Mouse oviduct-specific glycoprotein is an egg-associated ZP3-independent sperm-adhesion ligand

J Cell Sci. 2009 Nov 1;122(Pt 21):3894-906. doi: 10.1242/jcs.058776. Epub 2009 Oct 6.


Mouse sperm-egg binding requires a multiplicity of receptor-ligand interactions, including an oviduct-derived, high molecular weight, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)-binding glycoprotein that associates with the egg coat at ovulation. Herein, we report the purification and identification of this sperm-binding ligand. WGA-binding, high molecular weight glycoproteins isolated from hormonally primed mouse oviduct lysates competitively inhibit sperm-egg binding in vitro. Within this heterogeneous glycoprotein preparation, a distinct 220 kDa protein selectively binds to sperm surfaces, and was identified by sequence analysis as oviduct-specific glycoprotein (OGP). The sperm-binding activity of OGP was confirmed by the loss of sperm-binding following immunodepletion of OGP from oviduct lysates, and by the ability of both immunoprecipitated OGP and natively purified OGP to competitively inhibit sperm-egg binding. As expected, OGP is expressed by the secretory cells of the fimbriae and infundibulum; however, in contrast to previous reports, OGP is also associated with both the zona pellucida and the perivitelline space of mouse oocytes. Western blot analysis and lectin affinity chromatography demonstrate that whereas the bulk of OGP remains soluble in the ampullar fluid, distinct glycoforms associate with the cumulus matrix, zona pellucida and perivitelline space. The sperm-binding activity of OGP is carbohydrate-dependent and restricted to a relatively minor peanut agglutinin (PNA)-binding glycoform that preferentially associates with the sperm surface, zona pellucida and perivitelline space, relative to other more abundant glycoforms. Finally, pretreatment of two-cell embryos, which do not normally bind sperm, with PNA-binding OGP stimulates sperm binding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Egg Proteins / genetics
  • Egg Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Glycoproteins / isolation & purification
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Oviducts / chemistry
  • Oviducts / metabolism*
  • Ovum / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism*
  • Zona Pellucida Glycoproteins


  • Egg Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Zona Pellucida Glycoproteins
  • Zp3 protein, mouse