Protein & Cell

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 92–98 | Cite as

Acrosome reaction in the cumulus oophorus revisited: involvement of a novel sperm-released factor NYD-SP8

  • Ting Ting Sun
  • Chin Man Chung
  • Hsiao Chang ChanEmail author


Fertilization is a process involving multiple steps that lead to the final fusion of one sperm and the oocyte to form the zygote. One of the steps, acrosome reaction (AR), is an exocytosis process, during which the outer acrosome membrane fuses with the inner sperm membrane, leading to the release of acrosome enzymes that facilitate sperm penetration of the egg investments. Though AR has been investigated for decades, the initial steps of AR in vivo, however, remain largely unknown. A well elucidated model holds the view that AR occurs on the surface of the zona pellucida (ZP), which is triggered by binding of sperm with one of the ZP glycosylated protein, ZP3. However, this model fails to explain the large number of ‘falsely’ acrosome-reacted sperms found within the cumulus layer in many species examined. With the emerging evidence of cross-talk between sperm and cumulus cells, the potential significance of AR in the cumulus oophorus, the outer layer of the egg, has been gradually revealed. Here we review the acrosome status within the cumulus layer, the cross-talk between sperm and cumulus cells with the involvement of a novel spermreleased factor, NYD-SP8, and re-evaluate the importance and physiological significance of the AR in the cumulus in fertilization.


sperm acrosome reaction cumulus NYP-SP8 progesterone 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ting Ting Sun
    • 1
  • Chin Man Chung
    • 1
  • Hsiao Chang Chan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Epithelial Cell Biology Research Center, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of MedicineThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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