We compared immunochemical and biochemical properties of the vitamin D-dependent Ca2+-binding protein (CaBP) from rat and mouse intestine. The two intestinal CaBP species were extensively purified by gel filtration and successive anion-exchange chromatographies. Both had a similar mol.wt. of 9000. Their pI values differed markedly, being 8.0 and 4.9 in rat and mouse CaBP respectively. Accordingly, mouse CaBP displayed more anodal migration in electrophoresis under non-denaturing conditions. Both mouse and rat CaBP only exhibited partial immunochemical similarities, but their amino acid compositions were very similar. Chromatofocusing was also found to be a good method of detecting calcium-dependent changes in their pI. We developed a sensitive radioimmunoassay for mouse CaBP enabling us to detect substantial amounts of CaBP in uterus, yolk sac and chorio-allantoic placenta. During normal mouse gestation, CaBP appeared on day 12 in the chorio-allantoic placenta but was already present on day 9 in the yolk sac, where its level rose sharply between days 9.5 and 10. CaBP may therefore be considered as a new marker for mouse yolk-sac differentiation.

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