Behaviour of the vitelline envelope in Bufo arenarum oocytes matured in vitro in blockade to polyspermy.

Zygote (Cambridge, England)

PubMedID: 16719945

Oterino J, Sánchez Toranzo G, Zelarayán L, Ajmat MT, Bonilla F, Bühler MI. Behaviour of the vitelline envelope in Bufo arenarum oocytes matured in vitro in blockade to polyspermy. Zygote. 2006;14(2):97-106.
During activation of amphibian eggs, cortical granule exocytosis causes elaborate ultrastructural changes in the vitelline envelope. These changes involve modifications in the structure of the vitelline envelope and formation of a fertilization envelope (FE) that can no longer be penetrated by sperm. In Bufo arenarum, as the egg traverses the oviduct, the vitelline envelope is altered by a trypsin-like protease secreted by the oviduct, which induces an increased susceptibility of the vitelline envelope to sperm lysins. Full-grown oocytes of B. arenarum, matured in vitro by progesterone, are polyspermic, although cortical granule exocytosis seems to occur within a normal chronological sequence. These oocytes can be fertilized with or without trypsin treatment, suggesting that the vitelline envelope is totally sperm-permeable. Vitelline envelopes without trypsin treatment cannot retain either gp90 or gp96. This suggests that these glycoproteins are involved in the block to polyspermy and that trypsin treatment of matured in vitro oocytes before insemination is necessary to enable vitelline envelopes to block polyspermy. The loss of the binding capacity in vitelline envelopes isolated from B. arenarum oocytes matured in vitro with trypsin treatment and activated by electric shock suggests that previous trypsin treatment is a necessary step for sperm block to occur. When in vitro matured oocytes were incubated with the product of cortical granules obtained from in vitro matured oocytes (vCGP), vitelline envelopes with trypsin treatment were able to block sperm entry. These oocytes exhibited the characteristic signs of activation. These results support the idea that B. arenarum oocytes can be activated by external stimuli and suggest the presence of unknown oocyte surface receptors linked to the activation machinery in response to fertilization. Electrophoretic profiles obtained by SDS-PAGE of solubilized vitelline envelopes from oocytes matured in vitro revealed the conversion of gp40 (in vitro matured oocytes, without trypsin treatment) to gp38 (ascribable to trypsin activity or cortical granule product activity, CGP) and the conversion of gp70 to gp68 (ascribable to trypsin activity plus CGP activity). Taking into account that only the vitelline envelopes of in vitro matured oocytes with trypsin treatment and activated can block sperm entry, we may suggest that the conversion of gp70 to gp68 is related to the changes associated with sperm binding.