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EFFECT OF PROTEOLYTIC ENZYMES ON THE ULTRASTRUCTURE OF ANTIBODY-TREATED SEA URCHIN EGGS

Authors
Journal
The Journal of Cell Biology
0021-9525
Publisher
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Brief Notes
  • Article
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

481.tif EFFECT OF PROTEOLYT IC ENZYMES ON THE ULTRASTRUCTURE OF ANT IBODY-TREATED SEA URCHIN EGGS CHARLES B. METZ, M. VIRGINIA CONE, and JEANNE BRYANT. From the Institute of Molecular Evolution, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida 33134 Immunofertilization studies have shown that anti- sera have a number of effects on sea urchin eggs. These include morphological alterations (Perl- mann, 1954; Tyler and Brookbank, 1956) and inhibition of the fertilizability of the treated eggs (Perlmann, 1954, 1959). An unusually interesting feature of the action of antibody on the fertilizing capacity of the eggs is the dependence on the bivalent character of the antibody. Treatment of the eggs with univalent antibody prepared by papain digestion has no effect on fertilizability (Metz and Thompson, 1967; Graziano and Metz, 1967). The failure of univalent antibody to inhibit the fertilizability of eggs is interpreted to mean that there are no essential fertilization antigens at or near the egg surface, at least in the sense of anti- genic combining sites that must be free to function in initial stages of fertilization. Inhibition of /ertilization by bivalent antibody must then depend upon secondary or tertiary effects asso- ciated with the capacity of bivalent antibody to cross-link neighboring antigens. It then becomes of interest to determine what such secondary factors might be. One possibility (Baxandall, 1966) is that the 0.1 # thick surface layer of elec- tron-opaque material reported by Baxandall et al. (1964) in electron micrographs of bivalent antibody-treated eggs is a barrier to sperm-egg interaction. This view is consistent with the fact that the layer is not found on univalent antibody- treated eggs (Metz et al., 1967; Metz, 1968). Finally, bivalent antibody-treated eggs recover fertitizability when posttreated with proteolytic enzymes (Metz and Thompson, 1967; Graziano and Metz, 1967). In the present study such eggs were examined with th

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