Researchers describe, for the first time, the full molecular cascade that comprises acrosomal exocytosis, an essential step in fertilization, in this week's
"Exocytosis has been analyzed before, but the different steps were reconstructed from experiments done in different systems, including yeast and neurons," coauthor Luis Mayorga of the University of Cuyo, in Argentina, told
Acrosomal exocytosis involves the fusion of acrosomal and sperm membranes, and the synchronized opening of hundreds of fusion pores between those membranes, explained Mayorga. As a result, enzymes contained in the acrosomal vesicle exit the cell, enabling the spermatozoon to penetrate the egg.
In the paper, a team led...