Fertilization Defects in Sperm from Mice Lacking Fertilin β

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Science  18 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5384, pp. 1857-1859
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5384.1857

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Fertilin, a member of the ADAM family, is found on the plasma membrane of mammalian sperm. Sperm from mice lacking fertilin β were shown to be deficient in sperm-egg membrane adhesion, sperm-egg fusion, migration from the uterus into the oviduct, and binding to the egg zona pellucida. Egg activation was unaffected. The results are consistent with a direct role of fertilin in sperm-egg plasma membrane interaction. Fertilin could also have a direct role in sperm-zona binding or oviduct migration; alternatively, the effects on these functions could result from the absence of fertilin activity during spermatogenesis.

  • * Present address: Laboratory of Reproduction and Development of Plants, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, 69364 Lyon, France.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dgmyles{at}

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