Interaction of calcium and cholesterol sulphate induces membrane destabilization and fusion: implications for the acrosome reaction
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Cholesterol sulphate is a potent stabilizer of membrane bilayer structure in both dielaidoylphosphatidylethanolamine and egg phosphatidylethanolamine model membranes, however, the addition of calcium abolishes this bilayer stabilization. Calcium also induces fusion and leakage of egg phosphatidylethanolamine large unilamellar vesicles containing cholesterol sulphate, but has no effect on fusion or leakage of egg phosphatidylcholine large unilamellar vesicles containing cholesterol sulphate. With egg phosphatidylethanoiamine liposomes, the initial rate, and extent of fusion, at constant calcium concentration, vary inversely with the mol percentage of cholesterol sulphate present in the vesicle membrane. The interaction of calcium and cholesterol sulphate, which causes membrane destabilization and fusion in phosphatidylethanolamine containing model systems, may play a role in the acrosome reaction in human sperm.
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