Actin cytoskeleton and sperm function

Haim Breitbart, Maya Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


For the acquisition of the ability to fertilize the egg, mammalian spermatozoa should undergo a series of biochemical transformations in the female reproductive tract, collectively called capacitation. The capacitated sperm can undergo the acrosomal exocytosis process near or on the oocyte, which allows the spermatozoon to penetrate and fertilize it. One of the main processes in capacitation involves dynamic cytoskeletal remodeling particularly of actin. Actin polymerization occurs during sperm capacitation and the produced F-actin should be depolymerized prior to the acrosomal exocytosis. In the present review, we describe the mechanisms that regulate F-actin formation during sperm capacitation and the F-actin dispersion prior to the acrosomal exocytosis. During sperm capacitation, the actin severing proteins gelsolin and cofilin are inactive and they undergo activation prior to the acrosomal exocytosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-377
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - 25 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Acrosomal exocytosis
  • Actin
  • Capacitation
  • Cofilin
  • Gelsolin
  • Spermatozoa


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