Signaling mechanisms of mouse sperm capacitation
Carlson, Anne Elizabeth
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Although successful meeting of sperm and egg is vital for continuation of life, critical gaps exist in our understanding of fertilization and events that prepare sperm for it. Understanding how sperm prepare for fertilization after mating may facilitate the design of new forms of contraception or assist in infertility treatment. The overall goal of the experiments described in this proposal is to elucidate the signaling pathways involved in sperm capacitation, the process by which sperm gain the ability to undergo the acrosome reaction and to fertilize. I am interested in studying signaling events in mammalian sperm that occur within the first seconds after ejaculation when relatively immotile sperm initiate rapid swimming---process termed activation. I am also interested in another change in motility that occurs late in capacitation, hyperactivation, that may be required for sperm to complete fertilization.