The chicken egg yolk plasma and granule proteomes

Proteomics. 2008 Jan;8(1):178-91. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200700790.


Using 1-D SDS-PAGE, LC-MS/MS, and MS(3), we identified 119 proteins from chicken egg yolk, 86 of which were not identified in yolk previously. Proteins were roughly quantitated by calculating their exponentially modified protein abundance index (emPAI) to classify them as major or minor yolk components, and to estimate their distribution between yolk plasma and yolk granular fraction. The proteins with highest abundance were serum albumin, the vitellogenin cleavage products, apovitellenins, IgY, ovalbumin, and 12 kDa serum protein with cross-reactivity to beta2-microglobulin. In addition yolk contained many other serum and egg white proteins, the proteases nothepsin and thrombin, numerous protease inhibitors, and antioxidative enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. Among the moderately abundant proteins were two alpha2-macroglobulin-like proteins different from egg white alpha2-macroglobulin, and the major biotin-binding protein of yolk. An unexpected identification was that of the eggshell matrix protein ovocleidin-116, which was previously thought to be eggshell-specific. The list of chicken egg yolk proteins provided in this report is by far the most comprehensive at present and may serve as a starting point for the characterization of less well-known yolk proteins.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avian Proteins / chemistry*
  • Avian Proteins / metabolism
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / chemistry*
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / enzymology
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism
  • Egg Yolk / chemistry*
  • Egg Yolk / enzymology
  • Egg Yolk / metabolism
  • Proteome / chemistry*
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Avian Proteins
  • Proteome