Vitellogenesis is the process of accumulation of vitellogenin (Vg) in rapidly growing oocytes of oviparous animals and its' subsequent transformation into lipovitellin (Lv). Lipovitellin, which forms the major yolk protein, serves as a principal nutrient reserve for the developing embryo. In the present study, Vg and Lv were purified from the hemolymph and ovary, respectively of the crab Scylla serrata by gel filtration followed by preparative gel electrophoresis. It was observed that purified Vg, but not Lv, possessed an intrinsic protease activity with which it underwent autoproteolysis giving rise to several smaller proteins. Furthermore, urea-mediated unfolding studies by UV-spectral analysis revealed clearly that Vg was easily disrupted by urea whereas Lv was resistant. Taken together, these results suggest that although Lv had a stable conformation, its precursor Vg was labile and highly sensitive to degradation. Another aspect that was investigated in the present study was the immunological kinship of crab Vg and Lv to mammalian atherogenic lipoproteins, the low density lipoprotein (LDL), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), and apolipoprotein B (apoB). By Western blot analysis, it was demonstrated that crab Vg and Lv were immunoreactive to antibodies to human LDL, VLDL, and apoB. These observations suggest the existence of common epitope recognition sites in crab Vg and mammalian lipid transferring proteins. This corroborates well with our earlier study on the recognition of crab Vg receptor by mammalian lipoproteins.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Molecular Reproduction and Development|
|Publication status||Published - 03-2003|