Differences in ATP Generation Via Glycolysis and Oxidative Phosphorylation, and Relationships with Sperm Motility, in Mouse Species [Cell Biology]

June 5th, 2015 by Tourmente, M., Villar-Moya, P., Rial, E., Roldan, E. R. S.

Mouse sperm produce enough ATP to sustain motility by anaerobic glycolysis and respiration. However, previous studies indicated that an active glycolytic pathway is required to achieve normal sperm function, and identified glycolysis as the main source of ATP to fuel the motility of mouse sperm. All the available evidence has been gathered for the lab mouse, while comparative studies including closely related mouse species have revealed (a) a wide range of variation in sperm motility and ATP production, and (b) that the lab mouse shows comparatively low values in these traits. In this study, we compared the relative reliance on the usage of glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation as ATP sources for sperm motility between mouse species that exhibit significantly different sperm performance parameters. We found that the sperm of species with higher oxygen consumption/lactate excretion rate ratio were able to produce higher amounts of ATP, achieving higher swimming velocities. Additionally, we show that the species with higher respiration/glycolysis ratio have a higher degree of dependence upon active oxidative phosphorylation. Moreover, we characterize for the first time, two mouse species in which sperm depend on functional oxidative phosphorylation to achieve normal performance. Finally, we discuss that sexual selection through sperm competition could promote adaptations in sperm energetic metabolism tending to increase the usage of oxidative phosphorylation in relation to glycolysis, as this would constitute a more efficient pathway for the generation of ATP (and faster sperm).
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
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