A hyaline layer protein that becomes localized to the oral ectoderm and foregut of sea urchin embryos.
An antigen is described which is a marker for the oral ectoderm and foregut of the sea urchin embryo. In Lytechinus variegatus, the antigen is first detectable by immunofluorescence on the surface of fertilized eggs, and remains globally distributed through the early stages of gastrulation. Thereafter the antigen is localized to the oral ectoderm and foregut, coincident with the morphogenesis of these regions. The antigen is a large, detergent-insoluble, filamentous glycoprotein associated with the tips of the microvilli in the hyaline layer. This glycoprotein is present in two forms, a approximately 350-kDa form that is maternally synthesized and a much larger form which is synthesized at late gastrula stage as a 350-kDa precursor before becoming modified and assembled into the hyaline layer. The timing of synthesis of the zygotic form of the molecule correlates precisely with the localized expression of the antigen. The antigen copurifies with intact hyaline layers and cosediments with hyalin in the presence of calcium, suggesting that it is a structural component of the hyaline layer.
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