Identification and functional analysis of an ovarian form of the egg activation factor phospholipase C zeta (PLCζ) in pufferfish

Kevin Coward, Chris P Ponting, Nan Zhang, Claire Young, Chang-Jen Huang, Chih-Ming Chou, Junaid Kashir, Rafael A Fissore, John Parrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Recent studies suggest that egg activation in mammals is triggered by a sperm-specific phospholipase C, PLCzeta. In other vertebrate species such as medaka fish, chickens, and quail, PLCzeta is also expressed as a testis-specific mRNA. Functional studies suggest that PLCzeta plays a similar role as a trigger of egg activation in these species. Here, we report the identification of PLCzeta orthologues in pufferfish species Takifugu rubripes (Fugu) and Tetraodon nigroviridis (Tetraodon). Unexpectedly in these species PLCzeta is expressed not in the testis, but in ovary and brain. Injection of pufferfish PLCzeta copy ribonucleic acid (cRNA) into mouse eggs failed to trigger calcium oscillations, unlike medaka PLCzeta cRNA. Our findings provide the first evidence that PLCzeta may be expressed in the egg, rather than the sperm, in some vertebrate species, and that its mechanism of action and physiologic role at fertilization may differ in different vertebrate species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Calcium
  • Chickens
  • Female
  • Fish Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organ Specificity
  • Ovary
  • Ovum
  • Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C
  • Species Specificity
  • Takifugu


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification and functional analysis of an ovarian form of the egg activation factor phospholipase C zeta (PLCζ) in pufferfish'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this