Advantages and Disadvantages of Egg Jelly

Studies into the structure elucidation of sea urchin polysaccharides have contributed to the development of special polymeric materials. These polysaccharides provide simple, linear frameworks composed of oligosaccharide polypeptide chains. Unique polymers have been discovered in the research related to polysaccharide structural characteristics. The complexity and composition of the egg jelly vary in different species. Glycosidic linkage, repeating units of monosaccharides, and patterns of sulphonation differ in different species of sea urchins.

Acrosome reaction in sea urchin is one such mechanism. Its primary function is in the attraction of sperm toward the egg and the movement of sperm. An essential role is played by sulfated fucan glycoproteins. These glycoproteins bind to sperm receptors and after that initiate the acrosomal reaction of sperms. Induction of an acrosomal reaction is a species-specific mechanism. Therefore, this is also a good example of a sulfated polysaccharide-mediated signal transduction event. The sulfated polysaccharide–mediated mechanism of cell-cell recognition exists with the help of egg receptor cell-binding recognition. In the acrosomal reaction of sperm, the binding proteins are exposed. These binding proteins find an egg membrane receptor that matches with its membrane and reacts with it.

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A sialic acid-rich polysaccharide is also a component of an egg jelly layer that performs the function of the activation of acrosomal reaction. N-glycolyluramic acid residues (Neu5Gc) are some reducing residues that are present at the terminal position in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus. The presence of polysialic acid in flagella is reported in some of the species of sea urchin such as sea urchins S. franciscan, S. purpuratus, and H. purchaseerrimus. The molecule “flagella sialic” is capped at α-2→9-linked polyNeu5Ac and contains 8-O-sulfated Neu5Ac and performs the function of guiding sperm motility, which is essential for fertilization. The intracellular calcium ions regulate the flagellasialin dedicated sperm motility for fertilization. In these cells, unique gangliosides which are α-2→8-associated di-, tri-, tetra and polyNeu5Ac are also present. On the cell surface of vertebrates, sialic acid is present, which helps in the interaction and recognition processes during immune response, growth, and development.

Rarely, a polymerized structure is formed by the linking of sialic acids. In some pathogenic bacteria and other organisms, polysialic acid is present, but it varies in polymerization degree from eight to two hundred residues of sialic acid. These interactions that are highly specific for a particular species prevent inter-specific crosses and increase the rate of fertilization. For free-reproducing living organisms in a marine environment like sea urchins, these aspects are especially important. The eggshells have sulfated polysaccharides, which in some way induce an acrosome response to the sperm.

Functions of an Egg Jelly:
The fertilization probability and frequency of collision are increased by jelly coats. They perform various functions during and before fertilization. This layer creates chemoattractants for a particular species. Those eggs in which egg jelly is present can tolerate shear forces better than the eggs in which egg jelly is absent. During spawning, egg jelly helps in the passing of eggs in the female reproductive tract. Egg jelly prevents the sperms from mechanical damage. It increases the egg size so that the sperms easily recognize the egg. Egg jelly increases the rate of respiration. Egg jellies increase the motility of sperm. They perform the function of guiding sperm motility, which is essential for fertilization. It also helps in the agglomeration of sperm. Proteases are expulsed with the help of egg jellies from the acrosome. Polyspermy is also prevented by the molecules secreted by egg jellies. Species-specific recognition of sperms and eggs is also increased by the molecules secreted by egg jelly. The origin of jelly coats is influenced by a variety of factors, but the jelly coat thickness is controlled by enhanced fertilization selection.

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