CatSper (Calcium channel)

Description: CatSper is a calcium-selective ion channel confined to the tail of mature sperm. CatSper is required for hyperactivated sperm motility and thus fertilization. CatSper is encoded by four distinct genes, CatSper1-4, which form the pore of the channel. Additional subunits are also required for proper assembly of the channel along a quadrilateral complex from the sperm midpiece to end of the tail. Mutant CatSper genes in humans are associated with male infertility. Small molecule screens have yielded CatSper blockers. These require refining for potency, specificity, and pharmacokinetics.

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Status Details

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Began discovery in: 2001

Status Details:
  • Target has been validated in knock-out mice models. Male mice null for any of CatSper 1-4 genes are completely infertile. Additionally, in-vitro assays have been developed.
  • High throughput screening (HTS) is being completed to identify novel CatSper inhibitors.

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