Supplementary Material for: 5’-AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Regulates Goat Sperm Functions via Energy Metabolism <b><i>In Vitro</i></b>

<b><i>Background/Aims:</i></b> ATP is essential for mammalian sperm to survive and maintain fertilizing capacity. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of cellular energy status. The aims of the present study were to explore the localization of AMPK in goat sperm and to investigate whether and how AMPK regulates sperm functions <i>in vitro</i>. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Sperm were treated with AMPK modulators (AICAR, metformin and Compound C) during incubation. Sperm motility was assessed with a computer-assisted spermatozoa analysis system (CASA). Membrane integrity, acrosome reaction and mitochondrial membrane potentials were detected by SYBR-14/PI, FITC-PNA and JC-1 staining, respectively. And the lactate content, ATP content, AMPK activity, activity of pyruvate kinase (PK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were also measured with the commercial assay kits. Immunofluorescence staining was used to analyze the distribution of PK, LDH, AMPK and phospho-Thr172-AMPK in sperm. The role of AMPK was further studied during induction of capacitation and acrosome reaction. <b><i>Results:</i></b> We found that AMPKα was localized in the entire acrosomal region, the midpiece and the flagellum, while the phospho-Thr172-AMPK was distributed in the head, the midpiece and flagellum. Activation of AMPK by AICAR and metformin significantly improved sperm motility, membrane integrity and acrosome reaction, largely maintained sperm mitochondrial membrane potentials, lactate content and ATP content, and enhanced the activity of AMPK, PK and LDH, whereas inhibition by Compound C triggered the converse effects. Moreover, PK was localized in the acrosomal area and the midpiece, while LDH was distributed in the tail. Induction of capacitation and acrosome reaction led to AMPK phosphorylation. AMPK phosphorylation regulated the activity of energetic enzymes. <b><i>Conclusion:</i></b> This study for the first time provides evidence that AMPK governs goat sperm functions through energy metabolism <i>in vitro</i>. This finding will help to improve assisted reproductive techniques in goats and the other species.