Characterization of chicken endoglin, a member of the zona pellucida family of proteins, and its tissue expression

Elisa Rossi, Carmen Langa, Alvaro Gilsanz, Francisco J. Blanco, Juan Ayllón, Enrique Villar, Luisa M. Botella, Carlos Cabañas, Marlene Shaw, Carmelo Bernabeu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Endoglin is a TGF-β co-receptor expressed in endothelial cells, where it plays a crucial role in angiogenesis, cardiovascular development and vascular remodeling. In humans, mutations in the endoglin gene give rise to Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia type 1 (HHT1), an autosomal dominant disorder associated with vascular lesions in skin, mucosa and internal organs. So far, endoglin cDNA has been sequenced in several species from mammals, amphibians and birds. While in mammals the characterization of endoglin protein expression and function is well documented, little is known about the protein homologue in birds. In silico analysis by multiple sequences alignment showed a low homology score of 30-33 between the full length chicken endoglin protein and several mammalian homologues. However, a high homology score (80-85) was observed with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane regions and the overall structure of the zona pellucida (ZP) and orphan domains of the extracellular region appear to be conserved. Transient expression of chicken endoglin allowed the identification of a 180-kDa disulfide linked homodimer similar to the mammalian homologues. To further characterize its tissue expression, the novel specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) 7H5A8 was generated against chicken endoglin transfectant cells. The mAb 7H5A8 specifically recognized chicken endoglin by western blot, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence flow cytometry as well as immunofluorescence microscopy assays and displayed a positive staining of the endothelium in veins and arteries from frozen tissue sections of lung and bursa of Fabricius. These results may help to further understand the endoglin expression in vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody
  • Endoglin
  • Endothelium
  • TGF-beta
  • Zona pellucida


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