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Starting a new life: Sperm PLC-zeta mobilizes the Ca2+ signal that induces egg activation and embryo development

Nomikos, Michail, Swann, Karl and Lai, Francis Anthony 2011. Starting a new life: Sperm PLC-zeta mobilizes the Ca2+ signal that induces egg activation and embryo development. BioEssays 34 (2) , pp. 126-134. 10.1002/bies.201100127

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Abstract

We have discovered that a single sperm protein, phospholipase C-zeta (PLCζ), can stimulate intracellular Ca(2+) signalling in the unfertilized oocyte ('egg') culminating in the initiation of embryonic development. Upon fertilization by a spermatozoon, the earliest observed signalling event in the dormant egg is a large, transient increase in free Ca(2+) concentration. The fertilized egg responds to the intracellular Ca(2+) rise by completing meiosis. In mammalian eggs, the Ca(2+) signal is delivered as a train of long-lasting cytoplasmic Ca(2+) oscillations that begin soon after gamete fusion and persist beyond the completion of meiosis. Sperm PLCζ effects Ca(2+) release from egg intracellular stores by hydrolyzing the membrane lipid PIP(2) and consequent stimulation of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP(3) ) receptor Ca(2+) -signalling pathway, leading to egg activation and early embryogenesis. Recent advances have refined our understanding of how PLCζ induces Ca(2+) oscillations in the egg and also suggest its potential dysfunction as a cause of male infertility.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Uncontrolled Keywords: calcium signalling; fertilization; oocyte activation; phospholipase C; sperm
Additional Information: Review Essays
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0265-9247
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 11:36
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/22233

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