Mechanisms to Scavenge ROS in Sperm

Production of ROS by sperm must be balanced by scavenging systems for minimizing cell damage. Sperm-associated glutathione peroxidase is the primary scavenger for H2O2 and converts H2O2 to water. Catalase has been described in human semen to similarly break down H2O2 to water [85] . Consequently, H2O2 appears to be the primary ROS responsible for oxidative damage to spermatozoa in vitro, although superoxide anion is also a significant but short-lived stressor [36, 78, 86-88]. The NOX family of NOXs have been shown to be crucial components in a wide range of cells, including sperm that generate ROS (see excellent review by Bedard and Krause [60] ) . These proteins function by transferring electrons across lipid membranes using oxygen as electron acceptor. The product of this transfer is superoxide.

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