Zebavidin - An Avidin-Like Protein from Zebrafish

Barbara Taskinen, Joanna Zmurko, Markus Ojanen, Sampo Kukkurainen, Marimuthu Parthiban, Juha A E Määttä, Jenni Leppiniemi, Janne Jänis, Mataleena Parikka, Hannu Turpeinen, Mika Rämet, Marko Pesu, Mark S. Johnson, Markku S. Kulomaa, Tomi T. Airenne, Vesa P. Hytönen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The avidin protein family members are well known for their high affinity towards D-biotin and high structural stability. These properties make avidins valuable tools for a wide range of biotechnology applications. We have identified a new member of the avidin family in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) genome, hereafter called zebavidin. The protein is highly expressed in the gonads of both male and female zebrafish and in the gills of male fish, but our data suggest that zebavidin is not crucial for the developing embryo. Biophysical and structural characterisation of zebavidin revealed distinct properties not found in any previously characterised avidins. Gel filtration chromatography and native mass spectrometry suggest that the protein forms dimers in the absence of biotin at low ionic strength, but assembles into tetramers upon binding biotin. Ligand binding was analysed using radioactive and fluorescently labelled biotin and isothermal titration calorimetry. Moreover, the crystal structure of zebavidin in complex with biotin was solved at 2.4 Å resolution and unveiled unique ligand binding and subunit interface architectures: the atomic-level details support our physicochemical observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere77207
Pages (from-to)e77207
JournalPLOS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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