The zona pellucida-initiated acrosome reaction: Defect due to mutations in the sperm glycine receptor/C1- channel

Yoko Sato, Jung Ho Son, Richard P Tucker, Stanley Meizel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The mammalian sperm acrosome reaction (AR) is essential to fertilization, and the egg zona pellucida (ZP) is generally believed to be an in vivo initiator of the fertilizing sperm AR. Previously a neuronal glycine receptor/Cl- channel (GlyR) was detected on the plasma membrane of mammalian sperm and earlier pharmacological studies suggested that this receptor/channel is important to the ZP-initiated AR. Here, sperm from mice with mutations in the neuronal GlyR α or β subunits (spasmodic and spastic) were shown to be deficient in their ability to undergo the AR initiated in vitro by glycine or by solubilized ZP from mouse eggs. However, both spontaneous and calcium ionophore (A23187)-initiated AR were unaffected. The ZP-initiated AR in wild-type sperm was maximal after 2 h of capacitation, but capacitation of sperm from spasmodic mice for up to 3 h did not result in significant ZP-initiated AR. Similar results were observed when sperm from wild-type and spastic mice were compared. Testis from mice with the β subunit mutation contained truncated β subunit mRNAs. Moreover, a monoclonal antibody against GlyR completely blocked ZP initiation of AR in normal mouse sperm. Our results are consistent with an essential role for the sperm GlyR in the ZP-initiated AR. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2000


  • Acrosome reaction
  • Glycine receptor/Cl channel
  • Hyperekplexia
  • Spasmodic mouse
  • Spastic mouse
  • Zona pellucida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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