Toward Multiscale Modeling of Molecular and Biochemical Events Occurring at Fertilization Time in Sea Urchins

  • Harold Moundoyi
  • Josselin Demouy
  • Sophie Le Panse
  • Julia Morales
  • Benoît Sarels
  • Patrick CormierEmail author
Part of the Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation book series (RESULTS, volume 65)


We review here previous theoretical and experimental works, which aim to model major events that occur at the time of fertilization in the sea urchin. We discuss works that perform experiments and develop hypotheses that link different scales of biological systems such as the intracellular Ca2+ concentration oscillations and the swimming behavior of sperm, the Ca2+ wave propagation and the fertilization membrane elevation of the egg, and the mRNA translational activation and the completion of the first mitotic division of the early embryo. The aim of this review is on one hand, to highlight the value of systems biology for understanding the mechanisms associated with fertilization and early embryonic development in sea urchins. On the other hand, this review attempts to illustrate, for mathematicians and bioinformaticians, the potential that represent these molecular and cellular events for modeling clear physiological processes.


Sea urchin Fertilization Sperm swimming Egg activation Ca2+ signaling pathway mRNA translation Systems biology 



We apologize to those whose work was not cited or discussed here because of the broad scope of this review and space limitation. We would like to thank Remi Dumollard (Observatoire Océanologique, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France) for calcium wave discussions and for proofreading the manuscript and Benoît Perthame (Sorbonne Université, Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions, Paris France) for mathematical and modeling approaches discussion. We thank Dr. Gustavo Martinez-Mekler for his permission to use figures from Espinal et al. (2011). Special thanks to Huixin Lu (University of Toronto, Canada) for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. Research in the authors’ laboratories is supported by “La Ligue contre le Cancer (coordination du Grand Ouest (comités Finistère, Côtes d’Armor, Deux-Sèvres, Morbihan),” the “Région Bretagne,” and the “Conseil Général du Finistère”). Brittany Regional Council Research Grant (Région Bretagne, project MoDyst) and the French Ministry of Research through the LABEX “CALSIMLAB” (ANR-11-LABX-0037) for Ph.D. Fellowship to H.M. and the ANR blanche project “KIBORD” (ANR-13-BS01-0004).


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold Moundoyi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Josselin Demouy
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sophie Le Panse
    • 4
  • Julia Morales
    • 1
  • Benoît Sarels
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patrick Cormier
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Biologie Intégrative des Modèles MarinsCNRS UMR 8227, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06RoscoffFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Jacques-Louis LionsCNRS UMR 7598, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06ParisFrance
  3. 3.Integrative Biology of Marine OrganismsObservatoire Océanologique, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, CNRS, UMR 7232Banyuls-sur-MerFrance
  4. 4.Plateforme d’Imagerie Merimage, CNRS, FR 2424, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06RoscoffFrance

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