59 巻 (2017) 2-3 号 p. 108-113
Fertilization, the crucial step in sexual reproduction, requires the fusion of haploid sperm and egg to create a genetically distinct offspring. Despite many studies on mammalian fertilization, the molecular mechanisms underlining the membrane fusion remain largely unknown. At present, IZUMO1 on the sperm surface and JUNO on the egg surface are known as the only protein pair essential for fertilization. In this review, we focus on the crystal structures of human IZUMO1, JUNO and IZUMO1-JUNO complex. These structures reveal the molecular mechanism of mammalian gamete recognition, and provide information for development of non-hormonal contraceptive agents.