Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ovastacin cuts off sperm binding

Date:
April 2, 2012
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
A new study describes how a secreted enzyme helps egg cells avoid being fertilized by more than one sperm.

A study in the Journal of Cell Biology describes how ovastacin helps egg cells avoid being fertilized by more than one sperm. In this image, ovastacin (red) localizes to secretory granules (green) in the cortex of an unfertilized egg.
Credit: Burkart, A.D., et al. 2012. J. Cell Biol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201112094.

Researchers have described how a secreted protease helps egg cells avoid being fertilized by more than one sperm.

Related Articles


Because polyspermy disrupts embryonic development, oocytes take several steps to ensure they only fuse with a single sperm. One key step is to prevent additional sperm from binding to the surface of an already-fertilized egg, a blockade that involves the release of secretory granules and cleavage of the glycoprotein ZP2, a component of the zona pellucida matrix that surrounds eggs. ZP2 is cleaved upstream of two acidic amino acids, a cleavage site recognized by the astacin family of metalloendoproteases. Burkart et al. therefore investigated the function of ovastacin, an astacin family member expressed in oocytes.

Ovastacin localized to cortical granules that were exocytosed after fertilization, and recombinant ovastacin cleaved ZP2 when added to zonae pellucidae. Mice lacking ovastacin failed to cleave ZP2 after fertilization, allowing sperm to continue to bind to the surface of early embryos. Ovastacin-null female mice had slightly fewer offspring than wild-type animals but otherwise appeared normal.

The researchers found that ovastacin targeted several sites in ZP2's N terminus. Senior author Jurrien Dean now wants to investigate how this proteolysis blocks sperm binding, a critical question because the molecular interactions between sperm and egg cells remain unknown. He also wants to examine how ovastacin is packaged into oocyte cortical granules and to identify other components of these secretory organelles.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. D. Burkart, B. Xiong, B. Baibakov, M. Jimenez-Movilla, J. Dean. Ovastacin, a cortical granule protease, cleaves ZP2 in the zona pellucida to prevent polyspermy. The Journal of Cell Biology, 2012; 197 (1): 37 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201112094

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Ovastacin cuts off sperm binding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402124335.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2012, April 2). Ovastacin cuts off sperm binding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402124335.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Ovastacin cuts off sperm binding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402124335.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Ten doctors signed a letter urging Columbia University to drop Dr. Oz as vice chair of its department of surgery, saying he plugs "quack" treatments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins