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 imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Mammalian fertilization that culminates by fusion of the male and female gametes is intricately regulated within the female reproductive tract. To become competent to fertilize an egg, the mammalian spermatozoa that enter the female reproductive tract must undergo a series of physiological changes, including hyperactivation, and capacitation. For reaching full competency, the acrosome, a specialized membrane-bound organelle that covers the anterior part of the sperm head, must undergo an acrosome reaction. For becoming competent to bind an ovum, and to penetrate the zona pellucida and cumulus, many sperm proteins are released in the course of the acrosome reaction. Ultimately, the acrosome binds to the oolemma and fusion of sperm and egg occurs. In this review, we outline current understanding of the roles and effects of some essential sperm proteins and their functions during fertilization in the female reproductive tract.