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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular cloning and ultrastructural localization of the core protein of an eggshell matrix proteoglycan, ovocleidin-116.

The role of avian eggshell matrix proteins in shell formation is poorly understood. This calcitic biomaterial forms in a uterine fluid where the protein composition varies during the initial, calcification, and terminal phases of eggshell deposition. A specific antibody was raised to a 116-kDa protein, which is most abundant in uterine fluid during active eggshell calcification. This antiserum was used to expression screen a bacteriophage cDNA library prepared using mRNA extracted from pooled uterine tissue harvested at the midpoint of eggshell calcification. Plasmids containing inserts of differing 5'-lengths were isolated with a maximum cDNA sequence of 2.4 kilobases. Northern blotting and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that the 2. 35-kilobase message was expressed in a uterine-specific manner. The hypothetical translational product from the open reading frame corresponded to a novel 80-kDa protein, which we have named ovocleidin-116. After removal of the predicted signal peptide, its N-terminal sequence corresponded almost exactly with that determined from direct microsequencing of the 116-kDa uterine protein (this work) and with that previously determined for the core protein of a 120-kDa eggshell dermatan sulfate proteoglycan (Corrino, D. A., Rodriguez, J. P., and Caplan, A. I. (1997) Connect. Tissue Res. 36, 175-193). Ultrastructural colloidal gold immunocytochemistry of ovocleidin-116 demonstrated its presence in the organic matrix, in small vesicles found throughout the mineralized palisade layer, and the calcium reserve assembly of the mammillary layer. Ovocleidin-116 thus is a candidate molecule for the regulation of calcite growth during eggshell calcification.[1]


  1. Molecular cloning and ultrastructural localization of the core protein of an eggshell matrix proteoglycan, ovocleidin-116. Hincke, M.T., Gautron, J., Tsang, C.P., McKee, M.D., Nys, Y. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
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