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Cell Differ Dev 1990 Jan 01;291:1-12. doi: 10.1016/0922-3371(90)90019-s.
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The initiation of development at fertilization.

Epel D .

As seen, important advances have now been made in understanding the beginning of development at fertilization. Free calcium and pHi level changes result from a sperm-mediated breakdown of PPI with production of IP3. The resultant calcium increase, either alone or in concert with diacylglycerol, activates the Na(+)-H+ exchange and a consequent cytosolic pHi level increase. The calcium increase is responsible for the NADP change (via NAD kinase) and possibly the change in G6PD. These two changes could be involved solely in producing NADPH for fertilization membrane hardening or these changes could also have some role in the later initiation of DNA synthesis. The finding that other enzymes assayed in permeabilized cells also evince large changes in activity suggests that a global change may be occurring with important portents for cell activity. The role of calcium in furthering subsequent synthetic events, however, is unclear since no calcium target has yet been described that is necessary for the subsequent specific synthesis of proteins, as cyclins, or for the initiation of DNA synthesis. The pHi level increase, in concert with increased calcium, might be sufficient to start off protein synthesis and subsequent cyclin accumulation. However, the pHi level increase, independently of protein synthesis, can initiate new DNA synthesis. These independent events converge in the putative activation of MPF by cyclin, which then starts off the first mitotic cycle. Other independent events are associated with the sperm entry, cortical modifications, fertilization membrane elevation and the numerous changes leading to the fusion of the sperm and egg nucleus in the egg center. Fertilization represents one of the best studied examples of how a covert developmental program is made overt by an external messenger. The challenges for the near future are to explain how sperm-egg contact leads to PPI hydrolysis and how pHi level changes (and Cai level changes?) lead to the initiation of the cell cycle. The challenge for the distant future is describing how this program is set up during oogenesis.

PubMed ID: 2154300
Article link: Cell Differ Dev

Genes referenced: g6pd LOC115919910 LOC115925415 LOC583082 LOC593358 nadk