Sperm Surface Domains
Pattern formation during differentiation is a fundamental process in biology. Cell differentiation, which results in dramatic changes in cell surface composition, can also result in the localization of cell surface molecules into ordered domains. Formation of cell surface domains has been demonstrated in a wide variety of cell types. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are making a major impact on the ability to localize and identify surface proteins. Some examples of recent investigations of localized surface molecules using monoclonal antibodies are studies on sperm,1 epithelial cells,2 hepatocytes,3 neurons,4 and muscle cells (Ref. 5; Hochschwender et al., this volume, Chapter 13). In most instances it has not yet been established how these surface domains are created and stabilized. In some cases the biological significance of membrane order is known (e.g., the polarity of certain epithelial cell enzymes), but in other cases the function of localization of cell surface molecules into domains remains a mystery (e.g., sperm). Monoclonal antibodies have great potential as probes for the biological functions and structural basis of membrane order.
KeywordsSperm Cell Surface Domain Sperm Surface Acrosomal Membrane Membrane Order
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