Human ZP4 is not sufficient for taxon-specific sperm recognition of the zona pellucida in transgenic mice

Belinda Yauger, Nathan A. Boggs, Jurrien Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The molecular basis of human fertilization remains enigmatic. Mouse models are often used to study sperm-egg recognition, but the mouse zona pellucida surrounding ovulated eggs contains three proteins (ZP1, ZP2, and ZP3) whereas the human zona contains four (ZP1, ZP2, ZP3, and ZP4). Human sperm are fastidious and recognize human but not mouse eggs. Transgenic mouse lines were established to ascertain whether human ZP4 is the sole determinant of human sperm binding. Human ZP4 expressed in transgenic mice had a molecular mass similar to the range of native protein isoforms and was incorporated into the extracellular zona matrix. Transgenic females were fertile with normal litter sizes. Mouse sperm readily recognized transgenic ovulated eggs, but human sperm did not. We conclude that human ZP4 is not sufficient to support human sperm binding to the zona pellucida in transgenic mice and that other zona proteins may be needed for human gamete recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalReproduction
Volume141
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Cell Biology

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