Transgenic mouse eggs with functional hamster sperm receptors in their zona pellucida

Ross A. Kinloch, Steven Mortillo, Paul M. Wassarman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Sperm receptors are located in the mammalian egg extracellular coat, or zona pellucida. Mouse and hamster sperm receptor glycoproteins, mZP3 (83×103 Mr) and hZP3 (56×10-1 Mr), respectively, have very similar polypeptides (44×103 Mr; 81% identical) that are glycosylated to different extents. Purified mZP3 and hZP3 can bind to mouse sperm, prevent them from binding to eggs and induce them to undergo exocytosis, the acrosome reaction, in vitro. A DNA construct that placed the hZP3 gene under the control of mZP3 gene 5′-flanking sequence was used in this report to produce two mouse lines that harbored the foreign sperm receptor transgene. In both lines, the transgene was expressed only by growing oocytes, at a level comparable to that of the endogenous mZP3 gene, and the developmental pattern of transgene expression resembled that of the mZP3 gene. In addition to mZP3, transgenic mouse oocytes synthesized and secreted a glycoprotein indistinguishable from hZP3, and incorporated both glycoproteins into a mosaic zona pellucida. Importantly, hZP3 purified from such zonae pellucidae exhibited both sperm receptor and acrosome reaction-inducing activities in vitro and, following fertilization of transgenic mouse eggs, was inactivated. These results demonstrate that a biologically active foreign sperm receptor can be synthesized and secreted by transgenic mouse oocytes, assembled into a mosaic zona pellucida, and inactivated following fertilization as part of the secondary block to polyspermy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-946
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Mammalian fertilization
  • Sperm receptor genes
  • Sperm receptor glycoproteins
  • Transgenic mice
  • Zona pellucida


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