The non-motile sperm of Sicyonia ingentis, mixed with eggs by a spawning female, undergo a primary binding to the vitelline envelope (VE) of the oocyte. Once bound to the VE, sperm undergo exocytosis of the acrosomal vesicle, penetrate the VE, and secondarily bind to a surface coat that is closely associated with the oolemma. Unreacted sperm preincubated with solubilized VE components exhibit diminished binding to VEs in a concentration dependent manner. The ligand responsible for this binding is a carbohydrate moiety in the VE. The ligand preferentially binds to the anterior tip of unreacted sperm, as demonstrated with anti-VE polyclonal antibodies. Acrosome intact sperm will not bind to surface coats; however, acrosome reacted sperm do bind to surface coats via an externalized acrosomal granule.
- cell-cell recognition/egg/fertilization/sperm