SPACA4 paper published in PNAS

24 Sep 2021

It’s been a while in the making, and it’s great to see it finally out in PNAS! In collaboration with Yoshitaka Fujihara and Masahito Ikawa’s lab, we discovered an interesting evolutionary twist in vertebrate fertilization: While we previously identified egg-expressed Bouncer in fish as essential for sperm-egg membrane interaction (Herberg et al., 2018), we report here that its mammalian homolog SPACA4 is expressed in sperm and necessary for zona pellucida penetration. Hence, Bouncer and SPACA4 present a fascinating example of homologous proteins that have evolved different mode of actions to ensure efficient fertilization in vertebrates. Congratulations to all authors, in particular Sarah who started the project, and Andreas and Karin from the Pauli lab as well as Yoshi from the Ikawa lab who took it over and finalized the research!

Link to the