Localization of cortical granule constituents before and after exocytosis in the hamster egg.
Electrical activation of the hamster egg was used to study cortical granule constituents before and after exocytosis. The activated hamster eggs underwent cortical granule decondensation just prior to and at the time of exocytosis. Some of the cortical granules of aged, unactivated eggs underwent similar changes. FITC- and gold-conjugated Lens culinaris agglutinin (LCA) bound intensely to the surfaces of activated but not unactivated eggs. This labelling was associated with the microvilli. Permeabilized eggs exhibited discrete cortical labelling before activation, with a subsequent decrease following the cortical reaction. Gold-conjugated LCA specifically bound to cortical granules when incubated with thin sections. FITC-soybean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI) bound in discrete foci in the cortex of unactivated eggs. Following activation, cortical labelling by SBTI decreased. Aprotinin and benzamidine hydrochloride inhibited FITC-SBTI from binding to the egg cortex. Gold-avidin localization of biotin-SBTI in the electron microscope demonstrated that condensed cortical granules did not bind SBTI but decondensed or exocytosing granules did. This suggests that a cortical granule protease is exposed just prior to exocytosis. Activated eggs exhibited dramatic decreases in the number of hamster sperm penetrating the cytoplasm, suggesting that a plasma membrane block to polyspermy is temporally related to cortical granule exocytosis.
Cherr, GN; Drobnis, EZ; Katz, DF
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