Regulated exocytosis and sequential construction of the extracellular matrix surrounding the sea urchin zygote.
After fertilization most eggs become surrounded by a complex extracellular matrix. This study examines those matrix assembly processes that are triggered by fertilization of the sea urchin egg. The study uses antibodies that identify five different storage compartments in the egg. These compartments release their protein contents in a highly regulated fashion to assemble and modify the extraembryonic layers. The exocytosis sequence begins with a fertilization wave that progresses from the site of sperm entry and elevates the fertilization envelope above a water-filled perivitelline space. The immediate surface of the zygote then becomes covered by a newly secreted hyaline layer. Prior to fertilization some of the antigens are localized to cortical granules. Others are found in "basal laminar vesicles" that are released in a wave beginning at about 30 sec, or roughly at the same time as cortical granule exocytosis. The remaining antigens are exocytosed with a rather precise timing, but with a delay of several to tens of minutes relative to the first wave of exocytosis. "Apical vesicles," so named because antigens from this class are preferentially exocytosed toward the apical cell surface of polarized cells, include antigens that are exocytosed beginning at about 5 min postfertilization. The fourth compartment, named "echinonectin vesicles" release echinonectin, a protein that is deposited to the inner side of the hyaline layer. Surface staining of echinonectin is first detected about 10-15 min following sperm contact. Finally, maternal cadherin, which is stored in yet a fifth distinct compartment, is not detected on the surface until at least 30 min following fertilization. The data are also consistent with the notion that the tightly regulated timing of exocytosis contributes to the ordered assembly of the hyaline layer and elevation of the fertilization envelope. Finally, two of the vesicle classes continue to exocytose after the cells become polarized. In polarized cells apical and basal laminar antigens are trafficked toward opposite sides of the same cell after passing through the same trans-Golgi network-like compartment.
Matese, JC; Black, S; McClay, DR
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