Nonreceptor protein kinases c-Src, c-Yes, and FAK are biomarkers for male contraceptive research

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A major obstacle in male contraceptive research and development is the lack of reliable and sensitive biomarkers to monitor the efficacy and potency of candidate compounds under investigation. Since the use of routine andrology techniques/analyses, such as sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology, sperm DNA integrity, sperm metabolism, and other semen characteristics (e.g., semen volume, pH, bacterial content) are tedious, representing the combined changes that take place in the testis and the male reproductive tract including the epididymis, rete testis, efferent ducts, prostate, and seminal vesicles. As such, the number of compounds that can be rapidly screened and tested is severely limited. Also, the outcomes are often difficult to interpret since it is not known if a compound under investigation exerts its effects mostly in the testis, the epididymis, another accessory sex organ or a combination of these organs. Herein, we summarize recent findings in the field regarding the use of nonreceptor protein kinases c-Src, c-Yes, and FAK as possible biomarkers for male contraceptive development based on our experience with adjudin, 1-(2,4-dichlorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carbohydrazide (formerly known as AF-2364). This information should pave the way of using these, and possibly other, markers for male contraceptive research.