a1 Department of Life Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.
In the starfish, spermatozoa undergo the acrosome reaction upon encountering the jelly coat of eggs. A highly sulphated glycoprotein in the jelly coat is called acrosome-reaction-inducing substance (ARIS) because it is the key signal molecule to trigger the acrosome reaction. The activity of ARIS is mainly attributed to its sulphate and saccharide residues. The extremely large molecular size and speciesspecific action of ARIS suggest the presence of a specific ARIS receptor on the sperm surface, but no experimental evidence for the receptor has been presented. We therefore measured specific binding of ARIS and its pronase digest (P-ARIS), which retains the full activity of ARIS, to homologous spermatozoa by using fluorescien-isothiocyanate-labelled ARIS and125 I-labelled P-ARIS, respectively. The spermatozoa had the ability to bind ARIS, as well as P-ARIS, specifically. The binding was species-specific, and mostly localised to the head region of spermatozoa. Scatchard plot analysis indicated the presence of one class of ARIS receptor on the surface of acrosome-intact speramatozoa. Furthermore, the specific binding of P-ARIS to the anterior region of sperm heads was microscopically confirmed by using P-ARIS conjugated to polystyrene latex beads with intense fluorescence. It is concluded that starfish spermatozoa have a specific receptor for ARIS on the surface of the anterior region of heads.
c1 Motonori Hoshi, Department of Life Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama 227, Japan. Telephone/Fax: 81-45-923-0368.