Author(s): FraireZamora JJ, Cardullo RA
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Abstract Nematode spermatozoa are highly specialized amoeboid cells that must acquire motility through the extension of a single pseudopod. Despite morphological and molecular differences with flagellated spermatozoa (including a non-actin-based cytoskeleton), nematode sperm must also respond to cues present in the female reproductive tract that render them motile, thereby allowing them to locate and fertilize the egg. The factors that trigger pseudopod extension in vivo are unknown, although current models suggest the activation through proteases acting on the sperm surface resulting in a myriad of biochemical, physiological, and morphological changes. Compelling evidence shows that pseudopod extension is under the regulation of physiological events also observed in other eukaryotic cells (including flagellated sperm) that involve membrane rearrangements in response to extracellular cues that initiate various signal transduction pathways. An integrative approach to the study of nonflagellated spermatozoa will shed light on the identification of unique and conserved processes during fertilization among different taxa. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in Mol Reprod Dev
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science