Incorporation of mouse zona pellucida proteins into the envelope of Xenopus laevis oocytes

Sandra Doren, Nicoletta Landsberger, Nancy Dwyer, Lyn Gold, Joan Blanchette-Mackie, Jurrien Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


All vertebrate eggs have extracellular matrices, referred to as the zona pellucida in Mus musculus and the vitelline envelope in Xenopus laevis. The mouse zona, composed of three sulfated glycoproteins (ZP1, ZP2, ZP3), is critical for fertilization and early development, and mice lacking a zona pellucida produce no live offspring. The primary structures of mouse ZP1 (623 amino acids), ZP2 (713 amino acids) and ZP3 (424 amino acids) have been deduced from full-length cDNAs, but posttranslational modifications result in mature zona proteins with molecular masses of 200-180 kDa, 140-120 kDa, and 83 kDa, respectively. The vitelline envelope forms a similar structure around Xenopus eggs and contains three glycoproteins that are structurally related (39-48% amino acid similarity) to the three mouse zona proteins. To investigate whether the structural semblances are sufficient to allow incorporation of the mouse zona proteins into the Xenopus vitelline envelope, capped synthetic mRNBs encoding ZP1, ZP2, and ZP3 proteins were injected into the cytoplasm of stage VI Xenopus oocytes. After 20 h of incubation the oocytes were harvested, and posttranslationally modified zona proteins were detected with monoclonal antibodies specific to mouse ZP1, ZP2, and ZP3. The oocytes were imaged with confocal microscopy to detect individual zona proteins in the extracellular matrix of the oocytes, and this localization was confirmed biochemically. Thus the mouse zona proteins appear to have been sufficiently conserved through 350 million years of evolution to be incorporated into the extracellular envelope surrounding Xenopus eggs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-339
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment Genes and Evolution
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Egg coat
  • Mouse
  • Vitelline envelope
  • Xenopus
  • Zona pellucida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Incorporation of mouse zona pellucida proteins into the envelope of Xenopus laevis oocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this