Kcnj16 (Kir5.1) gene ablation causes subfertility and increases the prevalence of morphologically abnormal spermatozoa
The ability of spermatozoa to swim towards an oocyte and fertilize it depends on precise K+ permeability changes. Kir5.1 is an inwardly-rectifying potassium (Kir) channel with high sensitivity to intracellular H+ (pHi) and extracellular K+ concentration [K+]o, and hence provides a link between pHi and [K+]o changes and membrane potential. The intrinsic pHi sensitivity of Kir5.1 suggests a possible role for this channel in the pHi-dependent processes that take place during fertilization. Howev...Expand abstract
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