Fertilization in mouse does not require terminal galactose or N-acetylglucosamine on the zona pellucida glycans.
Williams SA., Xia L., Cummings RD., McEver RP., Stanley P.
Fertilization in mammals requires sperm to bind to the zona pellucida (ZP) that surrounds the egg. Galactose (Gal) or N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residues on the glycans of ZP protein 3 (ZP3) have been implicated as mouse sperm receptors. However, Mgat1(-/-) eggs with modified N-glycans lacking terminal Gal and GlcNAc residues are fertilized. To determine if Gal and GlcNAc on O-glycans of the ZP are required for fertilization, a conditional allele of the T-synthase gene (T-syn(F)) was generated. T-syn encodes core 1 beta1,3-galactosyltransferase 1 (T-synthase), which initiates the synthesis of core-1-derived O-glycans, the only O-glycans on mouse ZP3. T-syn(F/F):ZP3Cre females in which T-syn(F) was deleted at the beginning of oogenesis generated eggs lacking core-1-derived O-glycans. Nevertheless, T-syn(F/F):ZP3Cre females were fertile and their eggs bound sperm similarly to controls. In addition, T-syn(-/-) embryos generated from T-syn null eggs developed until approximately E12.5. Thus, core-1-derived O-glycans are not required for blastogenesis, implantation, or development prior to midgestation. Moreover, T-syn(-/-)Mgat1(-/-) eggs lacking complex and hybrid N-glycans as well as core-1-derived O-glycans were fertilized. The combined data show that mouse ZP3 does not require terminal Gal or GlcNAc on either N- or O-glycans for fertilization.