaction / genetics
  • Animals
  • Calcimycin / pharmacology
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Channels / genetics*
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Carbolines / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression
  • Genotype
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • NADP / analogs & derivatives*
  • NADP / pharmacology
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Reproduction*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sperm Count


  • 1-(3-((4-(2-fluorophenyl)piperazin-1-yl)methyl)-4-methoxyphenyl)-2,3,4,9-tetrahydro-1H-pyrido(3,4-b)indole-3-carboxylic acid
  • Calcium Channels
  • Carbolines
  • Piperazines
  • TPCN1 protein, mouse
  • Calcimycin
  • NADP
  • Calcium