Allurin, a 21 kD sperm chemoattractant, is rapidly released from the outermost jelly layer of the Xenopus egg by diffusion and medium convection

Xueyu Xiang, Andrew Kittelson, John Olson, Allan Bieber, Douglas Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Allurin, a 21 kD protein from Xenopus laevis egg jelly, has been demonstrated to attract sperm by video microscopy and by quantitative chemotaxis chamber assays. Here, we use immunocytochemistry to demonstrate that this sperm chemoattractant is located in the outermost layer of egg jelly (J3) and is rapidly released into the surrounding medium. SDS-PAGE analysis and Western blotting confirm the appearance of allurin in the medium within 1.5 min and separation of proteins in the medium by anion exchange FPLC, shows that nearly half of the allurin released over a 12-hr period is discharged in the first 5 min. The kinetics of allurin release from J3 and its appearance in the medium were quantitatively accounted for, by computer simulation of mathematical diffusion and convection models. Comparison of simulation data to quantitative measurements of allurin appearance in the medium suggests that allurin, although larger than most chemoattractants, is effectively dispersed by a combination of diffusion and medium mixing at the jelly surface during spawning. Our model further predicts that the innermost jelly layer, J1, is less permeable to allurin than the other layers, allowing it to act as a "reflector" to speed up allurin discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-360
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular reproduction and development
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005

Keywords

  • Computer simulation
  • Cysteine-rich proteins
  • Egg jelly
  • Fertilization
  • Sperm chemotaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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