TMEM95 is a sperm membrane protein essential for mammalian fertilization.

Ismael Lamas-Toranzo, Julieta G Hamze, Enrica Bianchi, Beatriz Fernández-Fuertes, Serafín Pérez-Cerezales, Ricardo Laguna-Barraza, Raúl Fernández-González, Pat Lonergan, Alfonso Gutiérrez-Adán, Gavin J Wright, María Jiménez-Movilla, Pablo Bermejo-Álvarez

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The fusion of gamete membranes during fertilization is an essential process for sexual reproduction. Despite its importance, only three proteins are known to be indispensable for sperm-egg membrane fusion: the sperm proteins IZUMO1 and SPACA6, and the egg protein JUNO. Here we demonstrate that another sperm protein, TMEM95, is necessary for sperm-egg interaction. TMEM95 ablation in mice caused complete male-specific infertility. Sperm lacking this protein were morphologically normal exhibited normal motility, and could penetrate the zona pellucida and bind to the oolemma. However, once bound to the oolemma, TMEM95-deficient sperm were unable to fuse with the egg membrane or penetrate into the ooplasm, and fertilization could only be achieved by mechanical injection of one sperm into the ooplasm, thereby bypassing membrane fusion. These data demonstrate that TMEM95 is essential for mammalian fertilization. © 2020, Lamas-Toranzo et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53913
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2020


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