Summary: Phospholipoglycoproteins produced in the fat body of egg-laying animals such as non-mammalian VERTEBRATES; ARTHROPODS; and others. Vitellogenins are secreted into the HEMOLYMPH, and taken into the OOCYTES by receptor-mediated ENDOCYTOSIS to form the major yolk proteins, VITELLINS. Vitellogenin production is under the regulation of steroid hormones, such as ESTRADIOL and JUVENILE HORMONES in insects.

Top Publications

  1. Corona M, Libbrecht R, Wurm Y, Riba Grognuz O, Studer R, Keller L. Vitellogenin underwent subfunctionalization to acquire caste and behavioral specific expression in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus. PLoS Genet. 2013;9:e1003730 pubmed publisher
    ..barbatus the Vg gene underwent subfunctionalization after duplication to acquire caste- and behavior- specific expression associated with reproductive and non-reproductive functions, supporting the validity of the RGPH in ants. ..
  2. Amo A, Rodriguez Perez R, Blanco J, Villota J, Juste S, Moneo I, et al. Gal d 6 is the second allergen characterized from egg yolk. J Agric Food Chem. 2010;58:7453-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, a second egg yolk allergen has been described and designated Gal d 6 by the World Health Organization (WHO)/International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) Allergen Nomenclature Subcommittee...
  3. Sheng Z, Xu J, Bai H, Zhu F, Palli S. Juvenile hormone regulates vitellogenin gene expression through insulin-like peptide signaling pathway in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. J Biol Chem. 2011;286:41924-36 pubmed publisher
    ..FOXO protein expressed in baculovirus system binds to FOXO response element present in the Vg gene promoter. These data suggest that JH functions through insulin-like peptide signaling pathway to regulate Vg gene expression. ..
  4. Reading B, Hiramatsu N, Sullivan C. Disparate binding of three types of vitellogenin to multiple forms of vitellogenin receptor in white perch. Biol Reprod. 2011;84:392-9 pubmed publisher
    ..To our knowledge, this is the first report on binding of multiple types of Vtg to multiple forms of Vtgr in any vertebrate. ..
  5. Khalil S, Donohue K, Thompson D, Jeffers L, Ananthapadmanaban U, Sonenshine D, et al. Full-length sequence, regulation and developmental studies of a second vitellogenin gene from the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis. J Insect Physiol. 2011;57:400-8 pubmed publisher
    ..DvVg2 expression was not detected in adult fed or unfed males. The characteristics that distinguish Vg from other similar tick storage proteins like the carrier protein, CP (another hemelipoglycoprotein) are discussed...
  6. Chaimanee V, Chantawannakul P, Chen Y, Evans J, Pettis J. Differential expression of immune genes of adult honey bee (Apis mellifera) after inoculated by Nosema ceranae. J Insect Physiol. 2012;58:1090-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, our results revealed that the mRNA levels of eater and vitellogenin did not differ significantly following N. ceranae inoculation. Therefore, in this study we reaffirmed that N. ceranae infection induces host immunosuppression...
  7. Martyniuk C, Doperalski N, Kroll K, Barber D, Denslow N. Sexually dimorphic transcriptomic responses in the teleostean hypothalamus: a case study with the organochlorine pesticide dieldrin. Neurotoxicology. 2013;34:105-17 pubmed publisher
  8. Provost Javier K, Chen S, Rasgon J. Vitellogenin gene expression in autogenous Culex tarsalis. Insect Mol Biol. 2010;19:423-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Vitellogenin transcript, primarily produced from the Vg1b gene, was also detected in the larval and pupal stages of development, but no detectable vitellogenin protein was produced during this time period. ..
  9. Blank S, Seismann H, McIntyre M, Ollert M, Wolf S, Bantleon F, et al. Vitellogenins are new high molecular weight components and allergens (Api m 12 and Ves v 6) of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris venom. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e62009 pubmed publisher
    ..identified 200 kDa proteins share a sequence identity on protein level of 40% and belong to the family of vitellogenins, present in all oviparous animals, and are the first vitellogenins identified as components of venom...

More Information


  1. Kent C, Issa A, Bunting A, Zayed A. Adaptive evolution of a key gene affecting queen and worker traits in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Mol Ecol. 2011;20:5226-35 pubmed publisher
    ..Our case study provides unequivocal evidence of historical and ongoing bouts of adaptive evolution acting on a key socially pleiotropic gene in the honey bee...
  2. Martyniuk C, Alvarez S, Lo B, Elphick J, Marlatt V. Hepatic protein expression networks associated with masculinization in the female fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). J Proteome Res. 2012;11:4147-61 pubmed publisher
    ..These data provide novel insight into hepatic protein networks that are associated with the process of masculinization in teleosts. ..
  3. Niño E, Tarpy D, Grozinger C. Differential effects of insemination volume and substance on reproductive changes in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera?L.). Insect Mol Biol. 2013;22:233-44 pubmed publisher
    ..We also discuss the effects on two genes (vitellogenin and transferrin) involved in reproduction and defence responses. ..
  4. Suren Castillo S, Abrisqueta M, Maestro J. FoxO inhibits juvenile hormone biosynthesis and vitellogenin production in the German cockroach. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2012;42:491-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results indicate that BgFoxO plays an inhibitory role on juvenile hormone biosynthesis and vitellogenin production in a situation of nutrient shortage. ..
  5. Dalvin S, Frost P, Loeffen P, Skern Mauritzen R, Baban J, Rønnestad I, et al. Characterisation of two vitellogenins in the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis: molecular, functional and evolutional analysis. Dis Aquat Organ. 2011;94:211-24 pubmed publisher
    ..Here, we report on the characterisation of 2 vitellogenins (LsVit1 and LsVit2), which are the precursors of salmon-louse egg-yolk glycoprotein...
  6. Wegener J, Huang Z, Lorenz M, Lorenz J, Bienefeld K. New insights into the roles of juvenile hormone and ecdysteroids in honey bee reproduction. J Insect Physiol. 2013;59:655-61 pubmed publisher
    ..mellifera. This may imply that it was the biochemical versatility of Vg rather than that of hormonal regulatory circuits that allowed for the functional separation of the two castes. ..
  7. Shu Y, Wang J, Lu K, Zhou J, Zhou Q, Zhang G. The first vitellogenin receptor from a Lepidopteran insect: molecular characterization, expression patterns and RNA interference analysis. Insect Mol Biol. 2011;20:61-73 pubmed publisher
    ..These results mean that VgR is critical for binding Vg and transporting it into the oocytes of the insect ovary, thus playing an important role in insect reproduction...
  8. Havukainen H, Halskau Ø, Amdam G. Social pleiotropy and the molecular evolution of honey bee vitellogenin. Mol Ecol. 2011;20:5111-3 pubmed that the vitellogenin gene is under strong positive selection in honey bees. Rapid change has taken place in specific protein regions, shedding light on the evolution of novel vitellogenin functions. ..
  9. Ament S, Chan Q, Wheeler M, Nixon S, Johnson S, RODRIGUEZ ZAS S, et al. Mechanisms of stable lipid loss in a social insect. J Exp Biol. 2011;214:3808-21 pubmed publisher
    ..These results demonstrate that conserved molecular pathways can be manipulated to achieve stable lipid loss through evolutionarily novel regulatory processes. ..
  10. Rono M, Whitten M, Oulad Abdelghani M, Levashina E, Marois E. The major yolk protein vitellogenin interferes with the anti-plasmodium response in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. PLoS Biol. 2010;8:e1000434 pubmed publisher
    ..We reveal molecular links that connect reproduction and immunity at several levels and provide a molecular basis for a long-suspected trade-off between these two processes. ..
  11. Nilsen K, Ihle K, Frederick K, Fondrk M, Smedal B, Hartfelder K, et al. Insulin-like peptide genes in honey bee fat body respond differently to manipulation of social behavioral physiology. J Exp Biol. 2011;214:1488-97 pubmed publisher
    ..Insect ilp functions may be better understood by broadening research to account for expression in fat body and not only brain. ..
  12. Parthasarathy R, Palli S. Molecular analysis of nutritional and hormonal regulation of female reproduction in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2011;41:294-305 pubmed publisher
  13. Wheeler M, Ament S, Rodriguez Zas S, Robinson G. Brain gene expression changes elicited by peripheral vitellogenin knockdown in the honey bee. Insect Mol Biol. 2013;22:562-73 pubmed publisher
  14. Leonardi M, Vera J, Tarifeño E, Puchi M, Morín V. Vitellogenin of the Chilean flounder Paralichthys adspersus as a biomarker of endocrine disruption along the marine coast of the South Pacific. Part I: induction, purification, and identification. Fish Physiol Biochem. 2010;36:757-765 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, we discuss the potential use of this molecule as a biomarker for the presence of xeno-estrogenic compounds along the Chilean coastline. ..
  15. Forsgren K, Bay S, Vidal Dorsch D, Deng X, Lu G, Armstrong J, et al. Annual and seasonal evaluation of reproductive status in hornyhead turbot at municipal wastewater outfalls in the Southern California Bight. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2012;31:2701-10 pubmed publisher
  16. Havukainen H, Halskau Ø, Skjaerven L, Smedal B, Amdam G. Deconstructing honeybee vitellogenin: novel 40 kDa fragment assigned to its N terminus. J Exp Biol. 2011;214:582-92 pubmed publisher
    ..Our experiments advance the molecular understanding of vitellogenin, of which the multiple physiological and behavioral effects in honeybees are well established...
  17. Guo J, Dong S, Ye G, Li K, Zhu J, Fang Q, et al. Oosorption in the endoparasitoid, Pteromalus puparum. J Insect Sci. 2011;11:90 pubmed publisher
    ..It was assumed that once oosorption was induced in P. puparum, vitellin in the oocytes was transported outside and released into the hemolymph. This information helps to elucidate a mechanism of oosorption in insects...
  18. Wang Y, Brent C, Fennern E, Amdam G. Gustatory perception and fat body energy metabolism are jointly affected by vitellogenin and juvenile hormone in honey bees. PLoS Genet. 2012;8:e1002779 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, perhaps the bee can make general contributions to the understanding of food-related behavior and metabolic disorders. ..
  19. Almenara D, de Moura J, Scarabotto C, Zingali R, Winter C. The molecular and structural characterization of two vitellogenins from the free-living nematode Oscheius tipulae. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e53460 pubmed publisher
    ..which are important for the reproduction of egg-laying animals, and the structural characterization of two vitellogenins, VT1 and OTI-VIT-6, of the nematode Oscheius tipulae. O...
  20. Wurm Y, Wang J, Riba Grognuz O, Corona M, Nygaard S, Hunt B, et al. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108:5679-84 pubmed publisher
    ..first underwent a duplication that was followed by possibly independent duplications of each of the daughter vitellogenins. The vitellogenin genes have undergone subfunctionalization with queen- and worker-specific expression, ..
  21. Tufail M, Naeemullah M, Elmogy M, Sharma P, Takeda M, Nakamura C. Molecular cloning, transcriptional regulation, and differential expression profiling of vitellogenin in two wing-morphs of the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens Stål (Hemiptera: Delphacidae). Insect Mol Biol. 2010;19:787-98 pubmed publisher
    ..A delayed trend in expression (of both the transcript and the protein) demonstrated by macropterous females in the present studies supports the hypothesis of prereproductive long distance migration in this wing-dimorphic species...
  22. Parthasarathy R, Sun Z, Bai H, Palli S. Juvenile hormone regulation of vitellogenin synthesis in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;40:405-14 pubmed publisher
    ..These data suggest that JH is required for Vg synthesis in the fat body and 20E influences Vg synthesis through its action on oocyte maturation. ..
  23. Strömqvist M, Tooke N, Brunström B. DNA methylation levels in the 5' flanking region of the vitellogenin I gene in liver and brain of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio)--sex and tissue differences and effects of 17alpha-ethinylestradiol exposure. Aquat Toxicol. 2010;98:275-81 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that induced expression of vitellogenin in fish following exposure to estrogens might involve alterations in DNA methylation. ..
  24. Jin Y, Shu L, Sun L, Liu W, Fu Z. Temperature and photoperiod affect the endocrine disruption effects of ethinylestradiol, nonylphenol and their binary mixture in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2010;151:258-63 pubmed publisher
  25. Guidugli K, Nascimento A, Amdam G, Barchuk A, Omholt S, Simoes Z, et al. Vitellogenin regulates hormonal dynamics in the worker caste of a eusocial insect. FEBS Lett. 2005;579:4961-5 pubmed
    ..This role of vitellogenin in the tuning of the endocrine system is uncommon and may elucidate how an ancestral pathway of fertility regulation has been remodeled into a novel circuit controlling social behavior. ..
  26. Sun G, Zhu J, Chen L, Raikhel A. Synergistic action of E74B and ecdysteroid receptor in activating a 20-hydroxyecdysone effector gene. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102:15506-11 pubmed
    ..The synergistic activation is accomplished through their 20E-dependent protein-protein interaction on the gene promoter. This study reveals how the 20E direct-indirect regulation of an effector gene is achieved at the molecular level. ..
  27. Panaitof S, Scott M. Effect of juvenile hormone on vitellogenin gene expression in the fat body of burying beetles, Nicrophorus orbicollis. Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2006;63:82-91 pubmed
    ..We suggest that in burying beetles, JH alone is not sufficient to upregulate the expression of the Vg genes and that other factors may be involved in regulating their vitellogenic cycle as well...
  28. Wang H, Tan J, Emelyanov A, Korzh V, Gong Z. Hepatic and extrahepatic expression of vitellogenin genes in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. Gene. 2005;356:91-100 pubmed
    b>Vitellogenins (Vtgs) are yolk precursor proteins in oviparous species and are cleaved into three portions-lipovitellin I (LVI), phosvitin (PV), and lipovitellin II (LVII)-in oocytes in vertebrates...
  29. Mortensen A, Arukwe A. Effects of 17alpha-ethynylestradiol on hormonal responses and xenobiotic biotransformation system of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Aquat Toxicol. 2007;85:113-23 pubmed
    ..In view of the data presented here and our recent studies, the use of DMSO as carrier vehicle in endocrine toxicological experimental studies should be re-evaluated. ..
  30. Sébert M, Amerand A, Vettier A, Weltzien F, Pasqualini C, Sebert P, et al. Effects of high hydrostatic pressure on the pituitary-gonad axis in the European eel, Anguilla anguilla (L.). Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2007;153:289-98 pubmed
    ..Our results suggest that HP plays a specific and positive role in eel reproduction but additional environmental and internal factors are necessary to ensure complete sexual maturation...
  31. Kayaba T, Sasaki N, Adachi S, Yamauchi K. Effects of pituitary glycoprotein hormones and thyroid hormones on in-vitro vitellogenin incorporation into organ-cultured oocytes in the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica. Zoolog Sci. 2008;25:334-43 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that both SPG and T3 can accelerate VTG incorporation, but the mechanisms whereby this is achieved may differ between these hormone preparations...
  32. Smolenaars M, Madsen O, Rodenburg K, Van der Horst D. Molecular diversity and evolution of the large lipid transfer protein superfamily. J Lipid Res. 2007;48:489-502 pubmed
    ..Accordingly, comparative research exposes the structural and functional adaptations in animal lipid carriers and brings up novel possibilities for the manipulation of lipid transport. ..
  33. Tufail M, Bembenek J, Elgendy A, Takeda M. Evidence for two vitellogenin-related genes in Leucophaea maderae: the protein primary structure and its processing. Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2007;66:190-203 pubmed
    ..Both the L. maderae Vgs were compared with each other and with other insect Vgs and the processing pattern is discussed. ..
  34. Marlatt V, Hewitt L, Van der Kraak G. Utility of in vitro test methods to assess the activity of xenoestrogens in fish. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2006;25:3204-12 pubmed
    ..Collectively, these results suggest that a combination of in vitro assays that depend on differing endpoints is required to identify potential xenoestrogens and to characterize their modes of action. ..
  35. Park J, Attardo G, Hansen I, Raikhel A. GATA factor translation is the final downstream step in the amino acid/target-of-rapamycin-mediated vitellogenin gene expression in the anautogenous mosquito Aedes aegypti. J Biol Chem. 2006;281:11167-76 pubmed
    ..These experiments have revealed that the TOR signaling pathway induced by nutritional signaling regulates the translation of a GATA factor, which is the specific transcriptional activator of the Vg gene. ..
  36. Watanabe K, Li Z, Kroll K, Villeneuve D, Garcia Reyero N, Orlando E, et al. A computational model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in male fathead minnows exposed to 17alpha-ethinylestradiol and 17beta-estradiol. Toxicol Sci. 2009;109:180-92 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that this model provides a robust representation of the HPG axis in male FHM. ..
  37. Saaristo M, Craft J, Lehtonen K, Lindström K. Exposure to 17alpha-ethinyl estradiol impairs courtship and aggressive behaviour of male sand gobies (Pomatoschistus minutus). Chemosphere. 2010;79:541-6 pubmed publisher
    ..The observed changes in nest building, courtship and aggressive behaviour of EE2-exposed males are likely to have negative implications for male reproductive success. ..
  38. Martyniuk C, Gerrie E, Popesku J, Ekker M, Trudeau V. Microarray analysis in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) liver and telencephalon after exposure to low concentration of 17alpha-ethinylestradiol. Aquat Toxicol. 2007;84:38-49 pubmed
  39. Garcia J, Munro E, Monte M, Fourrier M, Whitelaw J, Smail D, et al. Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) serum vitellogenin neutralises infectivity of infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV). Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2010;29:293-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The results may explain why IPNV is difficult to detect by culture methods in ovarian fluid and egg homogenates from carrier mature females and suggest a possible means of vertical transmission via the egg...
  40. Sabo Attwood T, Blum J, Kroll K, Patel V, Birkholz D, Szabo N, et al. Distinct expression and activity profiles of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) estrogen receptors in response to estradiol and nonylphenol. J Mol Endocrinol. 2007;39:223-37 pubmed
    ..Results from these studies collectively reveal the differential response of fish ER isotypes in response to xenoestrogens. ..
  41. Filby A, Santos E, Thorpe K, Maack G, Tyler C. Gene expression profiling for understanding chemical causation of biological effects for complex mixtures: a case study on estrogens. Environ Sci Technol. 2007;41:8187-94 pubmed
  42. Reading B, Hiramatsu N, Sawaguchi S, Matsubara T, Hara A, Lively M, et al. Conserved and variant molecular and functional features of multiple egg yolk precursor proteins (vitellogenins) in white perch (Morone americana) and other teleosts. Mar Biotechnol (NY). 2009;11:169-87 pubmed publisher
    ..These comparisons also yielded an interim revision of the classification scheme for multiple teleost Vtgs. ..
  43. Finn R, Kolarevic J, Kongshaug H, Nilsen F. Evolution and differential expression of a vertebrate vitellogenin gene cluster. BMC Evol Biol. 2009;9:2 pubmed publisher
    ..The differential expression and latent neofunctionalization of vtg genes in acanthomorph teleosts is an adaptive feature associated with oocyte hydration and spawning in the marine environment. ..
  44. Maltais D, Roy R. Purification and partial characterization of vitellogenin from shorthead redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum) and copper redhorse (Moxostoma hubbsi) and detection in plasma and mucus with a heterologous antibody. Fish Physiol Biochem. 2009;35:241-54 pubmed publisher
    ..Using this antibody, VTG was detected in plasma and surface mucus of E2B-treated redhorse. This is the most extensive report on purification and characterization of vitellogenin from catostomidid species...
  45. Davis L, Hiramatsu N, Hiramatsu K, Reading B, Matsubara T, Hara A, et al. Induction of three vitellogenins by 17beta-estradiol with concurrent inhibition of the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor 1 axis in a euryhaline teleost, the tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Biol Reprod. 2007;77:614-25 pubmed
  46. Shi X, Zhang S, Pang Q. Vitellogenin is a novel player in defense reactions. Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2006;20:769-72 pubmed
    ..These suggest that in addition to being involved in yolk protein formation, Vg is also involved in defense reactions, a novel function assigned to Vg. ..
  47. Shu Y, Zhou J, Tang W, Lu K, Zhou Q, Zhang G. Molecular characterization and expression pattern of Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) vitellogenin, and its response to lead stress. J Insect Physiol. 2009;55:608-16 pubmed publisher
    ..Low levels of Vg in male adults were also induced by low concentrations of Pb (12.5 and 25 mg Pb/kg). These data show that Pb stress elicits an important Vg response in S. litura...
  48. Vazquez Boucard C, Burgos Aceves M, Arcos Ortega F, Anguiano Vega G. Validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for measuring vitellogenin in California halibut (Paralichthys californicus). Environ Toxicol Chem. 2008;27:1614-20 pubmed publisher
    ..At Bahía Magdalena, Baja California Sur, México, quantitative measurements of VTG in the plasma of female specimens were made during one reproductive cycle. ..
  49. Guzmán J, Norberg B, Ramos J, Mylonas C, Mañanós E. Vitellogenin, steroid plasma levels and spawning performance of cultured female Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis). Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2008;156:285-97 pubmed publisher
    ..The endocrine and spawning data suggested that F1 female broodstock showed normal VTG and steroid releasing profiles in captivity with occurrence of spontaneous spawning, but no fertilization of the eggs was recorded. ..
  50. Shimizu Y, Nakamura A, Kishimura H, Hara A, Watanabe K, Saeki H. Major allergen and its IgE cross-reactivity among salmonid fish roe allergy. J Agric Food Chem. 2009;57:2314-9 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings indicate that the beta'-component in salmonid roe is a common major allergen with strong IgE cross-reactivity. ..
  51. Hoffmann J, Torontali S, Thomason R, Lee D, Brill J, Price B, et al. Hepatic gene expression profiling using Genechips in zebrafish exposed to 17alpha-ethynylestradiol. Aquat Toxicol. 2006;79:233-46 pubmed
    ..Future work will evaluate the use of these genes in zebrafish exposed to weak estrogens to determine if these genes are indicative of exposure to estrogens with varying potencies. ..
  52. Thompson D, Khalil S, Jeffers L, Ananthapadmanaban U, Sonenshine D, Mitchell R, et al. In vivo role of 20-hydroxyecdysone in the regulation of the vitellogenin mRNA and egg development in the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis (Say). J Insect Physiol. 2005;51:1105-16 pubmed
  53. Palstra A, Schnabel D, Nieveen M, Spaink H, van den Thillart G. Temporal expression of hepatic estrogen receptor 1, vitellogenin1 and vitellogenin2 in European silver eels. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2010;166:1-11 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, ovarian vitellogenesis (appearance of yolk globuli in oocytes) occurs 1-2 weeks later than the onset of hepatic vitellogenesis...