Physiological inducers of the acrosome reaction

Motonori Hoshi, Taei Matsui, Ichiro Nishiyama, Toshikazu Amano, Yoshihito Okita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews recent studies on physiological inducers of the acrosome reaction in starfish. Upon encountering the jelly coat of eggs, starfish sperm undergo the acrosome reaction in response to a cooperation of three jelly components: a sulfated glycoprotein named acrosome reaction-inducing substance (ARIS), a group of steroidal saponins named Co-ARIS, and an oligopeptide presumably having an activity to increase the intracellular pH of sperm. ARIS induces the acrosome reaction in high Ca2+ or high pH sea water. In normal sea water, both ARIS and Co-ARIS are required for the induction. In addition to ARIS and Co-ARIS, a third jelly component, the oligopeptide, is necessary to mimic the full capacity of the jelly coat to induce the acrosome reaction. ARIS and Co-ARIS cooperatively increase the intracellular Ca2+ by stimulating Ca2+ channels, while the oligopeptide increases the intracellular pH by stimulating Na+/H+ exchange systems. When sperm meet the eggs, both changes are simultaneously achieved in them and thus they undergo the acrosome reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalCell Differentiation and Development
Issue numberSUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 11-1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Biology


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