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Proteomics. 2007 Dec;7(24):4541-54.

Vitellogenin cleavage products as indicators for toxic stress in zebra fish embryos: a proteomic approach.

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Department of Bioanalytical Ecotoxicology, UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany.


Vitellogenins (Vtgs) are the major yolk proteins in all oviparous animals. Systematic and regulated processing of these during embryogenesis is crucial for embryonic development. In the present study, toxicant-induced disturbance of Vtg degradation processes during Danio rerio (DR) embryogenesis was analysed to establish a sensitive tool for monitoring toxic stress at the molecular level. A 2-DE-based proteomic approach for whole DR embryos was established to study Vtg cleavage products (lipovitellin (Lv) derivatives). Ethanol was chosen as a positive control for a toxicity related change in the proteome of whole zebra fish embryos. Protein extracts from embryos treated with two ethanol concentrations, 0.5 and 2% v/v, showing either no or very strong visible effects, like absent heartbeat and blood circulation, were examined. Significant changes in the Lv pattern were detected for both conditions. The results are interpreted as scope for the use of the high abundant Lv derivatives as sensitive stress indicators in zebra fish embryos reflecting the overall fitness of the intact organisms.

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