Sperm-Specific AKAP Protein Genes and Uses
Abstract: There are very few male contraceptive options currently available in the United States. Male contraceptives in development usually involve hormone treatment which can produce unacceptable side effects. This invention describes a discovery of a protein involved in reproduction whose activity can be disrupted. This invention covers the discovery, cloning and sequencing of a gene that encodes a protein called A-Kinase Anchoring Protein (AKAP 110). AKAP 110 is necessary for sperm motility. Disruption of the interaction between AKAP100 and its host, Protein Kinase A (PKA), reduces motility leading to loss of fertility.
As a new target site for developing male contraceptives, this invention has usefulness for a wide variety of applications. A major market for a male contraceptive could be for people unable or opposed to use of other birth control methods. Secondary markets include game management programs and veterinary uses.
Developing male contraceptives that do not rely on hormones are temporary and easy to use and offer significant improvements over technology currently available. Because AKAP110 is expressed only in sperm, there should be no side effects for contraceptives that act specifically against this protein.
Inventors: S. Vijayaraghavan, D. Carr