Rabphilin-3A is a putative target protein for Rab3A, a member of the small GTP-binding protein superfamily that has been suggested to play a role in regulated exocytosis in presynapses. In this study we determined the expression and the function of Rabphilin-3A in mouse eggs at fertilization. Rabphilin-3A mRNA and protein were detected by reverse transcriptase-PCR and immunoblot analysis, respectively, in metaphase II mouse eggs. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that Rabphilin-3A protein was distributed in the cortical region in eggs. Sperm induces cortical granule (CG) exocytosis via an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ at fertilization. We microinjected the NH2- or COOH-terminal fragment of recombinant Rabphilin-3A into metaphase II eggs. Neither treatments altered the sperm-induced cytosolic Ca2+ increase, but both inhibited CG exocytosis in a dose-dependent manner. The NH2-terminal fragment was more effective than the COOH-terminal fragment. Full-length Rabphilin-3A did not affect CG exocytosis, but it attenuated the inhibition of CG exocytosis by the NH2-terminal fragment. These results show that Rabphilin-3A is involved in Ca(2+)-dependent CG exocytosis at fertilization in mouse eggs.

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