Starting a new life: sperm PLC-zeta mobilizes the Ca2+ signal that induces egg activation and embryo development: an essential phospholipase C with implications for male infertility.
ABSTRACT We have discovered that a single sperm protein, phospholipase C-zeta (PLCζ), can stimulate intracellular Ca(2+) signalling in the unfertilized oocyte ('egg') culminating in the initiation of embryonic development. Upon fertilization by a spermatozoon, the earliest observed signalling event in the dormant egg is a large, transient increase in free Ca(2+) concentration. The fertilized egg responds to the intracellular Ca(2+) rise by completing meiosis. In mammalian eggs, the Ca(2+) signal is delivered as a train of long-lasting cytoplasmic Ca(2+) oscillations that begin soon after gamete fusion and persist beyond the completion of meiosis. Sperm PLCζ effects Ca(2+) release from egg intracellular stores by hydrolyzing the membrane lipid PIP(2) and consequent stimulation of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP(3) ) receptor Ca(2+) -signalling pathway, leading to egg activation and early embryogenesis. Recent advances have refined our understanding of how PLCζ induces Ca(2+) oscillations in the egg and also suggest its potential dysfunction as a cause of male infertility.
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ABSTRACT: Data from 42 systems have been assembled in which the overall spatial course of relatively natural, intracellular calcium pulses has been or can be determined. These include 21 cases of solitary pulses in activating eggs and 21 cases of periodic (as well as solitary) pulses in various fully active cells. In all cases, these pulses prove to be waves of elevated calcium that travel from one pole of a cell to the other or from the periphery inward. The velocities of these waves are remarkably conserved--at approximately 10 microns/sec in activating eggs and approximately 25 microns/sec in other cells at room temperature. Moreover, in three cases, the data suffice to show that these velocities fit the Luther equation for a reaction/diffusion wave of calcium through the cytosol. It is proposed that (i) natural intracellular calcium pulses quite generally take the form of cytosolic calcium waves and (ii) cytoplasmically controlled calcium waves are triggered and then propagated by the successive action of two distinct modes of calcium-induced calcium release. First, in the lumenal mode, a slow increase of calcium within the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum reaches a level that triggers fast lumenal release as well as fast localized release into the cytosol. Then, the well-known cytosolic mode drives a reaction/diffusion wave across or into the cell.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/1991; 88(21):9883-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The C2 domain is a Ca(2+)-binding motif of approximately 130 residues in length originally identified in the Ca(2+)-dependent isoforms of protein kinase C. Single and multiple copies of C2 domains have been identified in a growing number of eukaryotic signalling proteins that interact with cellular membranes and mediate a broad array of critical intracellular processes, including membrane trafficking, the generation of lipid-second messengers, activation of GTPases, and the control of protein phosphorylation. As a group, C2 domains display the remarkable property of binding a variety of different ligands and substrates, including Ca2+, phospholipids, inositol polyphosphates, and intracellular proteins. Expanding this functional diversity is the fact that not all proteins containing C2 domains are regulated by Ca2+, suggesting that some C2 domains may play a purely structural role or may have lost the ability to bind Ca2+. The present review summarizes the information currently available regarding the structure and function of the C2 domain and provides a novel sequence alignment of 65 C2 domain primary structures. This alignment predicts that C2 domains form two distinct topological folds, illustrated by the recent crystal structures of C2 domains from synaptotagmin 1 and phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C-delta 1, respectively. The alignment highlights residues that may be critical to the C2 domain fold or required for Ca2+ binding and regulation.Protein Science 01/1997; 5(12):2375-90. · 2.74 Impact Factor
- Journal of Biochemistry 04/2002; 131(3):293-9. · 2.72 Impact Factor