Background: The zona pellucida (ZP) is an extracellular glycoprotein matrix which surrounds all mammalian oocytes. Recent data have shown the presence of four human zona genes (ZP1, ZP2, ZP3 and ZPB). The aim of the study was to determine if all four ZP proteins are expressed and present in the human.
Methods: cDNA derived from human oocytes were used to amplify by PCR the four ZP genes. In addition, isolated native human ZP were heat-solubilized, trypsin-digested and subjected to tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS).
Results: All four genes were expressed and the respective proteins present in the human ZP. Moreover, a bioinformatics approach showed that the mouse ZPB gene, although present, is likely to encode a non-functional protein.
Conclusions: Four ZP genes are expressed in human oocytes (ZP1, ZP2, ZP3 and ZPB) and preliminary data show that the four corresponding ZP proteins are present in the human ZP. Therefore, this is a fundamental difference with the mouse model
- Amino Acid Sequence
- Base Sequence
- Computational Biology/methods
- Egg Proteins/genetics
- Gene Expression
- Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics
- Molecular Sequence Data
- Receptors, Cell Surface/genetics
- Zona Pellucida/metabolism
- Zona Pellucida Glycoproteins