Dec 1, 1990

Purification and characterization of an extracellular fragment of the sea urchin egg receptor for sperm

The Journal of Cell Biology
K R Foltz, W J Lennarz


Fertilization in the sea urchin involves species-specific interaction between the ligand bindin on the surface of acrosome-reacted sperm and a receptor of high molecular weight on the surface of the egg. Efforts to understand this interaction and the resultant signal transduction events leading to egg activation have been limited because of the large size and extreme insolubility of the intact receptor on the egg surface. Earlier work suggested that an alternative strategy would be to isolate proteolytic fragments of the extracellular domain of this receptor. Consequently, we have treated S. purpuratus eggs with a specific protease, lysylendoproteinase C. This enzyme treatment abolished the ability of eggs to bind sperm and resulted in the release of proteolytic fragments that bound to sperm and showed inhibitory activity in a fertilization bioassay. One of these fragments, presumed to be a fragment of the extracellular domain of the receptor, was purified to homogeneity by gel filtration and anion exchange chromatography and shown to be a 70-kD glycosylated protein. Several lines of evidence support the contention that this fragment is derived from the receptor. First, the fragment inhibited fertilization species specifically....Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Hormone Receptors, Cell Surface
Sperm-Ovum Interactions
Egg Activation
Proteolytic Enzyme

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