Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Analysis of ZP1 gene reveals differences in zona pellucida composition in carnivores

C. Moros-Nicolás A E , A. Leza A , P. Chevret B , A. Guillén-Martínez A , L. González-Brusi A , F. Boué C , M. Lopez-Bejar D , J. Ballesta A , M. Avilés A and M. J. Izquierdo-Rico A E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Medicine, Biomedical Research Institute of Murcia (IMIB-Arrixaca-UMU), University of Murcia, 30100, Murcia, Spain.

B Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, UMR5558, CNRS, Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 69622, Villeurbanne, France.

C ANSES, Nancy Laboratory for Rabies and Wildlife, CS 40009, 54220 Malzéville, France.

D Department of Animal Health and Anatomy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193, Barcelona, Spain.

E Corresponding authors. Emails: carla.moros@um.es; mjoseir@um.es

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD17022
Submitted: 20 January 2017  Accepted: 3 June 2017   Published online: 6 July 2017

Abstract

The zona pellucida (ZP) is an extracellular envelope that surrounds mammalian oocytes. This coat participates in the interaction between gametes, induction of the acrosome reaction, block of polyspermy and protection of the oviductal embryo. Previous studies suggested that carnivore ZP was formed by three glycoproteins (ZP2, ZP3 and ZP4), with ZP1 being a pseudogene. However, a recent study in the cat found that all four proteins were expressed. In the present study, in silico and molecular analyses were performed in several carnivores to clarify the ZP composition in this order of mammals. The in silico analysis demonstrated the presence of the ZP1 gene in five carnivores: cheetah, panda, polar bear, tiger and walrus, whereas in the Antarctic fur seal and the Weddell seal there was evidence of pseudogenisation. Molecular analysis showed the presence of four ZP transcripts in ferret ovaries (ZP1, ZP2, ZP3 and ZP4) and three in fox ovaries (ZP2, ZP3 and ZP4). Analysis of the fox ZP1 gene showed the presence of a stop codon. The results strongly suggest that all four ZP genes are expressed in most carnivores, whereas ZP1 pseudogenisation seems to have independently affected three families (Canidae, Otariidae and Phocidae) of the carnivore tree.

Additional keywords: carnivore phylogeny, pseudogene.


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