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

Precursor-product relationship between chicken vitellogenin and the yolk proteins: the 40 kDa yolk plasma glycoprotein is derived from the C-terminal cysteine-rich domain of vitellogenin II.

Chicken vitellogenin, a serum lipoprotein specific for laying hens, has been thought to be proteolytically cleaved into the heavy and light chain lipovitellins and phosvitin, the major yolk granule proteins, during or after transportation into oocyte. In this study, another proteolytic product of vitellogenin has newly been isolated from the 'beta-livetin' fraction of yolk plasma. It is a yolk glycoprotein of 40 kDa (YGP40) with asparagine-linked carbohydrate chain(s) recognized by Concanavalin A and castor bean lectin (RCA-I), and it is identified as a C-terminal cysteine-rich fragment of the major vitellogenin (vitellogenin II), the cysteine-rich domain homologous to D2 region of von Willebrand factor. Another yolk plasma glycoprotein of 42 kDa is suggested to be one of the proteolytic products of the minor vitellogenin (vitellogenin I). Both 40 kDa and 42 kDa glycoproteins were shown to be present in growing oocytes but absent in laying hen's serum. Limited proteolysis of vitellogenin II with cathepsin D produced a 40 kDa protein with reactivity to anti-YGP40 antibody. Gel filtration analysis of vitellogenin II digested with cathepsin D showed that YGP40 dissociated from lipovitellin-phosvitin complex after the proteolytic cleavage. These results suggest that after incorporation from serum via a specific receptor vitellogenin II is cleaved in the oocyte into four fragments, heavy and light chain lipovitellins, phosvitin and YGP40, and that YGP40 is released into the yolk plasma before or during compartmentation of lipovitellin-phosvitin complex into the yolk granule.[1]


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