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Mol Reprod Dev. 1995 Sep;42(1):106-13.

Formation of the sea urchin male pronucleus in vitro: membrane-independent chromatin decondensation and nuclear envelope-dependent nuclear swelling.

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  • 1Department of Food Science, Agricultural University of Norway, Aas, Norway.

Abstract

We demonstrate that complete sea urchin male pronuclear development in vitro is a two-step process involving membrane-independent chromatin decondensation and nuclear envelope-dependent pronuclear swelling. In the absence of cytoplasmic membrane vesicles (MVs), permeabilized sperm chromatin decondenses into a spherical nucleus of approximately 4 microns in diameter. Pronuclear swelling to approximately 7 microns requires an intact nuclear envelope, and the degree of swelling is limited by the amount of MVs assembled on the chromatin. Furthermore, after a nuclear envelope is formed, swelling can occur in the absence of additional cytoplasmic MVs. Nuclear swelling also requires ATP hydrolysis, Ca2+ and cytosolic factors, some of which are sensitive to heat and to the sulfhydryl alkylating agent, N-ethylmaleimide. The requirement for a nuclear envelope and the rate of pronuclear swelling are consistent with previous in vivo observations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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