Signaling in Sperm: More Different than Similar

Trends Cell Biol. 2017 Feb;27(2):101-109. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2016.10.002. Epub 2016 Nov 5.


For a given sensory cell type, signaling motifs are rather uniform across phyla. By contrast, sperm from different species use diverse repertoires of sperm-specific signaling molecules and even closely related protein isoforms feature different properties and serve different functions. This surprising diversity has consequences for strategies in fertilization research and it will take some time to get the big picture. We discuss the function of receptors, ion channels, and exchangers embedded in cellular pathways from different sperm species.

Keywords: calcium; cyclic nucleotides; ion channels; microswimmer; protons.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fertilization
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism*


  • Ion Channels