Faculty Research 1990 - 1999

Fetuin inhibits zona pellucida hardening and conversion of ZP2 to ZP2f during spontaneous mouse oocyte maturation in vitro in the absence of serum.

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Animal, Dose-Response-Relationship-Drug, Female, Fetal-Development: de, Glycoproteins: me, Mice, Oocytes: de, me, Oogenesis: de, Serum-Albumin-Bovine: du, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Zona-Pellucida: de, ph

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Biol Reprod 1990 Nov; 43(5):891-7.


HD21970, HD21988, CA02758, +


The zona pellucida of mouse oocytes becomes resistant to chymotrypsin digestion, or "hardened:, when spontaneous maturation occurs in serum-free medium (De Felici and Siracusa, Gam Res 1982; 6:107). The hardened zona pellucida is refractory to sperm penetration, thus preventing fertilization. Conversion of the zona pellucida glycoprotein ZP2 to ZP2f by a protease from precociously released oocyte cortical granules appears to be a major contributory factor of zona pellucida hardening (Ducibella et al., Dev Biol 1990; 137:46). Fetal bovine serum (FBS) prevents zona hardening and the ZP2 to ZP2f conversion during oocyte maturation in vitro (Downs et al., Gam Res 1986; 15:115; Ducibella et al., Dev Biol 1990; 137:46). This study was conducted to determine whether fetuin, a major glycoprotein constituent of FBS and a protease inhibitor, could prevent zona pellucida hardening during murine oocyte maturation in serum-free medium. Commercially available preparations of fetuin purified by three different methods were all active in inhibiting zona pellucida hardening in a concentration-dependent manner. Further chromatographic purification of one of these preparations indicated that the activity preventing zona pellucida hardening was associated specifically with fetuin. Fetuin also inhibited the conversion of ZP2 to ZP2f in a concentration-dependent manner during oocyte maturation in serum-free medium. Moreover, oocytes that matured in serum-free medium containing fetuin could be fertilized and could undergo preimplantation development to the blastocyst stage. These results indicate that fetuin, a component of FBS, inhibits zona pellucida hardening during oocyte maturation, and suggest that fetuin acts by preventing the proteolytic conversion of ZP2 to ZP2f by precociously released cortical granules.