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

Evolution of oogenesis: the receptor for vitellogenin from the rainbow trout.

Receptors that transport vitellogenin ( VTG) into oocytes are of vital importance to egg-laying species because they mediate a key step in oocyte development. Here we describe the cloning of the first piscine oocyte-specific receptor cDNA, i.e., that encoding the VTG receptor from the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The receptor, a 826-residue type-I membrane protein, is a member of the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) superfamily. It closely resembles the mammalian so-called very low density lipoprotein receptors, in that its aminoterminal ligand binding domain consists of a cluster of 8 cysteine-rich repeats. The short intracellular portion contains the internalization signal typical for the LDLR superfamily, Phe-Glu-Asn-Pro-Val-Tyr. Notably, the receptor lacks a domain with a high density of potential O-glycosylation sites often found in somatic cell-specific members of the LDLR family. A specific transcript of 3.9 kb is abundant in ovary, but undetectable in muscle and heart, which are the major sites of expression of very low density lipoprotein receptors in mammals. In vitro translation of the full-length cDNA produced a 97-kDa protein, and transient expression in COS-1 cells showed that the cDNA encodes a protein of the same size that binds vitellogenin in ligand blots. As revealed by in situ hybridization, transcripts are present in previtellogenic oocytes, indicating that production of receptor protein precedes the phase of yolk deposition. Our results in fish, together with those in birds (Bujo, H., et al. 1994. EMBO J. 13: 5165-5175) suggest that vitelogenesis provides a prime model for the study of ligand/receptor systems designed to sustain reproduction.[1]


  1. Evolution of oogenesis: the receptor for vitellogenin from the rainbow trout. Davail, B., Pakdel, F., Bujo, H., Perazzolo, L.M., Waclawek, M., Schneider, W.J., Le Menn, F. J. Lipid Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
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