IMR Press / FBL / Volume 12 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/2050

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Sperm phospholipases and acrosomal exocytosis
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1 Reproductive Ecology and Biology Group, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), c/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 - Madrid, Spain
2 Zhejiang Academy of Medical Science, 310013 Hangzhou, People's Republic of China
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2007, 12(1), 89–104;
Published: 1 January 2007

At the time of fertilization, the sperm cell undergoes regulated exocytosis in response to the oocyte-associated agonists progesterone and zona pellucida. An early response generated by agonist-receptor interaction in spermatozoa is the activation of mechanisms leading to Ca2+ influx, this ion being essential for the activation of phospholipases and for the fusion of the plasma membrane with the outer acrosomal membrane. Both a phosphoinositide-specific, and a phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C are involved in the generation of a variety of diacylglycerol molecular species. Phospholipase D, on the other hand, does not seem to play a significant role in the generation of diacylglycerol. Hydrolysis of phospholipids by phospholipase A2 generates free fatty acids and lysophospholipids; these are important either as substrates for the generation of other metabolites (e.g., eicosanoids) or having a direct, essential action in the final stages of membrane fusion. There is still much work to be done in the future in order to characterize phospholipase isozymes and their regulation during acrosomal exocytosis in spermatozoa.

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