Ji, G.D., Zhou, L., Wang, Y., Xia, W., and Gui, J.F. (2006) Identification of a novel C2 domain factor in ovaries of orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 143(3):374-383.
Follicle consists of an oocyte and a lot of surrounding follicular cells, and significant interactions exist between the oocyte and the somatic cells. In this study, a novel cDNA has been screened from a subtractive cDNA library between tail bud embryos and blastula embryos in the protogynous hermaphrodite orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides). Its full-length cDNA is 821 bp, and has an ORF of 414 bp for encoding a peptide of 137 aa, which shows 38%, 37%, 33%, and 33% homology with 4 putative proteins screened from zebrafish (Danio rerio). Conserved domain search in NCBI reveals a single C2 domain existing in the C2 domain superfamily proteins, and has only 7 beta strands in comparison with 8 beta strands of C2 domains in other C2 domain superfamily proteins. Artificial sex reversal, RT-PCR analysis and Western blot detection demonstrated ovary-specific expression of the C2 domain factor, and therefore the novel gene was designated as E. coioides ovary-specific C2 domain factor, EcOC2 factor. Moreover, predominant expression of EcOC2 factor was further revealed in grouper mature ovary, and its strong immunofluorescence signals were located between granulosa cells and oocyte zona radiata in grouper mature follicles. The data indicate that the novel EcOC2 factor might be a main component that associates between granulosa cells and the oocyte during oocyte maturation, and might play significant roles in regulating oocyte maturation and ovulation. Further studies on its developmental behaviour and physiological functions will elucidate the interactions between oocyte and the surrounding somatic cells and the underlying molecular mechanisms.