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Kinetic and photonic techniques to study chemotactic signaling in sea urchin sperm

Latest updated: May 26, 2020

Hussein Hamzeh, Luis Alvarez, Timo Strunker, Michelina Kierzek, Christoph Brenker, Parker E. Deal, Evan W. Millerc Reinhard Seifert, U. Benjamin Kaupp

Methods Cell Biol. 2019;151:487-517

doi: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2018.12.001



Sperm from sea urchins are attracted by chemical cues released by the egg—a mechanism called chemotaxis. We describe here the signaling pathway and molecular components endowing sperm with single-molecule sensitivity. Chemotactic signaling and behavioral responses occur on a timescale of a few milliseconds to seconds. We describe the techniques and chemical tools used to resolve the signaling events in time. The techniques include rapid-mixing devices, rapid stroboscopic microscopy, and photolysis of caged second messengers and chemoattractants.


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