(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Ceramide disrupts sperm motility and inhibits fertilization in the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus
Student Author(s): Kaestner, Nikolai
Faculty Advisor(s): Epel, David
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1997
Abstract: Sphingolipid signaling cascades play a role in regulating egg maturation and differentiation in a variety of organisms. To determine if a similar mechanism is involved in fertilization, S. purpuratus gamates were treated with cell-permeable ceramide. It was found to reduce sperm motility, decrease sperm-egg binding, and inhibit fertilization. This effect was stereospecific and could not be mimicked by a ceramide analog differing from ceramide by only a double bond. These results suggest a role for ceramide signaling in regulating sea urchin fertilization.