Induction of acrosomal exocytosis in chicken spermatozoa by inner perivitelline-derived N-linked glycans

Janet Horrocks, Sarah Stewart, Lynn Jackson, Graham J. Wishart

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    In birds, the ovum is surrounded by a glycoprotein coat known as the inner perivitelline layer (IPVL), which is analogous to the mammalian zona pellucida and, as such, is the site of initial sperm binding and induction of acrosomal exocytosis (the acrosome reaction). In this study, we demonstrate that oligosaccharides isolated from chicken-IPVL glycoproteins are capable of inducing the acrosome reaction in chicken spermatozoa. Preparations containing only O-linked glycans were unable to induce the acrosome reaction whereas N-linked oligosaccharides released from the IPVL by PNGaseF treatment could induce the acrosome reaction. Addition of galactose to terminal N-acetyglucosamine residues suppressed the acrosome reaction-inducing capacity of the oligosaccharide preparation; however, this capacity could be restored by co-incubation with beta-galactosidase. This evidence suggests that the acrosome reaction-inducing factor is probably an N-linked oligosaccharide with terminal N-acetyl-glucosamine residues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)84-89
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2000


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