Identification and spatial distribution of the mRNA encoding an egg envelope component of the Cyprinid zebrafish, Danio rerio, homologous to the mammalian ZP3 (ZPC)
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Using degenerate reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) techniques we have isolated a cDNA encoding a putative component of the zebrafish Danio rerio egg chorion, homologous to the mammalian ZP3 (ZPC). The predicted protein (zfZPC) has a calculated molecular mass of 58.4 kDa and contains a signal peptide (located in the N-terminal region) composed of 11 hydrophobic amino acid residues followed by a signal peptide cleavage site. The zfZPC contains the ZP domain, a characteristic amino acid sequence shared by all ZP proteins of the mammalian zona pellucida and of both amphibian and bird egg envelope components. The zfZPC also exhibits certain unique features including five N-terminal Q-rich tandem repeats presumably involved in the hardening of the chorion after the fertilization of the egg and a long C-terminal tail containing two potential sites of N-linked type glycosylation. RT-PCR and in situ hybridization revealed a restricted pattern of tissue distribution: the gene encoding zfZPC is transcribed only in the growing oocyte of sexually mature female fish.
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