Differential expression of vitelline membrane outer layer protein 1: Hormonal regulation of expression in the oviduct and in ovarian carcinomas from laying hens

Whasun Lim, Gwonhwa Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Vitelline membrane outer layer protein 1 (VMO1), a basic protein present in the outer layer of the vitelline membrane of eggs, plays essential roles in separating the yolk from the egg white and preventing infection from bacteria by forming a barrier of fibrous layers in avian eggs. Although VMO1 is expressed in the oviduct of hens, little is known about endocrine regulation of transcription of VMO1 in the oviduct and its expression in cancerous ovaries of laying hens. Results of present study indicated that expression of VMO1 mRNA increased in the chick oviduct in response to diethylstilbestrol (DES, a synthetic non-steroidal estrogen). VMO1 mRNA and protein were particularly abundant in the glandular epithelium (GE) and luminal epithelium (LE) of the magnum of the oviducts of chicks treated with DES. Also, during the regression and recrudescence phases of the oviduct during induced molting with zinc feeding, VMO1 expression decreased as the oviduct regressed and increased with remodeling and recrudescence of the oviduct in laying hens. In addition, changes in relative expression of specific microRNAs (miR-1623, miR-1552-3p, miR-1573, miR-22-3p, miR-124a and miR-1764) regulating VMO1 gene were detected in the oviducts during the molting period. Moreover, abundant expression of VMO1 was found in GE of cancerous, but not normal ovaries of laying hens. Results of the present study suggest that VMO1 is regulated by estrogen and target microRNAs in the chicken oviduct and that it is a potential diagnostic marker of ovarian cancer in laying hens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-258
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank members of the laboratory of Molecular Development Engineering for their constant support and appreciate Dr. Fuller W. Bazer (Texas A&M University, USA) for thoughtful editing and comments on our paper. This research was funded by Basic Science Research Program ( 2013R1A1A2A10005948 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, and also by a grant from the Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program (No. PJ008142 ), Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


  • Estrogen
  • Hen
  • Molting
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Oviduct
  • VMO1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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