Deployment of extracellular matrix proteins in sea urchin embryogenesis.
The apical extracellular matrix of the sea urchin embryo, known as the hyaline layer (HL), is a multi-laminate organelle composed of at least 10 polypeptides. Although integrated into one ECM, HL proteins exhibit individual temporal and spatial dynamics throughout development. These molecules are stockpiled in the oocyte during vitellogenesis in at least four distinct vesicle populations. They are released onto the cell surface at fertilization in a specific order, and interact differentially with embryonic cells as development proceeds. Many experiments have suggested that the HL is vital for embryogenesis, but relatively little is known about the functions and interactions of its constituent molecules. The purpose of the present review has been to gather information on the basic characteristics of the known HL proteins together with data on their expression in the embryo, and where possible, their biological activities. Compiled, these observations may provide some insight into the workings of a uniquely embryonic organelle.
Alliegro, MC; Black, SD; McClay, DR
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