Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 64, Issue 15, pp 1945–1958 | Cite as

Mechanisms of sperm-egg interactions emerging from gene-manipulated animals

  • M. OkabeEmail author
  • J. M. Cummins


Untangling the molecular nature of sperm-egg interactions is fundamental if we are to understand fertilization. These phenomena have been studied for many years using biochemical approaches such as antibodies and ligands that interact with sperm or with eggs and their vestments. However, when homologous genetic recombination techniques were applied, most of the phenotypic factors of the gene-manipulated animals believed “essential” for fertilization were found to be dispensable. Of course, all biological systems contain redundancies and compensatory mechanisms, but as a whole the old model of fertilization clearly requires significant modification. In this review, we use the results of gene manipulation experiments in animals to propose the basis for a new vision.


Fertilization sperm-egg interaction gene manipulation zona pellucida 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Genome Information Research Center, Research Institute for Microbial DiseasesOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Anatomy, School of Health Sciences VB 1:10Murdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia

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