Title: The Acrosomal Matrix.
Authors: Foster, James A; Gerton, George L
Published In Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol, (2016)
Abstract: The acrosome, a single exocytotic vesicle on the head of sperm, has an essential role in fertilization, but the exact mechanisms by which it facilitates sperm-egg interactions remain unresolved. The acrosome contains dozens of secretory proteins that are packaged into the forming structure during spermatogenesis; many of these proteins are localized into specific topographical areas of the acrosome, while others are more diffusely distributed. Acrosomal proteins can also be biochemically classified as components of the acrosomal matrix, a large, relatively insoluble complex, or as soluble proteins. This review focuses on recent findings using genetically modified mice (gene knockouts and transgenic "green acrosome" mice) to study the effects of eliminating acrosomal matrix-associated proteins on sperm structure and function. Some gene knockouts produce infertile phenotypes with obviously missing, specific activities that affect acrosome biogenesis during spermatogenesis or interfere with acrosome function in mature sperm. Mutations that delete some components produce fertile phenotypes with subtler effects that provide useful insights into acrosomal matrix function in fertilization. In general, these studies enable the reassessment of paradigms to explain acrosome formation and function and provide novel, objective insights into the roles of acrosomal matrix proteins in fertilization. The use of genetically engineered mouse models has yielded new mechanistic information that complements recent, important in vivo imaging studies.
PubMed ID: 27194348
MeSH Terms: Acrosome/chemistry; Acrosome/metabolism*; Animals; Female; Fertilization/physiology*; Gene Expression Regulation; Gene Knockout Techniques; Infertility, Male/genetics*; Male; Membrane Fusion; Membrane Proteins/genetics*; Membrane Proteins/metabolism; Mice; Mice, Transgenic; Mutation; Ovum/cytology; Ovum/physiology; Peptide Hydrolases/genetics*; Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism; Sperm Maturation/physiology