Effects of perturbation of cell polarity on molecular markers of sperm- egg binding sites on mouse eggs

Janice Perry Evans, James A. Foster, Beth A. McAvey, George L. Gerton, Gregory S. Kopf, Richard M. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The mouse germinal vesicle (GV)-intact oocyte is a symmetric cell, with the GV centrally localized and with components of the plasma membrane and cortex symmetrically distributed around the periphery of the oocyte. During oocyte maturation, two distinct regions of the egg plasma membrane and cortex develop: the amicrovillar region overlying the meiotic spindle and the microvillar region. The development of this polarity is significant, since sperm bind to and fuse with the microvillar region. We are interested in the development of egg polarity and have characterized the localizations of several markers for egg polarity in normal metaphase II eggs and GV-intact oocytes. The asymmetric distributions of these markers (including actin, cortical granules, binding sites for the sperm proteins fertilin α and fertilin β, and two different β1 integrin epitopes) develop during oocyte maturation in vitro, and this polarity can be perturbed by treatments that disrupt the actin microfilaments or microtubules. In addition, immunoelectron microscopy reveals that binding sites for recombinant fertilin β are specifically localized to the microvillar region, suggesting that the binding sites for this sperm ligand are either specifically localized or activated in this region. These results indicate that structural remodeling of the mouse egg plasma membrane is accompanied by molecular remodeling, resulting in the localization or activation of specific molecules in subdomains of the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-84
Number of pages9
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology


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