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To fuse with oocytes, spermatozoa of eutherian mammals must pass through extracellular coats, the cumulus cell layer, and the zona pellucida (ZP). It is generally believed that the acrosome reaction (AR) of spermatozoa, essential for zona penetration and fusion with oocytes, is triggered by sperm contact with the zona pellucida. Therefore, in most previous(More)
The sulfated fucan (SF) of egg jelly induces the acrosome reaction (AR) of sea urchin sperm. Strongylocentrotus franciscanus (Sf) SF is sulfated only at the 2-position. Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Sp) has two SF isotypes, each one being female specific. One is rich in sulfate at both the 2- and 4-positionS (SF-1), and the other is rich in sulfate at the(More)
Sea urchin egg jelly (EJ) triggers sperm acrosome reaction (AR), an exocytotic event required for membrane fusion of the gametes. Purified fucose sulfate polymer (FSP) in EJ is one inducer of the AR. Binding of FSP to its receptor regulates opening of two distinct calcium channels and also elevates intracellular pH (pH(i)). EJ also contains sialic acid-rich(More)
The evolution of barriers to inter-specific hybridization is a crucial step in the fertilization of free spawning marine invertebrates. In sea urchins, molecular recognition between sperm and egg ensures species recognition. Here we review the sulfated polysaccharide-based mechanism of sperm-egg recognition in this model organism. The jelly surrounding sea(More)
Sulfated polysaccharides from the egg jelly of sea urchins act as species-specific inducers of the sperm acrosome reaction, which is a rare molecular mechanism of carbohydrate-induced signal-transduction event in animal cells. The sea urchin polysaccharides differ in monosaccharide composition (l-fucose or l-galactose), glycosylation, and sulfation sites,(More)
Meiotic progression in starfish oocytes is reinitiated by a maturation-inducing hormone called 1-methyladenine (1-MeAde). In addition to meiotic maturation, 1-MeAde induces cortical maturation in which cortical granules become competent to discharge in response to fusion of a single sperm, which results in the formation of the fertilization envelope. We(More)
A linear fucose sulfate polymer (FSP), >10(6) daltons, is a major component of sea urchin egg jelly. FSP induces the sperm acrosome reaction (AR), an exocytotic process required for animal fertilization. Two Ca(2+) channels activate during AR induction, the first opens 1 s after FSP addition, and the second opens 5 s after the first. Mild acid hydrolysis of(More)
Fertilization is a programmed process that has many molecules and sequential events amenable to study. The biochemistry of fertilization has identified cellular and acellular components fundamental to the interactions between sperm and egg. Recent studies highlight the molecular details of the species-specificity of fertilization that involve(More)
Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization.(More)
The 350-kDa sperm-binding protein (SBP), a species-specific sperm-binding protein, is localized in the vitelline layer of sea urchin eggs. In this study, we have shown for the first time that sperm gangliosides are ligands for the intact glycosylated SBP. Using recombinant fragments of the SBP, the N-terminal heat shock protein 110-like domain was shown to(More)