The amino acid sequence of lamprey vitellogenin has been predicted from the nucleotide sequence of cloned cDNA. The sites of proteolytic cleavage that produce the lipovitellin complex from the vitellogenin have been located by comparing the N-terminal sequences of two lamprey lipovitellin polypeptides with the predicted sequence. These results also confirm that the vitellogenin sequence derived here corresponds to the lipovitellin complex for which the crystal structure has been solved previously. Predictions of secondary structure indicate that the region most likely to correspond to the large α-helical domain of the crystallographic model consists of vitellogenin residues 300 to 600. Similar to the lipovitellins of Xenopus laevis, lamprey lipovitellin appears to lack approximately 200 C-terminal residues that are present in vitellogenin. However, the lamprey lipovitellin differs from those of Xenopus and chicken in two respects. First, most of the serine-rich domain that is present as the phosvitin polypeptide in the lipovitellins of the higher vertebrates appears to be lost in the maturation of lamprey vitellogenin to lipovitellin. Second, the domains that constitute the large lipovitellin-1 polypeptide in Xenopus and chicken are present in two polypeptides in lamprey, owing to an additional proteolytic processing event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-907
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 5 1992


  • lipoprotein
  • lipovitellin
  • vitellogenin


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