Blanca Estela Galindo

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Ion channels are extraordinarily efficient machines that move ions in diversely controlled manners, allowing cells to rapidly exchange information with the outside world and with other cells. Communication is the currency of fertilization, as it is of most fundamental cell signaling events. Ion channels are deeply involved in the dialogue between sperm, its(More)
The mechanism of speciation is a central problem in evolutionary biology. In free-spawning animals with no complex mating behavior, prezygotic reproductive isolation (speciation) could result from the rapid divergence of genes coding for sperm and egg proteins that bind each other during fertilization. In abalone, sperm lysin evolves rapidly by positive(More)
We report the sequence and analysis of the 814-megabase genome of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, a model for developmental and systems biology. The sequencing strategy combined whole-genome shotgun and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequences. This use of BAC clones, aided by a pooling strategy, overcame difficulties associated with(More)
Echinoderm sperm use cyclic nucleotides (CNs) as essential second messengers to locate and swim towards the egg. Sea urchin sperm constitute a rich source of membrane-bound guanylyl cyclase (mGC), which was first cloned from sea urchin testis by the group of David Garbers. His group also identified speract, the first sperm-activating peptide (SAP) to be(More)
The acrosome reaction (AR), necessary for fertilization in many species, requires an increase in intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)). In sea urchin sperm, the AR is triggered by an egg-jelly factor: the associated [Ca(2+)](i) elevation lasts minutes and involves two Ca(2+) permeable channels. Both the opening of the second channel and the onset of the AR(More)
Abalone sperm use 16 kDa lysin to create a hole in the egg vitelline envelope (VE) by a species-specific, nonenzymatic mechanism. To create the hole, lysin binds tightly to VERL (the VE receptor for lysin), a giant, unbranched glycoprotein comprising 30% of the VE. Binding of lysin to VERL causes the VERL molecules to lose cohesion and splay apart creating(More)
Functional evidence indicates that voltage-dependent Ca2+ (Cav) channels participate in sea urchin sperm motility and the acrosome reaction (AR), however, their molecular identity remains unknown. We have identified transcripts for two Ca2+ channel alpha1 subunits in sea urchin testis similar in sequence to Cav1.2 and Cav2.3. Antibodies against rat Cav1.2(More)
TMEM16 proteins are found in all eukaryotes and have eight putative transmembrane domains with NH2 and COOH termini located on the luminal side of the vesicle or plasma membrane. Nine homologues exist in humans and mice. Several of the human genes are overexpressed in cancer and could be valuable tumor markers, especially in profiling gene expression with(More)
A sea urchin sperm flagellar hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel is known (SpHCN1) that is modulated by cAMP. Here, we describe a second flagellar HCN channel (SpHCN2) cloned from the same sea urchin species. SpHCN2 is 638 amino acids compared to 767 for SpHCN1. SpHCN2 has all the domains of an HCN channel, including six(More)
Sea urchin spermatozoa are model cells for studying signal transduction events underlying flagellar motility and the acrosome reaction. We previously described the sea urchin sperm receptor for egg jelly 1 (suREJ1) which consists of 1450 amino acids, has one transmembrane segment and binds to the fucose sulfate polymer of egg jelly to induce the sperm(More)