Ca2+ signaling during mammalian fertilization: requirements, players, and adaptations.

TitleCa2+ signaling during mammalian fertilization: requirements, players, and adaptations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWakai, T, Vanderheyden, V, Fissore, RA
JournalCold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
Date Published2011 Apr
KeywordsAnimals, Calcium Signaling, Fertilization, Humans, Male, Mammals, Ovum, Spermatozoa
AbstractChanges in the intracellular concentration of calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) represent a vital signaling mechanism enabling communication among cells and between cells and the environment. The initiation of embryo development depends on a [Ca(2+)](i) increase(s) in the egg, which is generally induced during fertilization. The [Ca(2+)](i) increase signals egg activation, which is the first stage in embryo development, and that consist of biochemical and structural changes that transform eggs into zygotes. The spatiotemporal patterns of [Ca(2+)](i) at fertilization show variability, most likely reflecting adaptations to fertilizing conditions and to the duration of embryonic cell cycles. In mammals, the focus of this review, the fertilization [Ca(2+)](i) signal displays unique properties in that it is initiated after gamete fusion by release of a sperm-derived factor and by periodic and extended [Ca(2+)](i) responses. Here, we will discuss the events of egg activation regulated by increases in [Ca(2+)](i), the possible downstream targets that effect these egg activation events, and the property and identity of molecules both in sperm and eggs that underpin the initiation and persistence of the [Ca(2+)](i) responses in these species.
Alternate JournalCold Spring Harb Perspect Biol