Vertebrate and nematode genes coding for yolk proteins are derived from a common ancestor

Biochemistry. 1987 Oct 6;26(20):6397-402. doi: 10.1021/bi00394a014.


One of the most obvious characteristics of the egg cells of oviparous animals is their large size resulting to a major extent from the deposition of nutritional reserves, mainly constituted of yolk proteins. In general, these are derived from a precursor called vitellogenin, which undergoes posttranslational modifications during secretion and during transport into and storage within the oocytes. Comparative analysis of the structural organization of the vitellogenin gene and of its product in different species shows that the vitellogenin gene is very ancient and that in vertebrates the gene may have more resemblance to the earliest gene than in invertebrates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Caenorhabditis / genetics*
  • Chickens / genetics*
  • Genes*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Translocation, Genetic
  • Vitellogenins / genetics*
  • Xenopus laevis / genetics*


  • Vitellogenins