Could multiple low-affinity bonds mediate primary sperm-zona pellucida binding?

Philip E. Castle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The current model for primary sperm binding to the zona pellucida is that a cell-surface sperm protein binds with high affinity in an order-specific manner to one of the zona pellucida proteins, ZP3. However, the molecular details of primary sperm-zona pellucida binding remain elusive. A possible revised model is that multiple low-affinity bonds between spermatozoa and the zona pellucida may be sufficient for primary binding. The avidity of several low-affinity bonds can exceed that of a single high-affinity bond, which is sufficient to tether a motile spermatozoon. A mechanism involving multiple low-affinity bonds could account for some of the difficulties in elucidating primary sperm-zona pellucida interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-32
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Cell Biology


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