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Int J Dev Biol. 2008;52(5-6):503-10. doi: 10.1387/ijdb.082696hf.

Regulating the acrosome reaction.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.


The acrosome reaction is a secretory event that must be completed by the sperm of many animal species prior to fusion with eggs. In mammals, exocytosis in triggered by ZP3, a glycoprotein component of the egg pellucida, following gamete contact. ZP3 promotes a sustained influx of Ca2+ into sperm that is necessary for the acrosome reaction. Here, we discuss the mechanism by which ZP3 generates Ca2+ entry, as well as the upstream events leading to this influx and downstream processes that couple it with exocytosis.

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