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Gene Review

Zan  -  zonadhesin

Mus musculus

Synonyms: Zonadhesin


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High impact information on Zan

  • Zonadhesin was first identified as a sperm-specific protein that bound directly and in a species-specific manner to the zona pellucida surrounding the mammalian egg [1][2].
  • Zonadhesin is a large, mosaic protein comprising multiple cell-adhesion like domains, including MAM, mucin, and tandem VWD domains [2] [3].
  • Characterization of mouse zonadhesin revealed species diversity in the protein's structure [4].
  • Binding activity and ultrastructural localization of zonadhesin support a function in species-specific zona pellucida adhesion during the initial stages of acrosomal exocytosis [5].
  • The mouse zonadhesin gene Zan is flanked by Epo and Ephb4 in a gene-dense isochore on chromosome 5 syntenic to human 7q22 [6].
  • Gene knockout showed zonadhesin mediates zona pellucida adhesion and is essential for species-specificity of the interaction [7].
  • Expression of zonadhesin mRNA is evident only within the testis, and the protein is found exclusively on the apical region of the sperm head [2] [3] [5] [8].
  • The central, high molecular mass region of alpha-tectorin containing the von Willebrand factor type D repeats has homology with zonadhesin, a sperm membrane protein that binds to the zona pellucida [9].
  • Here we analyze the sequence evolution of zonadhesin, a mammalian sperm ligand that binds to the oocyte zona pellucida in a species-specific manner [10].


  1. Species-specific binding of sperm proteins to the extracellular matrix (zona pellucida) of the egg. Hardy, D.M., Garbers, D.L. J. Biol. Chem. (1994) [Pubmed]
  2. A sperm membrane protein that binds in a species-specific manner to the egg extracellular matrix is homologous to von Willebrand factor. Hardy, D.M., Garbers, D.L. J. Biol. Chem. (1995) [Pubmed]
  3. Species diversity in the structure of zonadhesin, a sperm-specific membrane protein containing multiple cell adhesion molecule-like domains. Gao, Z., Garbers, D.L. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. Species diversity in the structure of zonadhesin, a sperm-specific membrane protein containing multiple cell adhesion molecule-like domains. Gao, Z., Garbers, D.L. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  5. Processing, localization and binding activity of zonadhesin suggest a function in sperm adhesion to the zona pellucida during exocytosis of the acrosome. Bi, M., Hickox, J.R., Winfrey, V.P., Olson, G.E., Hardy, D.M. Biochem. J. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Comparative analysis of the gene-dense ACHE/TFR2 region on human chromosome 7q22 with the orthologous region on mouse chromosome 5. Wilson, M.D., Riemer, C., Martindale, D.W., Schnupf, P., Boright, A.P., Cheung, T.L., Hardy, D.M., Schwartz, S., Scherer, S.W., Tsui, L.C., Miller, W., Koop, B.F. Nucleic. Acids. Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
  7. Zonadhesin is essential for species specificity of sperm adhesion to the egg zona pellucida. Tardif, S., Wilson, M.D., Wagner, R., Hunt, P., Gertsenstein, M., Nagy, A., Lobe, C., Koop, B.F., Hardy, D.M. J. Biol. Chem. (2010) [Pubmed]
  8. Zonadhesin assembly into the hamster sperm acrosomal matrix occurs by distinct targeting strategies during spermiogenesis and maturation in the epididymis. Olson, G.E., Winfrey, V.P., Bi, M., Hardy, D.M., NagDas, S.K. Biol. Reprod. (2004) [Pubmed]
  9. The mouse tectorins. Modular matrix proteins of the inner ear homologous to components of the sperm-egg adhesion system. Legan, P.K., Rau, A., Keen, J.N., Richardson, G.P. J. Biol. Chem. (1997) [Pubmed]
  10. Tandem repetitive d domains of the sperm ligand zonadhesin evolve faster in the paralogue than in the orthologue comparison. Herlyn, H., Zischler, H. J. Mol. Evol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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