Caprine chorion, allantois and amnion from days 23, 28, 35, 39 and 45, and yolk sac from day 23 of pregnancy were isolated by dissection and cultured for 24 h in modified minimum essential medium in the presence of [35S] methionine. De novo-synthesized proteins released into the culture medium were analyzed by two-dimensional PAGE and fluorography. Patterns of protein production by these isolated extraembryonic membranes remained relatively unchanged from days 23 to 45 of pregnancy. Electrophoretic profiles of proteins synthesized by allantois and amnion were identical but distinct from that produced by chorion. Yolk sac was the major source of serum-like proteins. An acidic (pI 5·3–6·3) 22 kDa protein, which consisted of four isoelectric variants, was produced by all extraembryonic membranes and demonstrated to immunoreact with antiserum produced against bovine placental retinol-binding protein (RBP). Limited N-terminal sequence analysis of one major isoform indicated that the protein had complete homology with bovine RBP over the first 15 amino acids. Immunoreactive RBP was localized in epithelial cells lining the chorion, allantois and amnion. In this study, we have characterized and compared protein production by isolated extraembryonic membranes through days 23 to 45 of pregnancy and identified the 22 kDa protein as caprine RBP of placental origin.
Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 146, 527–534