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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 5, pp 900–908 | Cite as

A sperm GPI-anchored protein elicits sperm-cumulus cross-talk leading to the acrosome reaction

  • L. Yin
  • C. M. Chung
  • R. Huo
  • H. Liu
  • C. Zhou
  • W. Xu
  • H. Zhu
  • J. Zhang
  • Q. Shi
  • H. Y. C. Wong
  • J. Chen
  • Y. Lu
  • Y. Bi
  • C. Zhao
  • Y. Du
  • M. Ma
  • Y. Cai
  • W. Y. Chen
  • K. L. Fok
  • L. L. Tsang
  • K. Li
  • Y. Ni
  • Y. W. Chung
  • Z. Zhou
  • J. ShaEmail author
  • H. C. ChanEmail author
Research Article

Abstract.

The acrosome reaction has long been thought to be induced by the zona pellucida. Here we report the identification and function of a novel human sperm glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane protein, NYD-SP8. The release of the protein during sperm-egg interaction and its binding to the cumulus, the first layer of egg investment, elicits cross-talk between the gametes and produces calcium dependant release of progesterone, which lead to the acrosome reaction. An in vivo mouse model of NYD-SP8 immunization is also established showing a reduced fertility rate. Thus, contrary to accepted dogma, our study demonstrates for the first time that, prior to reaching the zona pellucida, sperm may release a surface protein that acts on the cumulus cells leading to the acrosome reaction, which may be important for determining the outcome of fertilization.

Keywords.

Sperm acrosome reaction GPI-anchored protein calcium progesterone 

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Supplementary material

18_2009_8482_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (978 kb)
(PDF 977 kb)

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Yin
    • 1
  • C. M. Chung
    • 2
  • R. Huo
    • 1
  • H. Liu
    • 3
  • C. Zhou
    • 2
  • W. Xu
    • 2
  • H. Zhu
    • 1
  • J. Zhang
    • 1
  • Q. Shi
    • 4
  • H. Y. C. Wong
    • 2
  • J. Chen
    • 2
  • Y. Lu
    • 1
  • Y. Bi
    • 1
  • C. Zhao
    • 1
  • Y. Du
    • 1
  • M. Ma
    • 1
  • Y. Cai
    • 3
  • W. Y. Chen
    • 2
  • K. L. Fok
    • 2
  • L. L. Tsang
    • 2
  • K. Li
    • 4
  • Y. Ni
    • 4
  • Y. W. Chung
    • 2
  • Z. Zhou
    • 1
  • J. Sha
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. C. Chan
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Histology and EmbryologyNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Epithelial Cell Biology Research Center, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  3. 3.College of Animal Science and TechnologyNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Department of Reproductive PhysiologyZhejiang Academy of Medical SciencesHangzhouChina

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