A potential fusion peptide and an integrin ligand domain in a protein active in sperm-egg fusion

Nature. 1992 Mar 19;356(6366):248-52. doi: 10.1038/356248a0.


The union of sperm and egg is a special membrane fusion event that gives a signal to begin development. We have hypothesized that proteins mediating cell-cell fusion events resemble viral fusion proteins and have shown that PH-30, a sperm surface protein involved in sperm-egg fusion, shares biochemical characteristics with viral fusion proteins. We report here the complementary DNA and deduced amino-acid sequences of the mature alpha and beta subunits of PH-30. Both are type-I integral membrane glycoproteins. The alpha subunit contains a putative fusion peptide typical of viral fusion proteins and the beta subunit contains a domain related to a family of soluble integrin ligands found in snake venoms. Thus, the PH-30 alpha/beta complex resembles many viral fusion proteins in both its membrane topology and its predicted binding and fusion functions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • ADAM Proteins
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics
  • Female
  • Fertilins
  • Glycosylation
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Integrins / chemistry*
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Metalloendopeptidases*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Protein Conformation
  • Snake Venoms / chemistry
  • Sperm-Ovum Interactions / physiology*
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / chemistry


  • Integrins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Snake Venoms
  • Viral Fusion Proteins
  • DNA
  • ADAM Proteins
  • Fertilins
  • Metalloendopeptidases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Z11719
  • GENBANK/Z11720