Signaling through protein kinases during egg activation

Efrat Eliyahu, Anat Talmor-Cohen, Ruth Shalgi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following penetration of the zona pellucida, the mammalian spermatozoon binds and fuses with the egg plasma membrane, thereby fertilizing the egg that is still arrested at the second metaphase. Fertilization initiates in the egg a sequence of events referred to as 'egg activation'. An initial increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) appears to be the very early cellular event observed which leads to the cortical granules exocytosis and resumption of meiosis. Various treatments can induce parthenogenetic activation mimicking at least part of the fertilization events. Similar to somatic cells, studies in mammalian eggs suggest that signal transduction pathways mediate egg activation. The initial increase in [Ca2+]i appears to be critical for egg activation. However, other messengers such as protein kinase C (PKC) and protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs), were suggested as possible inducers of some aspects of egg activation. In the present work, studies concerning the involvement of protein kinases during egg activation in our laboratory and in others are summarized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Activation
  • Egg
  • Mammals
  • Signal transduction


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