[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In birds, the egg envelope surrounding the oocyte prior to ovulation is called the perivitelline membrane and it plays important roles in fertilization. In a previous study we demonstrated that one of the components of the perivitelline membrane, ZP3, which is secreted from the ovarian granulosa cells, specifically interacts with ZP1, another constituent that is synthesized in the liver of Japanese quail. In the present study, we investigated whether ZP1 injected exogenously into the blood possesses the ability to reconstruct the perivitelline membrane of Japanese quail. When ZP1 purified from the serum of laying quail was injected into other female birds, the signal of this exogenous ZP1 was detected in the perivitelline membrane. In addition, we revealed, by means of ligand blot analysis, that serum ZP1 interacts with both ZP1 and ZP3 of the perivitelline membrane. By contrast, when ZP1 derived from the perivitelline membrane was administered, it failed to become incorporated into the perivitelline membrane. Interestingly, serum ZP1 recovered from other Galliformes, including chicken and guinea fowl, could be incorporated into the quail perivitelline membrane, but the degree of interaction between quail ZP3 and ZP1 of the vitelline membrane of laid eggs from chicken and guinea fowl appeared to be weak. These results demonstrate that exogenous ZP1 purified from the serum, but not ZP1 from the perivitelline membrane, can become incorporated into the perivitelline membrane upon injection into other types of female birds. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that the egg envelope component, when exogenously administered to animals, can reconstruct the egg envelope in vivo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The extracellular matrix surrounding avian oocytes, referred to as the perivitelline membrane (PL), exhibits a three-dimensional network of fibrils between granulosa cells and the oocyte. We previously reported that one of its components, ZPC, is synthesized in granulosa cells that are specifically incorporated into the PL; this incorporation might be mediated by a specific interaction with ZPB1, another PL constituent, which is synthesized in the liver. In order to extend our previous findings, we established an expression system for quail ZPB1 using a mammalian cell line, and several ZPB1 mutants lacking the zona pellucida (ZP) domain or the glutamine-rich repeat region were produced. Western blot analysis of the immunoprecipitated materials with anti-ZPC antiserum indicated that ZPB1 was coimmunoprecipitated with the antiserum in the presence of ZPC. Ligand blotting also revealed the specific binding of ZPC and ZPB1 and indicated that the binding of these two components might be mediated via an ionic interaction. An analysis using recombinant ZPB1 demonstrated that the ZPB1 lacking the ZP domain did not bind to ZPC, whereas the mutant missing the glutamine-rich repeat region retained its capacity for binding. Furthermore, although the ZPB1 lacking the N-terminal half of the ZP domain was able to bind to ZPC, the deletion of the C-terminal half completely abolished ZPB1 binding to ZPC. These results suggested that the C-terminal half of the ZP domain of ZPB1 contains a binding site for ZPC, and that it appears to be involved in insoluble PL fibril formation in the quail ovary.