Expression of a mitochondrial progesterone receptor in human spermatozoa correlates with a progestin-dependent increase in mitochondrial membrane potential.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The hyperactivation of human spermatozoa necessary for fertilization requires a substantial increase in cellular energy production. The factors responsible for increasing cellular energy remain poorly defined. This article proposes a role for a novel mitochondrial progesterone receptor (PR-M) in modulation of mitochondrial activity. Basic science studies demonstrate a 38 kDa protein with western blot analysis, consistent with PR-M; whereas imaging studies with confocal and immunoelectron microscopy demonstrate a PR on the mitochondria. Treatment with a PR-specific progestin shows increased mitochondrial membrane potential, not related to induction of an acrosome reaction. The increase in mitochondrial membrane potential was inhibited by a specific PR antagonist, but not affected by an inhibitor to the progesterone-dependent Catsper voltage-activated channel. In conclusion, these studies suggest expression of a novel mitochondrial PR in human spermatozoa with a progestin-dependent increase in mitochondrial activity. This mechanism may serve to enhance cellular energy production as the spermatozoa traverse the female genital tract being exposed to increasing concentrations of progesterone.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tantibhedhyangkul, J; Hawkins, KC; Dai, Q; Mu, K; Dunn, CN; Miller, SE; Price, TM

Published Date

  • November 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 875 - 883

PubMed ID

  • 25187426

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4340691

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2047-2927

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.2047-2927.2014.00263.x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England