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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Two major acrosomal proteins act on different parts of the oocyte vitelline coat in the abalone, Haliotis discus.

Two proteins of molecular weights 20,000 (20K) and 15,500 (15.5K) are the major soluble substances released from the acrosomal vesicle of the abalone, Haliotis discus, spermatozoon. A crude preparation of them has been shown to possess lytic activity on the oocyte vitelline coat (VC). To elucidate the role(s) of each acrosomal protein (AP) in VC lysis, oocytes were examined after treatment with various AP preparations. The VC, which is about 1 micron thick, is composed of thin outer and inner electron-dense layers and a thick main layer of a fine filamentous feltwork. When oocytes were treated with a crude preparation containing both APs, the outer layer disappeared and the feltwork of the main layer loosened extensively. A preparation containing predominantly the 20K AP dissolved the outer layer completely and the main layer to some extent, whereas another preparation containing predominantly the 15.5K AP caused loosening of the main layer without alteration of the outer layer, suggesting that the 20K AP acts on the outer layer, whereas the 15.5K AP acts on the main layer. However, when purified, each AP by itself failed to dissolve the VC, although lysis occurred in a 1:1 mixture of these preparations. Moreover, when the oocytes were pretreated with the 20K AP and thoroughly washed, the 15.5K AP alone could induce lysis. These results suggest that the lysis of the outer layer requires both APs but not simultaneously. The 15.5K AP, which is located posteriorly in the acrosomal vesicle, must be released to act on the VC following the action of the 20K AP.[1]


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