A significant insight in mammalian fertilization was obtained. (Ikawa-Lab in Nature Communications)

July 15, 2016


Drs Ikawa and Satouh et al. have figured out a molecular mechanism of the interaction between mouse egg (JUNO protein) and sperm (IZUMO1 protein). This is a collaborative project with researchers from Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo.
The cellular fusion of sperm and egg is the critical step in mammalian fertilization, and requires the interaction between IZUMO1 on the sperm plasma membrane and JUNO on the egg plasma membrane. In this study, the crystal structure of mouse JUNO protein was solved at 2.3 Å resolution. And, as a result of the structure-based prediction of interactive surface to IZUMO1 protein and the novel complementation assay using JUNO deleted eggs supplemented with mutated JUNOs, the essential region of JUNO protein for the interaction with IZUMO1 protein was determined. The result presented in this study provide a framework toward an understanding of the mechanism of mammalian fertilization.
The article was electrically published in Nature Communications on July 15, 2016.

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Press Release (PDF, Japanese)

Nat Commun web site

Dept of Experimental Genome Research (Ikawa Lab)