Presclerotized eggshell protein from the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica. Academic Article uri icon


  • Trematode parasites protect their eggs with a tough tanned eggshell. Eggshell precursor proteins are synthesized and stockpiled within the extensive vitellaria of the animal. A major eggshell precursor protein with an apparent molecular weight of 31,000 and pI of 7.4 was isolated from the vitellaria of Fasciola hepatica. This protein, which represents 6-7% of the total protein in mature Fasciola, is unique in containing rather high levels of the amino acid 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), i.e., 110 residues per 1000. Other prominent amino acids are glycine, aspartic acid, and lysine. A prominent DOPA-containing tryptic peptide derived from eggshell precursor protein has the sequence Gly-Gly-Gly-DOPA-Gly-Gly-DOPA-Gly-Lys. DOPA residues disappear during the maturation of the eggshell and by treatment in vitro with mushroom polyphenol oxidase. This disappearance may be related to the formation of cross-links in the eggshell protein.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Waite, J. H., & Rice-Ficht, A. C.

citation count

  • 68

complete list of authors

  • Waite, JH||Rice-Ficht, AC

publication date

  • December 1987