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Title: Quantitative mapping of zinc fluxes in the mammalian egg reveals the origin of fertilization-induced zinc sparks

Fertilization of a mammalian egg induces a series of ‘zinc sparks’ that are necessary for inducing the egg-to-embryo transition. Despite the importance of these zinc efflux events little is known about their origin. To understand the molecular mechanism of the zinc spark we combined four physical approaches to resolve zinc distributions in single cells: a chemical probe for dynamic live-cell fluorescence imaging and a combination of scanning transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence microscopy, and 3D elemental tomography for high resolution elemental mapping. Here we show that the zinc spark arises from a system of thousands of zinc-loaded vesicles, each of which contains, on average, 106 zinc atoms. These vesicles undergo dynamic movement during oocyte maturation and exocytosis at the time of fertilization. We conclude that the discovery of these vesicles and the demonstration that zinc sparks originate from them provides a quantitative framework for understanding how zinc fluxes regulate cellular processes.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9]
  1. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Chemistry of Life Processes Inst.
  2. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Chemistry of Life Processes Inst.; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center
  3. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). X-ray Science Division
  5. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Chemistry of Life Processes Inst.; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  6. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Chemistry of Life Processes Inst.; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  7. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Chemistry; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  8. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Chemistry of Life Processes Inst.; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Molecular Biosciences
  9. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Chemistry of Life Processes Inst.; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Chemistry; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States). Dept. of Molecular Biosciences
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1248232
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; P01 HD021921; GM38784; U54HD076188; T32GM105
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1755-4330
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
W.M. Keck Foundation; Chicago Biomedical Consortium; National Institutes of Health (NIH); USDOE Office of Science - Office of Basic Energy Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION