In this study we examined the behaviour and role of an intra-acrosomal antigenic molecule, acrin 3, during mouse fertilisation in vitro by assessing the effect of its pertinent monoclonal antibody mMC101. Experiments were designed to assess the effect of mMC101 on sperm–zona pellucida binding, the acrosome reaction, zona pellucida penetration, sperm–egg fusion, and fertilisation in vitro. mMC101 did not affect sperm motility or primary and secondary binding to the zona pellucida, but significantly inhibited fertilisation of zona-pellucida-intact oocytes in a dose-dependent manner. In the presence of mMC101 at 100 μg/ml concentration in TYH medium, none of the oocytes developed to pronuclear stage by 5 h after co-incubation of the gametes, but the pronucleus formation rate recovered to some extent (45.3%) after 8 h, indicating a delay of early embryonic development. mMC101 also delayed and significantly suppressed zona pellucida penetration by sperm. Acrin 3 dispersed and did not remain on completely acrosome-reacted sperm. Although mMC101 did not influence the zona-pellucida-induced acrosome reaction, it significantly inhibited fertilisation when acrosome-reacted sperm in the presence of mMC101 inseminated zona-pellucida-free oocytes. However, fertilisation remained unaffected when acrosome-reacted sperm in the absence of mMC101 inseminated zona-pellucida-free oocytes even in its presence. Thus, acrin 3 appears to facilitate zona pellucida penetration and is also likely to be involved in sperm–oocyte fusion by modifying the sperm plasma membrane during the acrosome reaction.