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J Exp Zool. 1975 Nov;194(2):429-37.

Hydrolysis of the hen egg vitelline membrane by cock sperm acrosin and other enzymes.


A technique utilizing Pregnant Mare's Serum Gonadotropin and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin treatment of hens (Gallus domesticus), followed by manual ovulation of the excised follicles, was developed to obtain a large number of mature ova. The intact ova were used to test whether acrosin, partially purified from the spermatozoa of the cock (Gallus domesticus), partially purified rabbit testicular acrosin and commercial preparations of several hydrolytic enzymes could dissolve the inner vitelline membrane. Enzymes were applied to pieces of filter paper placed on the ovum. Cock acrosin and endopeptidases such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, collagenase and elastase hydrolyzed the membrane whereas exopeptidases such as leucine aminopeptidase and carboxypeptidase A did not. Phospholipase A, sulfatase, hyaluronidase, beta-glucuronidase and rabbit testicular acrosin also failed to hydrolyze the membrane. Cock acrosin hydrolysis of the ovum surface was inhibited by soybean trypsin inhibitor. The surface of the ovum over the germinal disc region was hydrolyzed more quickly by cock acrosin than the surface over other regions of the ovum. Acrosin from cock sperm caused the release of trichloroacetic acid soluble material absorbing at 280 nm from sonicated preparations of inner vitelline membranes. Hydrolysis was greatest at pH 8.0 and was inhibited by soybean trypsin inhibitor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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