Summary: Major egg yolk proteins from egg-laying animals such as non-mammalian VERTEBRATES; ARTHROPODS; and others. They are high-density lipoglycoproteins derived from circulating precursors, VITELLOGENINS. Vitellins serve as nutrients for the growing non-mammalian embryos (EMBRYO, NONMAMMALIAN).

Top Publications

  1. Jayasankar V, Jasmani S, Tsutsui N, Aida K, Wilder M. Dynamics of vitellogenin synthesis in juvenile giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii. J Exp Zool A Comp Exp Biol. 2006;305:440-8 pubmed
  2. Dong S, Ye G, Zhu J, Chen Z, Hu C, Liu S. Vitellin of Pteromalus puparum (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), a pupal endoparasitoid of Pieris rapae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae): Biochemical characterization, temporal patterns of production and degradation. J Insect Physiol. 2007;53:468-77 pubmed
    ..These studies provide the basis for future investigation into endocrinal regulations of vitellogenesis and understanding the reproductive strategy in this wasp. ..
  3. Ituarte S, Dreon M, Pasquevich M, Fernández P, Heras H. Carbohydrates and glycoforms of the major egg perivitellins from Pomacea apple snails (Architaenioglossa: Ampullariidae). Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;157:66-72 pubmed publisher
    ..This is the first report of these structures in gastropods other than heterobranchs...
  4. Auttarat J, Phiriyangkul P, Utarabhand P. Characterization of vitellin from the ovaries of the banana shrimp Litopenaeus merguiensis. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2006;143:27-36 pubmed
    ..merguiensis during vitellogenesis. ..
  5. Weisblat D, Kuo D. Devitellinization of living Helobdella (leech) embryos. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2009;2009:pdb.prot5191 pubmed publisher
    ..sp. (Austin) embryos. This protocol is applicable to embryos of stages 1-9 but is probably more useful for early stages. With careful culturing, the devitellinized embryos can develop normally. ..
  6. Seixas A, Estrela A, Ceolato J, Pontes E, Lara F, Gondim K, et al. Localization and function of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus vitellin-degrading cysteine endopeptidase. Parasitology. 2010;137:1819-31 pubmed publisher
    ..VTDCE is also localized in the ovary basal region, in vesicle membranes of ovary pedicel cells and in oocyte cytosol. These results suggest that VTDCE plays a role in vitellin digestion during tick development. ..
  7. Seixas A, Leal A, Nascimento Silva M, Masuda A, Termignoni C, da Silva Vaz I. Vaccine potential of a tick vitellin-degrading enzyme (VTDCE). Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2008;124:332-40 pubmed publisher
    ..This suggests that VTDCE can be useful to improve the protective capacity observed for other antigens...
  8. Weisblat D, Kuo D. In situ hybridization of Helobdella (leech) embryos. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2009;2009:pdb.prot5194 pubmed publisher
    ..The protocols are different for early- and late-stage embryos (stages 1-8 and stages 9-11, respectively) due to a difference in tissue permeability. ..
  9. Quinn B, Gagné F, Blaise C, Costello M, Wilson J, Mothersill C. Evaluation of the lethal and sub-lethal toxicity and potential endocrine disrupting effect of nonylphenol on the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2006;142:118-27 pubmed
    ..Cholesterol levels in gonad tissue proved to be a more responsive biomarker of exposure to NP than levels of ALP. Further implications relating to the occurrence of endocrine disruption in the zebra mussel are discussed. ..

More Information


  1. Hass J, Cassias K, Woodhead A, Stay B. The effect of ovary implants on juvenile hormone production by corpora allata of male Diploptera punctata. J Insect Sci. 2003;3:30 pubmed
    ..Thus the extent of vitellogenesis appears to determine the ability of ovaries to stimulate juvenile hormone production. ..
  2. Friesen K, Kaufman W. Salivary gland degeneration and vitellogenesis in the ixodid tick Amblyomma hebraeum: Surpassing a critical weight is the prerequisite and detachment from the host is the trigger. J Insect Physiol. 2009;55:936-42 pubmed publisher
    ..So some type of sensory information associated with attachment to the host, and still undefined, inhibits expression of the physiological changes hitherto associated merely with surpassing the CW. ..
  3. Gagnon C, Gagné F, Turcotte P, Saulnier I, Blaise C, Salazar M, et al. Exposure of caged mussels to metals in a primary-treated municipal wastewater plume. Chemosphere. 2006;62:998-1010 pubmed
    ..Lawrence River. ..
  4. Quinn B, Gagné F, Weber J, Blaise C. Ecotoxicological effects of a semi-submerged municipal dump (Castle harbour, Bermuda) on the Calico scallop Argopecten gibbus. Mar Pollut Bull. 2005;51:534-44 pubmed
    ..This study indicates the potential of the Calico scallop as a convenient bioindicator species in the marine tropical benthos. ..
  5. Guo J, Dong S, Yang X, Cheng L, Wan F, Liu S, et al. Enhanced vitellogenesis in a whitefly via feeding on a begomovirus-infected plant. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e43567 pubmed publisher
  6. Serino J, Almenara D, Penha Scarabotto C, de Moura J, Winter C. Vitellin-binding proteins in the nematode Oscheius tipulae (Nematoda, Rhabditida). Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2008;151:330-5 pubmed publisher
    ..of a non-radioactive ligand-blotting technique to the characterization of proteins interacting with nematode vitellins. Chromatographically purified vitellins from the free-living nematode Oscheius tipulae were labeled with ..
  7. Gust M, Buronfosse T, Andre C, Mons R, Gagne F, Garric J. Is exposure temperature a confounding factor for the assessment of reproductive parameters of New Zealand mudsnails Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Gray)?. Aquat Toxicol. 2011;101:396-404 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, they can be easily implemented and their variations related to anthropogenic factors during field exposure of mudsnails. ..
  8. Laino A, Cunningham M, Heras H, Garcia F. Isolation and characterization of two vitellins from eggs of the spider Polybetes pythagoricus (Araneae: Sparassidae). Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2011;158:142-8 pubmed publisher
    Despite vitellins being essential yolk proteins, their presence in spiders remains almost unknown...
  9. Vijayavel K, Balasubramanian M. Reproductive dysfunction induced by naphthalene in an estuarine crab Scylla serrata with reference to vitellogenesis. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2008;69:89-94 pubmed
    ..We attempted to use the alterations in vitellogenic proteins and GSI as biomarkers of reproductive disturbances occurred in the crab due to naphthalene stress. ..
  10. Chen L, Jiang H, Zhou Z, Li K, Li K, Deng G, et al. Purification of vitellin from the ovary of Chinese mitten-handed crab (Eriocheir sinensis) and development of an antivitellin ELISA. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2004;138:305-11 pubmed
    ..The results indicated that levels of vitellin increased significantly from 0.22 mg/ovary at Stage II to 360.31 mg/ovary at Stage IV. ..
  11. Cabrera A, Donohue K, Khalil S, Sonenshine D, Roe R. Characterization of vitellin protein in the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae). J Insect Physiol. 2009;55:655-61 pubmed publisher
    ..8, 6.2, 6.7, 7.0 and 7.2), as is the case for insect and tick vitellins. Reducing conditions (SDS-PAGE) also revealed multiple subunits ranging from 290.9 to 3...
  12. Fairgrieve W, Masada C, Peterson M, McAuley W, McDowell G, Strom M. Concentrations of erythromycin and azithromycin in mature Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha after intraperitoneal injection, and in their progeny. Dis Aquat Organ. 2006;68:227-34 pubmed
    ..Erythromycin was not detected in unfed fry derived from adults injected with the drug prespawning, but azithromycin was present for more than 2 mo after the onset of exogenous feeding. ..
  13. Dreon M, Heras H, Pollero R. Biochemical composition, tissue origin and functional properties of egg perivitellins from Pomacea canaliculata. Biocell. 2006;30:359-65 pubmed
  14. Ghekiere A, Fenske M, Verslycke T, Tyler C, Janssen C. Development of a quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for vitellin in the mysid Neomysis integer (Crustacea: Mysidacea). Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2005;142:43-9 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, it could provide a means to better understand and predict chemically induced reproductive effects in mysids. ..
  15. Fialho E, Nakamura A, Juliano L, Masuda H, Silva Neto M. Cathepsin D-mediated yolk protein degradation is blocked by acid phosphatase inhibitors. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2005;436:246-53 pubmed
    ..In conclusion, these results demonstrate for the first time that acid hydrolases act cooperatively to promote yolk degradation during egg development in arthropods. ..
  16. Yamada R, Yamahama Y, Sonobe H. Release of ecdysteroid-phosphates from egg yolk granules and their dephosphorylation during early embryonic development in silkworm, Bombyx mori. Zoolog Sci. 2005;22:187-98 pubmed
    ..This is the first report showing the biochemical mechanism by which maternal Vn-bound ecdysteroid-phosphates function during early embryonic development. ..
  17. de Moraes Maciel R, da Costa R, de Oliveira F, Rumjanek F, Fantappié M. Protein acetylation sites mediated by Schistosoma mansoni GCN5. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008;370:53-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Within the nucleus, SmGCN5 was found to be located in interchromatin granule clusters (IGCs), which are transcriptionally active structures. The data suggest that SmGCN5 is involved in transcription activation. ..
  18. Crocco M, Ibarguengoytía N, Cussac V. Contributions to the study of oviparity-viviparity transition: placentary structures of Liolaemus elongatus (Squamata: Liolaemidae). J Morphol. 2008;269:865-74 pubmed publisher
    ..The embryo's wet weight doubles the weight of the decrease observed in vitelline mass. But the dry wet diminishes, evidencing the importance of the exchange of water and inorganic nutrients. ..
  19. Pohl P, Sorgine M, Leal A, Logullo C, Oliveira P, Vaz I, et al. An extraovarian aspartic protease accumulated in tick oocytes with vitellin-degradation activity. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2008;151:392-9 pubmed publisher
    ..As a result, we suggest a model for THAP synthesis, transport, storage and activation and for the role it plays in embryonic development by participating in vitellin processing. ..
  20. Tinikul Y, Joffre Mercier A, Soonklang N, Sobhon P. Changes in the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the central nervous system and ovary, and their possible roles in the ovarian development in the giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2008;158:250-8 pubmed publisher
  21. Estrela A, Seixas A, Teixeira V, Pinto A, Termignoni C. Vitellin- and hemoglobin-digesting enzymes in Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus larvae and females. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;157:326-35 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results suggest that RmLCE/BmCL1 has a continued role in vitellin and hemoglobin digestion during tick development. ..
  22. Hurtado M, Racotta I, Arcos F, Morales Bojórquez E, Moal J, Soudant P, et al. Seasonal variations of biochemical, pigment, fatty acid, and sterol compositions in female Crassostrea corteziensis oysters in relation to the reproductive cycle. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2012;163:172-83 pubmed publisher
    ..These two periods are in accordance with the classical periods of allocation of energy to reserves followed by gonad development reported for several mollusks. ..
  23. Soonklang N, Wanichanon C, Stewart M, Stewart P, Meeratana P, Hanna P, et al. Ultrastructure of differentiating oocytes and vitellogenesis in the giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii (De Man). Microsc Res Tech. 2012;75:1402-15 pubmed publisher
    ..Vitellogenin (Vg) in ovaries of M. rosenbergii consist of two main bands at MW 90 and 102 kDa. Our data indicates that Vn is present, and probably synthesized in Oc(3) and Oc(4), but there may be some undetected exogenous Vg production. ..
  24. Gonçalves V, Sobrinho I, Malagó W, Henrique Silva F, De Brito R. Transcriptome analysis of female reproductive tissues of Anastrepha obliqua and molecular evolution of eggshell proteins in the fraterculus group. Insect Mol Biol. 2013;22:551-61 pubmed
    ..The rapid evolutionary rates indicate that these genes could serve as important markers in population and evolutionary studies, not only for species of this group, but possibly also for other Diptera. ..
  25. Campos E, Moraes J, Façanha A, Moreira E, Valle D, Abreu L, et al. Kinetics of energy source utilization in Boophilus microplus (Canestrini, 1887) (Acari: Ixodidae) embryonic development. Vet Parasitol. 2006;138:349-57 pubmed
    ..Altogether, these data indicate different energy sources for maternal and zygotic driven processes. ..
  26. Catalan M, Dreon M, Heras H, Pollero R, Fernandez S, Winik B. Pallial oviduct of Pomacea canaliculata (Gastropoda): ultrastructural studies of the parenchymal cellular types involved in the metabolism of perivitellins. Cell Tissue Res. 2006;324:523-33 pubmed
    ..At the pre-reproductive period (winter), AS and LC recover and prepare for the subsequent period. ..
  27. Shu Y, Gao Y, Sun H, Zou Z, Zhou Q, Zhang G. Effects of zinc exposure on the reproduction of Spodoptera litura Fabricius (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2009;72:2130-6 pubmed publisher
    ..These results indicated that excess Zn made expression of Vg gene down-regulated and caused poor accumulation of egg yolk, which led to a reduction in egg numbers and failure of eggs to hatch. ..
  28. Estrela A, Seixas A, Termignoni C. A cysteine endopeptidase from tick (Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus) larvae with vitellin digestion activity. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2007;148:410-6 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that RmLCE has a role in supporting the nutritional needs of unfed R. microplus larva through Vt proteolysis, allowing survival until the first blood meal. ..
  29. Ghekiere A, Verslycke T, De Smet L, Van Beeumen J, Janssen C. Purification and characterization of vitellin from the estuarine mysid Neomysis integer (Crustacea; Mysidacea). Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2004;138:427-33 pubmed
    ..integer. These antisera will be used to develop immunoassays to study vitellogenesis in mysids and to detect potential stimulatory or inhibitory effects of endocrine disruptors on the production of vitellin. ..
  30. Shanju S, Geraldine P. Yolk protein profiles of three prawn (Macrobrachium) species during reproductive cycle. Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2005;42:258-61 pubmed
    ..Immunodiffusion studies, using antiserum raised against purified vitellin from mature ovary of M. malcolmsonii indicated antigenic similarities of vitellins among the three species.
  31. Tang Y, Cho P, Kim B, Hong S. Molecular cloning and characterization of vitelline precursor protein B1 from Clonorchis sinensis. J Parasitol. 2005;91:1374-8 pubmed
    ..In adult C. sinensis, CsVpB1 protein was exclusively localized in vitelline follicles. Based on these results, the CsVpB1 cDNA is believed to encode a VpB of C. sinensis. ..
  32. Otsuka K, Yamada L, Sawada H. cDNA cloning, localization, and candidate binding partners of acid-extractable vitelline-coat protein Ci-v-Themis-like in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Mol Reprod Dev. 2013;80:840-8 pubmed publisher
    ..The results suggest that Ci-v-Themis-like and its binding partners are involved in sperm binding to the VC prior to the allorecognition process during C. intestinalis fertilization. ..
  33. Tatsuno R, Shikina M, Soyano K, Ikeda K, Takatani T, Arakawa O. Maturation-associated changes in the internal distribution of tetrodotoxin in the female goby Yongeichthys criniger. Toxicon. 2013;63:64-9 pubmed publisher
  34. Oliveira D, Ramos I, Reis F, Lima A, Machado E. Interplay between acid phosphatase and cysteine proteases in mediating vitellin degradation during early embryogenesis of Periplaneta americana. J Insect Physiol. 2008;54:883-91 pubmed publisher
    ..On the other hand, the same pre-incubations showed no effects on the profile of degradation at neutral pH. We propose that AcP and cysteine protease cooperate to assure Vt breakdown during early embryogenesis of P. americana...
  35. Lin Y, Meng Y, Wang Y, Luo J, Katsuma S, Yang C, et al. Vitellogenin receptor mutation leads to the oogenesis mutant phenotype "scanty vitellin" of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. J Biol Chem. 2013;288:13345-55 pubmed publisher
    ..These results showed that BmVgR has an important role in transporting proteins for egg formation and embryonic development in B. mori. ..
  36. Farcy E, Burgeot T, Haberkorn H, Auffret M, Lagadic L, Allenou J, et al. An integrated environmental approach to investigate biomarker fluctuations in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis L. in the Vilaine estuary, France. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2013;20:630-50 pubmed publisher
    ..These observations highlight the necessity to conduct integrated environmental approaches in order to better understand the causes of biomarker variations. ..
  37. Ituarte S, Dreon M, Ceolin M, Heras H. Agglutinating activity and structural characterization of scalarin, the major egg protein of the snail Pomacea scalaris (d'Orbigny, 1832). PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e50115 pubmed publisher
    ..This novel role for a snail egg storage protein is different from closely related P.canaliculata defensive proteins...
  38. Silveira A, Castro Santos J, Senna R, Logullo C, Fialho E, Silva Neto M. Tick vitellin is dephosphorylated by a protein tyrosine phosphatase during egg development: effect of dephosphorylation on VT proteolysis. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2006;36:200-9 pubmed
    ..Altogether, these data are the first to show that phosphotyrosine residues are present in a yolk protein, and that such residues might be involved in the regulation of VT breakdown during egg development. ..
  39. Zeng C, Wang J. Influence of exposure to imidacloprid on survivorship, reproduction and vitellin content of the carmine spider mite, Tetranychus cinnabarinus. J Insect Sci. 2010;10:20 pubmed publisher
    ..The vitellin content in eggs increased significantly after exposure to imidacloprid. Imidacloprid may be one of the major reasons for the outbreak of T. cinnabarinus in the field. ..
  40. Ramos I, Miranda K, De Souza W, Oliveira D, Lima A, Sorgine M, et al. Calcium-regulated fusion of yolk granules is important for yolk degradation during early embryogenesis of Rhodnius prolixus Stahl. J Exp Biol. 2007;210:138-48 pubmed
    ..Both fractions were found to contain vitellins as major components, and incubation of YGs with calcium induced yolk proteolysis in vitro...
  41. Okumura T, Kim Y, Kawazoe I, Yamano K, Tsutsui N, Aida K. Expression of vitellogenin and cortical rod proteins during induced ovarian development by eyestalk ablation in the kuruma prawn, Marsupenaeus japonicus. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2006;143:246-53 pubmed
    ..The results suggest that the regulatory mechanism of gene expression by eyestalk hormones is different between VTG (transcriptional control) and CRP-MjTSP (translational control). ..
  42. Edgar L, Goldstein B. Culture and manipulation of embryonic cells. Methods Cell Biol. 2012;107:151-75 pubmed publisher
    ..Here, we present detailed methods for isolating, manipulating and culturing embryonic cells of C. elegans. ..
  43. Swiderski Z, Bakhoum A, Montoliu I, Feliu C, Gibson D, Miquel J. Ultrastructural study of vitellogenesis in Maritrema feliui (Digenea, Microphallidae). Parasitol Res. 2011;109:1707-14 pubmed publisher