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Cell. 1985 May;41(1):313-24.

O-linked oligosaccharides of mouse egg ZP3 account for its sperm receptor activity.


Previously, we reported that ZP3, one of three different glycoproteins present in the mouse egg's zona pellucida, serves as a sperm receptor. Furthermore, small glycopeptides derived from egg ZP3 retain full sperm receptor activity, suggesting a role for carbohydrate, rather than polypeptide chain in receptor function. Here, we report that removal of O-linked oligosaccharides from ZP3 destroys its sperm receptor activity, whereas removal of N-linked oligosaccharides has no effect. A specific size class of O-linked oligosaccharides, recovered following mild alkaline hydrolysis and reduction of ZP3, is shown to possess sperm receptor activity and to bind to sperm. The results presented strongly suggest that mouse sperm bind to eggs via O-linked oligosaccharides present on ZP3.

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