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FEBS letters

Specific binding of sulphated polymers to ram sperm proacrosin.


PMID 2121521

Abstract

Sulphated polysaccharides and zona pellucida glycoproteins have been shown to bind non-enzymatically to proacrosin, the protein found within the acrosomal vesicle of mammalian spermatozoa. The mechanism of this interaction has been investigated using 125I-fucoidan to probe purified ram sperm proacrosin. Results show that (a) binding of 125I-fucoidan to proacrosin is inhibited only by sulphated polymers and (b) recognition is mediated by poly(sulphate) groups and is largely independent of the composition of the polymer chain. It is suggested that a similar mechanism is responsible for the interaction between proacrosin and zona pellucida glycoproteins during the early stages of fertilization in mammals and this process mediates firm binding of spermatozoa to the egg.