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The cortical cytoskeleton and its role in sperm penetration of the mammalian egg

The cortical cytoskeleton and its role in sperm penetration of the mammalian egg

Developmental Biology 142(1): 61-74

ISSN/ISBN: 0012-1606

PMID: 2227102

DOI: 10.1016/0012-1606(90)90151-8

In this study isolated cortical regions of both penetrated and nonpenetrated Syrian hamster eggs were examined in whole mounts and platinum replicas of detergent-extracted cortical patches. Two types of cytoskeletal organization were observed in the egg cortex: Loose networks (LN regions) with integrated localized dense networks (LDN regions). Decoration with heavy meromyosin and labeling with antiactin/protein G gold both indicate that the cortical cytoskeleton consists mainly of a LN of actin microfilaments and several types of nonactin filaments, whereas LDN regions dispersed within the LN were comprised of nonactin filaments. Cortical patches and replicas of eggs incubated with sperm for 10-15 min provide evidence that cortical microfilaments may be intimately associated with penetrating spermatozoa. The results of this investigation provide the first high resolution view of the cortical cytoskeletal domain of a mammalian egg and suggest that actin microfilaments might play a role in sperm penetration of the egg cortex.

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Accession: 001969218

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