Fertilization is the starting point for creating new progeny. At this time, the highly differentiated oocyte and sperm fuse to form one zygote, which is then converted into a pluripotent early embryo. Recent studies have shown that the lysosomal degradation system via autophagy and endocytosis plays important roles in the remodeling of intracellular components during oocyte-to-embryo transition. For example, in Caenorhabditis elegans, zygotes show high endocytic activity, and some populations of maternal membrane proteins are selectively internalized and delivered to lysosomes for degradation. Furthermore, fertilization triggers selective autophagy of sperm-derived paternal mitochondria, which establishes maternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA. In addition, it has been shown that autophagy via liquid–liquid phase separation results in the selective degradation of some germ granule components, which are distributed to somatic cells of early embryos. This review outlines the physiological functions of the lysosomal degradation system and its molecular mechanisms in C. elegans and mouse embryos.
Introduction of functional groups on polyethylene endows it with a higher surface property and thus various catalysts have been developed for the copolymerization of ethylene with polar vinyl monomers. Aside from vinyl monomers, however, other classes of polar monomers have not found application in the copolymerization with ethylene. Here, in this short review article, our latest studies on catalyst development aiming at the use of non-vinyl polar monomers and the properties of the resulting copolymers are summarized.