Fertilization-induced changes in the vitelline envelope of echinoderm and amphibian eggs: Self-assembly of an extracellular matrix

C. Larabell, D. E. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The surface of the unfertilized sea urchin egg is covered by the vitelline layer (VL), a fibrous extracellular matrix that contains receptors for sperm. At fertilization, cortical granule exocytosis releases enzymes and structural proteins that cause the VL to elevate and become remodelled into the mechanically and chemically tough fertilization envelope. This envelope prevents further penetration of sperm and protects the embryo during early development. A thicker, more complex vitelline envelope surrounds the Xenopus laevis egg. This fibrous coat is also restructured at fertilization to produce an impenetrable barrier to sperm. The biochemical steps that occur during self-assembly of these fertilization envelopes are reviewed, and the ultrastructural changes that occur, as seen in platinum replicas of quick-frozen, deep-etched, and rotary-shadowed eggs, are illustrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-318
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Electron Microscopy Technique
Volume17
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

Fingerprint

fertilization
eggs
Amphibians
Fertilization
Self assembly
Eggs
Extracellular Matrix
self assembly
Platinum
envelopes
Enzymes
Proteins
Ovum
Spermatozoa
matrices
Self-Fertilization
Sperm-Ovum Interactions
Sea Urchins
Exocytosis
Xenopus laevis

Keywords

  • Quick freezing
  • Sea urchin egg
  • Xenopus laevis egg

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy

Cite this

Fertilization-induced changes in the vitelline envelope of echinoderm and amphibian eggs : Self-assembly of an extracellular matrix. / Larabell, C.; Chandler, D. E.

In: Journal of Electron Microscopy Technique, Vol. 17, No. 3, 1991, p. 294-318.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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