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Harvey M Florman PhD

TitleProfessor Emeritus
InstitutionUMass Chan Medical School
DepartmentObstetrics and Gynecology
AddressUMass Chan Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester MA 01655
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentObstetrics and Gynecology

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Rutgers University- New Brunswick, New Brunswick, NJ, United StatesB ABiology
    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United StatesPH DPhysiology

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    Academic Background

    1972 B.A., Rutgers College

    1982 Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

    Mechanisms of Fertilization

    Fertilization is the process by which sperm and egg fuse and the program of development is initiated. This is controlled in mammals at two steps: 1) sperm first undergo “capacitation”, a physiological reprogramming that occurs within the female reproductive tract and that is essential for the expression of fertility; and 2) capacitated sperm interact with the egg. Our work has focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control these two events. To this end, we apply a range of biophysical (single cell fluorescence imaging, patch clamp electrophysiology), biochemical and molecular techniques.

    Studies of capacitation address the control of sperm signal transduction pathways that lead to fertility. Ion fluxes are important regulators of this process and we have identified key roles of sperm membrane potential and pH. In addition, we recently recognized a role of polycystic kidney disease proteins in capacitation. Ongoing and future studies address the mechanisms by which factors from the female reproductive tract regulate these and other pathways, leading to sperm fertility.

    Sperm-egg interaction begins when sperm contact the egg extracellular matrix (the zona pellucida). ZP3, a protein component of the zona pellucida, activates sperm and triggers a secretory event known as the acrosome reaction. This is an obligatory event in gamete interaction that must be completed if sperm are to fuse with eggs, and disruption of the zona pellucida-evoked acrosome reaction is linked to several types of male infertility. We have worked on the signal transduction cascade that is regulated by ZP3. Specifically, we have focused on the intersecting roles of Ca2+ and Ca2+ channels, of phosphatidylinositol pathways, and protein kinases in the control of the acrosome reaction.

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Florman HM. Male contraception: Are we seeing the end of the beginning? Mol Reprod Dev. 2021 10; 88(10):647-649. PMID: 34462988.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    2. Balbach M, Hamzeh H, Jikeli JF, Brenker C, Schiffer C, Hansen JN, Neugebauer P, Tr?tschel C, Jovine L, Han L, Florman HM, Kaupp UB, Str?nker T, Wachten D. Molecular Mechanism Underlying the Action of Zona-pellucida Glycoproteins on Mouse Sperm. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020; 8:572735. PMID: 32984353.
    3. Florman HM. 101 on: How we understand polyspermy functions and defenses after E.E. Just's 1919 study. Mol Reprod Dev. 2020 03; 87(3):323-325. PMID: 32080925.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    4. Jungnickel MK, Sutton KA, Baker MA, Cohen MG, Sanderson MJ, Florman HM. The flagellar protein Enkurin is required for mouse sperm motility and for transport through the female reproductive tract. Biol Reprod. 2018 10 01; 99(4):789-797. PMID: 29733335.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    5. Florman HM. A transition at Molecular Reproduction and Development. Mol Reprod Dev. 2018 01; 85(1):1. PMID: 29266626.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    6. Sigg MA, Menchen T, Lee C, Johnson J, Jungnickel MK, Choksi SP, Garcia G, Busengdal H, Dougherty GW, Pennekamp P, Werner C, Rentzsch F, Florman HM, Krogan N, Wallingford JB, Omran H, Reiter JF. Evolutionary Proteomics Uncovers Ancient Associations of Cilia with Signaling Pathways. Dev Cell. 2017 12 18; 43(6):744-762.e11. PMID: 29257953.
      Citations: 46     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    7. Florman H, Latham K, Prather R, Williams C, Wolfner M. Thanks! Mol Reprod Dev. 2017 12; 84(12):1233. PMID: 29314476.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    8. Florman H, Gerton G, Kopf G, Visconti P. The 3 Ws of Bayard T. Storey - Wisdom, wine, and wit. Mol Reprod Dev. 2017 11; 84(11):1113. PMID: 29144577.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    9. Florman HM. Min Chueh Chang, In Context. Mol Reprod Dev. 2016 10; 83(10):843-845. PMID: 27780303.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    10. Florman HM, Cao W, Jungnickel MK, Sutton KA, Tsai PS. Coup d'oeil of sperm. Mol Reprod Dev. 2012 May; 79(5):Fm i. PMID: 22508555.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    11. Sutton KA, Jungnickel MK, Jovine L, Florman HM. Evolution of the voltage sensor domain of the voltage-sensitive phosphoinositide phosphatase VSP/TPTE suggests a role as a proton channel in eutherian mammals. Mol Biol Evol. 2012 Sep; 29(9):2147-55. PMID: 22396523.
      Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    12. Williams C, Florman H, Yanagamachi R. On the shoulders of giants: Robert G. Edwards, Nobel Laureate. Mol Reprod Dev. 2010 Dec; 77(12). PMID: 21182112.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Kan MC, Oruganty-Das A, Cooper-Morgan A, Jin G, Swanger SA, Bassell GJ, Florman H, van Leyen K, Richter JD. CPEB4 is a cell survival protein retained in the nucleus upon ischemia or endoplasmic reticulum calcium depletion. Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Dec; 30(24):5658-71. PMID: 20937770.
      Citations: 25     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    14. Visconti PE, Florman HM. Mechanisms of sperm-egg interactions: between sugars and broken bonds. Sci Signal. 2010 Oct 05; 3(142):pe35. PMID: 20923932.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    15. Florman HM, Jungnickel MK, Sutton KA. Shedding light on sperm pHertility. Cell. 2010 Feb 05; 140(3):310-2. PMID: 20144756.
      Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    16. Sutton KA, Jungnickel MK, Florman HM. A polycystin-1 controls postcopulatory reproductive selection in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jun 24; 105(25):8661-6. PMID: 18562295.
      Citations: 38     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    17. Florman HM, Jungnickel MK, Sutton KA. Regulating the acrosome reaction. Int J Dev Biol. 2008; 52(5-6):503-10. PMID: 18649263.
      Citations: 48     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    18. Florman HM, Jungnickel MK, Sutton KA. What can we learn about fertilization from cystic fibrosis? Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jul 03; 104(27):11123-4. PMID: 17595298.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Jungnickel MK, Sutton KA, Wang Y, Florman HM. Phosphoinositide-dependent pathways in mouse sperm are regulated by egg ZP3 and drive the acrosome reaction. Dev Biol. 2007 Apr 01; 304(1):116-26. PMID: 17258189.
      Citations: 22     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    20. Sutton KA, Jungnickel MK, Ward CJ, Harris PC, Florman HM. Functional characterization of PKDREJ, a male germ cell-restricted polycystin. J Cell Physiol. 2006 Nov; 209(2):493-500. PMID: 16883570.
      Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    21. Sutton KA, Jungnickel MK, Wang Y, Cullen K, Lambert S, Florman HM. Enkurin is a novel calmodulin and TRPC channel binding protein in sperm. Dev Biol. 2004 Oct 15; 274(2):426-35. PMID: 15385169.
      Citations: 33     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    22. Galantino-Homer HL, Florman HM, Storey BT, Dobrinski I, Kopf GS. Bovine sperm capacitation: assessment of phosphodiesterase activity and intracellular alkalinization on capacitation-associated protein tyrosine phosphorylation. Mol Reprod Dev. 2004 Apr; 67(4):487-500. PMID: 14991741.
      Citations: 22     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    23. Sutton KA, Jungnickel MK, Florman HM. Of fertility, cystic fibrosis and the bicarbonate ion. Nat Cell Biol. 2003 Oct; 5(10):857-9. PMID: 14523397.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    24. Jungnickel MK, Sutton KA, Florman HM. In the beginning: lessons from fertilization in mice and worms. Cell. 2003 Aug 22; 114(4):401-4. PMID: 12941269.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    25. Kirkman-Brown JC, Sutton KA, Florman HM. How to attract a sperm. Nat Cell Biol. 2003 Feb; 5(2):93-6. PMID: 12563269.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    26. Evans JP, Florman HM. The state of the union: the cell biology of fertilization. Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Oct; 4 Suppl:s57-63. PMID: 12479616.
      Citations: 28     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    27. Sutton KA, Jungnickel MK, Florman HM. If music be the food of love... Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Jun; 4(6):E154-5. PMID: 12042831.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    28. Gonz?lez-Mart?nez MT, Galindo BE, de De La Torre L, Zapata O, Rodr?guez E, Florman HM, Darszon A. A sustained increase in intracellular Ca(2+) is required for the acrosome reaction in sea urchin sperm. Dev Biol. 2001 Aug 01; 236(1):220-9. PMID: 11456456.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    29. L?pez-Gonz?lez I, De La Vega-Beltr?n JL, Santi CM, Florman HM, Felix R, Darszon A. Calmodulin antagonists inhibit T-type Ca(2+) currents in mouse spermatogenic cells and the zona pellucida-induced sperm acrosome reaction. Dev Biol. 2001 Aug 01; 236(1):210-9. PMID: 11456455.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    30. Jungnickel MK, Marrero H, Birnbaumer L, L?mos JR, Florman HM. Trp2 regulates entry of Ca2+ into mouse sperm triggered by egg ZP3. Nat Cell Biol. 2001 May; 3(5):499-502. PMID: 11331878.
      Citations: 76     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    31. Gross VS, Wessel G, Florman HM, Ducibella T. A monoclonal antibody that recognizes mammalian cortical granules and a 32-kilodalton protein in mouse eggs. Biol Reprod. 2000 Aug; 63(2):575-81. PMID: 10906067.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    32. O'Toole CM, Arnoult C, Darszon A, Steinhardt RA, Florman HM. Ca(2+) entry through store-operated channels in mouse sperm is initiated by egg ZP3 and drives the acrosome reaction. Mol Biol Cell. 2000 May; 11(5):1571-84. PMID: 10793136.
      Citations: 40     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    33. Arnoult C, Kazam IG, Visconti PE, Kopf GS, Villaz M, Florman HM. Control of the low voltage-activated calcium channel of mouse sperm by egg ZP3 and by membrane hyperpolarization during capacitation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Jun 08; 96(12):6757-62. PMID: 10359785.
      Citations: 49     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    34. Florman HM, Arnoult C, Kazam IG, Li C, O'Toole CM. A perspective on the control of mammalian fertilization by egg-activated ion channels in sperm: a tale of two channels. Biol Reprod. 1998 Jul; 59(1):12-6. PMID: 9674987.
      Citations: 23     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    35. Arnoult C, Lemos JR, Florman HM. Voltage-dependent modulation of T-type calcium channels by protein tyrosine phosphorylation. EMBO J. 1997 Apr 01; 16(7):1593-9. PMID: 9130704.
      Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    36. Arnoult C, Cardullo RA, Lemos JR, Florman HM. Activation of mouse sperm T-type Ca2+ channels by adhesion to the egg zona pellucida. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Nov 12; 93(23):13004-9. PMID: 8917534.
      Citations: 45     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    37. Arnoult C, Zeng Y, Florman HM. ZP3-dependent activation of sperm cation channels regulates acrosomal secretion during mammalian fertilization. J Cell Biol. 1996 Aug; 134(3):637-45. PMID: 8707844.
      Citations: 28     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    38. Zeng Y, Oberdorf JA, Florman HM. pH regulation in mouse sperm: identification of Na(+)-, Cl(-)-, and HCO3(-)-dependent and arylaminobenzoate-dependent regulatory mechanisms and characterization of their roles in sperm capacitation. Dev Biol. 1996 Feb 01; 173(2):510-20. PMID: 8606009.
      Citations: 57     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    39. Zeng Y, Clark EN, Florman HM. Sperm membrane potential: hyperpolarization during capacitation regulates zona pellucida-dependent acrosomal secretion. Dev Biol. 1995 Oct; 171(2):554-63. PMID: 7556936.
      Citations: 57     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    40. Florman HM. Sequential focal and global elevations of sperm intracellular Ca2+ are initiated by the zona pellucida during acrosomal exocytosis. Dev Biol. 1994 Sep; 165(1):152-64. PMID: 8088433.
      Citations: 21     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    41. Clark EN, Corron ME, Florman HM. Caltrin, the calcium transport regulatory peptide of spermatozoa, modulates acrosomal exocytosis in response to the egg's zona pellucida. J Biol Chem. 1993 Mar 05; 268(7):5309-16. PMID: 8444904.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    42. Florman HM, Corron ME, Kim TD, Babcock DF. Activation of voltage-dependent calcium channels of mammalian sperm is required for zona pellucida-induced acrosomal exocytosis. Dev Biol. 1992 Aug; 152(2):304-14. PMID: 1379559.
      Citations: 21     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    43. Florman HM, Tombes RM, First NL, Babcock DF. An adhesion-associated agonist from the zona pellucida activates G protein-promoted elevations of internal Ca2+ and pH that mediate mammalian sperm acrosomal exocytosis. Dev Biol. 1989 Sep; 135(1):133-46. PMID: 2504631.
      Citations: 32     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    44. Florman HM, First NL. The regulation of acrosomal exocytosis. I. Sperm capacitation is required for the induction of acrosome reactions by the bovine zona pellucida in vitro. Dev Biol. 1988 Aug; 128(2):453-63. PMID: 3396768.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    45. Florman HM, First NL. Regulation of acrosomal exocytosis. II. The zona pellucida-induced acrosome reaction of bovine spermatozoa is controlled by extrinsic positive regulatory elements. Dev Biol. 1988 Aug; 128(2):464-73. PMID: 3396769.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    46. Wassarman PM, Bleil JD, Florman HM, Greve JM, Roller RJ, Salzmann GS. Nature of the mouse egg's receptor for sperm. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1986; 207:55-77. PMID: 3548245.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    47. Florman HM, Wassarman PM. O-linked oligosaccharides of mouse egg ZP3 account for its sperm receptor activity. Cell. 1985 May; 41(1):313-24. PMID: 2986849.
      Citations: 88     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    48. Wassarman PM, Bleil JD, Florman HM, Greve JM, Roller RJ, Salzmann GS, Samuels FG. The mouse egg's receptor for sperm: what is it and how does it work? Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 1985; 50:11-9. PMID: 3006984.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    49. Florman HM, Bechtol KB, Wassarman PM. Enzymatic dissection of the functions of the mouse egg's receptor for sperm. Dev Biol. 1984 Nov; 106(1):243-55. PMID: 6386571.
      Citations: 28     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    50. Florman HM, Storey BT. Mouse gamete interactions: the zona pellucida is the site of the acrosome reaction leading to fertilization in vitro. Dev Biol. 1982 May; 91(1):121-30. PMID: 7201425.
      Citations: 42     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    51. Florman HM, Storey BT. Inhibition of in vitro fertilization of mouse eggs: 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate specifically blocks penetration of zonae pellucidae by mouse spermatozoa. J Exp Zool. 1981 Apr; 216(1):159-67. PMID: 7288385.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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