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Dev Biol 1999 Jun 15;2102:428-39. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1999.9289.
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Distribution of lectin binding sites in Xenopus laevis egg jelly.

Mozingo NM , Hedrick JL .

Eggs from the anuran Xenopus laevis are surrounded by a thick jelly coat that is required during fertilization. The jelly coat contains three morphologically distinct layers, designated J1, J2, and J3. We examined the lectin binding properties of the individual jelly coat layers as a step in identifying jelly glycoproteins that may be essential in fertilization. The reactivity of 31 lectins with isolated jelly coat layers was examined with enzyme-linked lectin-assays (ELLAs). Using ELLA we found that most of the lectins tested showed some reactivity to all three jelly layers; however, two lectins showed jelly layer selectivity. The lectin Maackia amurensis (MAA) reacted only with J1 and J2, while the lectin Trichosanthes kirilowii (TKA) reacted only with J2 and J3. Some lectins were localized in the jelly coat using confocal microscopy, which revealed substantial heterogeneity in lectin binding site distribution among and within jelly coat layers. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) bound only to the outermost region of J3 and produced a thin, but very intense, band of fluorescence at the J1/J2 interface while the remainder of J2 stained lightly. The lectin MAA produced an intense fluorescence-staining pattern only at the J1/J2 interface. Several lectins were also tested for the ability to inhibit fertilization. WGA, MAA, and concanavalin A significantly inhibited fertilization and WGA was found to block fertilization by preventing sperm from penetrating the jelly. Using Western blotting, we identified high-molecular-weight components in J1 and J2 that may be important in fertilization.

PubMed ID: 10357901
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Antibodies: Wheat Germ Agglutinin