Possible participation of calmodulin in the decondensation of nuclei isolated from guinea pig spermatozoa
The guinea pig spermatozoid nucleus contains actin, myosin, spectrin and cytokeratin. Also, it has been reported that phalloidin and/or 2,3-butanedione monoxime retard the sperm nuclear decondensation caused by heparin, suggesting a role for F-actin and myosin in nuclear stability. The presence of an Factin/ myosin dynamic system in these nuclei led us to search for proteins usually related to this system. In guinea pig sperm nuclei we detected calmodulin, F-actin, the myosin light chain and an actin-myosin complex. To define whether calmodulin participates in nuclear-dynamics, the effect of the calmodulin antagonists W5,W7 and calmidazolium was tested on the decondensation of nuclei promoted by either heparin or by a Xenopus laevis egg extract. All antagonists inhibited both the heparin-extracted and the X. laevis egg extract-mediated nuclear decondensation. Heparin-mediated decondensation was faster and led to loss of nuclei. The X. laevis egg extract-promoted decondensation was slower and did not result in loss of the decondensed nuclei. It is suggested that in guinea pig sperm calmodulin participates in the nuclear decondensation process.