Characterization of CD46 and β1 integrin dynamics during sperm acrosome reaction

Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 26;6:33714. doi: 10.1038/srep33714.


The acrosome reaction (AR) is a process of membrane fusion and lytic enzyme release, which enables sperm to penetrate the egg surroundings. It is widely recognized that specific sperm proteins form an active network prior to fertilization, and their dynamic relocation is crucial for the sperm-egg fusion. The unique presence of the membrane cofactor protein CD46 in the sperm acrosomal membrane was shown, however, its behaviour and connection with other sperm proteins has not been explored further. Using super resolution microscopy, we demonstrated a dynamic CD46 reorganisation over the sperm head during the AR, and its interaction with transmembrane protein integrins, which was confirmed by proximity ligation assay. Furthermore, we propose their joint involvement in actin network rearrangement. Moreover, CD46 and β1 integrins with subunit α3, but not α6, are localized into the apical acrosome and are expected to be involved in signal transduction pathways directing the acrosome stability and essential protein network rearrangements prior to gamete fusion.