Recognition Mechanism of Egg and Sperm Based on Sugar Chains

  • Midori Matsumoto


Recognition between sperms and eggs is required for species maintenance in organisms. Eggs are covered in an egg extracellular matrix, which contains considerable amounts of glycoprotein. This matrix usually possesses a site that prevents the recognition of sperms, which protect the egg against an attack from foreign bodies such as bacteria. The sperm is induced by a component of the egg extracellular matrix and is attached to the latter. The sperm increases the [pH]i and [Ca2+]i on receiving a signal from the egg extracellular matrix and evokes exocytosis of the acrosomal vesicle at the tip of the sperm head (acrosome reaction). It then passes through the egg extracellular matrix and the vitelline membrane, and arrives at the egg cell membrane. Only the new sperm cell membrane, which is detached due to the exocytosis, can fuse with the egg cell membrane. A sugar chain is known to play an important role in the acrosome reaction and in the binding between the egg and the sperm.


Zona Pellucida Acrosome Reaction Sugar Chain Carbohydrate Recognition Domain Sperm Cell Membrane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Dell A, Chalabi S, Easton RL, Haslam SM, Sutton-Smith M, Patankar MS, Lattanzio F, Panico M, Morris HR, Clark GF (2003) Murine and human zona pellucida 3 derived from mouse eggs express identical O-glycans. Proc Natl Acad Sci 100:15631–15636PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Mah SA, Swanson WJ, Vacquier VD (2005) Positive selection in the carbohydrate recognition domains of sea urchin sperm receptor for egg jelly (suREJ) proteins. Mol Biol Evol 22:533–541PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Nakachi M, Moriyama H, Hoshi M, Matsumoto M (2006) Acrosome reaction is subfamily specific in sea star fertilization. Dev Biol 298:597–604PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Viela-Silva AC, Castro MO, Valente AP, Biermann CH, Mourao PA (2002) Sulfated fucans from the egg jellies of the closely related sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis and Strongylocentrotus pallidus Ensure species-specific fertilization. J Biol Chem 277:379–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Williams SA, Xia L, Cummings RD, McEver RP, Stanley P (2007) Fertilization in mouse does not require terminal galactose or N-acetylglucosamine on the zona pellucia glycans. J Cell Sci 120:1341–1349PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Midori Matsumoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biosciences and Informatics, Faculty of Science and TechnologyKeio UniversityYokohamaJapan

Personalised recommendations