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Formyl-Met-Leu-Phe Induces Chemotaxis and Acrosomal Enzyme Release in Bull Sperm

Vijayasarathy, S and Shivaji, S and Iqbal, M and Balaram, P (1980) Formyl-Met-Leu-Phe Induces Chemotaxis and Acrosomal Enzyme Release in Bull Sperm. In: FEBS Letters, 115 (2). pp. 178-180.


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The chemical nature of the factors that induce the selective fusion and vesiculation of the outer acrosomal and plasma membranes in sperm cells is yet to be established [1,2]. This process, known as the acrosome reaction, precedes fertilisation of the egg and is accompanied by the release of the degradative enzymes sequestered in the acrosomal vesicle of sperm [l]. The synthetic tripeptide, formyl-Met-Leu-Phe has been shown to induce chemotaxis in rabbit neutrophils [3]. It also causes the release of lysosomal enzymes, a process which must necessarily involve a fusion of the lysosomal and plasma membranes [4]. Functional analogies between lysosomes and the acrosome in sperm have been drawn [5,6]. Here we describe the selective release of bull sperm acrosomal enzymes, induced by formyl-Met-leu-Phe. The specificity of this process is established by the inability of related di- and tripeptide analogs to cause enzyme release. Further, formyl-Met-Leu-Phe is also shown to induce chemotaxis in bull sperm. This observation demonstrates for the first time that low molecular weight peptides may indeed be capable of stimulating release of acrosomal contents, a process closely identified with the acrosome reaction.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: FEBS Letters
Publisher: Elsevier
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Elsevier Science Ltd.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Biophysics Unit
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2005
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:18
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/3033

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