The C-terminal region of OVGP1 remodels the zona pellucida and modifies fertility parameters

Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 7:6:32556. doi: 10.1038/srep32556.


OVGP1 is the major non-serum glycoprotein in the oviduct fluid at the time of fertilization and early embryo development. Its activity differs among species. Here, we show that the C-terminal region of recombinant OVGP1 regulates its binding to the extracellular zona pellucida and affects its activity during fertilization. While porcine OVGP1 penetrates two-thirds of the thickness of the zona pellucida, shorter OVGP1 glycoproteins, including rabbit OVGP1, are restricted to the outer one-third of the zona matrix. Deletion of the C-terminal region reduces the ability of the glycoprotein to penetrate through the zona pellucida and prevents OVGP1 endocytosis. This affects the structure of the zona matrix and increases its resistance to protease digestion. However, only full-length porcine OVGP1 is able to increase the efficiency rate of in vitro fertilization. Thus, our findings document that the presence or absence of conserved regions in the C-terminus of OVGP1 modify its association with the zona pellucida that affects matrix structure and renders the zona matrix permissive to sperm penetration and OVGP1 endocytosis into the egg.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocytosis
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Fertilization
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry*
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Oocytes / ultrastructure
  • Protein Binding
  • Proteolysis
  • Rabbits
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sperm-Ovum Interactions
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Swine
  • Zona Pellucida / metabolism*
  • Zona Pellucida / ultrastructure


  • Glycoproteins
  • Recombinant Proteins