The major sperm cytoskeletal protein (MSP) functions in the crucial role of locomotion. Miller et al. found that, in the nematode, MSP also executes another critical step in reproduction: inducing the female's oocyte to come out of the arrest phase and to mature. These results suggest that other proteins with MSP-like domains, which are found in plants, fungi, and other animals, may also have a signaling role. Villeneuve provides a Perspective on the work done by Miller et al.
M. A. Miller, V. Q. Nguyen, M.-H. Lee, M. Kosinski, T. Schedl, R. M. Caprioli, D. Greenstein, A sperm cytoskeletal protein that signals oocyte meiotic maturation and ovulation. Science 291, 2144-2147 (2001). [Abstract] [Full Text]
A. M. Villeneuve, How to stimulate your partner. Science 291, 2099-2101 (2001). [Full Text]