The chemical identity of vitamin D in the egg of the domestic fowl was studied by analysing radioactivity in eggs from hens injected with [3H]cholecalciferol. Labelled molecules were found throughout the egg, but the concentration of total radioactivity in albumin was only 5-7% of that in yolk. In lipid extracts of yolk, more than 90% of the radioactivity was as unchanged cholecalciferol and 5% as 25-hydroxycholecalciferol. Only about 3% of the radioactivity in albumin was chloroform-soluble, and of this 40% was 25-hydroxycholecalciferol and 15% was cholecalciferol. Evidence is presented to support the idea that the specific transport of cholecalciferol into yolk is mediated by a cholecalciferol-binding protein in blood. This protein forms a complex with yolk proteins in transit from liver to ovary via the blood. A cholecalciferol-binding protein, chromatographically similar to that from blood, was found in egg yolk. It is postulated that cholecalciferol forms part of a complex with its specific binding protein, Ca2+ and the yolk phosphoprotein, phosvitin. This complex is then incorporated into yolk by the thecal cells of the ovarian follicle.
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Research Article| December 15 1976
Vitamin D in the avian egg. Its molecular identity and mechanism of incorporation into yolk
Biochem J (1976) 160 (3): 671–682.
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D R Fraser, J S Emtage; Vitamin D in the avian egg. Its molecular identity and mechanism of incorporation into yolk. Biochem J 15 December 1976; 160 (3): 671–682. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/bj1600671
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