Ca2+ signaling during mammalian fertilization: requirements, players, and adaptations.

TitleCa2+ signaling during mammalian fertilization: requirements, players, and adaptations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWakai T, Vanderheyden V, Fissore RA
JournalCold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
Volume3
Issue4
Date Published2011 Apr
ISSN1943-0264
KeywordsAnimals, Calcium Signaling, Fertilization, Humans, Male, Mammals, Ovum, Spermatozoa
AbstractChanges in the intracellular concentration of calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) represent a vital signaling mechanism enabling communication among cells and between cells and the environment. The initiation of embryo development depends on a [Ca(2+)](i) increase(s) in the egg, which is generally induced during fertilization. The [Ca(2+)](i) increase signals egg activation, which is the first stage in embryo development, and that consist of biochemical and structural changes that transform eggs into zygotes. The spatiotemporal patterns of [Ca(2+)](i) at fertilization show variability, most likely reflecting adaptations to fertilizing conditions and to the duration of embryonic cell cycles. In mammals, the focus of this review, the fertilization [Ca(2+)](i) signal displays unique properties in that it is initiated after gamete fusion by release of a sperm-derived factor and by periodic and extended [Ca(2+)](i) responses. Here, we will discuss the events of egg activation regulated by increases in [Ca(2+)](i), the possible downstream targets that effect these egg activation events, and the property and identity of molecules both in sperm and eggs that underpin the initiation and persistence of the [Ca(2+)](i) responses in these species.
DOI10.1101/cshperspect.a006767
Alternate JournalCold Spring Harb Perspect Biol
PubMed ID21441584