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At the physical limit — chemosensation in sperm

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Strünker,  T.
Department of Molecular Sensory Systems, Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar), Max Planck Society;

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Alvarez,  L.
Department of Molecular Sensory Systems, Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar), Max Planck Society;

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Kaupp,  U. B.
Department of Molecular Sensory Systems, Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar), Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Strünker, T., Alvarez, L., & Kaupp, U. B. (2015). At the physical limit — chemosensation in sperm. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 34(0), 110-116. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2015.02.007.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-618B-1
Abstract
Many cells probe their environment for chemical cues. Some cells respond to picomolar concentrations of neuropeptides, hormones, pheromones, or chemoattractants. At such low concentrations, cells encounter only a few molecules. The mechanistic underpinnings of single-molecule sensitivity are not known for any eukaryotic cell. Sea urchin sperm offer a unique model to unveil in quantitative terms the principles underlying chemosensation at the physical limit. Here, we discuss the mechanisms of such exquisite sensitivity and the computational operations performed by sperm during chemotactic steering. Moreover, we highlight commonalities and differences between signalling in sperm and photoreceptors and among sperm from different species.