Research Topic

Cytoskeletal Structure and Dynamics in Fertilization and Early Development

About this Research Topic

Ever since antiquity, many theories have been proposed by philosophers and naturalists to explain the process of conception, the beginning of a new life. However, the observation that the fertilization process derives from the union of the pronuclei of a sperm and an egg was not known until the experimental works of the embryologists in the 19th century. In 1876, by using sea urchin eggs as an animal model, Oscar Hertwig demonstrated that this union was the essential prerequisite to the process of cleavage of the zygote. Later studies disputed this conclusion by showing that non-nucleated fragments from unfertilized eggs of sea urchin, starfish, and worm could develop normally after the addition of sperm (merogony). That the fertilization process may not be indispensable for development was also supported by Jacq Loeb’s discovery concerning artificial parthenogenesis in which unfertilized sea urchin eggs without sperm were made to develop into a living organism by treatments such as alkaline solutions, ultra-violet rays, and mechanical shock. Thus, the evidence that stimulation of the eggs alone was able to induce development brought Ernest Everett Just (1939) to state that “the egg-cell like many another living cell-nerve or muscle, for example- possesses independent irritability. It has full capacity for development. Neither spermatozoa nor experimental means furnish the egg with one.”


Recent results using modern imaging technology have provided evidence that F-actin dependent egg’s surface changes at fertilization are correlated with the quality of the fertilizable eggs. The ability of the egg to appropriately respond to the fertilizing sperm and sustain subsequent cell divisions is acquired during the maturation process of the oocyte, which is reflected in the structural changes of the egg surface and cortex. The fertilization process in the egg comprises a series of spatiotemporal events such as ionic fluxes, intracellular calcium release, separation of the vitelline layer from the plasma membrane in marine organisms or modification of the zona pellucida in vertebrates, sperm incorporation, the coming together of the egg and sperm pronuclei, and the formation of the cleavage-spindle. Recent results have indicated that exquisite regulation of the actin cytoskeleton is critical for oocyte maturation, fertilization, and cleavages in animal species.


In this Research Topic, we invite review and original research articles that address the dynamic roles played by actin and other cytoskeletal elements during (but not limited to):
- oocyte maturation
- sperm functioning
- gamete interaction
- fertilization
- cleavage.


We welcome articles describing basic research, translational research, and clinical studies on the given topic.


Keywords: Actin, tubulin, intermediate filaments, egg activation, sperm incorporation, cleavage


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Ever since antiquity, many theories have been proposed by philosophers and naturalists to explain the process of conception, the beginning of a new life. However, the observation that the fertilization process derives from the union of the pronuclei of a sperm and an egg was not known until the experimental works of the embryologists in the 19th century. In 1876, by using sea urchin eggs as an animal model, Oscar Hertwig demonstrated that this union was the essential prerequisite to the process of cleavage of the zygote. Later studies disputed this conclusion by showing that non-nucleated fragments from unfertilized eggs of sea urchin, starfish, and worm could develop normally after the addition of sperm (merogony). That the fertilization process may not be indispensable for development was also supported by Jacq Loeb’s discovery concerning artificial parthenogenesis in which unfertilized sea urchin eggs without sperm were made to develop into a living organism by treatments such as alkaline solutions, ultra-violet rays, and mechanical shock. Thus, the evidence that stimulation of the eggs alone was able to induce development brought Ernest Everett Just (1939) to state that “the egg-cell like many another living cell-nerve or muscle, for example- possesses independent irritability. It has full capacity for development. Neither spermatozoa nor experimental means furnish the egg with one.”


Recent results using modern imaging technology have provided evidence that F-actin dependent egg’s surface changes at fertilization are correlated with the quality of the fertilizable eggs. The ability of the egg to appropriately respond to the fertilizing sperm and sustain subsequent cell divisions is acquired during the maturation process of the oocyte, which is reflected in the structural changes of the egg surface and cortex. The fertilization process in the egg comprises a series of spatiotemporal events such as ionic fluxes, intracellular calcium release, separation of the vitelline layer from the plasma membrane in marine organisms or modification of the zona pellucida in vertebrates, sperm incorporation, the coming together of the egg and sperm pronuclei, and the formation of the cleavage-spindle. Recent results have indicated that exquisite regulation of the actin cytoskeleton is critical for oocyte maturation, fertilization, and cleavages in animal species.


In this Research Topic, we invite review and original research articles that address the dynamic roles played by actin and other cytoskeletal elements during (but not limited to):
- oocyte maturation
- sperm functioning
- gamete interaction
- fertilization
- cleavage.


We welcome articles describing basic research, translational research, and clinical studies on the given topic.


Keywords: Actin, tubulin, intermediate filaments, egg activation, sperm incorporation, cleavage


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

01 November 2021 Abstract
01 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

01 November 2021 Abstract
01 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..
Loading..

total views article views article downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..