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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1994 May 17;1218(1):1-10.

Structure and expression of mRNA for vitellogenin in Bombyx mori.

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Department of Biology, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan.


Vitellogenin, a precursor of major yolk protein of the silkworm, Bombyx mori is a tetramer composed of each two molecules of heavy and light subunits. We cloned mRNA sequence for the B. mori vitellogenin and analyzed its structure. Sequence alignment of several overlapping cDNA clones indicated that the vitellogenin mRNA is approx. 5.7 kb, containing an open reading frame for a peptide with 1782 amino acid residues. By comparing the deduced amino acid sequence with the amino-terminal primary structures of vitellogenin subunits, it is suggested that the heavy and light subunits of the B. mori vitellogenin are encoded by a single contiguous mRNA. The primary translation product of the vitellogenin mRNA was detected in the microsomal fraction prepared from the fat body of vitellogenic females. Northern blot analysis of the fat body RNA demonstrated that the biosynthesis of vitellogenin in B. mori is regulated in a tissue-, sex- and stage-specific manner at the level of mRNA. Possible cause for discrepancy between the present results and our previous proposal (Izumi, S. and Tomino, S. (1983) Insect Biochem. 13, 81-85) on the biosynthesis of B. mori vitellogenin is also discussed.

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