Cell Fusion pp 99-113 | Cite as

Mammalian Fertilization Is Dependent on Multiple Membrane Fusion Events*

  • Paul M. Wassarman
  • Eveline S. Litscher
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 475)


Successful completion of fertilization in mammals is dependent on three membrane fusion events. These are (1) the acrosome reaction of sperm, (2) the fusion of sperm and egg plasma membranes to form a zygote, and (3) the cortical reaction of fertilized eggs. Extensive research into the molecular basis of each of these events has identified candidate proteins and factors involved in fusion of membranes during the mammalian fertilization process. Some of this information is provided here.

Key Words

Mammalian fertilization sperm eggs acrosome reaction sperm–egg fusion cortical reaction 



We are grateful to Elizabeth Chen for her kind invitation to write this chapter. Whenever possible, we have referred to articles and reviews published between 2000 and 2006. Our laboratory is supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (HD35105).


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul M. Wassarman
    • 1
  • Eveline S. Litscher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental BiologyMount Sinai School of MedicineNew York

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