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Members of the testis specific serine/threonine kinases (Tssk) family may have a role in sperm differentiation in the testis and/or fertilization. To gain insight into the functional relevance of these kinases, their expression was examined both at the mRNA and protein level. Quantitative PCR analysis confirmed that all five Tssk mRNAs are almost exclusively expressed postmeiotically in the testis. Recombinant mouse and human Tssks were cloned and used for validation of an array of commercial and custom-made antibodies against Tssks. Immunolocalization in mouse testis, and in mouse and human sperm, showed that Tssk1, Tssk2, Tssk4, and Tssk6, but not Tssk3, were present in mouse sperm and in germ cells from mouse testis. TSSK1, TSSK2 and TSSK6 were also detected in human sperm, while TSSK3 was absent. In both mouse and human sperm, Tssk1 was partially soluble, while Tssk2, Tssk4 and Tssk6 were insoluble in non-ionic detergents. In vitro recombinant TSSK2 activity assays showed maximum enzymatic activity at 5mM Mg(2+) and a Km for ATP of approximately 10muM. These observations, together with findings that the Tssk1/Tssk2 double knock-out as well as the Tssk6 null mice are sterile without presenting other detectable defects, suggest that these kinases could be used as targets for male contraception.
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Molecular human reproduction
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A protein kinase C subtype that was originally characterized as a CALCIUM-independent, serine-threonine kinase that is activated by PHORBOL ESTERS and DIACYLGLYCEROLS. It is targeted to specific cellular compartments in response to extracellular signals that activate G-PROTEIN-COUPLED RECEPTORS; TYROSINE KINASE RECEPTORS; and intracellular protein tyrosine kinase.
A serine-threonine protein kinase family whose members are components in protein kinase cascades activated by diverse stimuli. These MAPK kinases phosphorylate MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASES and are themselves phosphorylated by MAP KINASE KINASE KINASES. JNK kinases (also known as SAPK kinases) are a subfamily.
A dsRNA-activated cAMP-independent protein serine/threonine kinase that is induced by interferon. In the presence of dsRNA and ATP, the kinase autophosphorylates on several serine and threonine residues. The phosphorylated enzyme catalyzes the phosphorylation of the alpha subunit of EUKARYOTIC INITIATION FACTOR-2, leading to the inhibition of protein synthesis.
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A RIP serine-theonine kinase that contains a C-terminal caspase activation and recruitment domain. It can signal by associating with other CARD-signaling adaptor proteins and INITIATOR CASPASES that contain CARD domains within their N-terminal pro-domain region.
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