In mammals, the spermatozoa must undergo physiological changes, as named as capacitation, in the female reproductive tract prior to be able to fertilize ovocyte.
A recent study from Nixon and collaborators in Mol. Cell Proteomics, have demonstrated that AKAP4 is marker of capacitation even in crocodiles !
The exposure of crocodile spermatozoa to capacitation stimuli induce a cascade of effects that are similar to those observed in mammalian spermatozoa, such as phosphorylation / dephosphorylation in capacitated versus non-capacitated crocodile spermatozoa.
AKAP4 is highly conserved between animals, from reptiles to mammals and appears to a good marker of capacitation in all animals.
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