One of the most fascinating properties of complex carbohydrates moieties is their enormous information potential. In response to recent progress in understanding the structural requirements of the 'glycocode', a workshop on Glycobiology of Fertilization was held at the International University of Venice, Italy, in September 1998 to discuss the current state of the art of carbohydrate-based interactions during fertilization under molecular and structural aspects. This special issue of 'Cells Tissues Organs' contains the proceedings of the workshop which underline the fundamental importance of carbohydrates in female and male cell-cell communication. The detailed knowledge of the biologically active zona pellucida glycoproteins and their carbohydrate structures, the corresponding sperm receptors and the mechanisms underlying the formation of an oviductal sperm reservoir is significant for the diagnosis of idiopathic sterility, for the development of new contraceptives and for the refinement of assisted reproductive technologies. The applications have significance not only for humans but also, in a modified form, for domestic animals, as well as wild and zoo animals. This publication assembles the most recent findings in this rapidly advancing field and permits an innovative view on the carbohydrate-based interactions that lead to fertilization. It is of special interest for basic scientists in reproductive biology and medicine, for glycobiologists and for clinicians working in the fields of human and animal fertility.
Publisher: S Karger AG
Number of pages: 124
Weight: 450 g
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