Santi’s lab already established that the pH-dependent SLO3 potassium channel is essential for male fertility. The knock-out of this sperm-specific potassium channel confers total male-specific infertility and have major defects in sperm motility and the acrosome reaction.
- We are now using this SLO3 KO mouse to dissect the pathways activated by or linked to membrane voltage control.
- We are carring on experiments in bovine and human sperm to determine if the participation of SLO3 channels in sperm membrane control is conserved in mammals.
- In order to understand how SLO3 channels work and how they are modulated, we are using comparative genomic to get fundamental insights about the basic function, development, and regulation of potassium channels, and their role in behavior.