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Zona pellucida glycoprotein 3 (sperm receptor)
Zp3 structure pdb 3nk3.png
Crystal structure of full-length ZP3[1]
Available structures
PDB Ortholog search: PDBe, RCSB
Symbols ZP3 ; ZP3A; ZP3B; ZPC; Zp-3
External IDs OMIM182889 MGI99215 HomoloGene5178 GeneCards: ZP3 Gene
Species Human Mouse
Entrez 7784 22788
Ensembl ENSG00000188372 ENSMUSG00000004948
UniProt P21754 P10761
RefSeq (mRNA) NM_001110354 NM_011776
RefSeq (protein) NP_001103824 NP_035906
Location (UCSC) Chr 7:
76.4 – 76.44 Mb
Chr 5:
135.98 – 135.99 Mb
PubMed search [1] [2]

Zona pellucida sperm-binding protein 3, also known as zona pellucida glycoprotein 3 (Zp-3) or the sperm receptor, is a protein that in humans is encoded by the ZP3 gene.[2][3] ZP3 is the receptor in the zona pellucida which binds sperm at the beginning of fertilization.


The zona pellucida (ZP) is a specialized extracellular matrix that surrounds the oocyte and early embryo. It is composed of three or four glycoproteins (ZP1-4) with various functions during oogenesis, fertilization and preimplantation development. The protein encoded by this gene is a major structural component of the ZP and functions in primary binding and simulation of the sperm acrosome reaction. The nascent protein contains a N-terminal signal peptide sequence, a conserved ZP domain, a consensus furin cleavage site (CFCS), a polymerization-blocking external hydrophobic patch (EHP), and a C-terminal transmembrane domain. Cleavage at the CFCS separates the mature protein from the EHP, allowing it to incorporate into nascent ZP filaments. A variation in the last exon of this gene has previously served as the basis for an additional ZP3 locus; however, sequence and literature review reveals that there is only one full-length ZP3 locus in the human genome. Another locus encoding a bipartite transcript designated POMZP3 contains a duplication of the last four exons of ZP3, including the above described variation, and maps closely to this gene.[2]


  1. ^ PDB: 3NK3PDB: 3NK4​; Han L, Monné M, Okumura, H, Schwend, T, Cherry, AL, Flot, D, Matsuda, T, Jovine, L (2010). "Insights into egg coat assembly and egg-sperm interaction from the X-ray structure of full-length ZP3". Cell 143 (3): 404–15. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2010.09.041. PMID 20970175. 
  2. ^ a b "Entrez Gene: zona pellucida glycoprotein 3 (sperm receptor)". 
  3. ^ van Duin M, Polman JE, Verkoelen CC, Bunschoten H, Meyerink JH, Olijve W, Aitken RJ (December 1992). "Cloning and characterization of the human sperm receptor ligand ZP3: evidence for a second polymorphic allele with a different frequency in the Caucasian and Japanese populations". Genomics 14 (4): 1064–70. doi:10.1016/S0888-7543(05)80130-2. PMID 1478648. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bansal P, Chakrabarti K, Gupta SK (2009). "Functional activity of human ZP3 primary sperm receptor resides toward its C-terminus". Biol. Reprod. 81 (1): 7–15. doi:10.1095/biolreprod.108.074716. PMID 19246320. 
  • Choudhury S, Ganguly A, Chakrabarti K, et al. (2009). "DNA vaccine encoding chimeric protein encompassing epitopes of human ZP3 and ZP4: immunogenicity and characterization of antibodies". J. Reprod. Immunol. 79 (2): 137–47. doi:10.1016/j.jri.2008.09.002. PMID 19004505. 
  • Chiu PC, Wong BS, Chung MK, et al. (2008). "Effects of native human zona pellucida glycoproteins 3 and 4 on acrosome reaction and zona pellucida binding of human spermatozoa". Biol. Reprod. 79 (5): 869–77. doi:10.1095/biolreprod.108.069344. PMID 18667750. 
  • Gook DA, Edgar DH, Borg J, Martic M (2008). "Detection of zona pellucida proteins during human folliculogenesis". Hum. Reprod. 23 (2): 394–402. doi:10.1093/humrep/dem373. PMID 18033806. 
  • Monné M, Han L, Schwend T, Burendahl S, Jovine L (2008). "Crystal structure of the ZP-N domain of ZP3 reveals the core fold of animal egg coats". Nature 456 (7222): 653–7. doi:10.1038/nature07599. PMID 19052627.  PDB: 3D4CPDB: 3D4GPDB: 3EF7
  • Törmälä RM, Jääskeläinen M, Lakkakorpi J, et al. (2008). "Zona pellucida components are present in human fetal ovary before follicle formation". Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. 289 (1-2): 10–5. doi:10.1016/j.mce.2008.01.029. PMID 18502569. 
  • Ni Y, Li K, Xu W, et al. (2007). "Acrosome reaction induced by recombinant human zona pellucida 3 peptides rhuZP3a22 approximately 176 and rhuZP3b177 approximately 348 and their mechanism". J. Androl. 28 (3): 381–8. doi:10.2164/jandrol.106.001289. PMID 17192598. 
  • Caballero-Campo P, Chirinos M, Fan XJ, et al. (2006). "Biological effects of recombinant human zona pellucida proteins on sperm function". Biol. Reprod. 74 (4): 760–8. doi:10.1095/biolreprod.105.047522. PMID 16407501. 
  • Furlong LI, Harris JD, Vazquez-Levin MH (2005). "Binding of recombinant human proacrosin/acrosin to zona pellucida (ZP) glycoproteins. I. Studies with recombinant human ZPA, ZPB, and ZPC". Fertil. Steril. 83 (6): 1780–90. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2004.12.042. PMID 15950651. 
  • Wassarman PM, Jovine L, Litscher ES (2001). "A profile of fertilization in mammals". Nat Cell Biol. 3 (2): E59–64. doi:10.1038/35055178. PMID 11175768. 
  • Rankin T, Dean J (2000). "The zona pellucida: using molecular genetics to study the mammalian egg coat". Rev. Reprod. 5 (2): 114–21. doi:10.1530/ror.0.0050114. PMID 10864856. 
  • Bleil JD, Wassarman PM (1980). "Mammalian sperm-egg interaction: identification of a glycoprotein in mouse egg zonae pellucidae possessing receptor activity for sperm". Cell 20 (3): 873–82. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(80)90334-7. PMID 7418009. 

External links[edit]

This article incorporates text from the United States National Library of Medicine, which is in the public domain.