Posttranslational modification of proteins by phosphorylation is involved in regulation of sperm function. Protein phosphatase 1 gamma isoform 2 (PPP1CC_v2) and protein YWHA (also known as 14-3-3) are likely to be key molecules in pathways involving sperm protein phosphorylation. We have shown that phosphorylated PPP1CC_v2 is bound to protein YWHAZ in spermatozoa. In somatic cells, protein YWHA is known to bind a number of phosphoproteins involved in signaling and energy metabolism. Thus, in addition to PPP1CC_v2, it is likely that sperm contain other YWHA-binding proteins. A goal of the present study was to identify these sperm YWHA-binding proteins. The binding proteins were isolated by affinity chromatography with GST-YWHAZ followed by elution with a peptide, R-11, which is known to disrupt YWHA complexes. The YWHA-binding proteins in sperm can be classified as those involved in fertilization, acrosome reaction, energy metabolism, protein folding, and ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. A subset of these putative YWHA-binding proteins contain known amino acid consensus motifs, not only for YWHA binding but also for PPP1C binding. Identification of sperm PPP1CC_v2-binding proteins by microcystin-agarose chromatography confirmed that PPP1CC_v2 and YWHA interactomes contain several common proteins. These are metabolic enzymes phosphoglycerate kinase 2, hexokinase 1, and glucose phosphate isomerase; proteins involved in sperm-egg fusion; angiotensin-converting enzyme, sperm adhesion molecule, and chaperones; heat shock 70-kDa protein 5 (glucose-regulated protein 78 kDa; and heat shock 70-kDa protein 1-like. These proteins are likely to be phosphoproteins and potential PPP1CC_v2 substrates. Our data suggest that in addition to potential regulation of a number of important sperm functions, YWHA may act as an adaptor molecule for a subset of PPP1CC_v2 substrates.
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Vol. 79 • No. 6