The occurrence and production of avidin: a new conception of the high-affinity biotin-binding protein

Comp Biochem Physiol B. 1984;78(1):15-20. doi: 10.1016/0305-0491(84)90137-8.


The production of avidin, a high-affinity biotin-binding egg-white protein, is not restricted to the avian, amphibian and reptilian oviducts. In the acute phase of inflammation, avidin is synthesized and secreted by various injured tissues in the domestic fowl, both male and female. Also in other avian species and a lizard, injured tissues produce an avidin-like biotin-binding factor. The non-oviductal production of avidin in domestic fowl has a great variety of inducers, for example acute inflammation caused by mechanical or thermal tissue injury, septic bacterial infection and (toxic) drugs, and even retrovirus-induced cell transformation. In culture, chicken embryo fibroblasts and yolk sac macrophages synthesize and secrete avidin. Besides the albumen, avidin may act as an antibacterial protein also in the tissues.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avian Sarcoma Viruses / genetics
  • Avidin / analysis
  • Avidin / biosynthesis*
  • Avidin / genetics
  • Avidin / pharmacology
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens
  • Egg White
  • Egg Yolk
  • Female
  • Male
  • Ovalbumin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Oviducts / metabolism
  • Oviposition
  • Species Specificity


  • Avidin
  • Ovalbumin