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Sample records for silk protein sequences

  1. Sequence Identification, Recombinant Production, and Analysis of the Self-Assembly of Egg Stalk Silk Proteins from Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea.

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    Neuenfeldt, Martin; Scheibel, Thomas

    2017-06-13

    Egg stalk silks of the common green lacewing Chrysoperla carnea likely comprise at least three different silk proteins. Based on the natural spinning process, it was hypothesized that these proteins self-assemble without shear stress, as adult lacewings do not use a spinneret. To examine this, the first sequence identification and determination of the gene expression profile of several silk proteins and various transcript variants thereof was conducted, and then the three major proteins were recombinantly produced in Escherichia coli encoded by their native complementary DNA (cDNA) sequences. Circular dichroism measurements indicated that the silk proteins in aqueous solutions had a mainly intrinsically disordered structure. The largest silk protein, which we named ChryC1, exhibited a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) behavior and self-assembled into fibers or film morphologies, depending on the conditions used. The second silk protein, ChryC2, self-assembled into nanofibrils and subsequently formed hydrogels. Circular dichroism and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed conformational changes of both proteins into beta sheet rich structures upon assembly. ChryC3 did not self-assemble into any morphology under the tested conditions. Thereby, through this work, it could be shown that recombinant lacewing silk proteins can be produced and further used for studying the fiber formation of lacewing egg stalks.

  2. Osteoinductive recombinant silk fusion proteins for bone regeneration.

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    Dinjaski, Nina; Plowright, Robyn; Zhou, Shun; Belton, David J; Perry, Carole C; Kaplan, David L

    2017-02-01

    Protein polymers provide a unique opportunity for tunable designs of material systems due to the genetic basis of sequence control. To address the challenge of biomineralization interfaces with protein based materials, we genetically engineered spider silks to design organic-inorganic hybrid systems. The spider silk inspired domain (SGRGGLGGQG AGAAAAAGGA GQGGYGGLGSQGT) 15 served as an organic scaffold to control material stability and to allow multiple modes of processing, whereas the hydroxyapatite binding domain VTKHLNQISQSY (VTK), provided control over osteogenesis. The VTK domain was fused either to the N-, C- or both terminals of the spider silk domain to understand the effect of position on material properties and mineralization. The addition of the VTK domain to silk did not affect the physical properties of the silk recombinant constructs, but it had a critical role in the induction of biomineralization. When the VTK domain was placed on both the C- and N-termini the formation of crystalline hydroxyapatite was significantly increased. In addition, all of the recombinant proteins in film format supported the growth and proliferation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Importantly, the presence of the VTK domain enhanced osteoinductive properties up to 3-fold compared to the control (silk alone without VTK). Therefore, silk-VTK fusion proteins have been shown suitable for mineralization and functionalization for specific biomedical applications. Organic-inorganic interfaces are integral to biomaterial functions in many areas of repair and regeneration. Several protein polymers have been investigated for this purpose. Despite their success the limited options to fine-tune their material properties, degradation patterns and functionalize them for each specific biomedical application limits their application. Various studies have shown that the biological performance of such proteins can be improved by genetic engineering. The present study provides data

  3. New application of silk protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kamiishi, Youichi

    2000-01-01

    Gunma prefecture is famous for sericulture and silk textile industry district in Japan. In Gunma prefecture, some kinds of new generation silk as high performance and high quality silk were developed. These silk are used not only for the new textile materials but also for new industrial materials. New application of silk protein, fibroin and sericin, is considered. (author)

  4. New application of silk protein

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    Kamiishi, Youichi [Textile Research Institute of Gunma, Kiryu, Gunma (Japan)

    2000-03-01

    Gunma prefecture is famous for sericulture and silk textile industry district in Japan. In Gunma prefecture, some kinds of new generation silk as high performance and high quality silk were developed. These silk are used not only for the new textile materials but also for new industrial materials. New application of silk protein, fibroin and sericin, is considered. (author)

  5. Recombinant protein blends: silk beyond natural design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinjaski, Nina; Kaplan, David L

    2016-06-01

    Recombinant DNA technology and new material concepts are shaping future directions in biomaterial science for the design and production of the next-generation biomaterial platforms. Aside from conventionally used synthetic polymers, numerous natural biopolymers (e.g., silk, elastin, collagen, gelatin, alginate, cellulose, keratin, chitin, polyhydroxyalkanoates) have been investigated for properties and manipulation via bioengineering. Genetic engineering provides a path to increase structural and functional complexity of these biopolymers, and thereby expand the catalog of available biomaterials beyond that which exists in nature. In addition, the integration of experimental approaches with computational modeling to analyze sequence-structure-function relationships is starting to have an impact in the field by establishing predictive frameworks for determining material properties. Herein, we review advances in recombinant DNA-mediated protein production and functionalization approaches, with a focus on hybrids or combinations of proteins; recombinant protein blends or 'recombinamers'. We highlight the potential biomedical applications of fibrous protein recombinamers, such as Silk-Elastin Like Polypeptides (SELPs) and Silk-Bacterial Collagens (SBCs). We also discuss the possibility for the rationale design of fibrous proteins to build smart, stimuli-responsive biomaterials for diverse applications. We underline current limitations with production systems for these proteins and discuss the main trends in systems/synthetic biology that may improve recombinant fibrous protein design and production. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies

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    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms most known materials in terms of its mechanical performance, despite its underlying weak chemical bonding based on H-bonds. While experimental studies have shown that the molecular structure of silk proteins has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness and failure strength of silk, no molecular-level analysis of the nanostructure and associated mechanical properties of silk assemblies have been reported. Here, we report atomic-level structures of MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject these structures to mechanical loading for a detailed nanomechanical analysis. The structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains, while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 31-helix type structures and beta-turns. Our structural predictions are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content. Mechanical shearing simulations on selected structures illustrate that the nanoscale behaviour of silk protein assemblies is controlled by the distinctly different secondary structure content and hydrogen bonding in the crystalline and semi-amorphous regions. Both structural and mechanical characterization results show excellent agreement with available experimental evidence. Our findings set the stage for extensive atomistic investigations of silk, which may contribute towards an improved understanding of the source of the strength and toughness of this biological superfibre. PMID:20519206

  7. The Widespread Prevalence and Functional Significance of Silk-Like Structural Proteins in Metazoan Biological Materials.

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    Carmel McDougall

    Full Text Available In nature, numerous mechanisms have evolved by which organisms fabricate biological structures with an impressive array of physical characteristics. Some examples of metazoan biological materials include the highly elastic byssal threads by which bivalves attach themselves to rocks, biomineralized structures that form the skeletons of various animals, and spider silks that are renowned for their exceptional strength and elasticity. The remarkable properties of silks, which are perhaps the best studied biological materials, are the result of the highly repetitive, modular, and biased amino acid composition of the proteins that compose them. Interestingly, similar levels of modularity/repetitiveness and similar bias in amino acid compositions have been reported in proteins that are components of structural materials in other organisms, however the exact nature and extent of this similarity, and its functional and evolutionary relevance, is unknown. Here, we investigate this similarity and use sequence features common to silks and other known structural proteins to develop a bioinformatics-based method to identify similar proteins from large-scale transcriptome and whole-genome datasets. We show that a large number of proteins identified using this method have roles in biological material formation throughout the animal kingdom. Despite the similarity in sequence characteristics, most of the silk-like structural proteins (SLSPs identified in this study appear to have evolved independently and are restricted to a particular animal lineage. Although the exact function of many of these SLSPs is unknown, the apparent independent evolution of proteins with similar sequence characteristics in divergent lineages suggests that these features are important for the assembly of biological materials. The identification of these characteristics enable the generation of testable hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which these proteins assemble and direct the

  8. Effects of the amino acid sequence on thermal conduction through β-sheet crystals of natural silk protein.

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    Zhang, Lin; Bai, Zhitong; Ban, Heng; Liu, Ling

    2015-11-21

    Recent experiments have discovered very different thermal conductivities between the spider silk and the silkworm silk. Decoding the molecular mechanisms underpinning the distinct thermal properties may guide the rational design of synthetic silk materials and other biomaterials for multifunctionality and tunable properties. However, such an understanding is lacking, mainly due to the complex structure and phonon physics associated with the silk materials. Here, using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics, we demonstrate that the amino acid sequence plays a key role in the thermal conduction process through β-sheets, essential building blocks of natural silks and a variety of other biomaterials. Three representative β-sheet types, i.e. poly-A, poly-(GA), and poly-G, are shown to have distinct structural features and phonon dynamics leading to different thermal conductivities. A fundamental understanding of the sequence effects may stimulate the design and engineering of polymers and biopolymers for desired thermal properties.

  9. Silk-Silk Interactions between Silkworm Fibroin and Recombinant Spider Silk Fusion Proteins Enable the Construction of Bioactive Materials.

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    Nilebäck, Linnea; Chouhan, Dimple; Jansson, Ronnie; Widhe, Mona; Mandal, Biman B; Hedhammar, My

    2017-09-20

    Natural silk is easily accessible from silkworms and can be processed into different formats suitable as biomaterials and cell culture matrixes. Recombinant DNA technology enables chemical-free functionalization of partial silk proteins through fusion with peptide motifs and protein domains, but this constitutes a less cost-effective production process. Herein, we show that natural silk fibroin (SF) can be used as a bulk material that can be top-coated with a thin layer of the recombinant spider silk protein 4RepCT in fusion with various bioactive motifs and domains. The coating process is based on a silk assembly to achieve stable interactions between the silk types under mild buffer conditions. The assembly process was studied in real time by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation. Coatings, electrospun mats, and microporous scaffolds were constructed from Antheraea assama and Bombyx mori SFs. The morphology of the fibroin materials before and after coating with recombinant silk proteins was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. SF materials coated with various bioactive 4RepCT fusion proteins resulted in directed antibody capture, enzymatic activity, and improved cell attachment and spreading, respectively, compared to pristine SF materials. The herein-described procedure allows a fast and easy route for the construction of bioactive materials.

  10. Control of silicification by genetically engineered fusion proteins: silk-silica binding peptides.

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    Zhou, Shun; Huang, Wenwen; Belton, David J; Simmons, Leo O; Perry, Carole C; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L

    2015-03-01

    In the present study, an artificial spider silk gene, 6mer, derived from the consensus sequence of Nephila clavipes dragline silk gene, was fused with different silica-binding peptides (SiBPs), A1, A3 and R5, to study the impact of the fusion protein sequence chemistry on silica formation and the ability to generate a silk-silica composite in two different bioinspired silicification systems: solution-solution and solution-solid. Condensed silica nanoscale particles (600-800 nm) were formed in the presence of the recombinant silk and chimeras, which were smaller than those formed by 15mer-SiBP chimeras, revealing that the molecular weight of the silk domain correlated to the sizes of the condensed silica particles in the solution system. In addition, the chimeras (6mer-A1/A3/R5) produced smaller condensed silica particles than the control (6mer), revealing that the silica particle size formed in the solution system is controlled by the size of protein assemblies in solution. In the solution-solid interface system, silicification reactions were performed on the surface of films fabricated from the recombinant silk proteins and chimeras and then treated to induce β-sheet formation. A higher density of condensed silica formed on the films containing the lowest β-sheet content while the films with the highest β-sheet content precipitated the lowest density of silica, revealing an inverse correlation between the β-sheet secondary structure and the silica content formed on the films. Intriguingly, the 6mer-A3 showed the highest rate of silica condensation but the lowest density of silica deposition on the films, compared with 6mer-A1 and -R5, revealing antagonistic crosstalk between the silk and the SiBP domains in terms of protein assembly. These findings offer a path forward in the tailoring of biopolymer-silica composites for biomaterial related needs. Copyright © 2014 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Silk Fibroin Aqueous-Based Adhesives Inspired by Mussel Adhesive Proteins.

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    Burke, Kelly A; Roberts, Dane C; Kaplan, David L

    2016-01-11

    Silk fibroin from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori is a naturally occurring biopolymer with charged hydrophilic terminal regions that end-cap a hydrophobic core consisting of repeating sequences of glycine, alanine, and serine residues. Taking inspiration from mussels that produce proteins rich in L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) to adhere to a variety of organic and inorganic surfaces, the silk fibroin was functionalized with catechol groups. Silk fibroin was selected for its high molecular weight, tunable mechanical and degradation properties, aqueous processability, and wide availability. The synthesis of catechol-functionalized silk fibroin polymers containing varying amounts of hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG, 5000 g/mol) side chains was carried out to balance silk hydrophobicity with PEG hydrophilicity. The efficiency of the catechol functionalization reaction did not vary with PEG conjugation over the range studied, although tuning the amount of PEG conjugated was essential for aqueous solubility. Adhesive bonding and cell compatibility of the resulting materials were investigated, where it was found that incorporating as little as 6 wt % PEG prior to catechol functionalization resulted in complete aqueous solubility of the catechol conjugates and increased adhesive strength compared with silk lacking catechol functionalization. Furthermore, PEG-silk fibroin conjugates maintained their ability to form β-sheet secondary structures, which can be exploited to reduce swelling. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) proliferated on the silks, regardless of PEG and catechol conjugation. These materials represent a protein-based approach to catechol-based adhesives, which we envision may find applicability as biodegradable adhesives and sealants.

  12. Synthetic spider silk fibers spun from Pyriform Spidroin 2, a glue silk protein discovered in orb-weaving spider attachment discs.

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    Geurts, Paul; Zhao, Liang; Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Tang, Simon; Jeffery, Felicia; La Mattina, Coby; Franz, Andreas; Larkin, Leah; Vierra, Craig

    2010-12-13

    Spider attachment disc silk fibers are spun into a viscous liquid that rapidly solidifies, gluing dragline silk fibers to substrates for locomotion or web construction. Here we report the identification and artificial spinning of a novel attachment disc glue silk fibroin, Pyriform Spidroin 2 (PySp2), from the golden orb weaver Nephila clavipes . MS studies support PySp2 is a constituent of the pyriform gland that is spun into attachment discs. Analysis of the PySp2 protein architecture reveals sequence divergence relative to the other silk family members, including the cob weaver glue silk fibroin PySp1. PySp2 contains internal block repeats that consist of two subrepeat units: one dominated by Ser, Gln, and Ala and the other Pro-rich. Artificial spinning of recombinant PySp2 truncations shows that the Ser-Gln-Ala-rich subrepeat is sufficient for the assembly of polymeric subunits and subsequent fiber formation. These studies support that both orb- and cob-weaving spiders have evolved highly polar block-repeat sequences with the ability to self-assemble into fibers, suggesting a strategy to allow fiber fabrication in the liquid environment of the attachment discs.

  13. Spider Silk Fibers Spun from Soluble Recombinant Silk Produced in Mammalian Cells

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    Lazaris, Anthoula; Arcidiacono, Steven; Huang, Yue; Zhou, Jiang-Feng; Duguay, François; Chretien, Nathalie; Welsh, Elizabeth A.; Soares, Jason W.; Karatzas, Costas N.

    2002-01-01

    Spider silks are protein-based ``biopolymer'' filaments or threads secreted by specialized epithelial cells as concentrated soluble precursors of highly repetitive primary sequences. Spider dragline silk is a flexible, lightweight fiber of extraordinary strength and toughness comparable to that of synthetic high-performance fibers. We sought to ``biomimic'' the process of spider silk production by expressing in mammalian cells the dragline silk genes (ADF-3/MaSpII and MaSpI) of two spider species. We produced soluble recombinant (rc)-dragline silk proteins with molecular masses of 60 to 140 kilodaltons. We demonstrated the wet spinning of silk monofilaments spun from a concentrated aqueous solution of soluble rc-spider silk protein (ADF-3; 60 kilodaltons) under modest shear and coagulation conditions. The spun fibers were water insoluble with a fine diameter (10 to 40 micrometers) and exhibited toughness and modulus values comparable to those of native dragline silks but with lower tenacity. Dope solutions with rc-silk protein concentrations >20% and postspinning draw were necessary to achieve improved mechanical properties of the spun fibers. Fiber properties correlated with finer fiber diameter and increased birefringence.

  14. Repeat Sequence Proteins as Matrices for Nanocomposites

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    Drummy, L.; Koerner, H; Phillips, D; McAuliffe, J; Kumar, M; Farmer, B; Vaia, R; Naik, R

    2009-01-01

    Recombinant protein-inorganic nanocomposites comprised of exfoliated Na+ montmorillonite (MMT) in a recombinant protein matrix based on silk-like and elastin-like amino acid motifs (silk elastin-like protein (SELP)) were formed via a solution blending process. Charged residues along the protein backbone are shown to dominate long-range interactions, whereas the SELP repeat sequence leads to local protein/MMT compatibility. Up to a 50% increase in room temperature modulus and a comparable decrease in high temperature coefficient of thermal expansion occur for cast films containing 2-10 wt.% MMT.

  15. Variation in Protein Intake Induces Variation in Spider Silk Expression

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    Blamires, Sean J.; Wu, Chun-Lin; Tso, I-Min

    2012-01-01

    Background It is energetically expensive to synthesize certain amino acids. The proteins (spidroins) of spider major ampullate (MA) silk, MaSp1 and MaSp2, differ in amino acid composition. Glutamine and proline are prevalent in MaSp2 and are expensive to synthesize. Since most orb web spiders express high proline silk they might preferentially attain the amino acids needed for silk from food and shift toward expressing more MaSp1 in their MA silk when starved. Methodology/Principal Findings We fed three spiders; Argiope aetherea, Cyrtophora moluccensis and Leucauge blanda, high protein, low protein or no protein solutions. A. aetherea and L. blanda MA silks are high in proline, while C. moluccesnsis MA silks are low in proline. After 10 days of feeding we determined the amino acid compositions and mechanical properties of each species' MA silk and compared them between species and treatments with pre-treatment samples, accounting for ancestry. We found that the proline and glutamine of A. aetherea and L. blanda silks were affected by protein intake; significantly decreasing under the low and no protein intake treatments. Glutmaine composition in C. moluccensis silk was likewise affected by protein intake. However, the composition of proline in their MA silk was not significantly affected by protein intake. Conclusions Our results suggest that protein limitation induces a shift toward different silk proteins with lower glutamine and/or proline content. Contradictions to the MaSp model lie in the findings that C. moluccensis MA silks did not experience a significant reduction in proline and A. aetherea did not experience a significant reduction in serine on low/no protein. The mechanical properties of the silks could not be explained by a MaSp1 expressional shift. Factors other than MaSp expression, such as the expression of spidroin-like orthologues, may impact on silk amino acid composition and spinning and glandular processes may impact mechanics. PMID:22363691

  16. Biomaterials Derived from Silk-Tropoelastin Protein Systems

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    Hu, Xiao; Wang, Xiuli; Rnjak, Jelena; Weiss, Anthony S.; Kaplan, David L.

    2010-01-01

    A structural protein blend system based on silkworm silk fibroin and recombinant human tropoelastin is described. Silk fibroin, a semicrystalline fibrous protein with beta-sheet crystals provides mechanical strength and controllable biodegradation, while tropoelastin, a noncrystallizable elastic protein provides elasticity. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and temperature modulated DSC (TMDSC) indicated that silk becomes miscible with tropoelastin at different blend ratios, without macrophase separation. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed secondary structural changes of the blend system (beta-sheet content) before and after methanol treatment. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) nano-indentation demonstrated that blending silk and tropoelastin at different ratios resulted in modification of mechanical features, with resilience from ~68% to ~97%, and elastic modulus between 2~9Mpa, depending on the ratio of the two polymers. Some of these values are close to those of native aortic elastin or elastin-like polypeptides. Significantly, during blending and drying silk-tropoelastin form micro- and nano-scale porous morphologies which promote human mesenchymal stem cell attachment and proliferation. These blends offer a new protein biomaterial system for cell support and tailored biomaterial properties to match mechanical needs. PMID:20674969

  17. [Engineered spider silk: the intelligent biomaterial of the future. Part I].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florczak, Anna; Piekoś, Konrad; Kaźmierska, Katarzyna; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Dams-Kozłowska, Hanna

    2011-06-17

    The unique properties of spider silk such as strength, extensibility, toughness, biocompatibility and biodegradability are the reasons for the recent development in silk biomaterial technology. For a long time scientific progress was impeded by limited access to spider silk. However, the development of the molecular biology strategy was a breaking point in synthetic spider silk protein design. The sequences of engineered spider silk are based on the consensus motives of the corresponding natural equivalents. Moreover, the engineered silk proteins may be modified in order to gain a new function. The strategy of the hybrid proteins constructed on the DNA level combines the sequence of engineered silk, which is responsible for the biomaterial structure, with the sequence of polypeptide which allows functionalization of the silk biomaterial. The functional domains may comprise receptor binding sites, enzymes, metal or sugar binding sites and others. Currently, advanced research is being conducted, which on the one hand focuses on establishing the particular silk structure and understanding the process of silk thread formation in nature. On the other hand, there are attempts to improve methods of engineered spider silk protein production. Due to acquired knowledge and recent progress in synthetic protein technology, the engineered silk will turn into intelligent biomaterial of the future, while its industrial production scale will trigger a biotechnological revolution.

  18. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins.

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    Tokareva, Olena; Michalczechen-Lacerda, Valquíria A; Rech, Elíbio L; Kaplan, David L

    2013-11-01

    Spider dragline silk is considered to be the toughest biopolymer on Earth due to an extraordinary combination of strength and elasticity. Moreover, silks are biocompatible and biodegradable protein-based materials. Recent advances in genetic engineering make it possible to produce recombinant silks in heterologous hosts, opening up opportunities for large-scale production of recombinant silks for various biomedical and material science applications. We review the current strategies to produce recombinant spider silks. © 2013 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  19. The influence of specific binding of collagen-silk chimeras to silk biomaterials on hMSC behavior.

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    An, Bo; DesRochers, Teresa M; Qin, Guokui; Xia, Xiaoxia; Thiagarajan, Geetha; Brodsky, Barbara; Kaplan, David L

    2013-01-01

    Collagen-like proteins in the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes adopt a triple-helix structure with a thermal stability similar to that of animal collagens, can be expressed in high yield in Escherichia coli and can be easily modified through molecular biology techniques. However, potential applications for such recombinant collagens are limited by their lack of higher order structure to achieve the physical properties needed for most biomaterials. To overcome this problem, the S. pyogenes collagen domain was fused to a repetitive Bombyx mori silk consensus sequence, as a strategy to direct specific non-covalent binding onto solid silk materials whose superior stability, mechanical and material properties have been previously established. This approach resulted in the successful binding of these new collagen-silk chimeric proteins to silk films and porous scaffolds, and the binding affinity could be controlled by varying the number of repeats in the silk sequence. To explore the potential of collagen-silk chimera for regulating biological activity, integrin (Int) and fibronectin (Fn) binding sequences from mammalian collagens were introduced into the bacterial collagen domain. The attachment of bioactive collagen-silk chimeras to solid silk biomaterials promoted hMSC spreading and proliferation substantially in comparison to the controls. The ability to combine the biomaterial features of silk with the biological activities of collagen allowed more rapid cell interactions with silk-based biomaterials, improved regulation of stem cell growth and differentiation, as well as the formation of artificial extracellular matrices useful for tissue engineering applications. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Regulation of Silk Genes by Hox and Homeodomain Proteins in the Terminal Differentiated Silk Gland of the Silkworm Bombyx mori

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    Takiya, Shigeharu; Tsubota, Takuya; Kimoto, Mai

    2016-01-01

    The silk gland of the silkworm Bombyx mori is a long tubular organ that is divided into several subparts along its anteroposterior (AP) axis. As a trait of terminal differentiation of the silk gland, several silk protein genes are expressed with unique regional specificities. Most of the Hox and some of the homeobox genes are also expressed in the differentiated silk gland with regional specificities. The expression patterns of Hox genes in the silk gland roughly correspond to those in embryogenesis showing “colinearity”. The central Hox class protein Antennapedia (Antp) directly regulates the expression of several middle silk gland–specific silk genes, whereas the Lin-1/Isl-1/Mec3 (LIM)-homeodomain transcriptional factor Arrowhead (Awh) regulates the expression of posterior silk gland–specific genes for silk fiber proteins. We summarize our results and discuss the usefulness of the silk gland of Bombyx mori for analyzing the function of Hox genes. Further analyses of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the region-specific expression of silk genes will provide novel insights into the molecular bases for target-gene selection and regulation by Hox and homeodomain proteins. PMID:29615585

  1. Regulation of Silk Genes by Hox and Homeodomain Proteins in the Terminal Differentiated Silk Gland of the Silkworm Bombyx mori

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    Shigeharu Takiya

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The silk gland of the silkworm Bombyx mori is a long tubular organ that is divided into several subparts along its anteroposterior (AP axis. As a trait of terminal differentiation of the silk gland, several silk protein genes are expressed with unique regional specificities. Most of the Hox and some of the homeobox genes are also expressed in the differentiated silk gland with regional specificities. The expression patterns of Hox genes in the silk gland roughly correspond to those in embryogenesis showing “colinearity”. The central Hox class protein Antennapedia (Antp directly regulates the expression of several middle silk gland–specific silk genes, whereas the Lin-1/Isl-1/Mec3 (LIM-homeodomain transcriptional factor Arrowhead (Awh regulates the expression of posterior silk gland–specific genes for silk fiber proteins. We summarize our results and discuss the usefulness of the silk gland of Bombyx mori for analyzing the function of Hox genes. Further analyses of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the region-specific expression of silk genes will provide novel insights into the molecular bases for target-gene selection and regulation by Hox and homeodomain proteins.

  2. Correlation between fibroin amino acid sequence and physical silk properties.

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    Fedic, Robert; Zurovec, Michal; Sehnal, Frantisek

    2003-09-12

    The fiber properties of lepidopteran silk depend on the amino acid repeats that interact during H-fibroin polymerization. The aim of our research was to relate repeat composition to insect biology and fiber strength. Representative regions of the H-fibroin genes were sequenced and analyzed in three pyralid species: wax moth (Galleria mellonella), European flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella), and Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella). The amino acid repeats are species-specific, evidently a diversification of an ancestral region of 43 residues, and include three types of regularly dispersed motifs: modifications of GSSAASAA sequence, stretches of tripeptides GXZ where X and Z represent bulky residues, and sequences similar to PVIVIEE. No concatenations of GX dipeptide or alanine, which are typical for Bombyx silkworms and Antheraea silk moths, respectively, were found. Despite different repeat structure, the silks of G. mellonella and E. kuehniella exhibit similar tensile strength as the Bombyx and Antheraea silks. We suggest that in these latter two species, variations in the repeat length obstruct repeat alignment, but sufficiently long stretches of iterated residues get superposed to interact. In the pyralid H-fibroins, interactions of the widely separated and diverse motifs depend on the precision of repeat matching; silk is strong in G. mellonella and E. kuehniella, with 2-3 types of long homogeneous repeats, and nearly 10 times weaker in P. interpunctella, with seven types of shorter erratic repeats. The high proportion of large amino acids in the H-fibroin of pyralids has probably evolved in connection with the spinning habit of caterpillars that live in protective silk tubes and spin continuously, enlarging the tubes on one end and partly devouring the other one. The silk serves as a depot of energetically rich and essential amino acids that may be scarce in the diet.

  3. Metal nanoparticles triggered persistent negative photoconductivity in silk protein hydrogels

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    Gogurla, Narendar; Sinha, Arun K.; Naskar, Deboki; Kundu, Subhas C.; Ray, Samit K.

    2016-03-01

    Silk protein is a natural biopolymer with intriguing properties, which are attractive for next generation bio-integrated electronic and photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate the negative photoconductive response of Bombyx mori silk protein fibroin hydrogels, triggered by Au nanoparticles. The room temperature electrical conductivity of Au-silk hydrogels is found to be enhanced with the incorporation of Au nanoparticles over the control sample, due to the increased charge transporting networks within the hydrogel. Au-silk lateral photoconductor devices show a unique negative photoconductive response under an illumination of 325 nm, with excitation energy higher than the characteristic metal plasmon resonance band. The enhanced photoconductance yield in the hydrogels over the silk protein is attributed to the photo-oxidation of amino groups in the β-pleated sheets of the silk around the Au nanoparticles followed by the breaking of charge transport networks. The Au-silk nanocomposite does not show any photoresponse under visible illumination because of the localization of excited charges in Au nanoparticles. The negative photoconductive response of hybrid Au-silk under UV illumination may pave the way towards the utilization of silk for future bio-photonic devices using metal nanoparticle platforms.

  4. Self-assembly of silk-elastinlike protein polymers into three-dimensional scaffolds for biomedical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Like

    Production of brand new protein-based materials with precise control over the amino acid sequences at single residue level has been made possible by genetic engineering, through which artificial genes can be developed that encode protein-based materials with desired features. As an example, silk-elastinlike protein polymers (SELPs), composed of tandem repeats of amino acid sequence motifs from Bombyx mori (silkworm) silk and mammalian elastin, have been produced in this approach. SELPs have been studied extensively in the past two decades, however, the fundamental mechanism governing the self-assembly process to date still remains largely unresolved. Further, regardless of the unprecedented success when exploited in areas including drug delivery, gene therapy, and tissue augmentation, SELPs scaffolds as a three-dimensional cell culture model system are complicated by the inability of SELPs to provide the embedded tissue cells with appropriate biochemical stimuli essential for cell survival and function. In this dissertation, it is reported that the self-assembly of silk-elastinlike protein polymers (SELPs) into nanofibers in aqueous solutions can be modulated by tuning the curing temperature, the size of the silk blocks, and the charge of the elastin blocks. A core-sheath model was proposed for nanofiber formation, with the silk blocks in the cores and the hydrated elastin blocks in the sheaths. The folding of the silk blocks into stable cores -- affected by the size of the silk blocks and the charge of the elastin blocks -- plays a critical role in the assembly of silk-elastin nanofibers. The assembled nanofibers further form nanofiber clusters on the microscale, and the nanofiber clusters then coalesce into nanofiber micro-assemblies, interconnection of which eventually leads to the formation of three-dimensional scaffolds with distinct nanoscale and microscale features. SELP-Collagen hybrid scaffolds were also fabricated to enable independent control over the

  5. Predicting Silk Fiber Mechanical Properties through Multiscale Simulation and Protein Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rim, Nae-Gyune; Roberts, Erin G; Ebrahimi, Davoud; Dinjaski, Nina; Jacobsen, Matthew M; Martín-Moldes, Zaira; Buehler, Markus J; Kaplan, David L; Wong, Joyce Y

    2017-08-14

    Silk is a promising material for biomedical applications, and much research is focused on how application-specific, mechanical properties of silk can be designed synthetically through proper amino acid sequences and processing parameters. This protocol describes an iterative process between research disciplines that combines simulation, genetic synthesis, and fiber analysis to better design silk fibers with specific mechanical properties. Computational methods are used to assess the protein polymer structure as it forms an interconnected fiber network through shearing and how this process affects fiber mechanical properties. Model outcomes are validated experimentally with the genetic design of protein polymers that match the simulation structures, fiber fabrication from these polymers, and mechanical testing of these fibers. Through iterative feedback between computation, genetic synthesis, and fiber mechanical testing, this protocol will enable a priori prediction capability of recombinant material mechanical properties via insights from the resulting molecular architecture of the fiber network based entirely on the initial protein monomer composition. This style of protocol may be applied to other fields where a research team seeks to design a biomaterial with biomedical application-specific properties. This protocol highlights when and how the three research groups (simulation, synthesis, and engineering) should be interacting to arrive at the most effective method for predictive design of their material.

  6. Solubilization of silk protein by radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sudatis, Boonya; Pongpat, Suchada [Office of Atomic Energy of Peace, Bangkok (Thailand)

    2002-03-01

    Gamma irradiated silk fibroin at doses of 0, 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 125, 250, 500, 750 and 1000 kGy were soaked in water for 1 hr. Silk fibroin solubilized percentage was investigated from lost weight of sample (dried at 105{sup 0}C), they were 0, 0, 0.7, 0, 0.11, 0.11, 0, 0.73, 0.77, 4.38, 8.32, 10.22 and 18.52 respectively. It showed that at the higher dose up to 250 kGy had direct effect to solubility, and increased with increasing dose. In addition, silk sericin dissolved 77.76, 82.22, 83.55, 84.31, 86.04, 86.67 and 87.37% after gamma irradiation at the doses of 0, 50, 100, 200, 500, 750 and 1000 kGy respectively. It presents that radiation can cause silk protein, fibroin and sericin dissolve because of their degradation. (author)

  7. Folding behavior of four silks of giant honey bee reflects the evolutionary conservation of aculeate silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maitip, Jakkrawut; Trueman, Holly E; Kaehler, Benjamin D; Huttley, Gavin A; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Sutherland, Tara D

    2015-04-01

    Multiple gene duplication events in the precursor of the Aculeata (bees, ants, hornets) gave rise to four silk genes. Whilst these homologs encode proteins with similar amino acid composition and coiled coil structure, the retention of all four homologs implies they each are important. In this study we identified, produced and characterized the four silk proteins from Apis dorsata, the giant Asian honeybee. The proteins were readily purified, allowing us to investigate the folding behavior of solutions of individual proteins in comparison to mixtures of all four proteins at concentrations where they assemble into their native coiled coil structure. In contrast to solutions of any one protein type, solutions of a mixture of the four proteins formed coiled coils that were stable against dilution and detergent denaturation. The results are consistent with the formation of a heteromeric coiled coil protein complex. The mechanism of silk protein coiled coil formation and evolution is discussed in light of these results. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies, in particular, under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Silk Composite with a Fluoropolymer as a Water-Resistant Protein-Based Material

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiji Numata

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Silk-based materials are water-sensitive and show different physical properties at different humidities and under wet/dry conditions. To overcome the water sensitivity of silk-based materials, we developed a silk composite material with a fluoropolymer. Blending and coating the silk protein-based materials, such as films and textiles, with the fluoropolymer enhanced the surface hydrophobicity, water vapor barrier properties, and size stability during shrinkage tests. This material design with a protein biopolymer and a fluoropolymer is expected to broaden the applicability of protein-based materials.

  10. The Effects of Silk Protein Solution on Quality of Mangosteen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phadvibulya, Valailak; Sudatis, Boonya; Panyarum, Kanyarat; Junsaithong, Mayuree; Kerdchoechuen, Orapin

    2011-06-01

    Full text: Sericin silk protein solution prepared from irradiated silk waste was applied as a wax coating on mangosteen fruits but was found not appropriate. Nonetheless, when the solution was sprayed onto fruits from the setting stage till maturity, it enhanced the fruit quality. Fruits showed a bigger stalk and greener, thicker and larger-angled calyx than untreated ones. They were edible after being kept at 25 C for 3 to 4 weeks. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution and untreated fruits were separately harvested and packed for export. A half of them were irradiated with gamma radiation for insect eradication and then kept at 10 C with 80 percents relative humidity. The unirradiated half was stored similarly. Results showed that rind color of irradiated fruits changed slower than unirradiated ones. However, silk protein solution spraying and irradiation did not affect fruit firmness and total soluble solids of mangosteen flesh. For sensory evaluation, it was found that sprayed and irradiated fruits showed no differences from the untreated ones in their physical properties, color, taste and odor. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution without irradiation had the longest shelf life of 6 weeks

  11. The Effects of Silk Protein Solution on Quality of Mangosteen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phadvibulya, Valailak; Sudatis, Boonya; Panyarum, Kanyarat; Junsaithong, Mayuree [Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology, Nakhon Nayok, (Thailand); Kerdchoechuen, Orapin [School of Bioresources and Technology, King Mongkuts University, Bangkok (Thailand)

    2011-06-15

    Full text: Sericin silk protein solution prepared from irradiated silk waste was applied as a wax coating on mangosteen fruits but was found not appropriate. Nonetheless, when the solution was sprayed onto fruits from the setting stage till maturity, it enhanced the fruit quality. Fruits showed a bigger stalk and greener, thicker and larger-angled calyx than untreated ones. They were edible after being kept at 25{sup C} for 3 to 4 weeks. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution and untreated fruits were separately harvested and packed for export. A half of them were irradiated with gamma radiation for insect eradication and then kept at 10{sup C} with 80 percents relative humidity. The unirradiated half was stored similarly. Results showed that rind color of irradiated fruits changed slower than unirradiated ones. However, silk protein solution spraying and irradiation did not affect fruit firmness and total soluble solids of mangosteen flesh. For sensory evaluation, it was found that sprayed and irradiated fruits showed no differences from the untreated ones in their physical properties, color, taste and odor. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution without irradiation had the longest shelf life of 6 weeks.

  12. Radiation processing of silk protein (Bilateral research cooperation OAEP and JAERI. December 1998 - December 2002)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    Thailand's production of silk, about 1,200 ton per year, also gives about 10% of silk waste which is expected to be recycled into new material (non-textile application) and to avoid environmental pollution. For this purpose, cooperative program 'radiation processing of silk protein' was conducted between OAEP (Thailand) and JAERI. Among the results already obtained are: radiation degradation of silk protein (fibroin) with gamma rays at 160 kGy, production of fine silk milled powder (<90 microns) by electron beam irradiation at 250-1000 kGy (dry method) using electron accelerator (1 MeV, 1 mA), use of antioxidant effect of silk protein on lipid peroxidation and antibacterial activity of irradiated silk protein powder, and wound dressing hydrogel mixed with silk protein and use of antibacterial activity of cross-linked silk protein/PVA hydrogel. Other topics of interest are gamma irradiation of anionic natural polymer solution for use as latex protein scavenger and gamma radiation degradation of chitosan for use as plant growth promoter and fungicide. (S. Ohno)

  13. Mapping domain structures in silks from insects and spiders related to protein assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bini, Elisabetta; Knight, David P; Kaplan, David L

    2004-01-02

    The exceptional solubility in vivo (20-30%, w/v) of the silk proteins of insects and spiders is dictated by both the need to produce solid fibres with a high packing fraction and the high mesogen concentration required for lyotropic liquid crystalline spinning. A further design requirement for silk proteins is a strong predominance of hydrophobic amino acid residues to provide for the hydrophobic interactions, water exclusion, and beta-crystallite formation required to produce strong insoluble threads. Thus, the domain structure of silk proteins needs to enable nanoscale phase separation to achieve high solubility of hydrophobic proteins in aqueous solutions. Additionally, silk proteins need to avoid premature precipitation as beta-sheets during storage and processing. Here we use mapping of domain types, sizes and distributions in silks to identify consistent design features that have evolved to meet these requirements. We show that silk proteins consist of conspicuously hydrophilic terminal domains flanking a very long central portion constructed from hydrophobic blocks separated by hydrophilic ones, discussing the domain structure in detail. The general rules of construction for silk proteins based on our observations should give a useful guide to the way in which Nature has solved the problem of processing hydrophobic proteins in water and how this can be copied industrially. Following these rules may also help in obtaining adequate expression, soluble products and controllable conformational switches in the production of genetically engineered or chemically synthesized silk analogues. Thus these insights have implications for structural biology and relevance to fundamental and applied questions in material science and engineering.

  14. Tunable green graphene-silk biomaterials: Mechanism of protein-based nanocomposites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fang; Jyothirmayee Aravind, S S; Wu, Hao; Forys, Joseph; Venkataraman, Venkat; Ramanujachary, Kandalam; Hu, Xiao

    2017-10-01

    Green graphene materials prepared by photoreduction of graphite oxide were first time blended with aqueous-based silk fibroin proteins to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of silk biomaterials, and their nanocomposite interaction mechanism was illustrated. Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis confirmed the complete exfoliation of graphite oxide to graphene in presence of focused pulses of solar radiation. By varying the concentration of graphene (0.1wt% to 10wt%), a series of free standing graphene-silk films were prepared and were systematically characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and nanoindentation measurements. The homogeneity of graphene in silk as well as the thermal stability of the composite films was demonstrated by thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and temperature-modulated differential scanning calorimetry (TMDSC). Surprisingly, silk composite film containing only 0.5wt% of graphene gives the highest Young's modulus of 1.65GPa (about 5.8 times higher than the pure silk's modulus), indicating a nano-composite to micro-composite transition of silk-graphene structure occurred around this mixing ratio. This finding provided an easy approach to improve the elastic modulus and other physical properties of silk materials by adding a tiny amount of graphene sheets. Fibroblast cells studies also proved that these graphene-silk materials can significantly improve cell adhesion, growth and proliferation. This protein nanocomposite study provided a useful model to understand how to manipulate the hydrophobic-hydrophobic and polar-polar interactions between high-surface-area inorganic nanomaterials and amphiphilic protein materials, which has many emerging applications in the material science and engineering, such as bio-device fabrication, drug storage and release, and tissue regeneration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Invited review the coiled coil silk of bees, ants, and hornets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Tara D; Weisman, Sarah; Walker, Andrew A; Mudie, Stephen T

    2012-06-01

    In this article, we review current knowledge about the silk produced by the larvae of bees, ants, and hornets [Apoidea and Vespoidea: Hymenoptera]. Different species use the silk either alone or in composites for a variety of purposes including mechanical reinforcement, thermal regulation, or humidification. The characteristic molecular structure of this silk is α-helical proteins assembled into tetrameric coiled coils. Gene sequences from seven species are available, and each species possesses a copy of each of four related silk genes that encode proteins predicted to form coiled coils. The proteins are ordered at multiple length scales within the labial gland of the final larval instar before spinning. The insects control the morphology of the silk during spinning to produce either fibers or sheets. The silk proteins are small and non repetitive and have been produced artificially at high levels by fermentation in E. coli. The artificial silk proteins can be fabricated into materials with structural and mechanical properties similar to those of native silks. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Mechanism of Stabilization of Labile Compounds by Silk Fibroin Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-05

    saliva, or urine , and their collection and storage is critical to obtain reliable results. Without proper temperature regulation protein biomarkers in... samples for long-term ambient storage and subsequent on-demand recovery and laboratory analysis. Air dried silks provide a protective barrier that...silk in the stabilization of a range of different analytes, including entrapment, storage and recovery. Here, we successfully used silk fibroin as a

  17. Untangling spider silk evolution with spidroin terminal domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garb Jessica E

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spidroins are a unique family of large, structural proteins that make up the bulk of spider silk fibers. Due to the highly variable nature of their repetitive sequences, spidroin evolutionary relationships have principally been determined from their non-repetitive carboxy (C-terminal domains, though they offer limited character data. The few known spidroin amino (N-terminal domains have been difficult to obtain, but potentially contain critical phylogenetic information for reconstructing the diversification of spider silks. Here we used silk gland expression data (ESTs from highly divergent species to evaluate the functional significance and phylogenetic utility of spidroin N-terminal domains. Results We report 11 additional spidroin N-termini found by sequencing ~1,900 silk gland cDNAs from nine spider species that shared a common ancestor > 240 million years ago. In contrast to their hyper-variable repetitive regions, spidroin N-terminal domains have retained striking similarities in sequence identity, predicted secondary structure, and hydrophobicity. Through separate and combined phylogenetic analyses of N-terminal domains and their corresponding C-termini, we find that combined analysis produces the most resolved trees and that N-termini contribute more support and less conflict than the C-termini. These analyses show that paralogs largely group by silk gland type, except for the major ampullate spidroins. Moreover, spidroin structural motifs associated with superior tensile strength arose early in the history of this gene family, whereas a motif conferring greater extensibility convergently evolved in two distantly related paralogs. Conclusions A non-repetitive N-terminal domain appears to be a universal attribute of spidroin proteins, likely retained from the origin of spider silk production. Since this time, spidroin N-termini have maintained several features, consistent with this domain playing a key role in silk

  18. Gold nanoparticle-embedded silk protein-ZnO nanorod hybrids for flexible bio-photonic devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogurla, Narendar; Kundu, Subhas C.; Ray, Samit K.

    2017-04-01

    Silk protein has been used as a biopolymer substrate for flexible photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate ZnO nanorod array hybrid photodetectors on Au nanoparticle-embedded silk protein for flexible optoelectronics. Hybrid samples exhibit optical absorption at the band edge of ZnO as well as plasmonic energy due to Au nanoparticles, making them attractive for selective UV and visible wavelength detection. The device prepared on Au-silk protein shows a much lower dark current and a higher photo to dark-current ratio of ∼105 as compared to the control sample without Au nanoparticles. The hybrid device also exhibits a higher specific detectivity due to higher responsivity arising from the photo-generated hole trapping by Au nanoparticles. Sharp pulses in the transient photocurrent have been observed in devices prepared on glass and Au-silk protein substrates due to the light induced pyroelectric effect of ZnO, enabling the demonstration of self-powered photodetectors at zero bias. Flexible hybrid detectors have been demonstrated on Au-silk/polyethylene terephthalate substrates, exhibiting characteristics similar to those fabricated on rigid glass substrates. A study of the performance of photodetectors with different bending angles indicates very good mechanical stability of silk protein based flexible devices. This novel concept of ZnO nanorod array photodetectors on a natural silk protein platform provides an opportunity to realize integrated flexible and self-powered bio-photonic devices for medical applications in near future.

  19. The protective ability of Camellia meal extract on the silk protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, JZ; Cai, C.; Zhang, DY; Dai, BK

    2018-02-01

    With the enhancement of living standards, people pay more and more attention to the health. The edible oil become more and more popular, but also produced a large amount of Camellia meal which can not fully put into utilization. In this study, the extracting liquid of Camellia meal was used on the process of silk degumming. Firstly, tussah silk was treated by degumming in the Na2CO3 solution, and the preliminary condition of tussah silk degumming was obtained by orthogonal experiment: the concentration Na2CO3 was 0.1%, the degumming time was 1 hour, and the ratio of silk/water was 40:1. Then the extract of Camellia meal (GCJSY) was added before the bleaching process of tussah silk to investigate the protective ability of GCJSY on the silk protein basry on the residual ratio of the silk. While the concentration of GYJSY was 0.08%, the residual ratio of silk after degumming in the Na2CO3 solution and bleaching in the 2% H2O2 solution was 87.2%.

  20. Structural study of Bombyx mori silk fibroin during processing for regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Sung-Won

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin has excellent mechanical properties combined with flexibility, tissue compatibility, and high oxygen permeability in the wet condition. This important material should be dissolved and regenerated to be utilized as useful forms such as gel, film, fiber, powder, or non-woven. However, it has long been a problem that the regenerated fibroin materials show poor mechanical properties and brittleness. These problems were technically solved by improving a fiber processing method reported here. The regenerated fibroin fibers showed much better mechanical properties compared to the original silk fibers. This improved technique for the fiber processing of Bombyx mori silk fibroin may be used as a model system for other semi-crystalline fiber forming proteins, becoming available through biotechnology. The physical and chemical properties of the regenerated fibers were characterized by SinTechRTM tensile testing, X-ray diffraction, solid state 13C NMR spectroscopy, and SEM. Unlike synthetic polymers, the molecular weight distribution of Bombyx mori silk fibroin is mono-disperse because silk fibroin is synthesized from DNA template. Genetic studies have revealed the entire amino acid sequence of Bombyx mori silk fibroin. It is known that the crystalline silk II structure is composed of hexa-amino acid sequences, GAGAGS. However, in the amino acid sequence of Bombyx mori silk fibroin heavy chain, there are present 11 chemically irregular but evolutionarily conserved sequences with about 31 amino acid residues (irregular GT˜GT sequences). The structure and role of these irregular sequences have remained unknown. One of the most frequently appearing irregular sequences was synthesized by a peptide synthesizer. The three-dimensional structure of this irregular silk peptide was studied by the high resolution two-dimensional NMR technique. The three-dimensional structure of this peptide shows that it makes a turn or loop structure (distorted O shape), which

  1. Study on antibacterial activity of hydrogel from irradiated silk protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bunnak, J.; Chaisupakitsin, M.

    2001-01-01

    Hydrogels for biomedical application were prepared from solution blends of 3% silk protein and 3%, 10% poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and followed with irradiation. Mixture of hydrogels were gamma irradiated at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 kGy under N 2 atmosphere. To clarify anti-bacterial activity of hydrogels, modified of the Agar disk diffusion method and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, AATCC Test Method 90-1977, were carried out. The four kinds of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, were used. It was found that a 1:3 volume ratio of 3% silk protein and 3% PVA respectively, at 50 kGy irradiation, is suitable conditions for preparation hydrogels and trend to indicate the highest of an antibacterial activity against E. coli, B. subtilis and S. aureus. However the antibacterial activity of hydrogels against S. epidermidis was not clearly. These results are very useful to expand the application of hydrogel from irradiated silk protein to the medical products. (author)

  2. Study on antibacterial activity of hydrogel from irradiated silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bunnak, J; Chaisupakitsin, M [King Mongkut' s Institute of Technology Lardkrabang, Bangkok (Thailand)

    2001-03-01

    Hydrogels for biomedical application were prepared from solution blends of 3% silk protein and 3%, 10% poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and followed with irradiation. Mixture of hydrogels were gamma irradiated at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 kGy under N{sub 2} atmosphere. To clarify anti-bacterial activity of hydrogels, modified of the Agar disk diffusion method and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, AATCC Test Method 90-1977, were carried out. The four kinds of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, were used. It was found that a 1:3 volume ratio of 3% silk protein and 3% PVA respectively, at 50 kGy irradiation, is suitable conditions for preparation hydrogels and trend to indicate the highest of an antibacterial activity against E. coli, B. subtilis and S. aureus. However the antibacterial activity of hydrogels against S. epidermidis was not clearly. These results are very useful to expand the application of hydrogel from irradiated silk protein to the medical products. (author)

  3. Silk-based biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altman, Gregory H; Diaz, Frank; Jakuba, Caroline; Calabro, Tara; Horan, Rebecca L; Chen, Jingsong; Lu, Helen; Richmond, John; Kaplan, David L

    2003-02-01

    Silk from the silkworm, Bombyx mori, has been used as biomedical suture material for centuries. The unique mechanical properties of these fibers provided important clinical repair options for many applications. During the past 20 years, some biocompatibility problems have been reported for silkworm silk; however, contamination from residual sericin (glue-like proteins) was the likely cause. More recent studies with well-defined silkworm silk fibers and films suggest that the core silk fibroin fibers exhibit comparable biocompatibility in vitro and in vivo with other commonly used biomaterials such as polylactic acid and collagen. Furthermore, the unique mechanical properties of the silk fibers, the diversity of side chain chemistries for 'decoration' with growth and adhesion factors, and the ability to genetically tailor the protein provide additional rationale for the exploration of this family of fibrous proteins for biomaterial applications. For example, in designing scaffolds for tissue engineering these properties are particularly relevant and recent results with bone and ligament formation in vitro support the potential role for this biomaterial in future applications. To date, studies with silks to address biomaterial and matrix scaffold needs have focused on silkworm silk. With the diversity of silk-like fibrous proteins from spiders and insects, a range of native or bioengineered variants can be expected for application to a diverse set of clinical needs.

  4. Quantification of the physiochemical constraints on the export of spider silk proteins by Salmonella type III secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Voigt Christopher A

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The type III secretion system (T3SS is a molecular machine in gram negative bacteria that exports proteins through both membranes to the extracellular environment. It has been previously demonstrated that the T3SS encoded in Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1 (SPI-1 can be harnessed to export recombinant proteins. Here, we demonstrate the secretion of a variety of unfolded spider silk proteins and use these data to quantify the constraints of this system with respect to the export of recombinant protein. Results To test how the timing and level of protein expression affects secretion, we designed a hybrid promoter that combines an IPTG-inducible system with a natural genetic circuit that controls effector expression in Salmonella (psicA. LacO operators are placed in various locations in the psicA promoter and the optimal induction occurs when a single operator is placed at the +5nt (234-fold and a lower basal level of expression is achieved when a second operator is placed at -63nt to take advantage of DNA looping. Using this tool, we find that the secretion efficiency (protein secreted divided by total expressed is constant as a function of total expressed. We also demonstrate that the secretion flux peaks at 8 hours. We then use whole gene DNA synthesis to construct codon optimized spider silk genes for full-length (3129 amino acids Latrodectus hesperus dragline silk, Bombyx mori cocoon silk, and Nephila clavipes flagelliform silk and PCR is used to create eight truncations of these genes. These proteins are all unfolded polypeptides and they encompass a variety of length, charge, and amino acid compositions. We find those proteins fewer than 550 amino acids reliably secrete and the probability declines significantly after ~700 amino acids. There also is a charge optimum at -2.4, and secretion efficiency declines for very positively or negatively charged proteins. There is no significant correlation with hydrophobicity

  5. MicroRNA of the fifth-instar posterior silk gland of silkworm identified by Solexa sequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jisheng Li

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available No special studies have been focused on the microRNA (miRNA in the fifth-instar posterior silk gland of Bombyx mori. Here, using next-generation sequencing, we acquired 93.2 million processed reads from 10 small RNA libraries. In this paper, we tried to thoroughly describe how our dataset generated from deep sequencing which was recently published in BMC genomics. Results showed that our findings are largely enriched silkworm miRNA depository and may benefit us to reveal the miRNA functions in the process of silk production.

  6. A highly divergent gene cluster in honey bees encodes a novel silk family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Tara D; Campbell, Peter M; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Wanjura, Wolfgang J; Haritos, Victoria S

    2006-11-01

    The pupal cocoon of the domesticated silk moth Bombyx mori is the best known and most extensively studied insect silk. It is not widely known that Apis mellifera larvae also produce silk. We have used a combination of genomic and proteomic techniques to identify four honey bee fiber genes (AmelFibroin1-4) and two silk-associated genes (AmelSA1 and 2). The four fiber genes are small, comprise a single exon each, and are clustered on a short genomic region where the open reading frames are GC-rich amid low GC intergenic regions. The genes encode similar proteins that are highly helical and predicted to form unusually tight coiled coils. Despite the similarity in size, structure, and composition of the encoded proteins, the genes have low primary sequence identity. We propose that the four fiber genes have arisen from gene duplication events but have subsequently diverged significantly. The silk-associated genes encode proteins likely to act as a glue (AmelSA1) and involved in silk processing (AmelSA2). Although the silks of honey bees and silkmoths both originate in larval labial glands, the silk proteins are completely different in their primary, secondary, and tertiary structures as well as the genomic arrangement of the genes encoding them. This implies independent evolutionary origins for these functionally related proteins.

  7. Enhancing analysis of cells and proteins by fluorescence imaging on silk-based biomaterials: modulating the autofluorescence of silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neo, Puay Yong; Tan, Daryl Jian-An; Shi, Pujiang; Toh, Siew Lok; Goh, James Cho-Hong

    2015-02-01

    Silk is a versatile and established biomaterial for various tissue engineering purposes. However, it also exhibits strong autofluorescence signals-thereby hindering fluorescence imaging analysis of cells and proteins on silk-derived biomaterials. Sudan Black B (SB) is a lysochrome dye commonly used to stain lipids in histology. It has also been reported to be able to quench autofluorescence of tissues in histology and has been tested on artificial biomedical polymers in recent years. It was hypothesized that SB would exert similar quenching effects on silk, modulating the autofluorescence signals, and thereby enabling improved imaging analysis of cells and molecules of interests. The quenching effect of SB on the intrinsic fluorescence properties of silk and on commercial fluorescent dyes were first investigated in this study. SB was then incorporated into typical fluorescence-based staining protocols to study its effectiveness in improving fluorescence-based imaging of the cells and proteins residing with the silk-based biomaterials. Silk processed into various forms of biomaterials (e.g., films, sponges, fibers, and electrospun mats) was seeded with cells and cultured in vitro. At sacrificial time points, specimens were harvested, fixed, and prepared for fluorescence staining. SB, available commercially as a powder, was dissolved in 70% ethanol (0.3% [w/v]) to form staining solutions. SB treatment was introduced at the last step of typical immunofluorescence staining protocols for 15-120 min. For actin staining protocols by phalloidin toxin, SB staining solutions were added before and after permeabilization with Triton-X for 15-30 min. Results showed that ideal SB treatment duration is about 15 min. Apart from being able to suppress the autofluorescence of silk, this treatment duration was also not too long to adversely affect the fluorescent labeling probes used. The relative improvement brought about by SB treatment was most evident in the blue and green

  8. Silk-based biomaterials functionalized with fibronectin type II promotes cell adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Ana Margarida; Machado, Raul; da Costa, André; Ribeiro, Artur; Collins, Tony; Gomes, Andreia C; Leonor, Isabel B; Kaplan, David L; Reis, Rui L; Casal, Margarida

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this work was to exploit the fibronectin type II (FNII) module from human matrix metalloproteinase-2 as a functional domain for the development of silk-based biopolymer blends that display enhanced cell adhesion properties. The DNA sequence of spider dragline silk protein (6mer) was genetically fused with the FNII coding sequence and expressed in Escherichia coli. The chimeric protein 6mer+FNII was purified by non-chromatographic methods. Films prepared from 6mer+FNII by solvent casting promoted only limited cell adhesion of human skin fibroblasts. However, the performance of the material in terms of cell adhesion was significantly improved when 6mer+FNII was combined with a silk-elastin-like protein in a concentration-dependent behavior. With this work we describe a novel class of biopolymer that promote cell adhesion and potentially useful as biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This work reports the development of biocompatible silk-based composites with enhanced cell adhesion properties suitable for biomedical applications in regenerative medicine. The biocomposites were produced by combining a genetically engineered silk-elastin-like protein with a genetically engineered spider-silk-based polypeptide carrying the three domains of the fibronectin type II module from human metalloproteinase-2. These composites were processed into free-standing films by solvent casting and characterized for their biological behavior. To our knowledge this is the first report of the exploitation of all three FNII domains as a functional domain for the development of bioinspired materials with improved biological performance. The present study highlights the potential of using genetically engineered protein-based composites as a platform for the development of new bioinspired biomaterials. Copyright © 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Applicability of biotechnologically produced insect silks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herold, Heike M; Scheibel, Thomas

    2017-09-26

    Silks are structural proteins produced by arthropods. Besides the well-known cocoon silk, which is produced by larvae of the silk moth Bombyx mori to undergo metamorphosis inside their silken shelter (and which is also used for textile production by men since millennia), numerous further less known silk-producing animals exist. The ability to produce silk evolved multiple independent times during evolution, and the fact that silk was subject to convergent evolution gave rise to an abundant natural diversity of silk proteins. Silks are used in air, under water, or like honey bee silk in the hydrophobic, waxen environment of the bee hive. The good mechanical properties of insect silk fibres together with their non-toxic, biocompatible, and biodegradable nature renders these materials appealing for both technical and biomedical applications. Although nature provides a great diversity of material properties, the variation in quality inherent in materials from natural sources together with low availability (except from silkworm silk) impeded the development of applications of silks. To overcome these two drawbacks, in recent years, recombinant silks gained more and more interest, as the biotechnological production of silk proteins allows for a scalable production at constant quality. This review summarises recent developments in recombinant silk production as well as technical procedures to process recombinant silk proteins into fibres, films, and hydrogels.

  10. Solubilization of spider silk proteins and its structural analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osbin, K.; Jayan, Manuel; Bhadrakumari, S.; Predeep, P.

    2017-06-01

    This study investigates the presence of various amide bands present in different spider silk species, which provides extraordinary physical properties. Three different spider silks were collected from Western Ghats region. The collected spider silks samples belonging to the spider Heteropoda venatoria (species 1), Hersilia savignyi (species 2) and Pholcus phalangioides (species 3). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra reveals the protein peaks in the amide I, II, and III regions in all the three types of spider silk species.

  11. Importance of Heat and Pressure for Solubilization of Recombinant Spider Silk Proteins in Aqueous Solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Justin A; Harris, Thomas I; Oliveira, Paula F; Bell, Brianne E; Alhabib, Abdulrahman; Lewis, Randolph V

    2016-11-23

    The production of recombinant spider silk proteins continues to be a key area of interest for a number of research groups. Several key obstacles exist in their production as well as in their formulation into useable products. The original reported method to solubilize recombinant spider silk proteins (rSSp) in an aqueous solution involved using microwaves to quickly generate heat and pressure inside of a sealed vial containing rSSp and water. Fibers produced from this system are remarkable in their mechanical ability and demonstrate the ability to be stretched and recover 100 times. The microwave method dissolves the rSSPs with dissolution time increasing with higher molecular weight constructs, increasing concentration of rSSPs, protein type, and salt concentration. It has proven successful in solvating a number of different rSSPs including native-like sequences (MaSp1, MaSp2, piriform, and aggregate) as well as chimeric sequences (FlAS) in varied concentrations that have been spun into fibers and formed into films, foams, sponges, gels, coatings, macro and micro spheres and adhesives. The system is effective but inherently unpredictable and difficult to control. Provided that the materials that can be generated from this method of dissolution are impressive, an alternative means of applying heat and pressure that is controllable and predictable has been developed. Results indicate that there are combinations of heat and pressure (135 °C and 140 psi) that result in maximal dissolution without degrading the recombinant MaSp2 protein tested, and that heat and pressure are the key elements to the method of dissolution.

  12. Complex gene expression in the dragline silk producing glands of the Western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Amanda Kelly; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Whitworth, Gregg B; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2013-12-02

    Orb-web and cob-web weaving spiders spin dragline silk fibers that are among the strongest materials known. Draglines are primarily composed of MaSp1 and MaSp2, two spidroins (spider fibrous proteins) expressed in the major ampullate (MA) silk glands. Prior genetic studies of dragline silk have focused mostly on determining the sequence of these spidroins, leaving other genetic aspects of silk synthesis largely uncharacterized. Here, we used deep sequencing to profile gene expression patterns in the Western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus. We sequenced millions of 3'-anchored "tags" of cDNAs derived either from MA glands or control tissue (cephalothorax) mRNAs, then associated the tags with genes by compiling a reference database from our newly constructed normalized L. hesperus cDNA library and published L. hesperus sequences. We were able to determine transcript abundance and alternative polyadenylation of each of three loci encoding MaSp1. The ratio of MaSp1:MaSp2 transcripts varied between individuals, but on average was similar to the estimated ratio of MaSp1:MaSp2 in dragline fibers. We also identified transcription of TuSp1 in MA glands, another spidroin family member that encodes the primary component of egg-sac silk, synthesized in tubuliform glands. In addition to the spidroin paralogs, we identified 30 genes that are more abundantly represented in MA glands than cephalothoraxes and represent new candidates for involvement in spider silk synthesis. Modulating expression rates of MaSp1 variants as well as MaSp2 and TuSp1 could lead to differences in mechanical properties of dragline fibers. Many of the newly identified candidate genes likely encode secreted proteins, suggesting they could be incorporated into dragline fibers or assist in protein processing and fiber assembly. Our results demonstrate previously unrecognized transcript complexity in spider silk glands.

  13. Self-Assembly of Spider Silk-Fusion Proteins Comprising Enzymatic and Fluorescence Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humenik, Martin; Mohrand, Madeleine; Scheibel, Thomas

    2018-04-18

    The recombinant spider silk protein eADF4(C16) was genetically fused either with esterase 2 (EST2) or green fluorescent protein (GFP). The fusions EST-eADF4(C16) and GFP-eADF4(C16) were spectroscopically investigated and showed native structures of EST and GFP. The structural integrity was confirmed by the enzymatic activity of EST and the fluorescence of GFP. The spider silk moiety retained its intrinsically unstructured conformation in solution and the self-assembly into either nanofibrils or nanoparticles could be controlled by the concentration of phosphate. Particles, however, showed significantly lower activity of the EST and GFP domains likely caused by a steric hindrance. However, upon self-assembly of EST-eADF4(C16) and GFP-eADF4(C16) into fibrils the protein activities were retained. In general, the fusion of globular enzymes with the spider silk domain allows the generation of fibrous biomaterials with catalytic or light emitting properties.

  14. Synergistic Integration of Experimental and Simulation Approaches for the de Novo Design of Silk-Based Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wenwen; Ebrahimi, Davoud; Dinjaski, Nina; Tarakanova, Anna; Buehler, Markus J; Wong, Joyce Y; Kaplan, David L

    2017-04-18

    Tailored biomaterials with tunable functional properties are crucial for a variety of task-specific applications ranging from healthcare to sustainable, novel bio-nanodevices. To generate polymeric materials with predictive functional outcomes, exploiting designs from nature while morphing them toward non-natural systems offers an important strategy. Silks are Nature's building blocks and are produced by arthropods for a variety of uses that are essential for their survival. Due to the genetic control of encoded protein sequence, mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and biodegradability, silk proteins have been selected as prototype models to emulate for the tunable designs of biomaterial systems. The bottom up strategy of material design opens important opportunities to create predictive functional outcomes, following the exquisite polymeric templates inspired by silks. Recombinant DNA technology provides a systematic approach to recapitulate, vary, and evaluate the core structure peptide motifs in silks and then biosynthesize silk-based polymers by design. Post-biosynthesis processing allows for another dimension of material design by controlled or assisted assembly. Multiscale modeling, from the theoretical prospective, provides strategies to explore interactions at different length scales, leading to selective material properties. Synergy among experimental and modeling approaches can provide new and more rapid insights into the most appropriate structure-function relationships to pursue while also furthering our understanding in terms of the range of silk-based systems that can be generated. This approach utilizes nature as a blueprint for initial polymer designs with useful functions (e.g., silk fibers) but also employs modeling-guided experiments to expand the initial polymer designs into new domains of functional materials that do not exist in nature. The overall path to these new functional outcomes is greatly accelerated via the integration of

  15. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    Nature has the ability to assemble a variety of simple molecules into complex functional structures with diverse properties. Collagens, silks and muscles fibers are some examples of fibrous proteins with self-assembling properties. One of the great challenges facing Science is to mimic these designs in Nature to find a way to construct molecules that are capable of organizing into functional supra-structures by self-assembly. In order to do so, a construction kit consisting of molecular building blocks along with a complete understanding on how to form functional materials is required. In this current research, the focus is on spider silk and collagen as fibrous protein-based biopolymers that can shed light on how to generate nanostructures through the complex process of self-assembly. Spider silk in fiber form offers a unique combination of high elasticity, toughness, and mechanical strength, along with biological compatibility and biodegrability. Spider silk is an example of a natural block copolymer, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating polymers that organize into functional materials with extraordinary properties. Since silks resemble synthetic block copolymer systems, we adopted the principles of block copolymer design from the synthetic polymer literature to build block copolymers based on spider silk sequences. Moreover, we consider spider silk to be an important model with which to study the relationships between structure and properties in our system. Thus, the first part of this work was dedicated to a novel family of spider silk block copolymers, where we generated a new family of functional spider silk-like block copolymers through recombinant DNA technology. To provide fundamental insight into relationships between peptide primary sequence, block composition, and block length and observed morphological and structural features, we used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study secondary structure

  16. Optimization of the silk scaffold sericin removal process for retention of silk fibroin protein structure and mechanical properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teh, Thomas K H; Toh, Siew-Lok; Goh, James C H

    2010-01-01

    In the process of removing sericin (degumming) from a raw silk scaffold, the fibroin structural integrity is often challenged, leading to mechanical depreciation. This study aims to identify the factors and conditions contributing to fibroin degradation during alkaline degumming and to perform an optimization study of the parameters involved to achieve preservation of fibroin structure and properties. The methodology involves degumming knitted silk scaffolds for various durations (5-90 min) and temperatures (60-100 0 C). Mechanical agitation and use of the refreshed solution during degumming are included to investigate how these factors contribute to degumming efficiency and fibroin preservation. Characterizations of silk fibroin morphology, mechanical properties and protein components are determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), single fiber tensile tests and gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), respectively. Sericin removal is ascertained via SEM imaging and a protein fractionation method involving SDS-PAGE. The results show that fibroin fibrillation, leading to reduced mechanical integrity, is mainly caused by prolonged degumming duration. Through a series of optimization, knitted scaffolds are observed to be optimally degummed and experience negligible mechanical and structural degradation when subjected to alkaline degumming with mechanical agitation for 30 min at 100 0 C.

  17. Optimization of the silk scaffold sericin removal process for retention of silk fibroin protein structure and mechanical properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teh, Thomas K H; Toh, Siew-Lok; Goh, James C H, E-mail: dosgohj@nus.edu.s, E-mail: dostkh@nus.edu.s, E-mail: bietohsl@nus.edu.s [Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore (Singapore)

    2010-06-01

    In the process of removing sericin (degumming) from a raw silk scaffold, the fibroin structural integrity is often challenged, leading to mechanical depreciation. This study aims to identify the factors and conditions contributing to fibroin degradation during alkaline degumming and to perform an optimization study of the parameters involved to achieve preservation of fibroin structure and properties. The methodology involves degumming knitted silk scaffolds for various durations (5-90 min) and temperatures (60-100 {sup 0}C). Mechanical agitation and use of the refreshed solution during degumming are included to investigate how these factors contribute to degumming efficiency and fibroin preservation. Characterizations of silk fibroin morphology, mechanical properties and protein components are determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), single fiber tensile tests and gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), respectively. Sericin removal is ascertained via SEM imaging and a protein fractionation method involving SDS-PAGE. The results show that fibroin fibrillation, leading to reduced mechanical integrity, is mainly caused by prolonged degumming duration. Through a series of optimization, knitted scaffolds are observed to be optimally degummed and experience negligible mechanical and structural degradation when subjected to alkaline degumming with mechanical agitation for 30 min at 100 {sup 0}C.

  18. Thermal Analysis, Structural Studies and Morphology of Spider Silk-like Block Copolymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wenwen

    Spider silk is a remarkable natural block copolymer, which offers a unique combination of low density, excellent mechanical properties, and thermal stability over a wide range of temperature, along with biocompatibility and biodegrability. The dragline silk of Nephila clavipes, is one of the most well understood and the best characterized spider silk, in which alanine-rich hydrophobic blocks and glycine-rich hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating a functional block copolymer with potential uses in biomedical applications such as guided tissue repair and drug delivery. To provide further insight into the relationships among peptide amino acid sequence, block length, and physical properties, in this thesis, we studied synthetic proteins inspired by the genetic sequences found in spider dragline silks, and used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study thermal, structural and morphological features. To obtain a fuller understanding of the thermal dynamic properties of these novel materials, we use a model to calculate the heat capacity of spider silk block copolymer in the solid or liquid state, below or above the glass transition temperature, respectively. We characterize the thermal phase transitions by temperature modulated differential scanning calorimetry (TMDSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). We also determined the crystallinity by TMDSC and compared the result with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). To understand the protein-water interactions with respect to the protein amino acid sequence, we also modeled the specific reversing heat capacity of the protein-water system, Cp(T), based on the vibrational, rotational and translational motions of protein amino acid residues and water molecules. Advanced thermal analysis methods using TMDSC and TGA show two glass transitions were observed in all samples during heating. The low temperature glass transition, Tg(1), is related to

  19. Duplication and concerted evolution of MiSp-encoding genes underlie the material properties of minor ampullate silks of cobweb weaving spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vienneau-Hathaway, Jannelle M; Brassfield, Elizabeth R; Lane, Amanda Kelly; Collin, Matthew A; Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Clarke, Thomas H; Schwager, Evelyn E; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2017-03-14

    Orb-web weaving spiders and their relatives use multiple types of task-specific silks. The majority of spider silk studies have focused on the ultra-tough dragline silk synthesized in major ampullate glands, but other silk types have impressive material properties. For instance, minor ampullate silks of orb-web weaving spiders are as tough as draglines, due to their higher extensibility despite lower strength. Differences in material properties between silk types result from differences in their component proteins, particularly members of the spidroin (spider fibroin) gene family. However, the extent to which variation in material properties within a single silk type can be explained by variation in spidroin sequences is unknown. Here, we compare the minor ampullate spidroins (MiSp) of orb-weavers and cobweb weavers. Orb-web weavers use minor ampullate silk to form the auxiliary spiral of the orb-web while cobweb weavers use it to wrap prey, suggesting that selection pressures on minor ampullate spidroins (MiSp) may differ between the two groups. We report complete or nearly complete MiSp sequences from five cobweb weaving spider species and measure material properties of minor ampullate silks in a subset of these species. We also compare MiSp sequences and silk properties of our cobweb weavers to published data for orb-web weavers. We demonstrate that all our cobweb weavers possess multiple MiSp loci and that one locus is more highly expressed in at least two species. We also find that the proportion of β-spiral-forming amino acid motifs in MiSp positively correlates with minor ampullate silk extensibility across orb-web and cobweb weavers. MiSp sequences vary dramatically within and among spider species, and have likely been subject to multiple rounds of gene duplication and concerted evolution, which have contributed to the diverse material properties of minor ampullate silks. Our sequences also provide templates for recombinant silk proteins with tailored

  20. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-08-09

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes.

  1. Atomistic model of the spider silk nanostructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-04-01

    Spider silk is an ultrastrong and extensible self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms the mechanical characteristics of many synthetic materials including steel. Here we report atomic-level structures that represent aggregates of MaSp1 proteins from the N. Clavipes silk sequence based on a bottom-up computational approach using replica exchange molecular dynamics. We discover that poly-alanine regions predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains while disorderly structures are formed by poly-glycine repeats, resembling 31-helices. These could be the molecular source of the large semicrystalline fraction observed in silks, and also form the basis of the so-called "prestretched" molecular configuration. Our structures are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content.

  2. DNA preservation in silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yawen; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Gong, He; Liu, Meng; Guo, Shaozhe; Li, Gang; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L

    2017-06-27

    The structure of DNA is susceptible to alterations at high temperature and on changing pH, irradiation and exposure to DNase. Options to protect and preserve DNA during storage are important for applications in genetic diagnosis, identity authentication, drug development and bioresearch. In the present study, the stability of total DNA purified from human dermal fibroblast cells, as well as that of plasmid DNA, was studied in silk protein materials. The DNA/silk mixtures were stabilized on filter paper (silk/DNA + filter) or filter paper pre-coated with silk and treated with methanol (silk/DNA + PT-filter) as a route to practical utility. After air-drying and water extraction, 50-70% of the DNA and silk could be retrieved and showed a single band on electrophoretic gels. 6% silk/DNA + PT-filter samples provided improved stability in comparison with 3% silk/DNA + filter samples and DNA + filter samples for DNA preservation, with ∼40% of the band intensity remaining at 37 °C after 40 days and ∼10% after exposure to UV light for 10 hours. Quantitative analysis using the PicoGreen assay confirmed the results. The use of Tris/borate/EDTA (TBE) buffer enhanced the preservation and/or extraction of the DNA. The DNA extracted after storage maintained integrity and function based on serving as a functional template for PCR amplification of the gene for zinc finger protein 750 (ZNF750) and for transgene expression of red fluorescence protein (dsRed) in HEK293 cells. The high molecular weight and high content of a crystalline beta-sheet structure formed on the coated surfaces likely accounted for the preservation effects observed for the silk/DNA + PT-filter samples. Although similar preservation effects were also obtained for lyophilized silk/DNA samples, the rapid and simple processing available with the silk-DNA-filter membrane system makes it appealing for future applications.

  3. SPIDER SILK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PORAV Viorica

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The strengthness and toughness of spider fiber and its multifunctional nature is only surpassed in some cases by synthetic high performance fibers. In the world of natural fibers, spider silk has been long time recognized as a wonder fiber for its unique combination of high strength and rupture elongation. Scientists in civil military engineering reveal that the power of biological material (spider silk lies in the geometric configuration of structural protein, and the small cluster of week hydrogen bonds that works together to resist force and dissipate energy. Each spider and each type of silk has a set of mechanical properties optimized for their biological function. Most silks, in particular deagline silk, have exceptional mechanical properties. They exhibit a unique combination of high tensile strength and extensibility (ductility. This enables a silk fiber to absorb a lot of energy before breaking (toughness, the area under a stress- strain curve. A frequent mistake made in the mainstream media is to confuse strength and toughness when comparing silk to other materials. As shown below in detail, weight for weight, silk is stronger than steel, but not as strong as Kevlar. Silk is,however, tougher than both.This paper inform about overview on the today trend in the world of spider silk.

  4. Transgenic Silk Moths to Produce Spider Silk

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Herrera, Rene J

    2008-01-01

    .... Other alternatives like production of the protein that yields same or similar mechanical properties of dragline silk in microorganisms or mammalian cells, in spinning fibers from concentrated protein...

  5. A Hox Gene, Antennapedia, Regulates Expression of Multiple Major Silk Protein Genes in the Silkworm Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsubota, Takuya; Tomita, Shuichiro; Uchino, Keiro; Kimoto, Mai; Takiya, Shigeharu; Kajiwara, Hideyuki; Yamazaki, Toshimasa; Sezutsu, Hideki

    2016-03-25

    Hoxgenes play a pivotal role in the determination of anteroposterior axis specificity during bilaterian animal development. They do so by acting as a master control and regulating the expression of genes important for development. Recently, however, we showed that Hoxgenes can also function in terminally differentiated tissue of the lepidopteranBombyx mori In this species,Antennapedia(Antp) regulates expression of sericin-1, a major silk protein gene, in the silk gland. Here, we investigated whether Antpcan regulate expression of multiple genes in this tissue. By means of proteomic, RT-PCR, and in situ hybridization analyses, we demonstrate that misexpression of Antpin the posterior silk gland induced ectopic expression of major silk protein genes such assericin-3,fhxh4, and fhxh5 These genes are normally expressed specifically in the middle silk gland as is Antp Therefore, the evidence strongly suggests that Antpactivates these silk protein genes in the middle silk gland. The putativesericin-1 activator complex (middle silk gland-intermolt-specific complex) can bind to the upstream regions of these genes, suggesting that Antpdirectly activates their expression. We also found that the pattern of gene expression was well conserved between B. moriand the wild species Bombyx mandarina, indicating that the gene regulation mechanism identified here is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism and not an artifact of the domestication of B. mori We suggest that Hoxgenes have a role as a master control in terminally differentiated tissues, possibly acting as a primary regulator for a range of physiological processes. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  6. Silkworms transformed with chimeric silkworm/spider silk genes spin composite silk fibers with improved mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of a spider silk manufacturing process is of great interest. piggyBac vectors were used to create transgenic silkworms encoding chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins. The silk fibers produced by these animals were composite materials that included chimeric silkworm/spider silk prote...

  7. Structural Transitions Induced by a Recombinant Methionine-Trigger in Silk Spidroin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Donna; Winkler, Stefan; Valluzzi, Regina; Kaplan, David

    2000-03-01

    Control of beta sheet formation is an important factor in the understanding and prediction of structural transitions and protein folding. In genetically engineered silk proteins this control has been achieved using oxidative triggers. A genetically engineered variant of a spider silk protein, and a peptide analog, based on the consensus sequence of Nephila clavipes dragline silk, were modified to include methionines flanking the beta sheet forming polyalanine regions. These methionines could be selectively reduced and oxidized, altering the bulkiness and charge of the sulfhydryl group to control beta sheet formation by steric hindrance. Biophysical characterization and monitoring of structural transitions and intermediates were accomplished through attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR) for solution state structures in both oxidized and reduced forms. For solid state structural characterization, IR microscopy and reflectance IR experiments were performed. Electron diffraction data as well as circular dichroism studies provide structural corroboration for all experiments in which reproducible sample preparation was achieved.

  8. SILK FIBRE DEGRADATION AND ANALYSIS BY PROTEOMICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YUKSELOGLU S.Muge

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Silk is one of the promising natural fibres and has a long established history in textile production throughout the centuries. Silk is produced by cultured silk worms, spiders, scorpions, mites and flies. It is extracellular proteinaceous fibres which consist of highly crystalline and insoluble proteins, the fibroins glued with sericin and an amourphous protein. On the other hand, understanding and controlling the degradation of protein materials are important for determining quality and the value of appearance retention in textiles. Hence, for silk textiles, appearance retention is critical value for the quality. And this is one of the key properties directly related to the degree and nature of protein degradation. It is therefore necessary to understand the silk composition and damage to obtain good conservation treatments and long-term preservation especially for the historical silk fabrics. In this study, silk fibre and its properties are briefly introduced along with images on their fibre damages. Additionally, proteomics method which helps to understand the degradation at the molecular level in textiles is introduced. Finally, proteomic evaluation of silk is summarized according to the researchers carried out in the literature.

  9. Functional expression of a Bombyx mori cocoonase: potential application for silk degumming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodbumrer, Prangprapai; Arthan, Dumrongkiet; Uyen, Utai; Yuvaniyama, Jirundon; Svasti, Jisnuson; Wongsaengchantra, Pramvadee Y

    2012-12-01

    Cocoon, a shelter for larva development to silk moth, contains the fibrous protein fibroin, which is coated by the globular protein sericin. Emergence of the silk moth requires the action of cocoonase, a protease secreted by the pupa. The full-length prococoonase cDNA, with 780 bp open reading frame encoding 260 amino acids, was cloned by reverse transcription from total RNA of the head of 6-day-old Thai-silk Bombyx mori pupa. Only the gene fragment lacking the propeptide encoding sequence was successfully expressed in Pichia pastoris, yielding an extracellularly active cocoonase. The recombinant cocoonase was purified to homogeneity by 80% ammonium-sulfate fractionation and CM-Sepharose chromatography, and its internal peptide sequences were analyzed by nano liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry. This monomeric protein has native molecular weight of 26 kDa by gel exclusion analysis and 25 kDa subunit size by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The enzyme hydrolyses sericin but does not hydrolyse fibroin, as shown by radial diffusion on thin-layer enzyme assay (RD-TEA). Scanning electron microscopy showed that purified recombinant cocoonase could remove sericin from natural silk completely in 24 h, without damaging fibroin, using only 1 immobilized sericin unit (ISU) of enzyme as determined by RD-TEA. Natural cocoonase isolated from B. mori pupa could also digest sericin effectively, but required more enzymes (2 ISU) and longer time (48 h). In comparison, a commercial enzyme, alcalase, with the same activity not only showed less complete digestion of sericin but also caused damage of fibroin. These results suggest that recombinant B. mori cocoonase is potentially useful for silk degumming.

  10. Punctuated evolution of viscid silk in spider orb webs supported by mechanical behavior of wet cribellate silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piorkowski, Dakota; Blackledge, Todd A.

    2017-08-01

    The origin of viscid capture silk in orb webs, from cribellate silk-spinning ancestors, is a key innovation correlated with significant diversification of web-building spiders. Ancestral cribellate silk consists of dry nanofibrils surrounding a stiff, axial fiber that adheres to prey through van der Waals interactions, capillary forces, and physical entanglement. In contrast, viscid silk uses chemically adhesive aqueous glue coated onto a highly compliant and extensible flagelliform core silk. The extensibility of the flagelliform fiber accounts for half of the total work of adhesion for viscid silk and is enabled by water in the aqueous coating. Recent cDNA libraries revealed the expression of flagelliform silk proteins in cribellate orb-weaving spiders. We hypothesized that the presence of flagelliform proteins in cribellate silk could have allowed for a gradual shift in mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, whose effect was masked by the dry nature of its adhesive. We measured supercontraction and mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, in wet and dry states, for two species of cribellate orb web-weaving spiders to see if water enabled flagelliform silk-like performance. We found that compliance and extensibility of wet cribellate silk increased compared to dry state as expected. However, when compared to other silk types, the response to water was more similar to other web silks, like major and minor ampullate silk, than to viscid silk. These findings support the punctuated evolution of viscid silk mechanical performance.

  11. Spider silk MASP1 and MASP2 proteins as carbon fiber precursors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, Randolph V [Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States)

    2017-06-14

    The objective of this project is to develop an unconventional non-petroleum based carbon fiber precursor which has the potential to be produced in high yield and quantities. Methods will be developed to produce pilot-scale quantities of fibers from spider silk proteins with mechanical properties at least 75% that of the natural dragline silk fibers in tensile strength and elongations of less than 5%. The precursor fibers will be converted to carbon fibers, with a goal of >250Ksi strength and 1-2% elongation. Cost analysis will be performed and the process optimized. Task 1: Subtask 1. Protein production: We exceeded the go/ no go milestone of 1.0g/L of one of the spider silk protein (MSp2) purified last FY and have now increased from 5L to 500L fermentations. We have made a series of changes to the purification protocol from the initial report last FY. These led to a reduction in the time needed for the purification and reduced the purification costs by nearly 90%. Subtask 2. Fiber spinning: The major focus has been to produce more material to send 24 fiber thread to ONRL. We are still developing the methodology to successfully spin 24 fiber yarns. This involves both the spinning dope solutions as well as the methods to keep the fibers from fusing during the post spin stretch. The second area of focus has been to standardize the spin dopes for making the fibers. We now know that the conductivity (indicative of salt remaining with the protein after purification) is an important factor in successful spinning as is the pH. We now know that we need to be below 600 uS conductivity and that the most effective pH is protein dependent. Subtask 3. Silkworm silk: We have found the transgenic silkworms made using gene replacement at the fibroin light chain instead of heavy chain as we did previously have a higher tensile strength. See figures below showing the curve for the top end of the cocoon fibers. This tensile strength is the same as the average for spider dragline silk

  12. Silk I and Silk II studied by fast scanning calorimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cebe, Peggy; Partlow, Benjamin P.; Kaplan, David L.; Wurm, Andreas; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Schick, Christoph

    2017-06-01

    Using fast scanning calorimetry (FSC), we investigated the glass transition and crystal melting of samples of B. mori silk fibroin containing Silk I and/or Silk II crystals. Due to the very short residence times at high temperatures during such measurements, thermal decomposition of silk protein can be significantly suppressed. FSC was performed at 2000 K/s using the Mettler Flash DSC1 on fibroin films with masses around 130–270 ng. Films were prepared with different crystalline fractions (ranging from 0.26 to 0.50) and with different crystal structures (Silk I, Silk II, or mixed) by varying the processing conditions. These included water annealing at different temperatures, exposure to 50% MeOH in water, or autoclaving. The resulting crystal structure was examined using wide angle X-ray scattering. Degree of crystallinity was evaluated from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and from analysis of the heat capacity increment at the glass transition temperature. Silk fibroin films prepared by water annealing at 25 °C were the least crystalline and had Silk I structure. FTIR and FSC studies showed that films prepared by autoclaving or 50% MeOH exposure were the most crystalline and had Silk II structure. Intermediate crystalline fraction and mixed Silk I/Silk II structures were found in films prepared by water annealing at 37 °C. FSC results indicate that Silk II crystals exhibit endotherms of narrower width and have higher mean melting temperature Tm(II) = 351 ± 2.6 °C, compared to Silk I crystals which melt at Tm(I) = 292 ± 3.8 °C. Films containing mixed Silk I/Silk II structure showed two clearly separated endothermic peaks. Evidence suggests that the two types of crystals melt separately and do not thermally interconvert on the extremely short time scale (0.065 s between onset and end of melting) of the FSC experiment.

  13. A comparative study of the refractive index of silk protein thin films towards biomaterial based optical devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucciarelli, A.; Mulloni, V.; Maniglio, D.; Pal, R. K.; Yadavalli, V. K.; Motta, A.; Quaranta, A.

    2018-04-01

    Over the last two decades, silk fibroin has been exploited as a versatile optical material in biological applications due to a combination of unique properties. Recently, protocols have been developed to produce a silk fibroin negative tone resist that is UV crosslinkable, thereby allowing micro and nanoscale patterning of the protein using traditional photolithographic tools. The same protocol has been applied to the silk protein sericin to develop a sericin resist. Despite the immense potential of these biomaterials to develop micro optical patterns on silicon and glass surfaces, as well as self-standing components, their refractive indexes are not well characterized. In this work, optimizing a method to obtain extremely smooth, thin films, the refractive index (RI) of fibroin and sericin proteins and resists were characterized using ellipsometry. The parameters of the Sellmeier and Cauchy dispersion laws have been determined to obtain the RI over a large wavelength range. A complete morphological study of the films has been conducted. In addition, the effect of solvent on the optical properties of silk fibroin and sericin thin films are reported, with differences in values explained by examining the change in the protein secondary structure.

  14. Genome-based identification of spliceosomal proteins in the silk moth Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somarelli, Jason A; Mesa, Annia; Fuller, Myron E; Torres, Jacqueline O; Rodriguez, Carol E; Ferrer, Christina M; Herrera, Rene J

    2010-12-01

    Pre-messenger RNA splicing is a highly conserved eukaryotic cellular function that takes place by way of a large, RNA-protein assembly known as the spliceosome. In the mammalian system, nearly 300 proteins associate with uridine-rich small nuclear (sn)RNAs to form this complex. Some of these splicing factors are ubiquitously present in the spliceosome, whereas others are involved only in the processing of specific transcripts. Several proteomics analyses have delineated the proteins of the spliceosome in several species. In this study, we mine multiple sequence data sets of the silk moth Bombyx mori in an attempt to identify the entire set of known spliceosomal proteins. Five data sets were utilized, including the 3X, 6X, and Build 2.0 genomic contigs as well as the expressed sequence tag and protein libraries. While homologs for 88% of vertebrate splicing factors were delineated in the Bombyx mori genome, there appear to be several spliceosomal polypeptides absent in Bombyx mori and seven additional insect species. This apparent increase in spliceosomal complexity in vertebrates may reflect the tissue-specific and developmental stage-specific alternative pre-mRNA splicing requirements in vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of 15 eukaryotic taxa using the core splicing factors suggest that the essential functional units of the pre-mRNA processing machinery have remained highly conserved from yeast to humans. The Sm and LSm proteins are the most conserved, whereas proteins of the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle are the most divergent. These data highlight both the differential conservation and relative phylogenetic signals of the essential spliceosomal components throughout evolution. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Silk Electrogel Rheology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabatabai, A. P.; Urbach, J. S.; Blair, D. L.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2014-03-01

    We present experimental results on the rheology on electrogels derived from aqueous solutions of reconstituted Bombyx Mori silk fibroin protein. Through electrochemistry, the silk protein solution develops local pH changes resulting in the assembly of protein into a weak gel. We determine the physical properties of the electrogels by performing rheology and observe that they exhibit the characteristics of a crosslinked biopolymer network. Interestingly, we find that these silk gels exhibit linear elasticity over a range of up to two orders of magnitude larger than most crosslinked biopolymer networks. Moreover, the nonlinear rheology exhibits a strain-stiffening behavior that is fundamentally different than the strain-stiffening observed in crosslinked biopolymers. Through rheological techniques we aim to understand this distinctive material that cannot be explained by current polymeric models. This work is supported by a grant from the AFOSR FA9550-07-1-0130.

  16. Phase separation and mechanical properties of an elastomeric biomaterial from spider wrapping silk and elastin block copolymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muiznieks, Lisa D; Keeley, Fred W

    2016-10-01

    Elastin and silk spidroins are fibrous, structural proteins with elastomeric properties of extension and recoil. While elastin is highly extensible and has excellent recovery of elastic energy, silks are particularly strong and tough. This study describes the biophysical characterization of recombinant polypeptides designed by combining spider wrapping silk and elastin-like sequences as a strategy to rationally increase the strength of elastin-based materials while maintaining extensibility. We demonstrate a thermo-responsive phase separation and spontaneous colloid-like droplet formation from silk-elastin block copolymers, and from a 34 residue disordered region of Argiope trifasciata wrapping silk alone, and measure a comprehensive suite of tensile mechanical properties from cross-linked materials. Silk-elastin materials exhibited significantly increased strength, toughness, and stiffness compared to an elastin-only material, while retaining high failure strains and low energy loss upon recoil. These data demonstrate the mechanical tunability of protein polymer biomaterials through modular, chimeric recombination, and provide structural insights into mechanical design. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 105: 693-703, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Drawing-induced changes in morphology and mechanical properties of hornet silk gel films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kameda, Tsunenori; Kojima, Katsura; Togawa, Eiji; Sezutsu, Hideki; Zhang, Qiang; Teramoto, Hidetoshi; Tamada, Yasushi

    2010-04-12

    Complete amino acid sequences of the four major proteins (Vssilk 1-4) of silk (hornet silk) obtained from yellow hornet ( Vespa simillima , Vespinae, Vespidae) cocoons have been determined. The native structure of the hornet silk (HS), in which Vssilk 1-4 have an alpha-helix domain with coiled-coil alpha-helices and a beta-sheet domain, is restored when hornet silk gel films (HSGFs) are formed by pressing and drying HS hydrogel. Necking occurs when dry HSGFs are drawn; however, wet HSGFs can be uniaxially drawn with a draw ratio (DR) of 2. Drawing helps obtain high-performance films with a maximum tensile strength and tensile modulus of 170 MPa and 5.5 GPa, respectively. Drawing-induced changes in the orientation and conformation of the coiled-coil structure are investigated.

  18. The Potential of Silk and Silk-Like Proteins as Natural Mucoadhesive Biopolymers for Controlled Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Amanda E

    2015-01-01

    Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1) deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2) promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3) prolong the drug's local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery.

  19. Radiation degradation of silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wachiraporn Pewlong; Boonya Sudatis [Office of Atomic Energy for Peace, Bangkok (Thailand); Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2000-09-01

    Silk fibroin fiber from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori was irradiated in the dose range up to 2500 kGy using an electron beam accelerator to apply the radiation degradation technique as a means to solubilize fibroin. The tensile strength of irradiated fibroin fiber decreased with increasing dose and the presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced the degradation. The solubilization of irradiated fibroin fiber was evaluated using the following three kinds of solutions: calcium chloride solution (CaCl{sub 2}/C{sub 2}H{sub 5}OH/H{sub 2}O = 1 : 2 : 8 in mole ratio), hydrochloric acid (0.5N) and distilled water. Dissolution of fibroin fiber into these solutions was significantly enhanced by irradiation. Especially, an appreciable amount of water-soluble protein was extracted by distilled water. (author)

  20. Analysis of proteome dynamics inside the silk gland lumen of Bombyx mori

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhaoming; Zhao, Ping; Zhang, Yan; Song, Qianru; Zhang, Xiaolu; Guo, Pengchao; Wang, Dandan; Xia, Qingyou

    2016-01-01

    The silk gland is the only organ where silk proteins are synthesized and secreted in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Silk proteins are stored in the lumen of the silk gland for around eight days during the fifth instar. Determining their dynamic changes is helpful for clarifying the secretion mechanism of silk proteins. Here, we identified the proteome in the silk gland lumen using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, and demonstrated its changes during two key stages. From day 5 of the fifth instar to day 1 of wandering, the abundances of fibroins, sericins, seroins, and proteins of unknown functions increased significantly in different compartments of the silk gland lumen. As a result, these accumulated proteins constituted the major cocoon components. In contrast, the abundances of enzymes and extracellular matrix proteins decreased in the silk gland lumen, suggesting that they were not the structural constituents of silk. Twenty-five enzymes may be involved in the regulation of hormone metabolism for proper silk gland function. In addition, the metabolism of other non-proteinous components such as chitin and pigment were also discussed in this study. PMID:27102218

  1. Functional Analysis of Maize Silk-Specific ZmbZIP25 Promoter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanying Li

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available ZmbZIP25 (Zea mays bZIP (basic leucine zipper transcription factor 25 is a function-unknown protein that belongs to the D group of the bZIP transcription factor family. RNA-seq data showed that the expression of ZmbZIP25 was tissue-specific in maize silks, and this specificity was confirmed by RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. In situ RNA hybridization showed that ZmbZIP25 was expressed exclusively in the xylem of maize silks. A 5′ RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends assay identified an adenine residue as the transcription start site of the ZmbZIP25 gene. To characterize this silk-specific promoter, we isolated and analyzed a 2450 bp (from −2083 to +367 and a 2600 bp sequence of ZmbZIP25 (from −2083 to +517, the transcription start site was denoted +1. Stable expression assays in Arabidopsis showed that the expression of the reporter gene GUS driven by the 2450 bp ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking fragment occurred exclusively in the papillae of Arabidopsis stigmas. Furthermore, transient expression assays in maize indicated that GUS and GFP expression driven by the 2450 bp ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking sequences occurred only in maize silks and not in other tissues. However, no GUS or GFP expression was driven by the 2600 bp ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking sequences in either stable or transient expression assays. A series of deletion analyses of the 2450 bp ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking sequence was performed in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, and probable elements prediction analysis revealed the possible presence of negative regulatory elements within the 161 bp region from −1117 to −957 that were responsible for the specificity of the ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking sequence.

  2. The potential of silk and silk-like proteins as natural mucoadhesive biopolymers for controlled drug delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda E Brooks

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1 deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2 promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3 prolong the drug’s local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery.

  3. Silk I and Silk II studied by fast scanning calorimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebe, Peggy; Partlow, Benjamin P; Kaplan, David L; Wurm, Andreas; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Schick, Christoph

    2017-06-01

    Using fast scanning calorimetry (FSC), we investigated the glass transition and crystal melting of samples of B. mori silk fibroin containing Silk I and/or Silk II crystals. Due to the very short residence times at high temperatures during such measurements, thermal decomposition of silk protein can be significantly suppressed. FSC was performed at 2000K/s using the Mettler Flash DSC1 on fibroin films with masses around 130-270ng. Films were prepared with different crystalline fractions (ranging from 0.26 to 0.50) and with different crystal structures (Silk I, Silk II, or mixed) by varying the processing conditions. These included water annealing at different temperatures, exposure to 50%MeOH in water, or autoclaving. The resulting crystal structure was examined using wide angle X-ray scattering. Degree of crystallinity was evaluated from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and from analysis of the heat capacity increment at the glass transition temperature. Silk fibroin films prepared by water annealing at 25°C were the least crystalline and had Silk I structure. FTIR and FSC studies showed that films prepared by autoclaving or 50%MeOH exposure were the most crystalline and had Silk II structure. Intermediate crystalline fraction and mixed Silk I/Silk II structures were found in films prepared by water annealing at 37°C. FSC results indicate that Silk II crystals exhibit endotherms of narrower width and have higher mean melting temperature T m (II)=351±2.6°C, compared to Silk I crystals which melt at T m (I)=292±3.8°C. Films containing mixed Silk I/Silk II structure showed two clearly separated endothermic peaks. Evidence suggests that the two types of crystals melt separately and do not thermally interconvert on the extremely short time scale (0.065s between onset and end of melting) of the FSC experiment. Silkworm silk is a naturally occurring biomaterial. The fibroin component of silk forms two types of crystals. Silk properties depend upon the

  4. Characterizing the Secondary Protein Structure of Black Widow Dragline Silk Using Solid-State NMR & X-ray Diffraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Janelle E.; Sampath, Sujatha; Butler, Emily; Kim, Jihyun; Henning, Robert W.; Holland, Gregory P.; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2013-01-01

    This study provides a detailed secondary structural characterization of major ampullate dragline silk from Latrodectus hesperus (black widow) spiders. X-ray diffraction results show that the structure of black widow major ampullate silk fibers is comprised of stacked β-sheet nanocrystallites oriented parallel to the fiber axis and an amorphous region with oriented (anisotropic) and isotropic components. The combination of two-dimensional (2D) 13C-13C through-space and through-bond solid-state NMR experiments provide chemical shifts that are used to determine detailed information about amino acid motif secondary structure in black widow spider dragline silk. Individual amino acids are incorporated into different repetitive motifs that make up the majority of this protein-based biopolymer. From the solid-state NMR measurements, we assign distinct secondary conformations to each repetitive amino acid motif and hence to the amino acids that make up the motifs. Specifically, alanine is incorporated in β-sheet (poly(Alan) and poly(Gly-Ala)), 31-helix (poly(Gly-Gly-Xaa), and α-helix (poly(Gln-Gln-Ala-Tyr)) components. Glycine is determined to be in β-sheet (poly(Gly-Ala)) and 31-helical (poly(Gly-Gly-Xaa)) regions, while serine is present in β-sheet (poly(Gly-Ala-Ser)), 31-helix (poly(Gly-Gly-Ser)), and β-turn (poly(Gly-Pro-Ser)) structures. These various motif-specific secondary structural elements are quantitatively correlated to the primary amino acid sequence of major ampullate spidroin 1 and 2 (MaSp1 and MaSp2) and are shown to form a self-consistent model for black widow dragline silk. PMID:24024617

  5. Characterization and assembly of a GFP-tagged cylindriform silk into hexameric complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Öster, Carl; Svensson Bonde, Johan; Bülow, Leif; Dicko, Cedric

    2014-04-01

    Spider silk has been studied extensively for its attractive mechanical properties and potential applications in medicine and industry. The production of spider silk, however, has been lagging behind for lack of suitable systems. Our approach focuses on solving the production of spider silk by designing, expressing, purifying and characterizing the silk from cylindriform glands. We show that the cylindriform silk protein, in contrast to the commonly used dragline silk protein, is fully folded and stable in solution. With the help of GFP as a fusion tag we enhanced the expression of the silk protein in Escherichia coli and could optimize the downstream processing. Secondary structures analysis by circular dichroism and FTIR shows that the GFP-silk fusion protein is predominantly α-helical, and that pH can trigger a α- to β-transition resulting in aggregation. Structural analysis by small angle X-ray scattering suggests that the GFP-Silk exists in the form of a hexamer in solution. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Development of an enzyme-linked-immunosorbent-assay technique for accurate identification of poorly preserved silks unearthed in ancient tombs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Qin; Wu, Xiaofeng; Zheng, Hailing; Zhou, Yang

    2015-05-01

    We report the preparation of a specific fibroin antibody and its use for the identification of unearthed ancient silk relics. Based on the 12-amino-acid repeat sequence "GAGAGSGAGAGS", which is found in fibroin of the silkworm Bombyx mori, a specific antibody against fibroin was prepared in rabbits through peptide synthesis and carrier-protein coupling. This antibody was highly specific for fibroin found in silk. Using this antibody we have successfully identified four silk samples from different time periods. Our results reveal, for the first time, a method capable of detecting silk from a few milligrams of archaeological fabric that has been buried for thousands of years, confirming that the ancient practice of wearing silk products while praying for rebirth dated back to at least 400 BCE. This method also complements current approaches in silk detection, especially for the characterization of poorly preserved silks, promoting the investigation of silk origins and of ancient clothing cultures.

  7. Comparative Study of Silk-Silk Alloy Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Ye; Jao, Dave; Hu, Wenbing; Wolf, Nathan; Rocks, Eva-Marie; Hu, Xiao

    Silk fibroin materials can be used for various kinds of biomedical applications. We report a comparative study of silk-silk blend materials using thermal analysis and infrared spectroscopy. Four groups of silk-silk blend films: Mori-Tussah, Mori-Muga, Mori-Eri and Mori-Thai, were fabricated from aqueous solutions and blended at different weight ratios, respectively. These silk-silk blend systems exploit the beneficial material properties of both silks. DSC and temperature-modulated DSC were used to measure the transition temperatures and heat capacity of these water-based silk-silk blend films. Fourier transform infrared spectrometer was used to characterize secondary structures of silk-silk blends. This study demonstrates that Mori silk are fully miscible with Tussah, Muga, Eri and Thai silk at different weight ratios without phase separation. Glass transition temperatures, degradation temperatures and the contents of alpha-helix and random coils of those silk-silk blend films can be controlled by changing the contents of different silks in the blend system. The features of Mori silk combined with the attributes of Tussah, Muga, Eri and Thai silk offer a useful suite of materials for a variety of applications in the future.

  8. Radiation degradation of silk protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pewlong, W.; Sudatis, B.; Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu

    2000-01-01

    Silk fibroin fiber from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori was irradiated using an electron beam accelerator to investigate the application of the radiation degradation technique as a means to solubilize fibroin. The irradiation caused a significant degradation of the fiber. The tensile strength of fibroin fiber irradiated up to 2500 kGy decreased rapidly with increasing dose. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced degradation of the tensile strength. The solubilization of irradiated fibroin fiber was evaluated using the following three kinds of solutions: a calcium chloride solution(CaCl 2 /C 2 H 5 OH/H 2 O=1:2:8 in mole ratio), a hydrochloric acid (0.5 N) and a distilled water. Dissolution of fibroin fiber into these solutions was significantly enhanced by irradiation. Especially, an appreciable amount of water soluble proteins was extracted by a distilled water. (author)

  9. Radiation degradation of silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pewlong, W; Sudatis, B [Office of Atomic Energy for Peace, Bangkok (Thailand); Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2000-03-01

    Silk fibroin fiber from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori was irradiated using an electron beam accelerator to investigate the application of the radiation degradation technique as a means to solubilize fibroin. The irradiation caused a significant degradation of the fiber. The tensile strength of fibroin fiber irradiated up to 2500 kGy decreased rapidly with increasing dose. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced degradation of the tensile strength. The solubilization of irradiated fibroin fiber was evaluated using the following three kinds of solutions: a calcium chloride solution(CaCl{sub 2}/C{sub 2}H{sub 5}OH/H{sub 2}O=1:2:8 in mole ratio), a hydrochloric acid (0.5 N) and a distilled water. Dissolution of fibroin fiber into these solutions was significantly enhanced by irradiation. Especially, an appreciable amount of water soluble proteins was extracted by a distilled water. (author)

  10. Second-order nonlinear optical microscopy of spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yue; Hien, Khuat Thi Thu; Mizutani, Goro; Rutt, Harvey N.

    2017-06-01

    Asymmetric β-sheet protein structures in spider silk should induce nonlinear optical interaction such as second harmonic generation (SHG) which is experimentally observed for a radial line and dragline spider silk using an imaging femtosecond laser SHG microscope. By comparing different spider silks, we found that the SHG signal correlates with the existence of the protein β-sheets. Measurements of the polarization dependence of SHG from the dragline indicated that the β-sheet has a nonlinear response depending on the direction of the incident electric field. We propose a model of what orientation the β-sheet takes in spider silk.

  11. Thromboelastometric and platelet responses to silk biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundu, Banani; Schlimp, Christoph J; Nürnberger, Sylvia; Redl, Heinz; Kundu, S C

    2014-05-13

    Silkworm's silk is natural biopolymer with unique properties including mechanical robustness, all aqueous base processing and ease in fabrication into different multifunctional templates. Additionally, the nonmulberry silks have cell adhesion promoting tri-peptide (RGD) sequences, which make it an immensely potential platform for regenerative medicine. The compatibility of nonmulberry silk with human blood is still elusive; thereby, restricts its further application as implants. The present study, therefore, evaluate the haematocompatibility of silk biomaterials in terms of platelet interaction after exposure to nonmulberry silk of Antheraea mylitta using thromboelastometry (ROTEM). The mulberry silk of Bombyx mori and clinically used Uni-Graft W biomaterial serve as references. Shortened clotting time, clot formation times as well as enhanced clot strength indicate the platelet mediated activation of blood coagulation cascade by tested biomaterials; which is comparable to controls.

  12. Peptide-Graphene Interactions Enhance the Mechanical Properties of Silk Fibroin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yuan; Koh, Leng-Duei; Li, Dechang; Ji, Baohua; Zhang, Yingyan; Yeo, Jingjie; Guan, Guijian; Han, Ming-Yong; Zhang, Yong-Wei

    2015-10-07

    Studies reveal that biomolecules can form intriguing molecular structures with fascinating functionalities upon interaction with graphene. Then, interesting questions arise. How does silk fibroin interact with graphene? Does such interaction lead to an enhancement in its mechanical properties? In this study, using large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we first examine the interaction of graphene with several typical peptide structures of silk fibroin extracted from different domains of silk fibroin, including pure amorphous (P1), pure crystalline (P2), a segment from N-terminal (P3), and a combined amorphous and crystalline segment (P4), aiming to reveal their structural modifications. Our study shows that graphene can have intriguing influences on the structures formed by the peptides with sequences representing different domains of silk fibroin. In general, for protein domains with stable structure and strong intramolecular interaction (e.g., β-sheets), graphene tends to compete with the intramolecular interactions and thus weaken the interchain interaction and reduce the contents of β-sheets. For the silk domains with random or less ordered secondary structures and weak intramolecular interactions, graphene tends to enhance the stability of peptide structures; in particular, it increases the contents of helical structures. Thereafter, tensile simulations were further performed on the representative peptides to investigate how such structure modifications affect their mechanical properties. It was found that the strength and resilience of the peptides are enhanced through their interaction with graphene. The present work reveals interesting insights into the interactions between silk peptides and graphene, and contributes in the efforts to enhance the mechanical properties of silk fibroin.

  13. Structural Origins of Silk Piezoelectricity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yucel, Tuna; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L

    2011-02-22

    Uniaxially oriented, piezoelectric silk films were prepared by a two-step method that involved: (1) air drying aqueous, regenerated silk fibroin solutions into films, and (2) drawing the silk films to a desired draw ratio. The utility of two different drawing techniques, zone drawing and water immersion drawing were investigated for processing the silk for piezoelectric studies. Silk films zone drawn to a ratio of λ= 2.7 displayed relatively high dynamic shear piezoelectric coefficients of d(14) = -1.5 pC/N, corresponding to over two orders of magnitude increase in d(14) due to film drawing. A strong correlation was observed between the increase in the silk II, β-sheet content with increasing draw ratio measured by FTIR spectroscopy (C(β)∝ e(2.5) (λ)), the concomitant increasing degree of orientation of β-sheet crystals detected via WAXD (FWHM = 0.22° for λ= 2.7), and the improvement in silk piezoelectricity (d(14)∝ e(2.4) (λ)). Water immersion drawing led to a predominantly silk I structure with a low degree of orientation (FWHM = 75°) and a much weaker piezoelectric response compared to zone drawing. Similarly, increasing the β-sheet crystallinity without inducing crystal alignment, e.g. by methanol treatment, did not result in a significant enhancement of silk piezoelectricity. Overall, a combination of a high degree of silk II, β-sheet crystallinity and crystalline orientation are prerequisites for a strong piezoelectric effect in silk. Further understanding of the structural origins of silk piezoelectricity will provide important options for future biotechnological and biomedical applications of this protein.

  14. Multiscale mechanisms of nutritionally induced property variation in spider silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobbs, Madeleine; Martens, Penny J.; Tso, I-Min; Chuang, Wei-Tsung; Chang, Chung-Kai; Sheu, Hwo-Shuenn

    2018-01-01

    Variability in spider major ampullate (MA) silk properties at different scales has proven difficult to determine and remains an obstacle to the development of synthetic fibers mimicking MA silk performance. A multitude of techniques may be used to measure multiscale aspects of silk properties. Here we fed five species of Araneoid spider solutions that either contained protein or were protein deprived and performed silk tensile tests, small and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS), amino acid composition analyses, and silk gene expression analyses, to resolve persistent questions about how nutrient deprivation induces variations in MA silk mechanical properties across scales. Our analyses found that the properties of each spider’s silk varied differently in response to variations in their protein intake. We found changes in the crystalline and non-crystalline nanostructures to play specific roles in inducing the property variations we found. Across treatment MaSp expression patterns differed in each of the five species. We found that in most species MaSp expression and amino acid composition variations did not conform with our predictions based on a traditional MaSp expression model. In general, changes to the silk’s alanine and proline compositions influenced the alignment of the proteins within the silk’s amorphous region, which influenced silk extensibility and toughness. Variations in structural alignment in the crystalline and non-crystalline regions influenced ultimate strength independent of genetic expression. Our study provides the deepest insights thus far into the mechanisms of how MA silk properties vary from gene expression to nanostructure formations to fiber mechanics. Such knowledge is imperative for promoting the production of synthetic silk fibers. PMID:29390013

  15. Fabrication of Flexible, Fully Organic, Degradable Energy Storage Devices Using Silk Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Ramendra K; Kundu, Subhas C; Yadavalli, Vamsi K

    2018-03-21

    Flexible and thin-film devices are of great interest in epidermal and implantable bioelectronics. The integration of energy storage and delivery devices such as supercapacitors (SCs) with properties such as flexibility, miniaturization, biocompatibility, and degradability are sought for such systems. Reducing e-waste and using sustainable materials and processes are additional desirable qualities. Herein, a silk protein-based biocompatible and degradable thin-film microSC (μSC) is reported. A protein carrier with the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate and reduced graphene oxide dopant is used as a photopatternable biocomposite ink. Active electrodes are fabricated using photolithography under benign conditions, using only water as the solvent. These electrodes are printed on flexible protein sheets to form degradable, organic devices with a benign agarose-NaCl gel electrolyte. High capacitance, power density, cycling stability over 500 cycles, and the ability to power a light-emitting diode are shown. The device is flexible, can sustain cyclic mechanical stresses over 450 cycles, and retain capacitive properties over several days in liquid. Significantly, the μSCs are cytocompatible and completely degraded over the period of ∼1 month. By precise control of the device configuration, these silk protein-based, all-polymer organic devices can be designed to be tunably transient and provide viable alternatives for powering flexible and implantable bioelectronics.

  16. SilkDB: a knowledgebase for silkworm biology and genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Jing; Xia, Qingyou; He, Ximiao

    2005-01-01

    The Silkworm Knowledgebase (SilkDB) is a web-based repository for the curation, integration and study of silkworm genetic and genomic data. With the recent accomplishment of a approximately 6X draft genome sequence of the domestic silkworm (Bombyx mori), SilkDB provides an integrated representati....... SilkDB is publicly accessible at http://silkworm.genomics.org.cn. Udgivelsesdato: 2005-Jan-1...

  17. The Use of Silk in Nanomedicine Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chiasson, Raymond; Hasan, Moaraj; Al Nazer, Q.

    2016-01-01

    Biopolymers made up of silk proteins have been used in numerous drug delivery applications and represent an excellent source of natural biomaterials. In particular silk fibroin has proved valuable as a building block for nanomedicines and drug delivery implants, owing to its favorable...... biocompatibility, degradation, stabilization and controllability. In this chapter we will discuss the various sources of silk biomaterial and how this naturally occurring biopolymer has been utilized in the development of nanomedicines and implantable drug delivery systems, demonstrating how silk is a unique...

  18. Early events in the evolution of spider silk genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Starrett

    Full Text Available Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers, from the suborder Araneomorphae ('true spiders'. Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs, is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow. In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders, which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae. We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid

  19. Water-insoluble Silk Films with Silk I Structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Q.; Hu, X; Wang, X; Kluge, J; Lu, S; Cebe, P; Kaplan, D

    2010-01-01

    Water-insoluble regenerated silk materials are normally produced by increasing the {beta}-sheet content (silk II). In the present study water-insoluble silk films were prepared by controlling the very slow drying of Bombyx mori silk solutions, resulting in the formation of stable films with a predominant silk I instead of silk II structure. Wide angle X-ray scattering indicated that the silk films stabilized by slow drying were mainly composed of silk I rather than silk II, while water- and methanol-annealed silk films had a higher silk II content. The silk films prepared by slow drying had a globule-like structure at the core surrounded by nano-filaments. The core region was composed of silk I and silk II, surrounded by hydrophilic nano-filaments containing random turns and {alpha}-helix secondary structures. The insoluble silk films prepared by slow drying had unique thermal, mechanical and degradative properties. Differential scanning calorimetry results revealed that silk I crystals had stable thermal properties up to 250 C, without crystallization above the T{sub g}, but degraded at lower temperatures than silk II structure. Compared with water- and methanol-annealed films the films prepared by slow drying had better mechanical ductility and were more rapidly enzymatically degraded, reflecting the differences in secondary structure achieved via differences in post processing of the cast silk films. Importantly, the silk I structure, a key intermediate secondary structure for the formation of mechanically robust natural silk fibers, was successfully generated by the present approach of very slow drying, mimicking the natural process. The results also point to a new mode of generating new types of silk biomaterials with enhanced mechanical properties and increased degradation rates, while maintaining water insolubility, along with a low {beta}-sheet content.

  20. Recombinant spider silk genetically functionalized with affinity domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansson, Ronnie; Thatikonda, Naresh; Lindberg, Diana; Rising, Anna; Johansson, Jan; Nygren, Per-Åke; Hedhammar, My

    2014-05-12

    Functionalization of biocompatible materials for presentation of active protein domains is an area of growing interest. Herein, we describe a strategy for functionalization of recombinant spider silk via gene fusion to affinity domains of broad biotechnological use. Four affinity domains of different origin and structure; the IgG-binding domains Z and C2, the albumin-binding domain ABD, and the biotin-binding domain M4, were all successfully produced as soluble silk fusion proteins under nondenaturing purification conditions. Silk films and fibers produced from the fusion proteins were demonstrated to be chemically and thermally stable. Still, the bioactive domains are concluded to be folded and accessible, since their respective targets could be selectively captured from complex samples, including rabbit serum and human plasma. Interestingly, materials produced from mixtures of two different silk fusion proteins displayed combined binding properties, suggesting that tailor-made materials with desired stoichiometry and surface distributions of several binding domains can be produced. Further, use of the IgG binding ability as a general mean for presentation of desired biomolecules could be demonstrated for a human vascular endothelial growth factor (hVEGF) model system, via a first capture of anti-VEGF IgG to silk containing the Z-domain, followed by incubation with hVEGF. Taken together, this study demonstrates the potential of recombinant silk, genetically functionalized with affinity domains, for construction of biomaterials capable of presentation of almost any desired biomolecule.

  1. Formation of different gold nanostructures by silk nanofibrils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang, Guangqiang; Yang, Yuhong; Yao, Jinrong; Shao, Zhengzhong; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Metal nanostructures that have unique size- and shape-dependent electronic, optical and chemical properties gain more and more attention in modern science and technology. In this article, we show the possibility that we are able to obtain different gold nanostructures simply with the help of silk nanofibrils. We demonstrate that only by varying the pH of the reaction solution, we get gold nanoparticles, nano-icosahedrons, nanocubes, and even microplates. Particularly, we develop a practical method for the preparation of gold microplates in acid condition in the presence of silk nanofibrils, which is impossible by using other forms of silk protein. We attribute the role of silk nanofibrils in the formation of gold nanostructure to their reduction ability from several specific amino acid residues, and the suitable structural anisotropic features to sustain the crystal growth after the reduction process. Although the main purpose of this article is to demonstrate that silk nanofibrils are able to mediate the formation of different gold nanostructure, we show the potential applications of these resulting gold nanostructures, such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and photothermal transformation effect, as same as those produced by other methods. In conclusion, we present in this communication a facile and green synthesis route to prepare various gold nanostructures with silk nanofibrils by simply varying pH in the reaction system, which has remarkable advantages in future biomedical applications. - Highlights: • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained by a facile and green protein reduction method. • Silk nanofibrils serve as both reductant and template in the formation of Au nanostructures. • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained simply by regulating the pH in the medium. • Large Au microplates can be obtained with a cheap, abundant, sustainable silk protein. • Silk/Au hybrid nanocomposites show potential application in SERS and

  2. Formation of different gold nanostructures by silk nanofibrils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang, Guangqiang [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Collaborative Innovation Center of Polymers and Polymer Composite Materials, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 (China); Yang, Yuhong [Research Centre for Analysis and Measurement, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Yao, Jinrong; Shao, Zhengzhong [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Collaborative Innovation Center of Polymers and Polymer Composite Materials, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 (China); Chen, Xin, E-mail: chenx@fudan.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Collaborative Innovation Center of Polymers and Polymer Composite Materials, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 (China)

    2016-07-01

    Metal nanostructures that have unique size- and shape-dependent electronic, optical and chemical properties gain more and more attention in modern science and technology. In this article, we show the possibility that we are able to obtain different gold nanostructures simply with the help of silk nanofibrils. We demonstrate that only by varying the pH of the reaction solution, we get gold nanoparticles, nano-icosahedrons, nanocubes, and even microplates. Particularly, we develop a practical method for the preparation of gold microplates in acid condition in the presence of silk nanofibrils, which is impossible by using other forms of silk protein. We attribute the role of silk nanofibrils in the formation of gold nanostructure to their reduction ability from several specific amino acid residues, and the suitable structural anisotropic features to sustain the crystal growth after the reduction process. Although the main purpose of this article is to demonstrate that silk nanofibrils are able to mediate the formation of different gold nanostructure, we show the potential applications of these resulting gold nanostructures, such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and photothermal transformation effect, as same as those produced by other methods. In conclusion, we present in this communication a facile and green synthesis route to prepare various gold nanostructures with silk nanofibrils by simply varying pH in the reaction system, which has remarkable advantages in future biomedical applications. - Highlights: • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained by a facile and green protein reduction method. • Silk nanofibrils serve as both reductant and template in the formation of Au nanostructures. • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained simply by regulating the pH in the medium. • Large Au microplates can be obtained with a cheap, abundant, sustainable silk protein. • Silk/Au hybrid nanocomposites show potential application in SERS and

  3. The inflammatory responses to silk films in vitro and in vivo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meinel, L.; Hofmann, S.; Karageorgiou, V.; Kirker-Head, C.; McCool, J.; Gronowicz, G.; Zichner, L.; Langer, R.; Vunjak-Novakovic, G.; Kaplan, D.L.

    2005-01-01

    Silks have a long history of biomedical use as sutures. Silk can be purified, chemically modified to attach RGD sequences and processed into highly porous scaffolds for tissue engineering. We report biocompatibility studies of silk films (with or without covalently bound RGD) that were seeded with

  4. Research on degradation of silk fibroin by combination of electron beam irradiation and hydrothermal processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen Thi Kim Lan; Dang Van Phu; Le Anh Quoc; Nguyen Quoc Hien

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibers and silk proteins have been demonstrated to be useful to apply in the textile industry, biomedical, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals. In this study, the effects of electron beam (EB) irradiation combined with hydrothermal processing to the solubility of silk fibroin and generation of soluble silk protein were investigated. The solubility of unirradiated and irradiated fibroin samples were greater than 80 % when hydrothermal degradation was performed in the sodium hydroxide solution at an appropriate concentration of 0.05 M. However, the solubility of irradiated fibroin was greater than that of unirradiated sample. The soluble silk protein content increased from 0.462 to 0.653 mg protein/mg silk fibroin when irradiation doses increased from 0 to 200 kGy, respectively. The molecular weight of protein was determined by SDS-PAGE method. The characteristics of silk protein were confirmed by scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). (author)

  5. Uncovering the structure-function relationship in spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarger, Jeffery L.; Cherry, Brian R.; van der Vaart, Arjan

    2018-03-01

    All spiders produce protein-based biopolymer fibres that we call silk. The most studied of these silks is spider dragline silk, which is very tough and relatively abundant compared with other types of spider silks. Considerable research has been devoted to understanding the relationship between the molecular structure and mechanical properties of spider dragline silks. In this Review, we overview experimental and computational studies that have provided a wealth of detail at the molecular level on the highly conserved repetitive core and terminal regions of spider dragline silk. We also discuss the role of the nanocrystalline β-sheets and amorphous regions in determining the properties of spider silk fibres, endowing them with strength and elasticity. Additionally, we outline imaging techniques and modelling studies that elucidate the importance of the hierarchical structure of silk fibres at the molecular level. These insights into structure-function relationships can guide the reverse engineering of spider silk to enable the production of superior synthetic fibres.

  6. Identification of circular RNA in the Bombyx mori silk gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Huaiyan; Feng, Tieshan; Wu, Yuqian; Liu, Chun; Xia, Qingyou; Cheng, Tingcai

    2017-10-01

    Bombyx mori is an economically important holometabolous lepidopteran insect. In B. mori endogenous noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNAs play crucial biological functions in metamorphosis and sex determination. In addition, circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been recently identified as noncoding RNAs in most common model organisms and show potential as gene regulators. However, to date, there have been few studies on the circRNAs present in the B. mori genome conducted to date. Here, we identified 3916 circRNAs by deep circular transcriptome sequencing using the silk gland of B. mori. 3155 circRNAs were found to be derived from 1727 parental genes. The circRNAs displayed tissue-specific expression between the middle silk gland (MSG) and posterior silk gland (PSG), with 2532 and 880 being upregulated circRNAs in the MSG and PSG, respectively. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses showed that the parental genes from the MSG and PSG were generally annotated to similar categories and pathways. The interaction network of circRNAs and miRNAs showed that circRNAs might act as miRNA sponges or interact with miRNAs in some other way. Overall, the results revealed the complicated patterns of circRNAs in the B. mori silk gland providing a new angle from which to explore the mechanisms of complex gene regulation and efficient silk protein synthesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Spider Silk Processing for Spidroin Recovery from Crossopriza Lyoni Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohtar, J. A.; Ooi, W. L.; Yusuf, F.

    2018-03-01

    Spider silk is a potential biomaterial that can be used in various applications for its outstanding physicomechanical properties attributed by the spidroin composition. Efforts for commercializing spider silks have been mainly focused on the characterization of spidroins from the Entelegyne spiders for exceptional fibre construction. Hence, studies on silk proteins from the Haplogyne species remain neglected. The aim of this study is to isolate spidroin from Crossopriza lyoni web. Silk processing involved the pretreatment of fibres for the shell layer removal from the surface. A screening study was conducted to analyze the effect of temperature, incubation time and agitation speed on spidroin extraction using Ajisawa’s reagent by OFAT analysis followed by statistical optimization of the extraction process via RSM for maximal protein recovery. All parameters exerted significant effect on spidroin recovery (pspider silk to meet the demand for a variety of silk-based products in the near future.

  8. Role of chondroitin sulphate tethered silk scaffold in cartilaginous disc tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Maumita; Chawla, Shikha; Chameettachal, Shibu; Murab, Sumit; Bhavesh, Neel Sarovar; Ghosh, Sourabh

    2016-04-12

    Strategies for tissue engineering focus on scaffolds with tunable structure and morphology as well as optimum surface chemistry to simulate the anatomy and functionality of the target tissue. Silk fibroin has demonstrated its potential in supporting cartilaginous tissue formation both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigate the role of controlled lamellar organization and chemical composition of biofunctionalized silk scaffolds in replicating the structural properties of the annulus region of an intervertebral disc using articular chondrocytes. Covalent attachment of chondroitin sulfate (CS) to silk is characterized. CS-conjugated silk constructs demonstrate enhanced cellular metabolic activity and chondrogenic redifferentiation potential with significantly improved mechanical properties over silk-only constructs. A matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight analysis and protein-protein interaction studies help to generate insights into how CS conjugation can facilitate the production of disc associated matrix proteins, compared to a silk-only based construct. An in-depth understanding of the interplay between such extra cellular matrix associated proteins should help in designing more rational scaffolds for cartilaginous disc regeneration needs.

  9. Chromosome mapping of dragline silk genes in the genomes of widow spiders (Araneae, Theridiidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonghui Zhao

    Full Text Available With its incredible strength and toughness, spider dragline silk is widely lauded for its impressive material properties. Dragline silk is composed of two structural proteins, MaSp1 and MaSp2, which are encoded by members of the spidroin gene family. While previous studies have characterized the genes that encode the constituent proteins of spider silks, nothing is known about the physical location of these genes. We determined karyotypes and sex chromosome organization for the widow spiders, Latrodectus hesperus and L. geometricus (Araneae, Theridiidae. We then used fluorescence in situ hybridization to map the genomic locations of the genes for the silk proteins that compose the remarkable spider dragline. These genes included three loci for the MaSp1 protein and the single locus for the MaSp2 protein. In addition, we mapped a MaSp1 pseudogene. All the MaSp1 gene copies and pseudogene localized to a single chromosomal region while MaSp2 was located on a different chromosome of L. hesperus. Using probes derived from L. hesperus, we comparatively mapped all three MaSp1 loci to a single region of a L. geometricus chromosome. As with L. hesperus, MaSp2 was found on a separate L. geometricus chromosome, thus again unlinked to the MaSp1 loci. These results indicate orthology of the corresponding chromosomal regions in the two widow genomes. Moreover, the occurrence of multiple MaSp1 loci in a conserved gene cluster across species suggests that MaSp1 proliferated by tandem duplication in a common ancestor of L. geometricus and L. hesperus. Unequal crossover events during recombination could have given rise to the gene copies and could also maintain sequence similarity among gene copies over time. Further comparative mapping with taxa of increasing divergence from Latrodectus will pinpoint when the MaSp1 duplication events occurred and the phylogenetic distribution of silk gene linkage patterns.

  10. From micelles to fibers: balancing self-assembling and random coiling domains in pH-responsive silk-collagen-like protein-based polymers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beun, L.H.; Storm, I.M.; Werten, M.W.T.; Wolf, de F.A.; Cohen Stuart, M.A.; Vries, de R.J.

    2014-01-01

    We study the self-assembly of genetically engineered protein-based triblock copolymers consisting of a central pH-responsive silk-like middle block (SHn, where SH is a silk-like octapeptide, (GA)3GH and n is the number of repeats) flanked by hydrophilic random coil outer blocks (C2). Our previous

  11. Invited review nonmulberry silk biopolymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundu, S C; Kundu, Banani; Talukdar, Sarmistha; Bano, Subia; Nayak, Sunita; Kundu, Joydip; Mandal, Biman B; Bhardwaj, Nandana; Botlagunta, Mahendran; Dash, Biraja C; Acharya, Chitrangada; Ghosh, Ananta K

    2012-06-01

    The silk produced by silkworms are biopolymers and can be classified into two types--mulberry and nonmulberry. Mulberry silk of silkworm Bombyx mori has been extensively explored and used for century old textiles and sutures. But for the last few decades it is being extensively exploited for biomedical applications. However, the transformation of nonmulberry silk from being a textile commodity to biomaterials is relatively new. Within a very short period of time, the combination of load bearing capability and tensile strength of nonmulberry silk has been equally envisioned for bone, cartilage, adipose, and other tissue regeneration. Adding to its advantage is its diverse morphology, including macro to nano architectures with controllable degradation and biocompatibility yields novel natural material systems in vitro. Its follow on applications involve sustained release of model compounds and anticancer drugs. Its 3D cancer models provide compatible microenvironment systems for better understanding of the cancer progression mechanism and screening of anticancer compounds. Diversely designed nonmulberry matrices thus provide an array of new cutting age technologies, which is unattainable with the current synthetic materials that lack biodegradability and biocompatibility. Scientific exploration of nonmulberry silk in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and biotechnological applications promises advancement of sericulture industries in India and China, largest nonmulberry silk producers of the world. This review discusses the prospective biomedical applications of nonmulberry silk proteins as natural biomaterials. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Molecular architecture of silk fibroin of Indian golden silkmoth, Antheraea assama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Adarsh K; Mita, Kazuei; Arunkumar, Kallare P; Nagaraju, Javaregowda

    2015-08-03

    The golden silk spun by Indian golden silkmoth Antheraea assama, is regarded for its shimmering golden luster, tenacity and value as biomaterial. This report describes the gene coding for golden silk H-fibroin (AaFhc), its expression, full-length sequence and structurally important motifs discerning the underlying genetic and biochemical factors responsible for its much sought-after properties. The coding region, with biased isocodons, encodes highly repetitious crystalline core, flanked by a pair of 5' and 3' non-repetitious ends. AaFhc mRNA expression is strictly territorial, confined to the posterior silk gland, encoding a protein of size 230 kDa, which makes homodimers making the elementary structural units of the fibrous core of the golden silk. Characteristic polyalanine repeats that make tight β-sheet crystals alternate with non-polyalanine repeats that make less orderly antiparallel β-sheets, β-turns and partial α-helices. Phylogenetic analysis of the conserved N-terminal amorphous motif and the comparative analysis of the crystalline region with other saturniid H-fibroins reveal that AaFhc has longer, numerous and relatively uniform repeat motifs with lower serine content that assume tighter β-crystals and denser packing, which are speculated to be responsible for its acclaimed properties of higher tensile strength and higher refractive index responsible for golden luster.

  13. Clay-Enriched Silk Biomaterials for Bone Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieszawska, Aneta J.; Llamas, Jabier Gallego; Vaiana, Christopher A.; Kadakia, Madhavi P.; Naik, Rajesh R.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The formation of silk protein/clay composite biomaterials for bone tissue formation is described. Silk fibroin serves as an organic scaffolding material offering mechanical stability suitable for bone specific uses. Clay montmorillonite (Cloisite ® Na+) and sodium silicate are sources of osteoinductive silica-rich inorganic species, analogous to bioactive bioglass-like bone repair biomaterial systems. Different clay particle-silk composite biomaterial films were compared to silk films doped with sodium silicate as controls for support of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in osteogenic culture. The cells adhered and proliferated on the silk/clay composites over two weeks. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed increased transcript levels for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and collagen type 1 (Col I) osteogenic markers in the cells cultured on the silk/clay films in comparison to the controls. Early evidence for bone formation based on collagen deposition at the cell-biomaterial interface was also found, with more collagen observed for the silk films with higher contents of clay particles. The data suggest that the silk/clay composite systems may be useful for further study toward bone regenerative needs. PMID:21549864

  14. Web building and silk properties functionally covary among species of wolf spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacava, Mariángeles; Camargo, Arley; Garcia, Luis F; Benamú, Marco A; Santana, Martin; Fang, Jian; Wang, Xungai; Blamires, Sean J

    2018-04-15

    Although phylogenetic studies have shown covariation between the properties of spider major ampullate (MA) silk and web building, both spider webs and silks are highly plastic so we cannot be sure whether these traits functionally covary or just vary across environments that the spiders occupy. As MaSp2-like proteins provide MA silk with greater extensibility, their presence is considered necessary for spider webs to effectively capture prey. Wolf spiders (Lycosidae) are predominantly non-web building, but a select few species build webs. We accordingly collected MA silk from two web-building and six non-web-building species found in semirural ecosystems in Uruguay to test whether the presence of MaSp2-like proteins (indicated by amino acid composition, silk mechanical properties and silk nanostructures) was associated with web building across the group. The web-building and non-web-building species were from disparate subfamilies so we estimated a genetic phylogeny to perform appropriate comparisons. For all of the properties measured, we found differences between web-building and non-web-building species. A phylogenetic regression model confirmed that web building and not phylogenetic inertia influences silk properties. Our study definitively showed an ecological influence over spider silk properties. We expect that the presence of the MaSp2-like proteins and the subsequent nanostructures improves the mechanical performance of silks within the webs. Our study furthers our understanding of spider web and silk co-evolution and the ecological implications of spider silk properties. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. Spider Silk Glue Proteins BAA 8.1

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-14

    model for each. These genes were all sequenced at the ends to confirm the sequences were correct prior to using them for...protein expression. 3. The genes were then used in flask fermentation expression studies to insure that protein of the correct size was being...one of the lengths (3X, roughly a 140kD protein) for initial studies. We were able to detect protein production in these fermentations but

  16. Shotgun protein sequencing.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Heffelfinger, Grant S.

    2009-06-01

    A novel experimental and computational technique based on multiple enzymatic digestion of a protein or protein mixture that reconstructs protein sequences from sequences of overlapping peptides is described in this SAND report. This approach, analogous to shotgun sequencing of DNA, is to be used to sequence alternative spliced proteins, to identify post-translational modifications, and to sequence genetically engineered proteins.

  17. Role of chondroitin sulphate tethered silk scaffold in cartilaginous disc tissue regeneration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhattacharjee, Maumita; Chawla, Shikha; Chameettachal, Shibu; Murab, Sumit; Ghosh, Sourabh; Bhavesh, Neel Sarovar

    2016-01-01

    Strategies for tissue engineering focus on scaffolds with tunable structure and morphology as well as optimum surface chemistry to simulate the anatomy and functionality of the target tissue. Silk fibroin has demonstrated its potential in supporting cartilaginous tissue formation both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigate the role of controlled lamellar organization and chemical composition of biofunctionalized silk scaffolds in replicating the structural properties of the annulus region of an intervertebral disc using articular chondrocytes. Covalent attachment of chondroitin sulfate (CS) to silk is characterized. CS-conjugated silk constructs demonstrate enhanced cellular metabolic activity and chondrogenic redifferentiation potential with significantly improved mechanical properties over silk-only constructs. A matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight analysis and protein–protein interaction studies help to generate insights into how CS conjugation can facilitate the production of disc associated matrix proteins, compared to a silk-only based construct. An in-depth understanding of the interplay between such extra cellular matrix associated proteins should help in designing more rational scaffolds for cartilaginous disc regeneration needs. (paper)

  18. Ptychographic X-ray Tomography of Silk Fiber Hydration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Esmaeili, Morteza; Fløystad, Jostein B.; Diaz, Ana

    2013-01-01

    Studying noninvasively the internal nanoporous structure of a single Tussah silk fiber under different humidity conditions, we demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of in-situ ptychographic tomography. The resulting 3D images of the silk fiber interior, obtained at both dry and humid con...... normal to the fiber axis. Exploiting quantitative information on the fiber’s electron density, hydration was found to proceed through interaction with the silk protein rather than filling of pores....

  19. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    Han Linna; Liu Tongjun; Guo Jianyou; Liu Yongmei

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk ...

  20. Silk-ionomer and silk-tropoelastin hydrogels as charged three-dimensional culture platforms for the regulation of hMSC response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabrese, Rossella; Raia, Nicole; Huang, Wenwen; Ghezzi, Chiara E; Simon, Marc; Staii, Cristian; Weiss, Anthony S; Kaplan, David L

    2017-09-01

    The response of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) encapsulated in three-dimensional (3D) charged protein hydrogels was studied. Combining silk fibroin (S) with recombinant human tropoelastin (E) or silk ionomers (I) provided protein composite alloys with tunable physicochemical and biological features for regulating the bioactivity of encapsulated hMSCs. The effects of the biomaterial charges on hMSC viability, proliferation and chondrogenic or osteogenic differentiation were assessed. The silk-tropoelastin or silk-ionomers hydrogels supported hMSC viability, proliferation and differentiation. Gene expression of markers for chondrogenesis and osteogenesis, as well as biochemical and histological analysis, showed that hydrogels with different S/E and S/I ratios had different effects on cell fate. The negatively charged hydrogels upregulated hMSC chondrogenesis or osteogenesis, with or without specific differentiation media, and hydrogels with higher tropoelastin content inhibited the differentiation potential even in the presence of the differentiation media. The results provide insight on charge-tunable features of protein-based biomaterials to control hMSC differentiation in 3D hydrogels, as well as providing a new set of hydrogels for the compatible encapsulation and utility for cell functions. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Effects of alkyl polyglycoside (APG) on Bombyx mori silk degumming and the mechanical properties of silk fibroin fibre

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Fei; Zhang, Yu-Qing, E-mail: sericult@suda.edu.cn

    2017-05-01

    Alkyl polyglycoside (APG), a nonionic surfactant, is often considered to be a green surfactant and is synthesized using glucose and long chain fatty alcohols. It is used as a degumming agent of Bombyx mori silk fibre in this study for the first time. We studied APG systematically in comparison to the traditional degumming methods, such as aqueous solutions of sodium carbonate (Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}) and neutral soap (NS). After repeatedly boiling silk fibres in an aqueous solution of 0.25% APG three times for 30 min and using a bath ratio of 1:90–120 (g/mL), sericin was completely removed from the fibre. SDS-PAGE showed that the degumming in APG did not induce an evident breakage of the silk fibroin peptide chains, including the light chain and P25 protein. The tensile properties, thermal analysis, and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observation of the degummed fibroin fibre all show that APG is a degumming agent similar to NS and far superior to Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}. These results indicate that APG is an environment-friendly silk degumming/refining agent in the silk textile industry and in the manufacture of silk floss quilts. - Graphical abstract: APG has potential uses as a green degumming/refining reagent for silkworm cocoons or silk fibres in the silk industry and for sericulture production. Display Omitted.

  2. Genetic engineered color silk: fabrication of a photonics material through a bioassisted technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Katsuhiko

    2018-05-15

    Silk produced by the silkworm Bombyx mori is an attractive material because of its luster, smooth and soft texture, conspicuous mechanical strength, good biocompatibility, slow biodegradation, and carbon neutral synthesis. Silkworms have been domesticated and bred for production of better quality and quantity of silk, resulting in the development of sericulture and the textile industry. Silk is generally white, so dyeing is required to obtain colored fiber. However, the dyeing process involves harsh conditions and generates a large volume of waste water, which have environmentally and economically negative impacts. Although some strains produce cocoons that contain pigments derived from the mulberry leaves that they eat, the pigments are distributed in the sericin layer and are lost during gumming. In trials for production of colored silk by feeding silkworms on diets containing dyes, only limited species of dye molecules were incorporated into the silk threads. A method for the generation of transgenic silkworm was established in conjunction with the discovery of green fluorescent protein (GFP), and silkworms carrying the GFP gene spun silk threads that formed cocoons that glowed bright green and still retained the original properties of silk. A wide range of color variation of silk threads has been obtained by replacing the GFP gene with the genes of other fluorescent proteins chosen from the fluorescent protein palette. The genetically modified silk with photonic properties can be processed to form various products including linear threads, 2D fabrics, and 3D materials. The transgenic colored silk could be economically advantageous due to addition of a new value to silk and reduction of cost for water waste, and environmentally preferable for saving water. Here, I review the literature regarding the production methods of fluorescent silk from transgenic silkworms and present examples of genetically modified color silk.

  3. Functionalized bioengineered spider silk spheres improve nuclease resistance and activity of oligonucleotide therapeutics providing a strategy for cancer treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlowska, Anna Karolina; Florczak, Anna; Smialek, Maciej; Dondajewska, Ewelina; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Kortylewski, Marcin; Dams-Kozlowska, Hanna

    2017-09-01

    Cell-selective delivery and sensitivity to serum nucleases remain major hurdles to the clinical application of RNA-based oligonucleotide therapeutics, such as siRNA. Spider silk shows great potential as a biomaterial due to its biocompatibility and biodegradability. Self-assembling properties of silk proteins allow for processing into several different morphologies such as fibers, scaffolds, films, hydrogels, capsules and spheres. Moreover, bioengineering of spider silk protein sequences can functionalize silk by adding peptide moieties with specific features including binding or cell recognition domains. We demonstrated that modification of silk protein by adding the nucleic acid binding domain enabled the development of a novel oligonucleotide delivery system that can be utilized to improve pharmacokinetics of RNA-based therapeutics, such as CpG-siRNA. The MS2 bioengineered silk was functionalized with poly-lysine domain (KN) to generate hybrid silk MS2KN. CpG-siRNA efficiently bound to MS2KN in contrary to control MS2. Both MS2KN complexes and spheres protected CpG-siRNA from degradation by serum nucleases. CpG-siRNA molecules encapsulated into MS2KN spheres were efficiently internalized and processed by TLR9-positive macrophages. Importantly, CpG-STAT3siRNA loaded in silk spheres showed delayed and extended target gene silencing compared to naked oligonucleotides. The prolonged Stat3 silencing resulted in the more pronounced downregulation of interleukin 6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory cytokine and upstream activator of STAT3, which limits the efficacy of TLR9 immunostimulation. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of using spider silk spheres as a carrier of therapeutic nucleic acids. Moreover, the modified kinetic and activity of the CpG-STAT3siRNA embedded into silk spheres is likely to improve immunotherapeutic effects in vivo. We demonstrated that modification of silk protein by adding the nucleic acid binding domain enabled the development of a novel

  4. Inhibitory effect of corn silk on skin pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sang Yoon; Lee, Yeonmi; Kim, Sung Soo; Ju, Hyun Min; Baek, Ji Hwoon; Park, Chul-Soo; Lee, Dong-Hyuk

    2014-03-03

    In this study, the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production was evaluated. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production in Melan-A cells by measuring melanin production and protein expression. The corn silk extract applied on Melan-A cells at a concentration of 100 ppm decreased melanin production by 37.2% without cytotoxicity. This was a better result than arbutin, a positive whitening agent, which exhibited a 26.8% melanin production inhibitory effect at the same concentration. The corn silk extract did not suppress tyrosinase activity but greatly reduced the expression of tyrosinase in Melan-A cells. In addition, corn silk extract was applied to the human face with hyperpigmentation, and skin color was measured to examine the degree of skin pigment reduction. The application of corn silk extract on faces with hyperpigmentation significantly reduced skin pigmentation without abnormal reactions. Based on the results above, corn silk has good prospects for use as a material for suppressing skin pigmentation.

  5. Inhibitory Effect of Corn Silk on Skin Pigmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Yoon Choi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production was evaluated. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production in Melan-A cells by measuring melanin production and protein expression. The corn silk extract applied on Melan-A cells at a concentration of 100 ppm decreased melanin production by 37.2% without cytotoxicity. This was a better result than arbutin, a positive whitening agent, which exhibited a 26.8% melanin production inhibitory effect at the same concentration. The corn silk extract did not suppress tyrosinase activity but greatly reduced the expression of tyrosinase in Melan-A cells. In addition, corn silk extract was applied to the human face with hyperpigmentation, and skin color was measured to examine the degree of skin pigment reduction. The application of corn silk extract on faces with hyperpigmentation significantly reduced skin pigmentation without abnormal reactions. Based on the results above, corn silk has good prospects for use as a material for suppressing skin pigmentation.

  6. Inhibitory Effect of Corn Silk on Skin Pigmentation

    OpenAIRE

    Sang Yoon Choi; Yeonmi Lee; Sung Soo Kim; Hyun Min Ju; Ji Hwoon Baek; Chul-Soo Park; Dong-Hyuk Lee

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production was evaluated. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production in Melan-A cells by measuring melanin production and protein expression. The corn silk extract applied on Melan-A cells at a concentration of 100 ppm decreased melanin production by 37.2% without cytotoxicity. This was a better result than arbutin, a positive whitening agent, which exhibited a 26.8% melanin prod...

  7. Research On Degradation Of Silk Fibroin By Combination Of Electron Beam Irradiation And Hydrothermal Processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen Thi Kim Lan; Dang Van Phu; Le Anh Quoc; Nguyen Quoc Hien

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibers and silk proteins have been demonstrated to be useful to apply in the textile industry, biomedical, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals. In this study, the effects of electron beam (EB) irradiation combined with hydrothermal processing to the solubility of silk fibroin and generation of soluble silk protein were investigated. The solubility of unirradiated and irradiated fibroin were greater than 80 % when hydrothermal degradation was performed in the sodium hydroxide solution at appropriate concentration of 0.05 M. However, the solubility of irradiated fibroin was greater than that of unirradiated sample. The protein content increased from 0.4617 to 0.6530 mg/mg when irradiation doses increased from 0 to 200 kGy, respectively. The molecular weight of protein was determined by SDS-PAGE method. The characteristics of silk protein were confirmed by scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). (author)

  8. Silk-polypyrrole biocompatible actuator performance under biologically relevant conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagler, Jo'elen; Peterson, Ben; Murphy, Amanda; Leger, Janelle

    Biocompatible actuators that are capable of controlled movement and can function under biologically relevant conditions are of significant interest in biomedical fields. Previously, we have demonstrated that a composite material of silk biopolymer and the conducting polymer polypyrrole (PPy) can be formed into a bilayer device that can bend under applied voltage. Further, these silk-PPy composites can generate forces comparable to human muscle (>0.1 MPa) making them ideal candidates for interfacing with biological tissues. Here silk-PPy composite films are tested for performance under biologically relevant conditions including exposure to a complex protein serum and biologically relevant temperatures. Free-end bending actuation performance, current response, force generation and, mass degradation were investigated . Preliminary results show that when exposed to proteins and biologically relevant temperatures, these silk-PPy composites show minimal degradation and are able to generate forces and conduct currents comparable to devices tested under standard conditions. NSF.

  9. Potential applications of silk sericin, a natural protein from textile industry by-products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Siritientong, Tippawan; Srichana, Teerapol

    2012-03-01

    Silk is composed of two major proteins, fibroin (fibrous protein) and sericin (globular, gumming protein). Fibroin has been used in textile manufacturing and for several biomaterial applications, whereas sericin is considered a waste material in the textile industry. Sericin has recently been found to activate the proliferation of several cell-lines and has also shown various biological activities. Sericin can form a gel by itself; however, after mixing with other polymers and cross-linking it can form a film or a scaffold with good characteristics that can be used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Sericin is proven to cause no immunological responses, which has resulted in a more acceptable material for biological applications.

  10. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W.; Bechsgaard, Jesper S.; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F.; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J.; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U.; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  11. Electroresponsive Aqueous Silk Protein As “Smart” Mechanical Damping Fluid

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Here we demonstrate the effectiveness of an electroresponsive aqueous silk protein polymer as a smart mechanical damping fluid. The aqueous polymer solution is liquid under ambient conditions, but is reversibly converted into a gel once subjected to an electric current, thereby increasing or decreasing in viscosity. This nontoxic, biodegradable, reversible, edible fluid also bonds to device surfaces and is demonstrated to reduce friction and provide striking wear protection. The friction and mechanical damping coefficients are shown to modulate with electric field exposure time and/or intensity. Damping coefficient can be modulated electrically, and then preserved without continued power for longer time scales than conventional “smart” fluid dampers. PMID:24750065

  12. Silk film biomaterials for ocular surface repair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Brian David

    Current biomaterial approaches for repairing the cornea's ocular surface upon injury are partially effective due to inherent material limitations. As a result there is a need to expand the biomaterial options available for use in the eye, which in turn will help to expand new clinical innovations and technology development. The studies illustrated here are a collection of work to further characterize silk film biomaterials for use on the ocular surface. Silk films were produced from regenerated fibroin protein solution derived from the Bombyx mori silkworm cocoon. Methods of silk film processing and production were developed to produce consistent biomaterials for in vitro and in vivo evaluation. A wide range of experiments was undertaken that spanned from in vitro silk film material characterization to in vivo evaluation. It was found that a variety of silk film properties could be controlled through a water-annealing process. Silk films were then generated that could be use in vitro to produce stratified corneal epithelial cell sheets comparable to tissue grown on the clinical standard substrate of amniotic membrane. This understanding was translated to produce a silk film design that enhanced corneal healing in vivo on a rabbit injury model. Further work produced silk films with varying surface topographies that were used as a simplified analog to the corneal basement membrane surface in vitro. These studies demonstrated that silk film surface topography is capable of directing corneal epithelial cell attachment, growth, and migration response. Most notably epithelial tissue development was controllably directed by the presence of the silk surface topography through increasing cell sheet migration efficiency at the individual cellular level. Taken together, the presented findings represent a comprehensive characterization of silk film biomaterials for use in ocular surface reconstruction, and indicate their utility as a potential material choice in the

  13. Synthetic Spider Silk Production on a Laboratory Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Pacheco, Ryan; Kohler, Kristin; Jeffery, Felicia; Vierra, Craig

    2012-01-01

    As society progresses and resources become scarcer, it is becoming increasingly important to cultivate new technologies that engineer next generation biomaterials with high performance properties. The development of these new structural materials must be rapid, cost-efficient and involve processing methodologies and products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Spiders spin a multitude of different fiber types with diverse mechanical properties, offering a rich source of next generation engineering materials for biomimicry that rival the best manmade and natural materials. Since the collection of large quantities of natural spider silk is impractical, synthetic silk production has the ability to provide scientists with access to an unlimited supply of threads. Therefore, if the spinning process can be streamlined and perfected, artificial spider fibers have the potential use for a broad range of applications ranging from body armor, surgical sutures, ropes and cables, tires, strings for musical instruments, and composites for aviation and aerospace technology. In order to advance the synthetic silk production process and to yield fibers that display low variance in their material properties from spin to spin, we developed a wet-spinning protocol that integrates expression of recombinant spider silk proteins in bacteria, purification and concentration of the proteins, followed by fiber extrusion and a mechanical post-spin treatment. This is the first visual representation that reveals a step-by-step process to spin and analyze artificial silk fibers on a laboratory scale. It also provides details to minimize the introduction of variability among fibers spun from the same spinning dope. Collectively, these methods will propel the process of artificial silk production, leading to higher quality fibers that surpass natural spider silks. PMID:22847722

  14. Structure-function-property-design interplay in biopolymers: spider silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L

    2014-04-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. Copyright © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Nutrient Deprivation Induces Property Variations in Spider Gluey Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali; Blackledge, Todd A.; Tso, I-Min

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition. PMID:24523902

  16. Expression of a truncated ATHB17 protein in maize increases ear weight at silking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena A Rice

    Full Text Available ATHB17 (AT2G01430 is an Arabidopsis gene encoding a member of the α-subclass of the homeodomain leucine zipper class II (HD-Zip II family of transcription factors. The ATHB17 monomer contains four domains common to all class II HD-Zip proteins: a putative repression domain adjacent to a homeodomain, leucine zipper, and carboxy terminal domain. However, it also possesses a unique N-terminus not present in other members of the family. In this study we demonstrate that the unique 73 amino acid N-terminus is involved in regulation of cellular localization of ATHB17. The ATHB17 protein is shown to function as a transcriptional repressor and an EAR-like motif is identified within the putative repression domain of ATHB17. Transformation of maize with an ATHB17 expression construct leads to the expression of ATHB17Δ113, a truncated protein lacking the first 113 amino acids which encodes a significant portion of the repression domain. Because ATHB17Δ113 lacks the repression domain, the protein cannot directly affect the transcription of its target genes. ATHB17Δ113 can homodimerize, form heterodimers with maize endogenous HD-Zip II proteins, and bind to target DNA sequences; thus, ATHB17Δ113 may interfere with HD-Zip II mediated transcriptional activity via a dominant negative mechanism. We provide evidence that maize HD-Zip II proteins function as transcriptional repressors and that ATHB17Δ113 relieves this HD-Zip II mediated transcriptional repression activity. Expression of ATHB17Δ113 in maize leads to increased ear size at silking and, therefore, may enhance sink potential. We hypothesize that this phenotype could be a result of modulation of endogenous HD-Zip II pathways in maize.

  17. Expression of a truncated ATHB17 protein in maize increases ear weight at silking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Elena A; Khandelwal, Abha; Creelman, Robert A; Griffith, Cara; Ahrens, Jeffrey E; Taylor, J Philip; Murphy, Lesley R; Manjunath, Siva; Thompson, Rebecca L; Lingard, Matthew J; Back, Stephanie L; Larue, Huachun; Brayton, Bonnie R; Burek, Amanda J; Tiwari, Shiv; Adam, Luc; Morrell, James A; Caldo, Rico A; Huai, Qing; Kouadio, Jean-Louis K; Kuehn, Rosemarie; Sant, Anagha M; Wingbermuehle, William J; Sala, Rodrigo; Foster, Matt; Kinser, Josh D; Mohanty, Radha; Jiang, Dongming; Ziegler, Todd E; Huang, Mingya G; Kuriakose, Saritha V; Skottke, Kyle; Repetti, Peter P; Reuber, T Lynne; Ruff, Thomas G; Petracek, Marie E; Loida, Paul J

    2014-01-01

    ATHB17 (AT2G01430) is an Arabidopsis gene encoding a member of the α-subclass of the homeodomain leucine zipper class II (HD-Zip II) family of transcription factors. The ATHB17 monomer contains four domains common to all class II HD-Zip proteins: a putative repression domain adjacent to a homeodomain, leucine zipper, and carboxy terminal domain. However, it also possesses a unique N-terminus not present in other members of the family. In this study we demonstrate that the unique 73 amino acid N-terminus is involved in regulation of cellular localization of ATHB17. The ATHB17 protein is shown to function as a transcriptional repressor and an EAR-like motif is identified within the putative repression domain of ATHB17. Transformation of maize with an ATHB17 expression construct leads to the expression of ATHB17Δ113, a truncated protein lacking the first 113 amino acids which encodes a significant portion of the repression domain. Because ATHB17Δ113 lacks the repression domain, the protein cannot directly affect the transcription of its target genes. ATHB17Δ113 can homodimerize, form heterodimers with maize endogenous HD-Zip II proteins, and bind to target DNA sequences; thus, ATHB17Δ113 may interfere with HD-Zip II mediated transcriptional activity via a dominant negative mechanism. We provide evidence that maize HD-Zip II proteins function as transcriptional repressors and that ATHB17Δ113 relieves this HD-Zip II mediated transcriptional repression activity. Expression of ATHB17Δ113 in maize leads to increased ear size at silking and, therefore, may enhance sink potential. We hypothesize that this phenotype could be a result of modulation of endogenous HD-Zip II pathways in maize.

  18. Expression of a Truncated ATHB17 Protein in Maize Increases Ear Weight at Silking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creelman, Robert A.; Griffith, Cara; Ahrens, Jeffrey E.; Taylor, J. Philip; Murphy, Lesley R.; Manjunath, Siva; Thompson, Rebecca L.; Lingard, Matthew J.; Back, Stephanie L.; Larue, Huachun; Brayton, Bonnie R.; Burek, Amanda J.; Tiwari, Shiv; Adam, Luc; Morrell, James A.; Caldo, Rico A.; Huai, Qing; Kouadio, Jean-Louis K.; Kuehn, Rosemarie; Sant, Anagha M.; Wingbermuehle, William J.; Sala, Rodrigo; Foster, Matt; Kinser, Josh D.; Mohanty, Radha; Jiang, Dongming; Ziegler, Todd E.; Huang, Mingya G.; Kuriakose, Saritha V.; Skottke, Kyle; Repetti, Peter P.; Reuber, T. Lynne; Ruff, Thomas G.; Petracek, Marie E.; Loida, Paul J.

    2014-01-01

    ATHB17 (AT2G01430) is an Arabidopsis gene encoding a member of the α-subclass of the homeodomain leucine zipper class II (HD-Zip II) family of transcription factors. The ATHB17 monomer contains four domains common to all class II HD-Zip proteins: a putative repression domain adjacent to a homeodomain, leucine zipper, and carboxy terminal domain. However, it also possesses a unique N-terminus not present in other members of the family. In this study we demonstrate that the unique 73 amino acid N-terminus is involved in regulation of cellular localization of ATHB17. The ATHB17 protein is shown to function as a transcriptional repressor and an EAR-like motif is identified within the putative repression domain of ATHB17. Transformation of maize with an ATHB17 expression construct leads to the expression of ATHB17Δ113, a truncated protein lacking the first 113 amino acids which encodes a significant portion of the repression domain. Because ATHB17Δ113 lacks the repression domain, the protein cannot directly affect the transcription of its target genes. ATHB17Δ113 can homodimerize, form heterodimers with maize endogenous HD-Zip II proteins, and bind to target DNA sequences; thus, ATHB17Δ113 may interfere with HD-Zip II mediated transcriptional activity via a dominant negative mechanism. We provide evidence that maize HD-Zip II proteins function as transcriptional repressors and that ATHB17Δ113 relieves this HD-Zip II mediated transcriptional repression activity. Expression of ATHB17Δ113 in maize leads to increased ear size at silking and, therefore, may enhance sink potential. We hypothesize that this phenotype could be a result of modulation of endogenous HD-Zip II pathways in maize. PMID:24736658

  19. Comparative Study of Ultrasonication-Induced and Naturally Self-Assembled Silk Fibroin-Wool Keratin Hydrogel Biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vu, Trang; Xue, Ye; Vuong, Trinh; Erbe, Matthew; Bennet, Christopher; Palazzo, Ben; Popielski, Lucas; Rodriguez, Nelson; Hu, Xiao

    2016-09-07

    This study reports the formation of biocompatible hydrogels using protein polymers from natural silk cocoon fibroins and sheep wool keratins. Silk fibroin protein contains β-sheet secondary structures, allowing for the formation of physical cross-linkers in the hydrogels. Comparative studies were performed on two groups of samples. In the first group, ultrasonication was used to induce a quick gelation of a protein aqueous solution, enhancing the ability of Bombyx mori silk fibroin chains to quickly entrap the wool keratin protein molecules homogenously. In the second group, silk/keratin mixtures were left at room temperature for days, resulting in naturally-assembled gelled solutions. It was found that silk/wool blended solutions can form hydrogels at different mixing ratios, with perfectly interconnected gel structure when the wool content was less than 30 weight percent (wt %) for the first group (ultrasonication), and 10 wt % for the second group (natural gel). Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and temperature modulated DSC (TMDSC) were used to confirm that the fibroin/keratin hydrogel system was well-blended without phase separation. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to investigate the secondary structures of blended protein gels. It was found that intermolecular β-sheet contents significantly increase as the system contains more silk for both groups of samples, resulting in stable crystalline cross-linkers in the blended hydrogel structures. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to analyze the samples' characteristic morphology on both micro- and nanoscales, which showed that ultrasonic waves can significantly enhance the cross-linker formation and avoid phase separation between silk and keratin molecules in the blended systems. With the ability to form cross-linkages non-chemically, these silk/wool hydrogels may be economically useful for various biomedical applications, thanks to the

  20. Comparative Study of Ultrasonication-Induced and Naturally Self-Assembled Silk Fibroin-Wool Keratin Hydrogel Biomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trang Vu

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This study reports the formation of biocompatible hydrogels using protein polymers from natural silk cocoon fibroins and sheep wool keratins. Silk fibroin protein contains β-sheet secondary structures, allowing for the formation of physical cross-linkers in the hydrogels. Comparative studies were performed on two groups of samples. In the first group, ultrasonication was used to induce a quick gelation of a protein aqueous solution, enhancing the ability of Bombyx mori silk fibroin chains to quickly entrap the wool keratin protein molecules homogenously. In the second group, silk/keratin mixtures were left at room temperature for days, resulting in naturally-assembled gelled solutions. It was found that silk/wool blended solutions can form hydrogels at different mixing ratios, with perfectly interconnected gel structure when the wool content was less than 30 weight percent (wt % for the first group (ultrasonication, and 10 wt % for the second group (natural gel. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC and temperature modulated DSC (TMDSC were used to confirm that the fibroin/keratin hydrogel system was well-blended without phase separation. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR was used to investigate the secondary structures of blended protein gels. It was found that intermolecular β-sheet contents significantly increase as the system contains more silk for both groups of samples, resulting in stable crystalline cross-linkers in the blended hydrogel structures. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM and atomic force microscopy (AFM were used to analyze the samples’ characteristic morphology on both micro- and nanoscales, which showed that ultrasonic waves can significantly enhance the cross-linker formation and avoid phase separation between silk and keratin molecules in the blended systems. With the ability to form cross-linkages non-chemically, these silk/wool hydrogels may be economically useful for various biomedical applications

  1. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jianyou; Liu, Tongjun; Han, Linna; Liu, Yongmei

    2009-11-23

    Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Alloxan and adrenalin induced hyperglycemic mice were used in the study. The effects of corn silk on blood glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin secretion, damaged pancreatic beta-cells, hepatic glycogen and gluconeogenesis in hyperglycemic mice were studied respectively. After the mice were orally administered with corn silk extract, the blood glucose and the HbA1c were significantly decreased in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice (p corn silk extract 15 days later. Also, the body weight of the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice was increased gradually. However, ascension of blood glucose induced by adrenalin and gluconeogenesis induced by L-alanine were not inhibited by corn silk extract treatment (p > 0.05). Although corn silk extract increased the level of hepatic glycogen in the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice, there was no significant difference between them and that of the control group(p > 0.05). Corn silk extract markedly reduced hyperglycemia in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The action of corn silk extract on glycaemic metabolism is not via increasing glycogen and inhibiting gluconeogenesis but through increasing insulin level as well as recovering the injured beta-cells. The results suggest that corn silk extract may be used as a hypoglycemic food or medicine for hyperglycemic people in terms of this modern pharmacological study.

  2. Natural Non-Mulberry Silk Nanoparticles for Potential-Controlled Drug Release

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Juan; Yin, Zhuping; Xue, Xiang; Kundu, Subhas C.; Mo, Xiumei; Lu, Shenzhou

    2016-01-01

    Natural silk protein nanoparticles are a promising biomaterial for drug delivery due to their pleiotropic properties, including biocompatibility, high bioavailability, and biodegradability. Chinese oak tasar Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin (ApF) nanoparticles are easily obtained using cations as reagents under mild conditions. The mild conditions are potentially advantageous for the encapsulation of sensitive drugs and therapeutic molecules. In the present study, silk fibroin protein nanoparticles are loaded with differently-charged small-molecule drugs, such as doxorubicin hydrochloride, ibuprofen, and ibuprofen-Na, by simple absorption based on electrostatic interactions. The structure, morphology and biocompatibility of the silk nanoparticles in vitro are investigated. In vitro release of the drugs from the nanoparticles depends on charge-charge interactions between the drugs and the nanoparticles. The release behavior of the compounds from the nanoparticles demonstrates that positively-charged molecules are released in a more prolonged or sustained manner. Cell viability studies with L929 demonstrated that the ApF nanoparticles significantly promoted cell growth. The results suggest that Chinese oak tasar Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin nanoparticles can be used as an alternative matrix for drug carrying and controlled release in diverse biomedical applications. PMID:27916946

  3. Regulation of Silk Material Structure by Temperature-Controlled Water Vapor Annealing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao; Shmelev, Karen; Sun, Lin; Gil, Eun-Seok; Park, Sang-Hyug; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    We present a simple and effective method to obtain refined control of the molecular structure of silk biomaterials through physical temperature-controlled water vapor annealing (TCWVA). The silk materials can be prepared with control of crystallinity, from a low content using conditions at 4°C (alpha-helix dominated silk I structure), to highest content of ~60% crystallinity at 100°C (beta-sheet dominated silk II structure). This new physical approach covers the range of structures previously reported to govern crystallization during the fabrication of silk materials, yet offers a simpler, green chemistry, approach with tight control of reproducibility. The transition kinetics, thermal, mechanical, and biodegradation properties of the silk films prepared at different temperatures were investigated and compared by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), uniaxial tensile studies, and enzymatic degradation studies. The results revealed that this new physical processing method accurately controls structure, in turn providing control of mechanical properties, thermal stability, enzyme degradation rate, and human mesenchymal stem cell interactions. The mechanistic basis for the control is through the temperature controlled regulation of water vapor, to control crystallization. Control of silk structure via TCWVA represents a significant improvement in the fabrication of silk-based biomaterials, where control of structure-property relationships is key to regulating material properties. This new approach to control crystallization also provides an entirely new green approach, avoiding common methods which use organic solvents (methanol, ethanol) or organic acids. The method described here for silk proteins would also be universal for many other structural proteins (and likely other biopolymers), where water controls chain interactions related to material properties. PMID:21425769

  4. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Linna

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Methods Alloxan and adrenalin induced hyperglycemic mice were used in the study. The effects of corn silk on blood glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c, insulin secretion, damaged pancreatic β-cells, hepatic glycogen and gluconeogenesis in hyperglycemic mice were studied respectively. Results After the mice were orally administered with corn silk extract, the blood glucose and the HbA1c were significantly decreased in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice (p 0.05. Although corn silk extract increased the level of hepatic glycogen in the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice, there was no significant difference between them and that of the control group(p > 0.05. Conclusion Corn silk extract markedly reduced hyperglycemia in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The action of corn silk extract on glycaemic metabolism is not via increasing glycogen and inhibiting gluconeogenesis but through increasing insulin level as well as recovering the injured β-cells. The results suggest that corn silk extract may be used as a hypoglycemic food or medicine for hyperglycemic people in terms of this modern pharmacological study.

  5. Hydrogen bonding-assisted thermal conduction in β-sheet crystals of spider silk protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lin; Chen, Teli; Ban, Heng; Liu, Ling

    2014-06-01

    Using atomistic simulations, we demonstrate that β-sheet, an essential component of spider silk protein, has a thermal conductivity 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of some other protein structures reported in the literature. In contrast to several other nanostructured materials of similar bundled/layered structures (e.g. few-layer graphene and bundled carbon nanotubes), the β-sheet is found to uniquely feature enhanced thermal conductivity with an increased number of constituting units, i.e. β-strands. Phonon analysis identifies inter-β-strand hydrogen bonding as the main contributor to the intriguing phenomenon, which prominently influences the state of phonons in both low- and high-frequency regimes. A thermal resistance model further verifies the critical role of hydrogen bonding in thermal conduction through β-sheet structures.Using atomistic simulations, we demonstrate that β-sheet, an essential component of spider silk protein, has a thermal conductivity 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of some other protein structures reported in the literature. In contrast to several other nanostructured materials of similar bundled/layered structures (e.g. few-layer graphene and bundled carbon nanotubes), the β-sheet is found to uniquely feature enhanced thermal conductivity with an increased number of constituting units, i.e. β-strands. Phonon analysis identifies inter-β-strand hydrogen bonding as the main contributor to the intriguing phenomenon, which prominently influences the state of phonons in both low- and high-frequency regimes. A thermal resistance model further verifies the critical role of hydrogen bonding in thermal conduction through β-sheet structures. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Structure of the β-sheets, computational model, determination of area and temperature gradient, and additional phonon DOS results. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr01195c

  6. Fabrication of elastomeric silk fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradner, Sarah A; Partlow, Benjamin P; Cebe, Peggy; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Kaplan, David L

    2017-09-01

    Methods to generate fibers from hydrogels, with control over mechanical properties, fiber diameter, and crystallinity, while retaining cytocompatibility and degradability, would expand options for biomaterials. Here, we exploited features of silk fibroin protein for the formation of tunable silk hydrogel fibers. The biological, chemical, and morphological features inherent to silk were combined with elastomeric properties gained through enzymatic crosslinking of the protein. Postprocessing via methanol and autoclaving provided tunable control of fiber features. Mechanical, optical, and chemical analyses demonstrated control of fiber properties by exploiting the physical cross-links, and generating double network hydrogels consisting of chemical and physical cross-links. Structure and chemical analyses revealed crystallinity from 30 to 50%, modulus from 0.5 to 4 MPa, and ultimate strength 1-5 MPa depending on the processing method. Fabrication and postprocessing combined provided fibers with extensibility from 100 to 400% ultimate strain. Fibers strained to 100% exhibited fourth order birefringence, revealing macroscopic orientation driven by chain mobility. The physical cross-links were influenced in part by the drying rate of fabricated materials, where bound water, packing density, and microstructural homogeneity influenced cross-linking efficiency. The ability to generate robust and versatile hydrogel microfibers is desirable for bottom-up assembly of biological tissues and for broader biomaterial applications. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Trends in World Silk Cocoons and Silk Production and Trade, 2007-2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AGATHA AGATHA POPESCU

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper aimed to analyze world production and trade for fresh silk cocoons and raw silk using FAO Stat data for  the  period 2007-2010. The use of index, share and comparison methods allowed to identify the major trends in the analyzed period. Silk decline was determined by the increased importance of cotton and artificial fibres in textile and clothing industry. Important changes are taking place on silk cocoons and silk market. While, the European market decreased, the Asian market has mainly developed fresh cocoons and raw silk, while the European market became more interested of clothes. Silk consumption declined because of consumer’s preference for synthetic fibres, except traditional consumers from Asia.  China is the main producer and exporter of fresh and dry cocoons, while raw silk is produced and exported by China, Brazil and Italy and imported by India, Japan and Italy. In Europe, Bulgaria is the top producer of fresh cocoons and raw silk and Italy is the main raw silk importer and the top producer and exporter of textile and fashion clothes. Silk will remain an important raw material for producing high quality and luxury clothes.

  8. Silk elasticity as a potential constraint on spider body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A; Corcobado, Guadalupe; Moya-Laraño, Jordi

    2010-10-07

    Silk is known for its strength and extensibility and has played a key role in the radiation of spiders. Individual spiders use different glands to produce silk types with unique sets of proteins. Most research has studied the properties of major ampullate and capture spiral silks and their ecological implications, while little is known about minor ampullate silk, the type used by those spider species studied to date for bridging displacements. A biomechanical model parameterised with available data shows that the minimum radius of silk filaments required for efficient bridging grows with the square root of the spider's body mass, faster than the radius of minor ampullate silk filaments actually produced by spiders. Because the morphology of spiders adapted to walking along or under silk threads is ill suited for moving on a solid surface, for these species there is a negative relationship between body mass and displacement ability. As it stands, the model suggests that spiders that use silk for their displacements are prevented from attaining a large body size if they must track their resources in space. In particular, silk elasticity would favour sexual size dimorphism because males that must use bridging lines to search for females cannot grow large. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Improved human tenocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitro by optimized silk degumming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang Xiao; Qiu Yiwei; Carr, Andrew J; Triffitt, James T; Sabokbar, Afsie; Xia Zhidao, E-mail: z.xia@swansea.ac.uk [Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom)

    2011-06-15

    Tendon disorders are common clinical conditions. Tendon tissue engineering provides a new approach for tendon repair by integrating engineered substitutes with their native counterparts. Silk is considered to be a promising candidate for tendon engineering because of its biological and mechanical properties. However, a major concern with using silk for biomedical applications is the immune responses generated by sericin, a glue-like protein that coats the silk fibres. This study improves the existing protocols for silk 'degumming' which removes sericin and enables preparation of silk that is suitable for tendon regeneration. Bombyx mori silks were treated by sequential treatments with different proteases. The efficiency of degumming was determined by measuring weight loss, picric acid and carmine staining and scanning electron microscopy. To evaluate the cellular responses after degumming, the growth and differentiation of human tenocytes on silks were examined. The results showed that sequential protease treatment effectively degummed raw silks. The sequentially degummed silks showed enhanced tenocyte proliferation and upregulated mRNA levels of tendon markers. Thick cell multilayers formed on the treated silks, with cells and collagen fibres penetrating into the spaces in individual silk filaments, resulting in a structure resembling human tendon.

  10. Improved human tenocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitro by optimized silk degumming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiao, Wang; Yiwei, Qiu; Carr, Andrew J; Triffitt, James T; Sabokbar, Afsie; Xia Zhidao, E-mail: z.xia@swansea.ac.uk [Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom)

    2011-06-15

    Tendon disorders are common clinical conditions. Tendon tissue engineering provides a new approach for tendon repair by integrating engineered substitutes with their native counterparts. Silk is considered to be a promising candidate for tendon engineering because of its biological and mechanical properties. However, a major concern with using silk for biomedical applications is the immune responses generated by sericin, a glue-like protein that coats the silk fibres. This study improves the existing protocols for silk 'degumming' which removes sericin and enables preparation of silk that is suitable for tendon regeneration. Bombyx mori silks were treated by sequential treatments with different proteases. The efficiency of degumming was determined by measuring weight loss, picric acid and carmine staining and scanning electron microscopy. To evaluate the cellular responses after degumming, the growth and differentiation of human tenocytes on silks were examined. The results showed that sequential protease treatment effectively degummed raw silks. The sequentially degummed silks showed enhanced tenocyte proliferation and upregulated mRNA levels of tendon markers. Thick cell multilayers formed on the treated silks, with cells and collagen fibres penetrating into the spaces in individual silk filaments, resulting in a structure resembling human tendon.

  11. Concentration state dependence of the rheological and structural properties of reconstituted silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Chunli; Holland, Chris; Porter, David; Shao, Zhengzhong; Vollrath, Fritz

    2009-10-12

    The ability to control the processing of artificial silk is key to the successful application of this important and high performance biopolymer. Understanding where our current reconstitution process can be improved will not only aid us in the creation of better materials, but will also provide insight into the natural material along the way. This study aims to understand what proportion of reconstituted silk contributes to its rheological properties and what conformational state the silk proteins are in. It shows, for the first time, that a change in rheological properties can be related to a change in silk structures present in solution and reveals a low concentration gel state for silk that may have important implications for future successful artificial processing of silk.

  12. Silk: a potential medium for tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobajo, Cassandra; Behzad, Farhad; Yuan, Xue-Feng; Bayat, Ardeshir

    2008-01-01

    Human skin is a complex bilayered organ that serves as a protective barrier against the environment. The loss of integrity of skin by traumatic experiences such as burns and ulcers may result in considerable disability or ultimately death. Therefore, in skin injuries, adequate dermal substitutes are among primary care targets, aimed at replacing the structural and functional properties of native skin. To date, there are very few single application tissue-engineered dermal constructs fulfilling this criterion. Silk produced by the domestic silkworm, Bombyx mori, has a long history of use in medicine. It has recently been increasingly investigated as a promising biomaterial for dermal constructs. Silk contains 2 fibrous proteins, sericin and fibroin. Each one exhibits unique mechanical and biological properties. Comprehensive review of randomized-controlled trials investigating current dermal constructs and the structures and properties of silk-based constructs on wound healing. This review revealed that silk-fibroin is regarded as the most promising biomaterial, providing options for the construction of tissue-engineered skin. The research available indicates that silk fibroin is a suitable biomaterial scaffold for the provision of adequate dermal constructs.

  13. Natural Occurring Silks and Their Analogues as Materials for Nerve Conduits

    OpenAIRE

    Christine Radtke

    2016-01-01

    Spider silk and its synthetic derivatives have a light weight in combination with good strength and elasticity. Their high cytocompatibility and low immunogenicity make them well suited for biomaterial products such as nerve conduits. Silk proteins slowly degrade enzymatically in vivo, thus allowing for an initial therapeutic effect such as in nerve scaffolding to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and then are removed. Silks are biopolymers naturally produced by many species of arthropo...

  14. Radiation degradation of silk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ishida, Kazushige; Kamiishi, Youichi [Textile Research Institute of Gunma, Kiryu, Gunma (Japan); Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2001-03-01

    Silk fibroin powder was prepared from irradiated silk fibroin fiber by means of only physical treatment. Silk fibroin fiber irradiated with an accelerated electron beam in the dose range of 250 - 1000 kGy was pulverized by using a ball mill. Unirradiated silk fibroin fiber was not pulverized at all. But the more irradiation was increased, the more the conversion efficiency from fiber to powder was increased. The conversion efficiency of silk fibroin fiber irradiated 1000 kGy in oxygen was 94%. Silk fibroin powder shows remarkable solubility, which dissolved 57% into water of ambient temperature. It is a very interesting phenomenon that silk fibroin which did not treat with chemicals gets solubility only being pulverized. In order to study mechanism of solubilization of silk fibroin powder, amino acid component of soluble part of silk fibroin powder was analyzed. The more irradiation dose up, the more glycine or alanine degraded, but degradation fraction reached bounds about 50%. Other amino acids were degraded only 20% even at the maximum. To consider crystal construction of silk fibroin, it is suggested that irradiation on silk fibroin fiber selectively degrades glycine and alanine in amorphous region, which makes it possible to pulverize and to dissolve silk fibroin powder. (author)

  15. Biosynthesis of insulin-silk fibroin nanoparticles conjugates and in vitro evaluation of a drug delivery system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Hai-Bo; Zhang, Yu-Qing; Ma, Yong-Lei; Zhou, Li-Xia

    2009-11-01

    Silk fibroin derived from Bombyx mori is a biomacromolecular protein with outstanding biocompatibility. When it was dissolved in highly concentrated CaCl2 solution and then the mixture of the protein and salt was subjected to desalting treatments for long time in flowing water, the resulting liquid silk was water-soluble polypeptides with different molecular masses, ranging from 8 to 70 kDa. When the liquid silk was introduced rapidly into acetone, silk protein nanoparticles with a range of 40-120 nm in diameter could be obtained. The crystalline silk nanoparticles could be conjugated covalently with insulin alone with cross-linking reagent glutaraldehyde. In vitro properties of the insulin-silk fibroin nanoparticles (Ins-SFN) bioconjugates were determined by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). The optimal conditions for the biosynthesis of Ins-SFN bioconjugates were investigated. The Ins-SFN constructs obtained by 8 h of covalent cross-linking with 0.7% cross-linking reagent and the proportion of insulin and SFN being 30 IU: 15 mg showed much higher recoveries (90-115%). When insulin was coupled covalently with silk nanoparticles, the resistance of the modified insulin to trypsin digestion and in vitro stability in human serum were greatly enhanced as compared with insulin alone. The results in human serum indicated that the half-life in vitro of the biosynthesized Ins-SFN derivatives was about 2.5 times more than that of native insulin. Therefore, the silk protein nanoparticles have the potential values for being studied and developed as a new bioconjugate for enzyme/polypeptide drug delivery system.

  16. Water-based preparation of spider silk films as drug delivery matrices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostini, Elisa; Winter, Gerhard; Engert, Julia

    2015-09-10

    The main focus of this work was to obtain a drug delivery matrix characterized by biocompatibility, water insolubility and good mechanical properties. Moreover the preparation process has to be compatible with protein encapsulation and the obtained matrix should be able to sustain release a model protein. Spider silk proteins represent exceptional natural polymers due to their mechanical properties in combination with biocompatibility. As both hydrophobic and slowly biodegrading biopolymers, recombinant spider silk proteins fulfill the required properties for a drug delivery system. In this work, we present the preparation of eADF4(C16) films as drug delivery matrices without the use of any organic solvent. Water-based spider silk films were characterized in terms of protein secondary structure, thermal stability, zeta-potential, solubility, mechanical properties, and water absorption and desorption. Additionally, this study includes an evaluation of their application as a drug delivery system for both small molecular weight drugs and high molecular weight molecules such as proteins. Our investigation focused on possible improvements in the film's mechanical properties including plasticizers in the film matrix. Furthermore, different film designs were prepared, such as: monolayer, coated monolayer, multilayer (sandwich), and coated multilayer. The release of the model protein BSA from these new systems was studied. Results indicated that spider silk films are a promising protein drug delivery matrix, capable of releasing the model protein over 90 days with a release profile close to zero order kinetic. Such films could be used for several pharmaceutical and medical purposes, especially when mechanical strength of a drug eluting matrix is of high importance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Review structure of silk by raman spectromicroscopy: from the spinning glands to the fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Paquet-Mercier, François; Rioux-Dubé, Jean-François; Pézolet, Michel

    2012-06-01

    Raman spectroscopy has long been proved to be a useful tool to study the conformation of protein-based materials such as silk. Thanks to recent developments, linearly polarized Raman spectromicroscopy has appeared very efficient to characterize the molecular structure of native single silk fibers and spinning dopes because it can provide information relative to the protein secondary structure, molecular orientation, and amino acid composition. This review will describe recent advances in the study of the structure of silk by Raman spectromicroscopy. A particular emphasis is put on the spider dragline and silkworm cocoon threads, other fibers spun by orb-weaving spiders, the spinning dope contained in their silk glands and the effect of mechanical deformation. Taken together, the results of the literature show that Raman spectromicroscopy is particularly efficient to investigate all aspects of silk structure and production. The data provided can lead to a better understanding of the structure of the silk dope, transformations occurring during the spinning process, and structure and mechanical properties of native fibers. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Formation of silk fibroin nanoparticles in water-miscible organic solvent and their characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu-Qing; Shen, Wei-De; Xiang, Ru-Li; Zhuge, Lan-Jian; Gao, Wei-Jian; Wang, Wen-Bao

    2007-10-01

    When Silk fibre derived from Bombyx mori, a native biopolymer, was dissolved in highly concentrated neutral salts such as CaCl2, the regenerated liquid silk, a gradually degraded peptide mixture of silk fibroin, could be obtained. The silk fibroin nanoparticles were prepared rapidly from the liquid silk by using water-miscible protonic and polar aprotonic organic solvents. The nanoparticles are insoluble but well dispersed and stable in aqueous solution and are globular particles with a range of 35-125 nm in diameter by means of TEM, SEM, AFM and laser sizer. Over one half of the ɛ-amino groups exist around the protein nanoparticles by using a trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) method. Raman spectra shows the tyrosine residues on the surface of the globules are more exposed than those on native silk fibers. The crystalline polymorph and conformation transition of the silk nanoparticles from random-coil and α-helix form (Silk I) into anti-parallel β-sheet form (Silk II) are investigated in detail by using infrared, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy, DSC, 13C CP-MAS NMR and electron diffraction. X-ray diffraction of the silk nanoparticles shows that the nanoparticles crystallinity is about four fifths of the native fiber. Our results indicate that the degraded peptide chains of the regenerated silk is gathered homogeneously or heterogeneously to form a looser globular structure in aqueous solution. When introduced into excessive organic solvent, the looser globules of the liquid silk are rapidly dispersed and simultaneously dehydrated internally and externally, resulting in the further chain-chain contact, arrangement of those hydrophobic domains inside the globules and final formation of crystalline silk nanoparticles with β-sheet configuration. The morphology and size of the nanoparticles are relative to the kinds, properties and even molecular structures of organic solvents, and more significantly to the looser globular substructure of the degraded silk

  19. Formation of silk fibroin nanoparticles in water-miscible organic solvent and their characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Yuqing; Shen Weide; Xiang Ruli; Zhuge Lanjian; Gao Weijian; Wang Wenbao

    2007-01-01

    When Silk fibre derived from Bombyx mori, a native biopolymer, was dissolved in highly concentrated neutral salts such as CaCl 2 , the regenerated liquid silk, a gradually degraded peptide mixture of silk fibroin, could be obtained. The silk fibroin nanoparticles were prepared rapidly from the liquid silk by using water-miscible protonic and polar aprotonic organic solvents. The nanoparticles are insoluble but well dispersed and stable in aqueous solution and are globular particles with a range of 35-125 nm in diameter by means of TEM, SEM, AFM and laser sizer. Over one half of the ε-amino groups exist around the protein nanoparticles by using a trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) method. Raman spectra shows the tyrosine residues on the surface of the globules are more exposed than those on native silk fibers. The crystalline polymorph and conformation transition of the silk nanoparticles from random-coil and α-helix form (Silk I) into anti-parallel β-sheet form (Silk II) are investigated in detail by using infrared, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy, DSC, 13 C CP-MAS NMR and electron diffraction. X-ray diffraction of the silk nanoparticles shows that the nanoparticles crystallinity is about four fifths of the native fiber. Our results indicate that the degraded peptide chains of the regenerated silk is gathered homogeneously or heterogeneously to form a looser globular structure in aqueous solution. When introduced into excessive organic solvent, the looser globules of the liquid silk are rapidly dispersed and simultaneously dehydrated internally and externally, resulting in the further chain-chain contact, arrangement of those hydrophobic domains inside the globules and final formation of crystalline silk nanoparticles with β-sheet configuration. The morphology and size of the nanoparticles are relative to the kinds, properties and even molecular structures of organic solvents, and more significantly to the looser globular substructure of the degraded silk

  20. Formation of silk fibroin nanoparticles in water-miscible organic solvent and their characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang Yuqing, E-mail: yqzhang@public1.sz.js.cn; Shen Weide; Xiang Ruli [Soochow University, Silk Biotechnol. Lab., School of Life Science (China); Zhuge Lanjian; Gao Weijian; Wang Wenbao [Soochow University, Analytical Center (China)

    2007-10-15

    When Silk fibre derived from Bombyx mori, a native biopolymer, was dissolved in highly concentrated neutral salts such as CaCl{sub 2}, the regenerated liquid silk, a gradually degraded peptide mixture of silk fibroin, could be obtained. The silk fibroin nanoparticles were prepared rapidly from the liquid silk by using water-miscible protonic and polar aprotonic organic solvents. The nanoparticles are insoluble but well dispersed and stable in aqueous solution and are globular particles with a range of 35-125 nm in diameter by means of TEM, SEM, AFM and laser sizer. Over one half of the {epsilon}-amino groups exist around the protein nanoparticles by using a trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) method. Raman spectra shows the tyrosine residues on the surface of the globules are more exposed than those on native silk fibers. The crystalline polymorph and conformation transition of the silk nanoparticles from random-coil and {alpha}-helix form (Silk I) into anti-parallel {beta}-sheet form (Silk II) are investigated in detail by using infrared, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy, DSC, {sup 13}C CP-MAS NMR and electron diffraction. X-ray diffraction of the silk nanoparticles shows that the nanoparticles crystallinity is about four fifths of the native fiber. Our results indicate that the degraded peptide chains of the regenerated silk is gathered homogeneously or heterogeneously to form a looser globular structure in aqueous solution. When introduced into excessive organic solvent, the looser globules of the liquid silk are rapidly dispersed and simultaneously dehydrated internally and externally, resulting in the further chain-chain contact, arrangement of those hydrophobic domains inside the globules and final formation of crystalline silk nanoparticles with {beta}-sheet configuration. The morphology and size of the nanoparticles are relative to the kinds, properties and even molecular structures of organic solvents, and more significantly to the looser globular

  1. Ultra-high Thermal Conductivity of Spider Silk: Protein Function Study with Controlled Structure Change and Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-23

    induced increase in energy transport capacity of silkworm silks , Biopolymers , (10 2014): 0. doi: 10.1002/bip.22496 Shen Xu, Zaoli Xu, James Starrett...SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: In the past three years, we have conducted extensive research to study the structure of spider silks and investigate how the...manually spun spider silks demonstrates that the alignment of the antiparallel beta-sheet crystals in spider silks plays one of the most important

  2. Biosynthesis and characterization of a non-repetitive polypeptide derived from silk fibroin heavy chain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Gaoqiang; Wu, Mingyang; Yi, Honggen; Wang, Jiannan, E-mail: wangjn@suda.edu.cn

    2016-02-01

    Silk fibroin heavy chain is the major protein component of Bombyx mori silk fibroin and is composed of 12 repetitive and 11 non-repetitive regions, with the non-repetitive domain consisting of a hydrophilic polypeptide chain. In order to determine the biomedical function of the non-repetitive domain or potentially use it to modify hydrophobic biomaterials, high-purity isolation is necessary. Previously, we cloned and extended a gene motif (f(1)) encoding the non-repetitive domain. Here, this motif and its multimers are inserted into a glutathione S-transferase (GST)-tagged fusion-protein expression vector. Motif f(1) and multimers f(4) and f(8) were expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 cells following isopropyl β-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside induction, purified by GST-affinity chromatography, and single bands of purified fusion proteins GST-F(1), GST-F(4), and GST-F(8), were visualized by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Target polypeptides F(1), F(4), and F(8), were cleaved clearly from the GST-fusion tag following thrombin digestion. Mass spectrometry results indicate that the molecular weights associated with fusion proteins GST-F(1), GST-F(4), and GST-F(8) are 31.5, 43.8, and 59.0 kDa, respectively, and with the cleaved polypeptides F(1), F(4), and F(8) are 4.8, 16.8, and 32.8 kDa, respectively. The F(1), F(4), and F(8) polypeptide chains are negatively charged with isoelectric points (pI) of 3.3, 3.2, and 3.0, respectively. The molecular weight and pI values of the polypeptide chains are consistent with the predicted values and the amino acid compositions similar to predicted sequences. FTIR and CD results show the molecular conformation of F(1) was mainly random coil, and more stable α-helix structure formed in longer molecular chain. - Highlights: • A non-repetitive domain and its multimers of silk fibroin were expressed by E. coli. • The corresponding target polypeptides F(1), F(4) and F(8) were cleaved clearly. • Their

  3. The role of 3D structure and protein conformation on the innate and adaptive immune responses to silk-based biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Maumita; Schultz-Thater, Elke; Trella, Emanuele; Miot, Sylvie; Das, Sanskrita; Loparic, Marko; Ray, Alok R; Martin, Ivan; Spagnoli, Giulio C; Ghosh, Sourabh

    2013-11-01

    We have investigated monocyte and T cell responsiveness to silk based biomaterials of different physico-chemical characteristics. Here we report that untransformed CD14+ human monocytes respond to overnight exposure to silk fibroin-based biomaterials in tridimensional form by IL-1β and IL-6, but not IL-10 gene expression and protein production. In contrast, fibroin based materials in bidimensional form are unable to stimulate monocyte responsiveness. The elicitation of these effects critically requires contact between biomaterials and responding cells, is not sustained and becomes undetectable in longer term cultures. We also observed that NF-κβ and p38 MAP kinase play key roles in monocyte activation by silk-based biomaterials. On the other hand, fibroin based materials, irrespective of their physico-chemical characteristics appeared to be unable to induce the activation of peripheral blood T cells from healthy donors, as evaluated by the expression of activation markers and IFN-γ gene. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Synthetic spider silk sustainability verification by techno-economic and life cycle analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edlund, Alan

    Major ampullate spider silk represents a promising biomaterial with diverse commercial potential ranging from textiles to medical devices due to the excellent physical and thermal properties from the protein structure. Recent advancements in synthetic biology have facilitated the development of recombinant spider silk proteins from Escherichia coli (E. coli), alfalfa, and goats. This study specifically investigates the economic feasibility and environmental impact of synthetic spider silk manufacturing. Pilot scale data was used to validate an engineering process model that includes all of the required sub-processing steps for synthetic fiber manufacture: production, harvesting, purification, drying, and spinning. Modeling was constructed modularly to support assessment of alternative protein production methods (alfalfa and goats) as well as alternative down-stream processing technologies. The techno-economic analysis indicates a minimum sale price from pioneer and optimized E. coli plants at 761 kg-1 and 23 kg-1 with greenhouse gas emissions of 572 kg CO2-eq. kg-1 and 55 kg CO2-eq. kg-1, respectively. Spider silk sale price estimates from goat pioneer and optimized results are 730 kg-1 and 54 kg-1, respectively, with pioneer and optimized alfalfa plants are 207 kg-1 and 9.22 kg-1 respectively. Elevated costs and emissions from the pioneer plant can be directly tied to the high material consumption and low protein yield. Decreased production costs associated with the optimized plants include improved protein yield, process optimization, and an Nth plant assumption. Discussion focuses on the commercial potential of spider silk, the production performance requirements for commercialization, and impact of alternative technologies on the sustainability of the system.

  5. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea L. Woodhead

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine, poly(alanine-glycine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73% while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results.

  6. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles relieve silk gland damage and increase cocooning of Bombyx mori under phoxim-induced toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bing; Yu, Xiaohong; Gui, Suxin; Xie, Yi; Hong, Jie; Zhao, Xiaoyang; Sheng, Lei; Sang, Xuezi; Sun, Qingqing; Wang, Ling; Shen, Weide; Hong, Fashui

    2013-12-18

    Organophosphate pesticides are applied widely in the world for agricultural purposes, and their exposures often resulted in non-cocooning of Bombyx mori in China. TiO2 nanoparticles have been demonstrated to increase pesticide resistance of Bombyx mori. While the toxicity of phoxim is well-documented, very limited information exists on the mechanisms of TiO2 nanoparticles improving the cocooning function of Bombyx mori following exposure to phoxim. The present study was, therefore, undertaken to determine whether TiO2 nanoparticles attenuate silk gland injury and elevate cocooning of B. mori following exposure to phoxim. The findings suggested that phoxim exposure resulted in severe damages of the silk gland structure and significantly decreased the cocooning in the silk gland of Bombyx mori. Furthermore, phoxim exposure significantly resulted in reductions of total protein concentrations and suppressed expressions of silk protein synthesis-related genes, including Fib-L, Fib-H, P25, Ser-2, and Ser-3, in the silk gland. TiO2 nanoparticle pretreatment, however, could significantly relieve silk gland injury of Bombyx mori. Importantly, TiO2 nanoparticles could remarkably elevate cocooning and total protein contents and promote expressions of Fib-L, Fib-H, P25, Ser-2, and Ser-3 in the silk gland following exposure to phoxim.

  7. Dissolution and regeneration of non-mulberry Eriogyna Pyretorum silk fibroin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yuhang; Li, Xiufang; Zhang, Qiang; Yan, Shuqin; You, Renchuan

    2017-10-01

    Protein-based materials have been actively pursued as biomaterials because of their nontoxicity, biocompatibility and biodegradability. In this work, we demonstrated the potential of Eriogyna pyretorum silk fibroin (ESF), a non-mulberry silk protein, as biomaterials. The degummed ESF fibers could be dissolved completely by Ca(NO3)2/H2O/C2H5OH solution to produce regenerated ESF. The solubility was strongly dependent on the addition of C2H5OH, heating temperature and dissolving time. α-helix and random coil are main molecular conformation in aqueous ESF solution. The sol-gel transition behavior of regenerated ESF was also studied, indicating that the conformational transition of regenerated ESF from random coil/α-helix to β-sheet during gelation. Especially, ESF showed more rapid gelation than mulberry silk fibroin (BSF). Consequently, the gelation rate of BSF could be controlled ranging from tens of minutes to days by changing the ESF ratio, providing useful options for the fabrication of silk hydrogels. Water-stable regenerated ESF film could be achieved by using aqueous ethanol to induce structural transition. Tensile tests showed that the ESF films have a dry strength of approximate 31.0 MPa and a wet strength of approximate 3.3 MPa. This study provides new opportunities as an alternative natural protein material for biomedical applications.

  8. Exploring the Properties of Genetically Engineered Silk-Elastin-Like Protein Films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Raul; da Costa, André; Sencadas, Vitor; Pereira, Ana Margarida; Collins, Tony; Rodríguez-Cabello, José Carlos; Lanceros-Méndez, Senentxu; Casal, Margarida

    2015-12-01

    Free standing films of a genetically engineered silk-elastin-like protein (SELP) were prepared using water and formic acid as solvents. Exposure to methanol-saturated air promoted the formation of aggregated β-strands rendering aqueous insolubility and improved the mechanical properties leading to a 10-fold increase in strain-to-failure. The films were optically clear with resistivity values similar to natural rubber and thermally stable up to 180 °C. Addition of glycerol showed to enhance the flexibility of SELP/glycerol films by interacting with SELP molecules through hydrogen bonding, interpenetrating between the polymer chains and granting more conformational freedom. This detailed characterization provides cues for future and unique applications using SELP based biopolymers. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Fabrication and characterization of biomaterial film from gland silk of muga and eri silkworms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Saranga; Talukdar, Bijit; Bharali, Rupjyoti; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Devi, Dipali

    2013-05-01

    This study discusses the possibilities of liquid silk (Silk gland silk) of Muga and Eri silk, the indigenous non mulberry silkworms of North Eastern region of India, as potential biomaterials. Silk protein fibroin of Bombyx mori, commonly known as mulberry silkworm, has been extensively studied as a versatile biomaterial. As properties of different silk-based biomaterials vary significantly, it is important to characterize the non mulberry silkworms also in this aspect. Fibroin was extracted from the posterior silk gland of full grown fifth instars larvae, and 2D film was fabricated using standard methods. The films were characterized using SEM, Dynamic contact angle test, FTIR, XRD, DSC, and TGA and compared with respective silk fibers. SEM images of films reveal presence of some globules and filamentous structure. Films of both the silkworms were found to be amorphous with random coil conformation, hydrophobic in nature, and resistant to organic solvents. Non mulberry silk films had higher thermal resistance than mulberry silk. Fibers were thermally more stable than the films. This study provides insight into the new arena of research in application of liquid silk of non mulberry silkworms as biomaterials. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eden Steven, Jin Gyu Park, Anant Paravastu, Elsa Branco Lopes, James S Brooks, Ongi Englander, Theo Siegrist, Papatya Kaner and Rufina G Alamo

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline and amorphous (helical structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 °C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size, on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain. The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  11. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S [Department of Physics and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Park, Jin Gyu [FAMU-FSU Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, High-Performance Materials Institute, Florida State University, 2005 Levy Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G [FAMU-FSU Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Branco Lopes, Elsa [Departamento de Quimica, Instituto Tecnologico e Nuclear/CFMC-UL, P-2686-953 Sacavem (Portugal); Englander, Ongi, E-mail: esteven@magnet.fsu.edu [FAMU-FSU Department of Mechanical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, Florida 32310 (United States)

    2011-10-15

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of {beta}-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and {beta}-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of {beta}-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  12. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S; Park, Jin Gyu; Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G; Branco Lopes, Elsa; Englander, Ongi

    2011-01-01

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof-of-concept applications of

  13. Silk fibroin/gold nanocrystals: a new example of biopolymer-based nanocomposites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noinville, S.; Garnier, A.; Courty, A.

    2017-05-01

    The dispersion of nanoparticles in ordered polymer nanostructures can provide control over particle location and orientation, and pave the way for tailored nanomaterials that have enhanced mechanical, electrical, or optical properties. Here we used silk fibroin, a natural biopolymer, to embed gold nanocrystals (NCs), so as to obtain well-ordered structures such as nanowires and self-assembled triangular nanocomposites. Monodisperse gold NCs synthesized in organic media are mixed to silk fibroin and the obtained nanocomposites are characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Infrared spectroscopy. The optical properties study of gold NCs and silk-gold nanocomposites shows that the Surface Plasmon band is blue shifted compared to gold NCs. The size and shape of NCs gold superlattices can be well controlled by the presence of silk fibroin giving nanowires and also self-assembled triangular nanocomposites as characterized by TEM, FE-SEM and AFM. The strong interaction between gold NCs and silk fibroin is also revealed by the conformation change of silk protein in presence of gold NCs, as shown by FTIR analysis. The formation of such ordered nanocomposites (gold NCs/silk fibroin) will provide new nanoplasmonic devices.

  14. Enzymatically crosslinked silk-hyaluronic acid hydrogels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raia, Nicole R; Partlow, Benjamin P; McGill, Meghan; Kimmerling, Erica Palma; Ghezzi, Chiara E; Kaplan, David L

    2017-07-01

    In this study, silk fibroin and hyaluronic acid (HA) were enzymatically crosslinked to form biocompatible composite hydrogels with tunable mechanical properties similar to that of native tissues. The formation of di-tyrosine crosslinks between silk fibroin proteins via horseradish peroxidase has resulted in a highly elastic hydrogel but exhibits time-dependent stiffening related to silk self-assembly and crystallization. Utilizing the same method of crosslinking, tyramine-substituted HA forms hydrophilic and bioactive hydrogels that tend to have limited mechanics and degrade rapidly. To address the limitations of these singular component scaffolds, HA was covalently crosslinked with silk, forming a composite hydrogel that exhibited both mechanical integrity and hydrophilicity. The composite hydrogels were assessed using unconfined compression and infrared spectroscopy to reveal of the physical properties over time in relation to polymer concentration. In addition, the hydrogels were characterized by enzymatic degradation and for cytotoxicity. Results showed that increasing HA concentration, decreased gelation time, increased degradation rate, and reduced changes that were observed over time in mechanics, water retention, and crystallization. These hydrogel composites provide a biologically relevant system with controllable temporal stiffening and elasticity, thus offering enhanced tunable scaffolds for short or long term applications in tissue engineering. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. DNA replication events during larval silk gland development in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chun-Dong; Li, Fang-Fang; Chen, Xiang-Yun; Huang, Mao-Hua; Zhang, Jun; Cui, Hongjuan; Pan, Min-Hui; Lu, Cheng

    2012-07-01

    The silk gland is an important organ in silkworm as it synthesizes silk proteins and is critical to spinning. The genomic DNA content of silk gland cells dramatically increases 200-400 thousand times for the larval life span through the process of endomitosis. Using in vitro culture, DNA synthesis was measured using BrdU labeling during the larval molt and intermolt periods. We found that the cell cycle of endomitosis was activated during the intermolt and was inhibited during the molt phase. The anterior silk gland, middle silk gland, and posterior silk gland cells asynchronously exit the endomitotic cycle after day 6 in 5th instar larvae, which correlated with the reduced expression of the cell cycle-related cdt1, pcna, cyclin E, cdk2 and cdk1 mRNAs in the wandering phase. Additional starvation had no effect on the initiation of silk gland DNA synthesis of the freshly ecdysed larvae. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Modification of Silk Fibroin Using Diazonium Coupling Chemistry and the Effects on hMSC Proliferation and Differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Amanda R.; John, Peter St.; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    A simple chemical modification method using diazonium coupling chemistry was developed to tailor the structure and hydrophilicity of silk fibroin protein. The extent of modification using several aniline derivatives was characterized using UV/vis and 1H NMR spectroscopy, and the resulting protein structure was analyzed with ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. Introduction of hydrophobic functional groups facilitated rapid conversion of the protein from a random coil to a β-sheet structure, while addition of hydrophilic groups inhibited this process. hMSCs were grown on these modified silks to assess the biocompatibility of these materials. The hydrophilicity of the silk derivatives was found to affect the growth rate and morphology, but hMSCs were able to attach, proliferate and differentiate into an osteogenic lineage on all of the silk derivatives. PMID:18417206

  17. Silk fibroin nanostructured materials for biomedical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitropoulos, Alexander N.

    Nanostructured biopolymers have proven to be promising to develop novel biomedical applications where forming structures at the nanoscale normally occurs by self-assembly. However, synthesizing these structures can also occur by inducing materials to transition into other forms by adding chemical cross-linkers, changing pH, or changing ionic composition. Understanding the generation of nanostructures in fluid environments, such as liquid organic solvents or supercritical fluids, has not been thoroughly examined, particularly those that are based on protein-based block-copolymers. Here, we examine the transformation of reconstituted silk fibroin, which has emerged as a promising biopolymer due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and ease of functionalization, into submicron spheres and gel networks which offer applications in tissue engineering and advanced sensors. Two types of gel networks, hydrogels and aerogels, have small pores and large surface areas that are defined by their structure. We design and analyze silk nanoparticle formation using a microfluidic device while offering an application for drug delivery. Additionally, we provide a model and characterize hydrogel formation from micelles to nanoparticles, while investigating cellular response to the hydrogel in an in vitro cell culture model. Lastly, we provide a second model of nanofiber formation during near-critical and supercritical drying and characterize the silk fibroin properties at different drying pressures which, when acting as a stabilizing matrix, shows to improve the activity of entrapped enzymes dried at different pressures. This work has created new nanostructured silk fibroin forms to benefit biomedical applications that could be applied to other fibrous proteins.

  18. Buyid Silk and the Tale of Bibi Shahrbanu: Identification of Biomarkers of Artificial Aging (Forgery) of Silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moini, Mehdi; Rollman, Christopher M

    2017-10-03

    Buyid silk forgery is one of the most famous silk forgeries in the world. In 1924-1925, excavation of the Bibi Shahrbanu site in Iran unearthed several silk textiles. The silks were thought to be of the Buyid period (934-1062 BCE) of the Persian Empire and have since been known as the "Buyid silks". In the 1930s, more silk appeared and was reported as being from the Buyid period as well. Controversy over the authenticity of these silks escalated after the purchase of the silks by museums throughout the world. Extensive investigations of several of these silks have been conducted over the years with respect to iconography, weaving patterns, dyes/mordant, style, and even radiocarbon dating. It was found that most of the silks are not from Buyid period. To test the authenticity of these silk fabrics, the recently developed silk dating technique using amino acid racemization (AAR) in conjunction with capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry was applied to 13 Buyid silk specimens from the Textile Museum collections. Among these silk specimens, the AAR ratios of only one specimen were consistent with authentic silk fabrics collected from various museums. In addition, the aspartic acid racemization ratio of this specimen was also consistent with its 14 C dating. The other "Buyid silks" showed excessive levels of amino acid racemization not only for aspartic acid, but also for phenylalanine and tyrosine, inconsistent with racemization rates of these amino acids in authentic historical silk fabrics. Treatment of modern silk with a base at different pH and temperature reproduced the AAR pattern of the Buyid silks, implying that chemical treatment with a base at relatively high temperatures was perhaps the method used to artificially age these fabrics. The results imply that the racemization ratios of aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and tyrosine can be used as biomarkers for identification of naturally versus artificially aged silk.

  19. Effect of. gamma. -irradiation on the crystalline structure of silk fibroin and silk sericin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsukada, Masuhiro; Aoki, Akira

    1985-02-01

    Changes in the crystalline structure of silk sericin and silk fibroin induced by gamma-irradiation in the atmosphere described. The crystalline structure of silk sericin which had been subjected to gamma-irradiation remained unchanged. However the decomposition temperature of the specimen decreased to about 230 deg C, when the total dose of ..gamma.. rays exceeded 4.6 Mrad. The structure of the silk 1 type crystal of silk fibroin in the solid state, with a low degree of molecular orientation, changed into the silk 2 type crystal, when the total dose of ..gamma.. rays exceeded 4.6 Mrad. No changes in the crystalline structure were observed in the solid state of the silk 2 type crystal regardless of gamma-irradiation. The decrease in the decomposition temperature of the specimen was attributed to the decrease in the molecular orientation. However, the molecular conformation of silk fibroin with a randomly coiled structure remained unchanged even after gamma-irradiation.

  20. Control of silicification by genetically engineered fusion proteins: Silk–silica binding peptides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Shun; Huang, Wenwen; Belton, David J.; Simmons, Leo O.; Perry, Carole C.; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, an artificial spider silk gene, 6mer, derived from the consensus sequence of Nephila clavipes dragline silk gene, was fused with different silica-binding peptides (SiBPs), A1, A3 and R5, to study the impact of the fusion protein sequence chemistry on silica formation and the ability to generate a silk–silica composite in two different bioinspired silicification systems: solution–solution and solution– solid. Condensed silica nanoscale particles (600–800 nm) were formed in the presence of the recombinant silk and chimeras, which were smaller than those formed by 15mer-SiBP chimeras [1], revealing that the molecular weight of the silk domain correlated to the sizes of the condensed silica particles in the solution system. In addition, the chimeras (6mer-A1/A3/R5) produced smaller condensed silica particles than the control (6mer), revealing that the silica particle size formed in the solution system is controlled by the size of protein assemblies in solution. In the solution–solid interface system, silicification reactions were performed on the surface of films fabricated from the recombinant silk proteins and chimeras and then treated to induce β-sheet formation. A higher density of condensed silica formed on the films containing the lowest β-sheet content while the films with the highest β-sheet content precipitated the lowest density of silica, revealing an inverse correlation between the β-sheet secondary structure and the silica content formed on the films. Intriguingly, the 6mer-A3 showed the highest rate of silica condensation but the lowest density of silica deposition on the films, compared with 6mer-A1 and -R5, revealing antagonistic crosstalk between the silk and the SiBP domains in terms of protein assembly. These findings offer a path forward in the tailoring of biopolymer–silica composites for biomaterial related needs. PMID:25462851

  1. In vivo NMR analysis of incorporation of [2-13C] glycine into silk fibroin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asakura, Tetsuo; Nagashima, Mariko; Demura, Makoto; Osanai, Minoru.

    1990-01-01

    The biosynthetic mechanism of silk fibroin in silkworms, Bombyx mori, is unique because this fibrous protein composed mainly of glycine, alanine and serine is produced very rapidly in large quantity in the posterior silk glands. It is very meaningful to investigate into the biosynthesis of silk protein under nondestructive condition by in vivo NMR and C-13 labeling techniques. The sugar metabolism related to the production of silk fibroin was analyzed by monitoring the change in the C-13 labeled peaks in the NMR spectra for silkworms. In this paper, the monitoring of the 2-(C-13) glycine metabolism in Bombyx mori by the C-13 NMR in vivo is reported. In particular, the in vivo transport of glycine from the midgut to the posterior silk gland was measured, and the rate constants were determined with the course of the peak intensity in the C-13 NMR spectra. It is possible to discuss quantitatively the in vivo production of silk fibroin with these rate constants. The experiment and the results are reported. The in vivo C-13 NMR spectra of a 5 day old, 5th instar larva of Bombyx mori after the oral administration of 2-(C-13) glycine are shown. The significant increase of the peak intensity occurred. (K.I.)

  2. Biomineralization of Engineered Spider Silk Protein-Based Composite Materials for Bone Tissue Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John G. Hardy

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Materials based on biodegradable polyesters, such as poly(butylene terephthalate (PBT or poly(butylene terephthalate-co-poly(alkylene glycol terephthalate (PBTAT, have potential application as pro-regenerative scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Herein, the preparation of films composed of PBT or PBTAT and an engineered spider silk protein, (eADF4(C16, that displays multiple carboxylic acid moieties capable of binding calcium ions and facilitating their biomineralization with calcium carbonate or calcium phosphate is reported. Human mesenchymal stem cells cultured on films mineralized with calcium phosphate show enhanced levels of alkaline phosphatase activity suggesting that such composites have potential use for bone tissue engineering.

  3. Morus planting and silk production in Oxus civilization (2000 BC), Transoxiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, X.; Li, X.; Wang, J.

    2017-12-01

    Silk is the most important luxury in ancient trade, which promoted communications between east and west civilizations that facilitated the development of them. Currently, probably more than 99% of the silk in commerce in the world today comes from a single species called the silkworm or mulberry silk moth, Bombyx mori (L.), of the family Bombycidae. At present, a list of occurrences of unearthed early silk thread, textile and terracotta figures of China suggests that wild silk has been widely used for weave in Yangtze river and Yellow River basin at least 5000 cal yr BP. On the other hand, the earliest silk fabric out China is from the earliest civilization Harappa site (4500-4000 cal a BP) that confirmed the early use of wild silkworms in South Asia.. In addition, in the Egyptian Deir al Medina relics site, the unearthed silk also as old as nearly 3000 cal a BP, and a serials of pre-han silk also unearthed 3000-2500 cal a BP in Europe. But, the appearance of these out-China silk is usually considered to be the result of the early trade or wild silkmoth products. Here we present a synthesis study of chronology, entomology, protein group, the paleoethnobotany form three Bronze Age site (Sapalli, Jarzgudan, Molleli) concerning on the paleo environment, agriculture gardening, and the possible mulberry silkworm utilization in Bronze Age Tensoxiana 4000 cal a BP. Together with archaeobotany and chronology data from Xinjiang, Hexi corridor and the Loess Plateau in China, we analysis the status of the mulberry silk factory in Bronze Age in Transoxiana and it possible connection to ancient China.

  4. Biomechanics of Spider Silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-03-02

    water and deformation conditions. Such fibres [Nexia ’ biosteel ’ silk ] were spun from recombinant silk ’cloned’ from Spidroin II and indeed show 67...SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Biomechanics of Spider Silks F49620-03-1-0111 6. AUTHOR(S) Fritz Vollrath 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES...Perform Pro, WHSIDIOR, Oct 94 COVER SHEET FINAL (3rd Year) Report to AFOSR on: BIOMECHANICS OF SPIDER SILKS Fritz Vollrath, Oxford University, England

  5. Characterization of Silk Fibroin Modified Surface: A Proteomic View of Cellular Response Proteins Induced by Biomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Hui Yang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to develop the pathway of silk fibroin (SF biopolymer surface induced cell membrane protein activation. Fibroblasts were used as an experimental model to evaluate the responses of cellular proteins induced by biopolymer material using a mass spectrometry-based profiling system. The surface was covered by multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs and SF to increase the surface area, enhance the adhesion of biopolymer, and promote the rate of cell proliferation. The amount of adhered fibroblasts on CNTs/SF electrodes of quartz crystal microbalance (QCM greatly exceeded those on other surfaces. Moreover, analyzing differential protein expressions of adhered fibroblasts on the biopolymer surface by proteomic approaches indicated that CD44 may be a key protein. Through this study, utilization of mass spectrometry-based proteomics in evaluation of cell adhesion on biopolymer was proposed.

  6. Natural Occurring Silks and Their Analogues as Materials for Nerve Conduits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Radtke

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Spider silk and its synthetic derivatives have a light weight in combination with good strength and elasticity. Their high cytocompatibility and low immunogenicity make them well suited for biomaterial products such as nerve conduits. Silk proteins slowly degrade enzymatically in vivo, thus allowing for an initial therapeutic effect such as in nerve scaffolding to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and then are removed. Silks are biopolymers naturally produced by many species of arthropods including spiders, caterpillars and mites. The silk fibers are secreted by the labial gland of the larvae of some orders of Holometabola (insects with pupa or the spinnerets of spiders. The majority of studies using silks for biomedical applications use materials from silkworms or spiders, mostly of the genus Nephila clavipes. Silk is one of the most promising biomaterials with effects not only in nerve regeneration, but in a number of regenerative applications. The development of silks for human biomedical applications is of high scientific and clinical interest. Biomaterials in use for biomedical applications have to meet a number of requirements such as biocompatibility and elicitation of no more than a minor inflammatory response, biodegradability in a reasonable time and specific structural properties. Here we present the current status in the field of silk-based conduit development for nerve repair and discuss current advances with regard to potential clinical transfer of an implantable nerve conduit for enhancement of nerve regeneration.

  7. The other prey-capture silk: Fibres made by glow-worms (Diptera: Keroplatidae) comprise cross-β-sheet crystallites in an abundant amorphous fraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Andrew A; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E; Merritt, David J; Sutherland, Tara D

    2015-09-01

    Glow-worms (larvae of dipteran genus Arachnocampa) are restricted to moist habitats where they capture flying prey using snares composed of highly extensible silk fibres and sticky mucus droplets. Little is known about the composition or structure of glow-worm snares, or the extent of possible convergence between glow-worm and arachnid capture silks. We characterised Arachnocampa richardsae silk and mucus using X-ray scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis. Silk but not mucus contained crystallites of the cross-β-sheet type, which occur in unrelated insect silks but have not been reported previously in fibres used for prey capture. Mucus proteins were rich in Gly (28.5%) and existed in predominantly a random coil structure, typical of many adhesive proteins. In contrast, the silk fibres were unusually rich in charged and polar residues, particularly Lys (18.1%), which we propose is related to their use in a highly hydrated state. Comparison of X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis data suggests that silk fibres contain a high fraction of disordered protein. We suggest that in the native hydrated state, silk fibres are capable of extension via deformation of both disordered regions and cross-β-sheet crystallites, and that high extensibility is an adaptation promoting successful prey capture. This study illustrates the rich variety of protein motifs that are available for recruitment into biopolymers, and how convergently evolved materials can nevertheless be based on fundamentally different protein structures. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The promotion of osseointegration of titanium surfaces by coating with silk protein sericin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayak, Sunita; Dey, Tuli; Naskar, Deboki; Kundu, Subhas C

    2013-04-01

    A promising strategy to influence the osseointegration process around orthopaedic titanium implants is the immobilization of bioactive molecules. This recruits appropriate interaction between the surface and the tissue by directing cells adhesion, proliferation, differentiation and active matrix remodelling. In this study, we aimed to investigate the functionalization of metallic implant titanium with silk protein sericin. Titanium surface was immobilized with non-mulberry Antheraea mylitta sericin using glutaraldehyde as crosslinker. To analyse combinatorial effects the sericin immobilized titanium was further conjugated with integrin binding peptide sequence Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) using ethyl (dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide and N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide as coupling agents. The surface of sericin immobilized titanium was characterized biophysically. Osteoblast-like cells were cultured on sericin and sericin/RGD functionalized titanium and found to be more viable than those on pristine titanium. The enhanced adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of osteoblast cells were observed. RT-PCR analysis showed that mRNA expressions of bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase were upregulated in osteoblast cells cultured on sericin and sericin/RGD immobilized titanium substrates. Additionally, no significant amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β and nitric oxide production were recorded when macrophages cells and osteoblast-macrophages co culture cells were grown on sericin immobilized titanium. The findings demonstrate that the sericin immobilized titanium surfaces are potentially useful bioactive coated materials for titanium-based medical implants. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The Rheology behind Stress-Induced Solidification in Native Silk Feedstocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laity, Peter R; Holland, Chris

    2016-10-29

    The mechanism by which native silk feedstocks are converted to solid fibres in nature has attracted much interest. To address this question, the present work used rheology to investigate the gelation of Bombyx mori native silk feedstock. Exceeding a critical shear stress appeared to be more important than shear rate, during flow-induced initiation. Compositional changes (salts, pH etc.,) were not required, although their possible role in vivo is not excluded. Moreover, after successful initiation, gel strength continued to increase over a considerable time under effectively quiescent conditions, without requiring further application of the initial stimulus. Gelation by elevated temperature or freezing was also observed. Prior to gelation, literature suggests that silk protein adopts a random coil configuration, which argued against the conventional explanation of gelation, based on hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions. Instead, a new hypothesis is presented, based on entropically-driven loss of hydration, which appears to explain the apparently diverse methods by which silk feedstocks can be gelled.

  10. The Rheology behind Stress-Induced Solidification in Native Silk Feedstocks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter R. Laity

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The mechanism by which native silk feedstocks are converted to solid fibres in nature has attracted much interest. To address this question, the present work used rheology to investigate the gelation of Bombyx mori native silk feedstock. Exceeding a critical shear stress appeared to be more important than shear rate, during flow-induced initiation. Compositional changes (salts, pH etc., were not required, although their possible role in vivo is not excluded. Moreover, after successful initiation, gel strength continued to increase over a considerable time under effectively quiescent conditions, without requiring further application of the initial stimulus. Gelation by elevated temperature or freezing was also observed. Prior to gelation, literature suggests that silk protein adopts a random coil configuration, which argued against the conventional explanation of gelation, based on hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions. Instead, a new hypothesis is presented, based on entropically-driven loss of hydration, which appears to explain the apparently diverse methods by which silk feedstocks can be gelled.

  11. Study on improving antioxidant and antibacterial activities of silk fibroin by irradiation treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tran Bang Diep; Nguyen Van Binh; Hoang Phuong Thao; Hoang Dang Sang; Nguyen Thuy Huong Trang

    2014-01-01

    The silk fibroin solutions were prepared in solvent system of CaCl 2 . CH 3 CH 2 OH. H 2 O (mole ratio = 1:2:8) followed dialysis against deionized water. The 3% silk fibroin solutions were irradiated under gamma Co-60 source with dose ranging from 0 to 50 kGy at Hanoi Irradiation Centre and bioactivities of the irradiated silk fibroin solutions were investigated with different radiation doses. The results indicated that the antioxidant and antibacterial activities of fibroin were much improved by gamma irradiation. Maximum value of DPPH radical scavenging activity was 70.4% for the solution of silk fibroin irradiated at 10 kGy. Silk fibroin solutions irradiated at doses higher than 10 kGy also exhibited rather high antibacterial activity against E. coli and S. aureus. In order to estimate the applicability of our irradiated fibroin, the silk fibroin solutions were lyophilized to obtain a pure fibroin powder, then their bio-activities were compared with those of commercial silk fibroin (Proteines De Soie/ Zijdeproteine, Bioflore, Canada). Our fibroin powder revealed higher antioxidant and antibacterial activities. The amino acid compositions of our irradiated fibroin were also higher than that of the commercial product. Thus, the irradiated silk fibroin can be used for further application in cosmetic and other related fields. (author)

  12. Silk scaffolds in bone tissue engineering: An overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Promita; Kundu, Banani; Naskar, Deboki; Kim, Hae-Won; Maiti, Tapas K; Bhattacharya, Debasis; Kundu, Subhas C

    2017-11-01

    applications as cell scaffolding matrices to micro-nano carriers for delivering bone growth factors and therapeutic molecules to diseased or damaged sites to facilitate bone regeneration, is emphasized here. The review rationalizes that the choice of silk protein as a biomaterial is not only because of its natural polymeric nature, mechanical robustness, flexibility and wide range of cell compatibility but also because of its ability to template the growth of hydroxyapatite, the chief inorganic component of bone mineral matrix, resulting in improved osteointegration. The discussion extends to the role of inorganic ions such as Si and Ca as matrix components in combination with silk to influence bone regrowth. The effect of ions or growth factor-loaded vehicle incorporation into regenerative matrix, nanotopography is also considered. Copyright © 2017 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Silk fibroin as an organic polymer for controlled drug delivery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofmann, S.; Foo, S.; Rossetti, F.; Textor, M.; Vunjak-Novakovic, G.; Kaplan, D.L.; Merkle, H.P.; Meinel, L.

    2006-01-01

    The pharmaceutical utility of silk fibroin (SF) materials for drug delivery was investigated. SF films were prepared from aqueous solutions of the fibroin protein polymer and crystallinity was induced and controlled by methanol treatment. Dextrans of different molecular weights, as well as proteins,

  14. Combining flagelliform and dragline spider silk motifs to produce tunable synthetic biopolymer fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teulé, Florence; Addison, Bennett; Cooper, Alyssa R; Ayon, Joel; Henning, Robert W; Benmore, Chris J; Holland, Gregory P; Yarger, Jeffery L; Lewis, Randolph V

    2012-06-01

    The two Flag/MaSp 2 silk proteins produced recombinantly were based on the basic consensus repeat of the dragline silk spidroin 2 protein (MaSp 2) from the Nephila clavipes orb weaving spider. However, the proline-containing pentapeptides juxtaposed to the polyalanine segments resembled those found in the flagelliform silk protein (Flag) composing the web spiral: (GPGGX(1) GPGGX(2))(2) with X(1) /X(2) = A/A or Y/S. Fibers were formed from protein films in aqueous solutions or extruded from resolubilized protein dopes in organic conditions when the Flag motif was (GPGGX(1) GPGGX(2))(2) with X(1) /X(2) = Y/S or A/A, respectively. Post-fiber processing involved similar drawing ratios (2-2.5×) before or after water-treatment. Structural (ssNMR and XRD) and morphological (SEM) changes in the fibers were compared to the mechanical properties of the fibers at each step. Nuclear magnetic resonance indicated that the fraction of β-sheet nanocrystals in the polyalanine regions formed upon extrusion, increased during stretching, and was maximized after water-treatment. X-ray diffraction showed that nanocrystallite orientation parallel to the fiber axis increased the ultimate strength and initial stiffness of the fibers. Water furthered nanocrystal orientation and three-dimensional growth while plasticizing the amorphous regions, thus producing tougher fibers due to increased extensibility. These fibers were highly hygroscopic and had similar internal network organization, thus similar range of mechanical properties that depended on their diameters. The overall structure of the consensus repeat of the silk-like protein dictated the mechanical properties of the fibers while protein molecular weight limited these same properties. Subtle structural motif re-design impacted protein self-assembly mechanisms and requirements for fiber formation. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Structure and morphology of regenerated silk nano-fibers produced by electrospinning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarkoob, Shahrzad

    The impressive physical and mechanical properties of natural silk fiberssp1 and the possibility of producing these proteins using biotechnology,sp2 have provided the impetus for recent efforts in both the biosynthesissp{3,4} and the spinning of these protein based biopolymers.sp{5,6,7} The question still remains: whether fibers spun from solutions with similar chemical makeup can produce fibers with similar structures and therefore with the possibility of improved properties. Since genetically engineered silk solutions were not readily available, the first objective of this project was to completely dissolve the Bombyx mori cocoon and the Nephila clavipes dragline silk while maintaining the molecular weight integrity of the polymer. The second objective was to develop a system for re-spinning from very small amount of the resulting silk solutions by the process of electrospinning. The third objective was, to produce regenerated silk fibers with diameters that are several orders of magnitude smaller than the original fibers, suitable for direct observation and analysis by transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction. And finally, to compare these results to structural information obtained from natural (as spun by the organism) fibers to see if the regenerated solutions are able to form the same structure as the original fibers. Both types of silk fibers were successfully dissolved while maintaining the polymer integrity. Small quantities (25-50 mul) of these solutions were used to electrospin fibers with diameters ranging from 8nm-200nm. The fibers were observed by optical, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopy. These nano fibers showed optical retardation, appeared to have a circular cross-section, and were dimensionally stable at temperatures above 280sp°C. Electron diffraction patterns of annealed electrospun fibers of B. mori and N. clavipes showed reflections, demonstrating orientational and semicrystalline order in the material

  16. Silk-fibrin/hyaluronic acid composite gels for nucleus pulposus tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sang-Hyug; Cho, Hongsik; Gil, Eun Seok; Mandal, Biman B; Min, Byoung-Hyun; Kaplan, David L

    2011-12-01

    Scaffold designs are critical for in vitro culture of tissue-engineered cartilage in three-dimensional environments to enhance cellular differentiation for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In the present study we demonstrated silk and fibrin/hyaluronic acid (HA) composite gels as scaffolds for nucleus pulposus (NP) cartilage formation, providing both biochemical support for NP outcomes as well as fostering the retention of size of the scaffold during culture due to the combined features of the two proteins. Passage two (P2) human chondrocytes cultured in 10% serum were encapsulated within silk-fibrin/HA gels. Five study groups with fibrin/HA gel culture (F/H) along with varying silk concentrations (2% silk gel only, fibrin/HA gel culture with 1% silk [F/H+1S], 1.5% silk [F/H+1.5S], and 2% silk [F/H+2S]) were cultured in serum-free chondrogenic defined media (CDM) for 4 weeks. Histological examination with alcian blue showed a defined chondrogenic area at 1 week in all groups that widened homogenously until 4 weeks. In particular, chondrogenic differentiation observed in the F/H+1.5S had no reduction in size throughout the culture period. The results of biochemical and molecular biological evaluations supported observations made during histological examination. Mechanical strength measurements showed that the silk mixed gels provided stronger mechanical properties for NP tissue than fibrin/HA composite gels in CDM. This effect could potentially be useful in the study of in vitro NP tissue engineering as well as for clinical implications for NP tissue regeneration.

  17. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Different Silk Yields of Two Silkworm Strains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Li

    Full Text Available Cocoon and silk yields are the most important characteristics of sericulture. However, few studies have examined the genes that modulate these features. Further studies of these genes will be useful for improving the products of sericulture. JingSong (JS and Lan10 (L10 are two strains having significantly different cocoon and silk yields. In the current study, RNA-Seq and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR were performed on both strains in order to determine divergence of the silk gland, which controls silk biosynthesis in silkworms. Compared with L10, JS had 1375 differentially expressed genes (DEGs; 738 up-regulated genes and 673 down-regulated genes. Nine enriched gene ontology (GO terms were identified by GO enrichment analysis based on these DEGs. KEGG enrichment analysis results showed that the DEGs were enriched in three pathways, which were mainly associated with the processing and biosynthesis of proteins. The representative genes in the enrichment pathways and ten significant DEGs were further verified by qPCR, the results of which were consistent with the RNA-Seq data. Our study has revealed differences in silk glands between the two silkworm strains and provides a perspective for understanding the molecular mechanisms determining silk yield.

  18. Fibril Formation by pH and Temperature Responsive Silk-Elastin Block Copolymers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Golinska, M.D.; Pham, T.T.H.; Werten, M.W.T.; Wolf, de F.A.; Cohen Stuart, M.A.; Gucht, van der J.

    2013-01-01

    In this report, we study the self-assembly of two silk-elastin-like proteins: one is a diblock S24E40 composed of 24 silk-like (S) repeats and 40 elastin-like (E) repeats; the other is a triblock S12C4E40, in which the S and E blocks are separated by a random coil block (C4). Upon lowering the pH,

  19. Protein sequence comparison and protein evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pearson, W.R. [Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry

    1995-12-31

    This tutorial was one of eight tutorials selected to be presented at the Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology which was held in the United Kingdom from July 16 to 19, 1995. This tutorial examines how the information conserved during the evolution of a protein molecule can be used to infer reliably homology, and thus a shared proteinfold and possibly a shared active site or function. The authors start by reviewing a geological/evolutionary time scale. Next they look at the evolution of several protein families. During the tutorial, these families will be used to demonstrate that homologous protein ancestry can be inferred with confidence. They also examine different modes of protein evolution and consider some hypotheses that have been presented to explain the very earliest events in protein evolution. The next part of the tutorial will examine the technical aspects of protein sequence comparison. Both optimal and heuristic algorithms and their associated parameters that are used to characterize protein sequence similarities are discussed. Perhaps more importantly, they survey the statistics of local similarity scores, and how these statistics can both be used to improve the selectivity of a search and to evaluate the significance of a match. They them examine distantly related members of three protein families, the serine proteases, the glutathione transferases, and the G-protein-coupled receptors (GCRs). Finally, the discuss how sequence similarity can be used to examine internal repeated or mosaic structures in proteins.

  20. Silk fibers and silk-producing organs of Harpactea rubicunda (C. L. Koch 1838) (Araneae, Dysderidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajer, Jaromír; Malý, Jan; Reháková, Dana

    2013-01-01

    Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy were used to study the silk spinning apparatus and silks of Harpactea rubicunda spiders. Three types of silk secretions that are produced by three kinds of silk spinning glands (ampullate, piriform, and pseudaciniform) and released through three types of spigots, were confirmed for both adult and juvenile spiders. Silk secretions for the construction of spider webs for shelter or retreat are produced by the pseudaciniform silk glands. Silk secretions that are released from spigots in the course of web construction are not processed by the legs during the subsequent process of hardening. Pairs of nanofibril bundles seemed to be part of the basic microarchitecture of the web silk fibers as revealed by AFM. These fiber bundles frequently not only overlap one another, but occasionally also interweave. This structural variability may strengthen the spider web. High-resolution AFM scans of individual nanofibrils show a distinctly segmented nanostructure. Each globular segment is ∼30-40 nm long along the longitudinal axis of the fiber, and resembles a nanosegment of artificial fibroin described by Perez-Rigueiro et al. (2007). Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Ultra-thin, conformal, and hydratable color-absorbers using silk protein hydrogel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umar, Muhammad; Min, Kyungtaek; Jo, Minsik; Kim, Sunghwan

    2018-06-01

    Planar and multilayered photonic devices offer unprecedented opportunities in biological and chemical sensing due to strong light-matter interactions. However, uses of rigid substances such as semiconductors and dielectrics confront photonic devices with issues of biocompatibility and a mechanical mismatch for their application on humid, uneven, and soft biological surfaces. Here, we report that favorable material traits of natural silk protein led to the fabrication of an ultra-thin, conformal, and water-permeable (hydratable) metal-insulator-metal (MIM) color absorber that was mapped on soft, curved, and hydrated biological interfaces. Strong absorption was induced in the MIM structure and could be tuned by hydration and tilting of the sample. The transferred MIM color absorbers reached the exhibition of a very strong resonant absorption in the visible and near infra-red ranges. In addition, we demonstrated that the conformal resonator could function as a refractometric glucose sensor applied on a contact lens.

  2. Proteome identification of the silkworm middle silk gland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-ying Li

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the functional differentiation among the anterior (A, middle (M, and posterior (P regions of silkworm middle silk gland (MSG, their proteomes were characterized by shotgun LC–MS/MS analysis with a LTQ-Orbitrap mass spectrometer. To get better proteome identification and quantification, triplicate replicates of mass spectrometry analysis were performed for each sample. The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium (Vizcaíno et al., 2014 [1] via the PRIDE partner repository (Vizcaino, 2013 [2] with the dataset identifier http://www.ebi.ac.uk/pride/archive/projects/PXD003371. The peptide identifications that were further processed by PeptideProphet program in Trans-Proteomic Pipeline (TPP after database search with Mascot software were also available in .XML format files. Data presented here are related to a research article published in Journal of Proteomics by Li et al. (2015 [3]. Keywords: Bombyx mori, Middle silk gland, Silk protein synthesis, Shotgun proteomics, Label-free

  3. Gel spinning of silk tubes for tissue engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovett, Michael; Cannizzaro, Christopher; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Tubular vessels for tissue engineering are typically fabricated using a molding, dipping, or electrospinning technique. While these techniques provide some control over inner and outer diameters of the tube, they lack the ability to align the polymers or fibers of interest throughout the tube. This is an important aspect of biomaterial composite structure and function for mechanical and biological impact of tissue outcomes. We present a novel aqueous process system to spin tubes from biopolymers and proteins such as silk fibroin. Using silk as an example, this method of winding an aqueous solution around a reciprocating rotating mandrel offers substantial improvement in the control of the tube properties, specifically with regard to winding pattern, tube porosity, and composite features. Silk tube properties are further controlled via different post-spinning processing mechanisms such as methanol-treatment, air-drying, and lyophilization. This approach to tubular scaffold manufacture offers numerous tissue engineering applications such as complex composite biomaterial matrices, blood vessel grafts and nerve guides, among others. PMID:18801570

  4. Nutritional compositions and antioxidative capacity of the silk obtained from immature and mature corn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurhanan Abdul Rahman

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The silks of immature and mature corn were evaluated for their variations in nutritional compositions, mineral content and antioxidant capacity. Both immature and mature silks were good source of nutritional compositions. Immature silks contained significantly higher moisture (89.31% (fresh basis, lipid (1.27% and protein (12.96% content than the mature silk. Mature silks contained higher composition of ash (5.51%, carbohydrate (29.74% and total dietary fiber (51.25 g/100 g, than the immature silk, but the difference was not significant. In mineral determination, immature silk was rich source of Ca (1087.08 μg/g, Mg (1219.17 μg/g, Cu (5.60 μg/g and Zn (46.37 μg/g than the mature silks. In contrast, other minerals such as K (35671.67 μg/g, Na (266.67 μg/g, Fe (4.50 μg/g and Mn (35.57 μg/g were found higher in the mature silk. The silks were extracted with ethyl acetate, ethanol and water using the Soxhlet extraction method to determine the polyphenol and ABTS radical scavenging capacity. From this study, the highest content of total polyphenol of immature silks was exhibited by ethanol extract (92.21 mg GAE/g while water extract (64.22 mg GAE/g had the highest polyphenol content among mature silk extracts. Total flavonoid content of both immature and mature silks was higher in the water extract at 8.40 mg CAE/g and 2.31 mg CAE/g, respectively. In the ABTS free radical assay method, all immature silk extracts had higher percentage of inhibition compared to the mature silks. Among all three crude extracts, the ethanol extract of immature (EC50 = 0.478 mg/ml and mature silk (EC50 = 0.799 mg/ml exhibited the strongest antioxidant capacity followed by the water and ethyl acetate extract.

  5. Molecular and macro-scale analysis of enzyme-crosslinked silk hydrogels for rational biomaterial design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGill, Meghan; Coburn, Jeannine M; Partlow, Benjamin P; Mu, Xuan; Kaplan, David L

    2017-11-01

    Silk fibroin-based hydrogels have exciting applications in tissue engineering and therapeutic molecule delivery; however, their utility is dependent on their diffusive properties. The present study describes a molecular and macro-scale investigation of enzymatically-crosslinked silk fibroin hydrogels, and demonstrates that these systems have tunable crosslink density and diffusivity. We developed a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS) method to assess the quantity and order of covalent tyrosine crosslinks in the hydrogels. This analysis revealed between 28 and 56% conversion of tyrosine to dityrosine, which was dependent on the silk concentration and reactant concentration. The crosslink density was then correlated with storage modulus, revealing that both crosslinking and protein concentration influenced the mechanical properties of the hydrogels. The diffusive properties of the bulk material were studied by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), which revealed a non-linear relationship between silk concentration and diffusivity. As a result of this work, a model for synthesizing hydrogels with known crosslink densities and diffusive properties has been established, enabling the rational design of silk hydrogels for biomedical applications. Hydrogels from naturally-derived silk polymers offer versitile opportunities in the biomedical field, however, their design has largely been an empirical process. We present a fundamental study of the crosslink density, storage modulus, and diffusion behavior of enzymatically-crosslinked silk hydrogels to better inform scaffold design. These studies revealed unexpected non-linear trends in the crosslink density and diffusivity of silk hydrogels with respect to protein concentration and crosslink reagent concentration. This work demonstrates the tunable diffusivity and crosslinking in silk fibroin hydrogels, and enables the rational design of biomaterials. Further, the characterization methods

  6. Hybrid Silk Fibers Dry-Spun from Regenerated Silk Fibroin/Graphene Oxide Aqueous Solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chao; Zhang, Yaopeng; Shao, Huili; Hu, Xuechao

    2016-02-10

    Regenerated silk fibroin (RSF)/graphene oxide (GO) hybrid silk fibers were dry-spun from a mixed dope of GO suspension and RSF aqueous solution. It was observed that the presence of GO greatly affect the viscosity of RSF solution. The RSF/GO hybrid fibers showed from FTIR result lower β-sheet content compared to that of pure RSF fibers. The result of synchrotron radiation wide-angle X-ray diffraction showed that the addition of GO confined the crystallization of silk fibroin (SF) leading to the decrease of crystallinity, smaller crystallite size, and new formation of interphase zones in the artificial silks. Synchrotron radiation small-angle X-ray scattering also proved that GO sheets in the hybrid silks and blended solutions were coated with a certain thickness of interphase zones due to the complex interaction between the two components. A low addition of GO, together with the mesophase zones formed between GO and RSF, enhanced the mechanical properties of hybrid fibers. The highest breaking stress of the hybrid fibers reached 435.5 ± 71.6 MPa, 23% improvement in comparison to that of degummed silk and 72% larger than that of pure RSF silk fiber. The hybrid RSF/GO materials with good biocompatibility and enhanced mechanical properties may have potential applications in tissue engineering, bioelectronic devices, or energy storage.

  7. Research on Multioperator silk screen printer Based on Communication Protocol Macro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiming Zhang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Multioperator silk screen printer is automatic silk screen printing equipment. There are many advantages, such as energy saving, reduce the labor intensity and so on. The control system consists of an intermittent movement main motor and eight color working station printing cycle motion motors. The system controls nine frequency converters through protocol macro communication by using PLC. This paper studies the principle and process characteristics of multioperator silk screen printer. Besides, this paper adopts protocol macro sequence generation method for communication between PLC and frequency converter. This method can control the programming of parameters, such as frequency, operation and monitoring. It also can realize the printing of eight color working stations and monitor the printing status in real time. The practical application proves that the method meets the technical requirements and the reliability is good.

  8. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P. [Department of Physical Sciences, IISER Mohali, Sector 81, Manauli, Mohali 140306 (India)

    2013-11-11

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10{sup 2−3} rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  9. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P.

    2013-01-01

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10 2−3 rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices

  10. Protein matrices for wound dressings =

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasconcelos, Andreia Joana Costa

    Fibrous proteins such as silk fibroin (SF), keratin (K) and elastin (EL) are able to mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) that allows their recognition under physiological conditions. The impressive mechanical properties, the environmental stability, in combination with their biocompatibility and control of morphology, provide an important basis to use these proteins in biomedical applications like protein-based wound dressings. Along time the concept of wound dressings has changed from the traditional dressings such as honey or natural fibres, used just to protect the wound from external factors, to the interactive dressings of the present. Wounds can be classified in acute that heal in the expected time frame, and chronic, which fail to heal because the orderly sequence of events is disrupted at one or more stages of the healing process. Moreover, chronic wound exudates contain high levels of tissue destructive proteolytic enzymes such as human neutrophil elastase (HNE) that need to be controlled for a proper healing. The aim of this work is to exploit the self-assemble properties of silk fibroin, keratin and elastin for the development of new protein materials to be used as wound dressings: i) evaluation of the blending effect on the physical and chemical properties of the materials; ii) development of materials with different morphologies; iii) assessment of the cytocompatibility of the protein matrices; iv) ultimately, study the ability of the developed protein matrices as wound dressings through the use of human chronic wound exudate; v) use of innovative short peptide sequences that allow to target the control of high levels of HNE found on chronic wounds. Chapter III reports the preparation of silk fibroin/keratin (SF/K) blend films by solvent casting evaporation. Two solvent systems, aqueous and acidic, were used for the preparation of films from fibroin and keratin extracted from the respective silk and wool fibres. The effect of solvent system used was

  11. Crystal growth of calcium carbonate in silk fibroin/sodium alginate hydrogel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Jinfa; Zuo, Baoqi

    2014-01-01

    As known, silk fibroin-like protein plays a pivotal role during the formation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystals in the nacre sheets. Here, we have prepared silk fibroin/sodium alginate nanofiber hydrogels to serve as templates for calcium carbonate mineralization. In this experiment, we report an interesting finding of calcium carbonate crystal growth in the silk fibroin/sodium alginate nanofiber hydrogels by the vapor diffusion method. The experimental results indicate calcium carbonate crystals obtained from nanofiber hydrogels with different proportions of silk fibroin/sodium alginate are mixture of calcite and vaterite with unusual morphologies. Time-dependent growth study was carried out to investigate the crystallization process. It is believed that nanofiber hydrogels play an important role in the process of crystallization. This study would help in understanding the function of organic polymers in natural mineralization, and provide a novel pathway in the design and synthesis of new materials related unique morphology and structure.

  12. Controlled release of cytokines using silk-biomaterials for macrophage polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Andrew R D; Spiller, Kara L; Freytes, Donald O; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L

    2015-12-01

    Polarization of macrophages into an inflammatory (M1) or anti-inflammatory (M2) phenotype is important for clearing pathogens and wound repair, however chronic activation of either type of macrophage has been implicated in several diseases. Methods to locally control the polarization of macrophages is of great interest for biomedical implants and tissue engineering. To that end, silk protein was used to form biopolymer films that release either IFN-γ or IL-4 to control the polarization of macrophages. Modulation of the solubility of the silk films through regulation of β-sheet (crystalline) content enabled a short-term release (4-8 h) of either cytokine, with smaller amounts released out to 24 h. Altering the solubility of the films was accomplished by varying the time that the films were exposed to water vapor. The released IFN-γ or IL-4 induced polarization of THP-1 derived macrophages into the M1 or M2 phenotypes, respectively. The silk biomaterials were able to release enough IFN-γ or IL-4 to repolarize the macrophage from M1 to M2 and vice versa, demonstrating the well-established plasticity of macrophages. High β-sheet content films that are not soluble and do not release the trapped cytokines were also able to polarize macrophages that adhered to the surface through degradation of the silk protein. Chemically conjugating IFN-γ to silk films through disulfide bonds allowed for longer-term release to 10 days. The release of covalently attached IFN-γ from the films was also able to polarize M1 macrophages in vitro. Thus, the strategy described here offers new approaches to utilizing biomaterials for directing the polarization of macrophages. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy of mechanically milled protein fibre powders and their free volume aspects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patil, K; Rajkhowa, R; Tsuzuki, T; Lin, T; Wang, X; Sellaiyan, S; Smith, S V; Uedono, A

    2013-01-01

    The present study reports the fabrication of ultra-fine powders from animal protein fibres such as cashmere guard hair, merino wool and eri silk along with their free volume aspects. The respectively mechanically cleaned, scoured and degummed cashmere guard hair, wool and silk fibres were converted into dry powders by a process sequence: Chopping, Attritor Milling, and Spray Drying. The fabricated protein fibre powders were characterised by scanning electron microscope, particle size distribution and positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS). The PALS results indicated that the average free volume size in protein fibres increased on their wet mechanical milling with a decrease in the corresponding intensities leading to a resultant decrease in their fractional free volumes.

  14. HIV protein sequence hotspots for crosstalk with host hub proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahdi Sarmady

    Full Text Available HIV proteins target host hub proteins for transient binding interactions. The presence of viral proteins in the infected cell results in out-competition of host proteins in their interaction with hub proteins, drastically affecting cell physiology. Functional genomics and interactome datasets can be used to quantify the sequence hotspots on the HIV proteome mediating interactions with host hub proteins. In this study, we used the HIV and human interactome databases to identify HIV targeted host hub proteins and their host binding partners (H2. We developed a high throughput computational procedure utilizing motif discovery algorithms on sets of protein sequences, including sequences of HIV and H2 proteins. We identified as HIV sequence hotspots those linear motifs that are highly conserved on HIV sequences and at the same time have a statistically enriched presence on the sequences of H2 proteins. The HIV protein motifs discovered in this study are expressed by subsets of H2 host proteins potentially outcompeted by HIV proteins. A large subset of these motifs is involved in cleavage, nuclear localization, phosphorylation, and transcription factor binding events. Many such motifs are clustered on an HIV sequence in the form of hotspots. The sequential positions of these hotspots are consistent with the curated literature on phenotype altering residue mutations, as well as with existing binding site data. The hotspot map produced in this study is the first global portrayal of HIV motifs involved in altering the host protein network at highly connected hub nodes.

  15. Discerning Silk Produced by Bombyx mori from Those Produced by Wild Species Using an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Combined with Conventional Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Qiushi; Li, Qingqing; Zheng, Hailing; Hu, Zhiwen; Zhou, Yang; Wang, Bing

    2017-09-06

    Recently, much interest has been paid to the separation of silk produced by Bombyx mori from silk produced by other species and tracing the beginnings of silk cultivation from wild silk exploitation. In this paper, significant differences between silks from Bombyx mori and other species were found by microscopy and spectroscopy, such as morphology, secondary structure, and amino acid composition. For further accurate identification, a diagnostic antibody was designed by comparing the peptide sequences of silks produced by Bombyx mori and other species. The results of the noncompetitive indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) indicated that the antibody that showed good sensitivity and high specificity can definitely discern silk produced by Bombyx mori from silk produced by wild species. Thus, the antibody-based immunoassay has the potential to be a powerful tool for tracing the beginnings of silk cultivation. In addition, combining the sensitive, specific, and convenient ELISA technology with other conventional methods can provide more in-depth and accurate information for species identification.

  16. Polymorphic regenerated silk fibers assembled through bioinspired spinning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Shengjie; Qin, Zhao; Li, Chunmei; Huang, Wenwen; Kaplan, David L; Buehler, Markus J

    2017-11-09

    A variety of artificial spinning methods have been applied to produce regenerated silk fibers; however, how to spin regenerated silk fibers that retain the advantages of natural silks in terms of structural hierarchy and mechanical properties remains challenging. Here, we show a bioinspired approach to spin regenerated silk fibers. First, we develop a nematic silk microfibril solution, highly viscous and stable, by partially dissolving silk fibers into microfibrils. This solution maintains the hierarchical structures in natural silks and serves as spinning dope. It is then spun into regenerated silk fibers by direct extrusion in the air, offering a useful route to generate polymorphic and hierarchical regenerated silk fibers with physical properties beyond natural fiber construction. The materials maintain the structural hierarchy and mechanical properties of natural silks, including a modulus of 11 ± 4 GPa, even higher than natural spider silk. It can further be functionalized with a conductive silk/carbon nanotube coating, responsive to changes in humidity and temperature.

  17. Preparation and characterization of silk fibroin as a biomaterial with potential for drug delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Hao

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Degummed silk fibroin from Bombyx mori (silkworm has potential carrier capabilities for drug delivery in humans; however, the processing methods have yet to be comparatively analyzed to determine the differential effects on the silk protein properties, including crystalline structure and activity. Methods In this study, we treated degummed silk with four kinds of calcium-alcohol solutions, and performed secondary structure measurements and enzyme activity test to distinguish the differences between the regenerated fibroins and degummed silk fibroin. Results Gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that Ca(NO32-methanol, Ca(NO32-ethanol, or CaCl2-methanol treatments produced more lower molecular weights of silk fibroin than CaCl2-ethanol. X-ray diffraction and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy showed that CaCl2-ethanol produced a crystalline structure with more silk I (α-form, type II β-turn, while the other treatments produced more silk II (β-form, anti-parallel β-pleated sheet. Solid-State 13C cross polarization and magic angle spinning-nuclear magnetic resonance measurements suggested that regenerated fibroins from CaCl2-ethanol were nearly identical to degummed silk fibroin, while the other treatments produced fibroins with significantly different chemical shifts. Finally, enzyme activity test indicated that silk fibroins from CaCl2-ethanol had higher activity when linked to a known chemotherapeutic drug, L-asparaginase, than the fibroins from other treatments. Conclusions Collectively, these results suggest that the CaCl2-ethanol processing method produces silk fibroin with biomaterial properties that are appropriate for drug delivery.

  18. Microwave assisted synthesis of luminescent carbonaceous nanoparticles from silk fibroin for bioimaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Hongzhi; Teng, Choon Peng; Huang, Donghong; Xu, Wanqing; Zheng, Chaohui; Chen, Yisong; Liu, Minghuan; Yang, Da-Peng; Lin, Ming; Li, Zibiao; Ye, Enyi

    2017-11-01

    Bombyx mori silk as a natural protein based biopolymer with high nitrogen content, is abundant and sustainable because of its mass product all over the world per year. In this study, we developed a facile and fast microwave-assisted synthesis of luminescent carbonaceous nanoparticles using Bombyx mori silk fibroin and silk solution as the precursors. As a result, the obtained carbonaceous nanoparticles exhibit a photoluminescence quantum yield of ~20%, high stability, low cytotoxicity, high biocompatibility. Most importantly, we successfully demonstrated bioimaging using these luminescent carbonaceous nanoparticles with excitation dependent luminescence. In addition, the microwave-assisted hydrothermal method can be extended to convert other biomass into functional nanomaterials. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Injectable silk-based biomaterials for cervical tissue augmentation: an in vitro study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Joseph E; Partlow, Benjamin P; Berman, Alison M; House, Michael D; Kaplan, David L

    2016-01-01

    Cerclage therapy is an important treatment option for preterm birth prevention. Several patient populations benefit from cerclage therapy including patients with a classic history of cervical insufficiency; patients who present with advanced cervical dilation prior to viability; and patients with a history of preterm birth and cervical shortening. Although cerclage is an effective treatment option in some patients, it can be associated with limited efficacy and procedure complications. Development of an alternative to cerclage therapy would be an important clinical development. Here we report on an injectable, silk protein-based biomaterial for cervical tissue augmentation. The rationale for the development of an injectable biomaterial is to restore the native properties of cervical tissue. While cerclage provides support to the tissue, it does not address excessive tissue softening, which is a central feature of the pathogenesis of cervical insufficiency. Silk protein-based hydrogels, which are biocompatible and naturally degrade in vivo, are suggested as a platform for restoring the native properties of cervical tissue and improving cervical function. We sought to study the properties of an injectable, silk-based biomaterial for potential use as an alternative treatment for cervical insufficiency. These biomaterials were evaluated for mechanical tunability, biocompatibility, facile injection, and in vitro degradation. Silk protein solutions were cross-linked by an enzyme catalyzed reaction to form elastic biomaterials. Biomaterials were formulated to match the native physical properties of cervical tissue during pregnancy. The cell compatibility of the materials was assessed in vitro using cervical fibroblasts, and biodegradation was evaluated using concentrated protease solution. Tissue augmentation or bulking was demonstrated using human cervical tissue from nonpregnant hysterectomy specimens. Mechanical compression tests measured the tissue stiffness as a

  20. Manufacture and Drug Delivery Applications of Silk Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Johnston, Blair F; Seib, F Philipp

    2016-10-08

    Silk is a promising biopolymer for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications due to its outstanding mechanical properties, biocompatibility and biodegradability, as well its ability to protect and subsequently release its payload in response to a trigger. While silk can be formulated into various material formats, silk nanoparticles are emerging as promising drug delivery systems. Therefore, this article covers the procedures for reverse engineering silk cocoons to yield a regenerated silk solution that can be used to generate stable silk nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are subsequently characterized, drug loaded and explored as a potential anticancer drug delivery system. Briefly, silk cocoons are reverse engineered first by degumming the cocoons, followed by silk dissolution and clean up, to yield an aqueous silk solution. Next, the regenerated silk solution is subjected to nanoprecipitation to yield silk nanoparticles - a simple but powerful method that generates uniform nanoparticles. The silk nanoparticles are characterized according to their size, zeta potential, morphology and stability in aqueous media, as well as their ability to entrap a chemotherapeutic payload and kill human breast cancer cells. Overall, the described methodology yields uniform silk nanoparticles that can be readily explored for a myriad of applications, including their use as a potential nanomedicine.

  1. In vitro chondrogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells with silk scaffolds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeon Joo Kim

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Human adipose-derived stem cells have shown chondrogenic differentiation potential in cartilage tissue engineering in combination with natural and synthetic biomaterials. In the present study, we hypothesized that porous aqueous-derived silk protein scaffolds would be suitable for chondrogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells. Human adipose-derived stem cells were cultured up to 6 weeks, and cell proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation were investigated and compared with those in conventional micromass culture. Cell proliferation, glycosaminoglycan, and collagen levels in aqueous-derived silk scaffolds were significantly higher than in micromass culture. Transcript levels of SOX9 and type II collagen were also upregulated in the cell–silk constructs at 6 weeks. Histological examination revealed that the pores of the silk scaffolds were filled with cells uniformly distributed. In addition, chondrocyte-specific lacunae formation was evident and distributed in the both groups. The results suggest the biodegradable and biocompatible three-dimensional aqueous-derived silk scaffolds provided an improved environment for chondrogenic differentiation compared to micromass culture.

  2. Silk nanoparticles—an emerging anticancer nanomedicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Philipp Seib

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Silk is a sustainable and ecologically friendly biopolymer with a robust clinical track record in humans for load bearing applications, in part due to its excellent mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Our ability to take bottom-up and top-down approaches for the generation of silk (inspired biopolymers has been critical in supporting the evolution of silk materials and formats, including silk nanoparticles for drug delivery. Silk nanoparticles are emerging as interesting contenders for drug delivery and are well placed to advance the nanomedicine field. This review covers the use of Bombyx mori and recombinant silks as an anticancer nanomedicine, highlighting the emerging trends and developments as well as critically assessing the current opportunities and challenges by providing a context specific assessment of this multidisciplinary field.

  3. Coating of Silk Fabric Using PVA/Ciprofloxacin Hcl Nanofibers for Biomedical Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somaye Baghersad

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, fabrication of polymeric antibacterial wound dressing has gained most attention in controlling wound infections. Silk is also a member of the broad family of protein-based polmers. The silk produced by the lepidopteran insect Bombyx mori is a highly accepted material due to its long history as a very valuable textile fiber. Recently, additional applications have been developed for silk, mainly in the field of biotechnology. Regarding its importance in wound healing, silk fabric was incorporated with ciprofloxacin, as an antibiotic, on its surface coated with electro-spun PVA/ciprofloxacin nanofibers. Before coating, degumming was carried out using autoclave technique and properties of the silk fabric, before and after degumming process, was investigated by SEM, FTIR, mechanical properties and moisture absorbance measurement. The results of all analyses showed a reduction in fibers diameter, mechanical strength and moisture absorption after degumming process. Electrospinning condition was optimized and diameter of the nanofibers, with and without drug, was measured before coating. The results showed that addition of the drug increased electrical conductivity of electrospinning solution and resulted in finer nanofibers. Antibacterial test was performed using "disk diffusion method" with Escherichia coli (EC and Staphylococcus aureus (SA bacteria to compare the antibacterial properties of degummed and non-degummed silk fabrics alone and coated with nanofibers. Measurement of bacterial inhibition zone diameter showed no antibacterial activity for degummed and non-degummed silk fabrics alone. However, the sample coated with PVA/ciprofloxacin showed antibacterial activity. The antibacterial property for SA in both cases was the same, but for EC, the antibacterial activity of degummed silk fabric was more than that of non-degummed material.

  4. Dock ’n Roll: Folding of a Silk-Inspired Polypeptide into an Amyloid-like Beta Solenoid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Binwu; Cohen Stuart, Martien A.; Hall, Carol K.

    2016-01-01

    Polypeptides containing the motif ((GA)mGX)n occur in silk (we refer to them as ‘silk-like’) and have a strong tendency to self-assemble. For example, polypeptides containing (GAGAGAGX)n, where X = G or H have been observed to form filaments; similar sequences but with X = Q have been used in the design of coat proteins (capsids) for artificial viruses. The structure of the (GAGAGAGX)m filaments has been proposed to be a stack of peptides in a β roll structure with the hydrophobic side chains pointing outwards (hydrophobic shell). Another possible configuration, a β roll or β solenoid structure which has its hydrophobic side chains buried inside (hydrophobic core) was, however, overlooked. We perform ground state analysis as well as atomic-level molecular dynamics simulations, both on single molecules and on two-molecule stacks of the silk-inspired sequence (GAGAGAGQ)10, to decide whether the hydrophobic core or the hydrophobic shell configuration is the most stable one. We find that a stack of two hydrophobic core molecules is energetically more favorable than a stack of two shell molecules. A shell molecule initially placed in a perfect β roll structure tends to rotate its strands, breaking in-plane hydrogen bonds and forming out-of-plane hydrogen bonds, while a core molecule stays in the β roll structure. The hydrophobic shell structure has type II’ β turns whereas the core configuration has type II β turns; only the latter secondary structure agrees well with solid-state NMR experiments on a similar sequence (GA)15. We also observe that the core stack has a higher number of intra-molecular hydrogen bonds and a higher number of hydrogen bonds between stack and water than the shell stack. Hence, we conclude that the hydrophobic core configuration is the most likely structure. In the stacked state, each peptide has more intra-molecular hydrogen bonds than a single folded molecule, which suggests that stacking provides the extra stability needed for

  5. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... specific limitations: Category of food Maximum level of use in food (as served) 1 Functional use Baked... chapter 10 Do. Soft candy, § 170.3(n)(38) of this chapter 20 Do. All other food categories 4 Do. 1 Parts... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section...

  6. Transparent and flexible resistive switching memory devices with a very high ON/OFF ratio using gold nanoparticles embedded in a silk protein matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogurla, Narendar; Mondal, Suvra P.; Sinha, Arun K.; Katiyar, Ajit K.; Banerjee, Writam; Kundu, Subhas C.; Ray, Samit K.

    2013-08-01

    The growing demand for biomaterials for electrical and optical devices is motivated by the need to make building blocks for the next generation of printable bio-electronic devices. In this study, transparent and flexible resistive memory devices with a very high ON/OFF ratio incorporating gold nanoparticles into the Bombyx mori silk protein fibroin biopolymer are demonstrated. The novel electronic memory effect is based on filamentary switching, which leads to the occurrence of bistable states with an ON/OFF ratio larger than six orders of magnitude. The mechanism of this process is attributed to the formation of conductive filaments through silk fibroin and gold nanoparticles in the nanocomposite. The proposed hybrid bio-inorganic devices show promise for use in future flexible and transparent nanoelectronic systems.

  7. Transparent and flexible resistive switching memory devices with a very high ON/OFF ratio using gold nanoparticles embedded in a silk protein matrix

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gogurla, Narendar; Mondal, Suvra P; Sinha, Arun K; Katiyar, Ajit K; Banerjee, Writam; Ray, Samit K; Kundu, Subhas C

    2013-01-01

    The growing demand for biomaterials for electrical and optical devices is motivated by the need to make building blocks for the next generation of printable bio-electronic devices. In this study, transparent and flexible resistive memory devices with a very high ON/OFF ratio incorporating gold nanoparticles into the Bombyx mori silk protein fibroin biopolymer are demonstrated. The novel electronic memory effect is based on filamentary switching, which leads to the occurrence of bistable states with an ON/OFF ratio larger than six orders of magnitude. The mechanism of this process is attributed to the formation of conductive filaments through silk fibroin and gold nanoparticles in the nanocomposite. The proposed hybrid bio-inorganic devices show promise for use in future flexible and transparent nanoelectronic systems. (paper)

  8. Silk constructs for delivery of muskuloskeletal therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinel, Lorenz; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a biopolymer with distinguishing features from many other bio- as well as synthetic polymers. From a biomechanical and drug delivery perspective, SF combines remarkable versatility for scaffolding (solid implants, hydrogels, threads, solutions), with advanced mechanical properties and good stabilization and controlled delivery of entrapped protein and small molecule drugs, respectively. It is this combination of mechanical and pharmaceutical features which render SF so exciting for biomedical applications. his pattern along with the versatility of this biopolymer have been translated into progress for musculoskeletal applications. We review the use and potential of silk fibroin for systemic and localized delivery of therapeutics in diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system. We also present future directions for this biopolymer as well as the necessary research and development steps for their achievement. PMID:22522139

  9. PEGylated Silk Nanoparticles for Anticancer Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Uhlmann, Petra; Urquhart, Andrew J; Seib, F Philipp

    2015-11-09

    Silk has a robust clinical track record and is emerging as a promising biopolymer for drug delivery, including its use as nanomedicine. However, silk-based nanomedicines still require further refinements for full exploitation of their potential; the application of "stealth" design principals is especially necessary to support their evolution. The aim of this study was to develop and examine the potential of PEGylated silk nanoparticles as an anticancer drug delivery system. We first generated B. mori derived silk nanoparticles by driving β-sheet assembly (size 104 ± 1.7 nm, zeta potential -56 ± 5.6 mV) using nanoprecipitation. We then surface grafted polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the fabricated silk nanoparticles and verified the aqueous stability and morphology of the resulting PEGylated silk nanoparticles. We assessed the drug loading and release behavior of these nanoparticles using clinically established and emerging anticancer drugs. Overall, PEGylated silk nanoparticles showed high encapsulation efficiency (>93%) and a pH-dependent release over 14 days. Finally, we demonstrated significant cytotoxicity of drug loaded silk nanoparticles applied as single and combination nanomedicines to human breast cancer cells. In conclusion, these results, taken together with prior silk nanoparticle data, support a viable future for silk-based nanomedicines.

  10. The effect of gamma irradiation on some morphological and quantitative changes of Bombyx mori L. silk gland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petkov, N.; Malinova, K.; Binkh, N.

    1996-01-01

    A study to determine the effect of gamma irradiation of silkworm eggs at doses of 1.00; 2.00 and 3.00 on silk gland weight, length and width is performed. It was found that gamma irradiation of eggs in the stage of embryo most intensive growth in length (B 2 ) at doses 2.00 and 3.00 Gy stimulates increasing of silk glands weight in silkworms on the fifth day instar by 12-25 mg, as well as the silk worm width - by 7-33 μm, which is of significant importance for the synthesis and secretion of silk proteins (fibroin and sericin). A breed specificity was also observed

  11. Activation of the Ubiquitin Proteasome Pathway by Silk Fibroin Modified Chitosan Nanoparticles in Hepatic Cancer Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Hui Yang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Silk fibroin (SF is a protein with bulky hydrophobic domains and can be easily purified as sericin-free silk-based biomaterial. Silk fibroin modified chitosan nanoparticle (SF-CSNP, a biocompatible material, has been widely used as a potential drug delivery system. Our current investigation studied the bio-effects of the SF-CSNP uptake by liver cells. In this experiment, the characterizations of SF-CSNPs were measured by particle size analysis and protein assay. The average size of the SF-CSNP was 311.9 ± 10.7 nm, and the average zeta potential was +13.33 ± 0.3 mV. The SF coating on the SF-CSNP was 6.27 ± 0.17 μg/mL. Moreover, using proteomic approaches, several proteins involved in the ubiquitin proteasome pathway were identified by analysis of differential protein expressions of HepG2 cell uptake the SF-CSNP. Our experimental results have demonstrated that the SF-CSNP may be involved in liver cancer cell survival and proliferation.

  12. Molecular mechanisms of phoxim-induced silk gland damage and TiO2 nanoparticle-attenuated damage in Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bing; Yu, Xiaohong; Gui, Suxin; Xie, Yi; Zhao, Xiaoyang; Hong, Jie; Sun, Qingqing; Sang, Xuezi; Sheng, Lei; Cheng, Zhe; Cheng, Jie; Hu, Rengping; Wang, Ling; Shen, Weide; Hong, Fashui

    2014-06-01

    Phoxim is a useful organophosphate (OP) pesticide used in agriculture in China, however, exposure to this pesticide can result in a significant reduction in cocooning in Bombyx mori (B. mori). Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) have been shown to decrease phoxim-induced toxicity in B. mori; however, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms of silk gland damage due to OP exposure and repair of gland damage by TiO2 NP pretreatment. In the present study, exposure to phoxim resulted in a significant reduction in cocooning rate in addition to silk gland damage, whereas TiO2 NP attenuated phoxim-induced gland damage, increased the antioxidant capacity of the gland, and increased cocooning rate in B. mori. Furthermore, digital gene expression data suggested that phoxim exposure led to significant alterations in the expression of 833 genes. In particular, phoxim exposure caused significant down-regulation of Fib-L, Ser2, Ser3, and P25 genes involved in silk protein synthesis, and up-regulation of SFGH, UCH3, and Salhh genes involved in silk protein hydrolysis. A combination of both phoxim and TiO2 NP treatment resulted in marked changes in the expression of 754 genes, while treatment with TiO2 NPs led to significant alterations in the expression of 308 genes. Importantly, pretreatment with TiO2 NPs increased Fib-L, Ser2, Ser3, and P25 expression, and decreased SFGH, UCH3, and Salhh expression in silk protein in the silk gland under phoxim stress. Therefore, Fib-L, Ser2, Ser3, P25, SFGH, UCH3, and Salhh may be potential biomarkers of silk gland toxicity in B. mori caused by phoxim exposure. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Silk fibroin as biomaterial for bone tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melke, Johanna; Midha, Swati; Ghosh, Sourabh; Ito, Keita; Hofmann, Sandra

    2016-02-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a fibrous protein which is produced mainly by silkworms and spiders. Its unique mechanical properties, tunable biodegradation rate and the ability to support the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells along the osteogenic lineage, have made SF a favorable scaffold material for bone tissue engineering. SF can be processed into various scaffold forms, combined synergistically with other biomaterials to form composites and chemically modified, which provides an impressive toolbox and allows SF scaffolds to be tailored to specific applications. This review discusses and summarizes recent advancements in processing SF, focusing on different fabrication and functionalization methods and their application to grow bone tissue in vitro and in vivo. Potential areas for future research, current challenges, uncertainties and gaps in knowledge are highlighted. Silk fibroin is a natural biomaterial with remarkable biomedical and mechanical properties which make it favorable for a broad range of bone tissue engineering applications. It can be processed into different scaffold forms, combined synergistically with other biomaterials to form composites and chemically modified which provides a unique toolbox and allows silk fibroin scaffolds to be tailored to specific applications. This review discusses and summarizes recent advancements in processing silk fibroin, focusing on different fabrication and functionalization methods and their application to grow bone tissue in vitro and in vivo. Potential areas for future research, current challenges, uncertainties and gaps in knowledge are highlighted. Copyright © 2015 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Biomimetic Nanofibrillation in Two-Component Biopolymer Blends with Structural Analogs to Spider Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Lan; Xu, Huan; Li, Liang-Bin; Hsiao, Benjamin S.; Zhong, Gan-Ji; Li, Zhong-Ming

    2016-10-01

    Despite the enormous potential in bioinspired fabrication of high-strength structure by mimicking the spinning process of spider silk, currently accessible routes (e.g., microfluidic and electrospinning approaches) still have substantial function gaps in providing precision control over the nanofibrillar superstructure, crystalline morphology or molecular orientation. Here the concept of biomimetic nanofibrillation, by copying the spiders’ spinning principles, was conceived to build silk-mimicking hierarchies in two-phase biodegradable blends, strategically involving the stepwise integration of elongational shear and high-pressure shear. Phase separation confined on nanoscale, together with deformation of discrete phases and pre-alignment of polymer chains, was triggered in the elongational shear, conferring the readiness for direct nanofibrillation in the latter shearing stage. The orderly aligned nanofibrils, featuring an ultralow diameter of around 100 nm and the “rigid-soft” system crosslinked by nanocrystal domains like silk protein dopes, were secreted by fine nanochannels. The incorporation of multiscale silk-mimicking structures afforded exceptional combination of strength, ductility and toughness for the nanofibrillar polymer composites. The proposed spider spinning-mimicking strategy, offering the biomimetic function integration unattainable with current approaches, may prompt materials scientists to pursue biopolymer mimics of silk with high performance yet light weight.

  15. Novel algorithms for protein sequence analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ye, Kai

    2008-01-01

    Each protein is characterized by its unique sequential order of amino acids, the so-called protein sequence. Biology”s paradigm is that this order of amino acids determines the protein”s architecture and function. In this thesis, we introduce novel algorithms to analyze protein sequences. Chapter 1

  16. Processing Techniques and Applications of Silk Hydrogels in Bioengineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Floren

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Hydrogels are an attractive class of tunable material platforms that, combined with their structural and functional likeness to biological environments, have a diversity of applications in bioengineering. Several polymers, natural and synthetic, can be used, the material selection being based on the required functional characteristics of the prepared hydrogels. Silk fibroin (SF is an attractive natural polymer for its excellent processability, biocompatibility, controlled degradation, mechanical properties and tunable formats and a good candidate for the fabrication of hydrogels. Tremendous effort has been made to control the structural and functional characteristic of silk hydrogels, integrating novel biological features with advanced processing techniques, to develop the next generation of functional SF hydrogels. Here, we review the several processing methods developed to prepare advanced SF hydrogel formats, emphasizing a bottom-up approach beginning with critical structural characteristics of silk proteins and their behavior under specific gelation environments. Additionally, the preparation of SF hydrogel blends and other advanced formats will also be discussed. We conclude with a brief description of the attractive utility of SF hydrogels in relevant bioengineering applications.

  17. Electrodeposited silk coatings for functionalized implant applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elia, Roberto

    The mechanical and morphological properties of titanium as well as its biocompatibility and osteoinductive characteristics have made it the material of choice for dental implant systems. Although the success rate of titanium implants exceeds 90% in healthy individuals, a large subset of the population has one or more risk factors that inhibit implant integration. Treatments and coatings have been developed to improve clinical outcomes via introduction of appropriate surface topography, texture and roughness or incorporation of bioactive molecules. It is essential that the coatings and associated deposition techniques are controllable and reproducible. Currently, methods of depositing functional coatings are dictated by numerous parameters (temperature, particle size distribution, pH and voltage), which result in variable coating thickness, strength, porosity and weight, and hinder or preclude biomolecule incorporation. Silk is a highly versatile protein with a unique combination of mechanical and physical properties, including tunable degradation, biocompatibility, drug stabilizing capabilities and mechanical properties. Most recently an electrogelation technique was developed which allows for the deposition of gels which dry seamlessly over the contoured topography of the conductive substrate. In this work we examine the potential use of silk electrogels as mechanically robust implant coatings capable of sequestering and releasing therapeutic agents. Electrodeposition of silk electrogels formed in uniform electric fields was characterized with respect to field intensity and deposition time. Gel formation kinetics were used to derive functions which allowed for the prediction of coating deposition over a range of process and solution parameters. Silk electrogel growth orientation was shown to be influenced by the applied electric field. Coatings were reproducible and tunable via intrinsic silk solution properties and extrinsic process parameters. Adhesion was

  18. Curcumin-functionalized silk biomaterials for anti-aging utility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lei; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Qian, Cheng; Wu, Jianbing; Liu, Yawen; Guo, Shaozhe; Li, Gang; Liu, Meng; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L

    2017-06-15

    Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that is isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa) and exhibits strong free radical scavenging activity, thus functional for anti-aging. However, poor stability and low solubility of curcumin in aqueous conditions limit its biomedical applications. Previous studies have shown that the anti-oxidation activity of curcumin embedded in silk fibroin films could be well preserved, resulting in the promoted adipogenesis from human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on the surface of the films. In the present study, curcumin was encapsulated in both silk fibroin films (silk/cur films) and nanoparticles (silk/cur NPs), and their anti-aging effects were compared with free curcumin in solution, with an aim to elucidate the mechanism of anti-aging of silk-associated curcumin and to better serve biomedical applications in the future. The morphology and structure of silk/cur film and silk/cur NP were characterized using SEM, FTIR and DSC, indicating characteristic stable beta-sheet structure formation in the materials. Strong binding of curcumin molecules to the beta-sheet domains of silk fibroin resulted in the slow release of curcumin with well-preserved activity from the materials. For cell aging studies, rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs) were cultured in the presence of free curcumin (FC), silk/cur film and silk/cur NP, and cell proliferation and markers of aging (P53, P16, HSP70 gene expression and β-Galactosidase activity) were examined. The results indicated that cell aging was retarded in all FC, silk/cur NP and silk/cur film samples, with the silk-associated curcumin superior to the FC. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Facts and myths of antibacterial properties of silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Jasjeet; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Afrin, Tarannum; Tsuzuki, Takuya; Wang, Xungai

    2014-03-01

    Silk cocoons provide protection to silkworm from biotic and abiotic hazards during the immobile pupal phase of the lifecycle of silkworms. Protection is particularly important for the wild silk cocoons reared in an open and harsh environment. To understand whether some of the cocoon components resist growth of microorganisms, in vitro studies were performed using gram negative bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) to investigate antibacterial properties of silk fiber, silk gum, and calcium oxalate crystals embedded inside some cocoons. The results show that the previously reported antibacterial properties of silk cocoons are actually due to residues of chemicals used to isolate/purify cocoon elements, and properly isolated silk fiber, gum, and embedded crystals free from such residues do not have inherent resistance to E. coli. This study removes the uncertainty created by previous studies over the presence of antibacterial properties of silk cocoons, particularly the silk gum and sericin. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Silk scaffolds connected with different naturally occurring biomaterials for prostate cancer cell cultivation in 3D.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bäcker, Anne; Erhardt, Olga; Wietbrock, Lukas; Schel, Natalia; Göppert, Bettina; Dirschka, Marian; Abaffy, Paul; Sollich, Thomas; Cecilia, Angelica; Gruhl, Friederike J

    2017-02-01

    In the present work, different biopolymer blend scaffolds based on the silk protein fibroin from Bombyx mori (BM) were prepared via freeze-drying method. The chemical, structural, and mechanical properties of the three dimensional (3D) porous silk fibroin (SF) composite scaffolds of gelatin, collagen, and chitosan as well as SF from Antheraea pernyi (AP) and the recombinant spider silk protein spidroin (SSP1) have been systematically investigated, followed by cell culture experiments with epithelial prostate cancer cells (LNCaP) up to 14 days. Compared to the pure SF scaffold of BM, the blend scaffolds differ in porous morphology, elasticity, swelling behavior, and biochemical composition. The new composite scaffold with SSP1 showed an increased swelling degree and soft tissue like elastic properties. Whereas, in vitro cultivation of LNCaP cells demonstrated an increased growth behavior and spheroid formation within chitosan blended scaffolds based on its remarkable porosity, which supports nutrient supply matrix. Results of this study suggest that silk fibroin matrices are sufficient and certain SF composite scaffolds even improve 3D cell cultivation for prostate cancer research compared to matrices based on pure biomaterials or synthetic polymers. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Non-Mulberry and Mulberry Silk Protein Sericins as Potential Media Supplement for Animal Cell Culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neety Sahu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Silk protein sericins, in the recent years, find application in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and as biomaterials. We investigate the potential of sericin, extracted from both mulberry Bombyx mori and different non-mulberry sources, namely, tropical tasar, Antheraea mylitta; muga, Antheraea assama; and eri, Samia ricini, as growth supplement in serum-free culture medium. Sericin supplemented media containing different concentrations of sericins from the different species are examined for attachment, growth, proliferation, and morphology of fibrosarcoma cells. The optimum sericin supplementation seems to vary with the source of sericins. The results indicate that all the sericins promote the growth of L929 cells in serum-free culture media; however, S. ricini sericin seems to promote better growth of cells amongst other non-mulberry sericins.

  2. Design and Optimization of Resorbable Silk Internal Fixation Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Dylan S.

    Limitations of current material options for internal fracture fixation devices have resulted in a large gap between user needs and hardware function. Metal systems offer robust mechanical strength and ease of implantation but require secondary surgery for removal and/or result in long-term complications (infection, palpability, sensitivity, etc.). Current resorbable devices eliminate the need for second surgery and long-term complications but are still associated with negative host response as well as limited functionality and more difficult implantation. There is a definitive need for orthopedic hardware that is mechanically capable of immediate fracture stabilization and fracture fixation during healing, can safely biodegrade while allowing complete bone remodeling, can be resterilized for reuse, and is easily implantable (self-tapping). Previous work investigated the use of silk protein to produce resorbable orthopedic hardware for non- load bearing fracture fixation. In this study, silk orthopedic hardware was further investigated and optimized in order to better understand the ability of silk as a fracture fixation system and more closely meet the unfulfilled market needs. Solvent-based and aqueous-based silk processing formulations were cross-linked with methanol to induce beta sheet structure, dried, autoclaved and then machined to the desired device/geometry. Silk hardware was evaluated for dry, hydrated and fatigued (cyclic) mechanical properties, in vitro degradation, resterilization, functionalization with osteoinductive molecules and implantation technique for fracture fixation. Mechanical strength showed minor improvements from previous results, but remains comparable to current resorbable fixation systems with the advantages of self-tapping ability for ease of implantation, full degradation in 10 months, ability to be resterilized and reused, and ability to release molecules for osteoinudction. In vivo assessment confirmed biocompatibility, showed

  3. PEGylated Silk Nanoparticles for Anticancer Drug Delivery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Uhlmann, Petra; Urquhart, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Silk has a robust clinical track record and is emerging as a promising biopolymer for drug delivery, including its use as nanomedicine. However, silk-based nanomedicines still require further refinements for full exploitation of their potential; the application of “stealth” design principals...... is especially necessary to support their evolution. The aim of this study was to develop and examine the potential of PEGylated silk nanoparticles as an anticancer drug delivery system. We first generated B. mori derived silk nanoparticles by driving β-sheet assembly (size 104 ± 1.7 nm, zeta potential −56 ± 5.......6 mV) using nanoprecipitation. We then surface grafted polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the fabricated silk nanoparticles and verified the aqueous stability and morphology of the resulting PEGylated silk nanoparticles. We assessed the drug loading and release behavior of these nanoparticles using...

  4. Spider Silk: From Protein-Rich Gland Fluids to Diverse Biopolymer Fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-06

    properties from tougher than Kevlar to the extensibility of rubber and have the potential for numerous military applications ranging from high... infrared (FT- Figure 7. 31P DD-MAS and CP-MAS NMR spectra on native, hydrated (A, B), EDTA-treated (C, D) and CaCl2-treated (E, F) caddisfly silk

  5. Multifunctional silk-heparin biomaterials for vascular tissue engineering applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seib, F. Philipp; Herklotz, Manuela; Burke, Kelly A.; Maitz, Manfred F.; Werner, Carsten; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past 30 years, silk has been proposed for numerous biomedical applications that go beyond its traditional use as a suture material. Silk sutures are well tolerated in humans, but the use of silk for vascular engineering applications still requires extensive biocompatibility testing. Some studies have indicated a need to modify silk to yield a hemocompatible surface. This study examined the potential of low molecular weight heparin as a material for refining silk properties by acting as a carrier for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and improving silk hemocompatibility. Heparinized silk showed a controlled VEGF release over 6 days; the released VEGF was bioactive and supported the growth of human endothelial cells. Silk samples were then assessed using a humanized hemocompatibility system that employs whole blood and endothelial cells. The overall thrombogenic response for silk was very low and similar to the clinical reference material polytetrafluoroethylene. Despite an initial inflammatory response to silk, apparent as complement and leukocyte activation, the endothelium was maintained in a resting, anticoagulant state. The low thrombogenic response and the ability to control VEGF release support the further development of silk for vascular applications. PMID:24099708

  6. Determination of molecular weight of silk fibroin by non-gel sieving capillary electrophoresis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Zhang, Yaopeng; Shao, Huili; Hu, Xuechao

    2010-01-01

    A simple non-gel sieving capillary electrophoresis (NGSCE) method was established to determine the MW of silk fibroin using CE. The background electrolyte with a pH of 8.8 was based on three components: polyethylene glycol, tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane, and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). NGSCE showed a good linear relationship with satisfactory reproducibility between the migration time and the MW of standard proteins. It was found that the regenerated silk fibroin had an MW around 83 kDa with a wide MW distribution (MWD). This absolute value is lower than the result obtained from SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis due to the different principles of the methods, but their similar MWD shapes indicated that NGSCE could be a feasible, highly sensitive, rapid method for determination of the MW of silk fibroin.

  7. Production of fine powder from silk by radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu

    2000-01-01

    Silk fine power was prepared directly from silk fiber irradiated with an accelerated electron beam(EB). Irradiated silk fiber was well pulverized only by physical crushing using ball mill without any chemical pretreatment. Raw and degummed silk fibers were irradiated at ambient temperature in the dose range of 250-1000 kGy. Although unirradiated silk fibers were not pulverized at all, irradiated fibers were easily pulverized and showed higher conversion from fiber to powder for higher doses. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced pulverization of silk fiber. Raw silk fibers were less pulverized compared to degummed ones. The electron microscope observation showed that the minimum particle size of silk powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen was less than 10 microns. It was found that fibroin powder obtained in this work dissolved remarkably into cold water, thought unirradiated fibroin fiber had little solubility even in hot water. A typical soluble fraction was about 60% for fibroin powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen. (author)

  8. Production of fine powder from silk by radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment; Ishida, Kazunari; Kamiishi, Youichi [Textile Research Institute of Gunma, Kiryu, Gunma (Japan)

    2000-03-01

    Silk fine power was prepared directly from silk fiber irradiated with an accelerated electron beam(EB). Irradiated silk fiber was well pulverized only by physical crushing using ball mill without any chemical pretreatment. Raw and degummed silk fibers were irradiated at ambient temperature in the dose range of 250-1000 kGy. Although unirradiated silk fibers were not pulverized at all, irradiated fibers were easily pulverized and showed higher conversion from fiber to powder for higher doses. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced pulverization of silk fiber. Raw silk fibers were less pulverized compared to degummed ones. The electron microscope observation showed that the minimum particle size of silk powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen was less than 10 microns. It was found that fibroin powder obtained in this work dissolved remarkably into cold water, thought unirradiated fibroin fiber had little solubility even in hot water. A typical soluble fraction was about 60% for fibroin powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen. (author)

  9. Silk Electrogel Based Gastroretentive Drug Delivery System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qianrui

    Gastric cancer has become a global pandemic and there is imperative to develop efficient therapies. Oral dosing strategy is the preferred route to deliver drugs for treating the disease. Recent studies suggested silk electro hydrogel, which is pH sensitive and reversible, has potential as a vehicle to deliver the drug in the stomach environment. The aim of this study is to establish in vitro electrogelation e-gel based silk gel as a gastroretentive drug delivery system. We successfully extended the duration of silk e-gel in artificial gastric juice by mixing silk solution with glycerol at different ratios before the electrogelation. Structural analysis indicated the extended duration was due to the change of beta sheet content. The glycerol mixed silk e-gel had good doxorubicin loading capability and could release doxorubicin in a sustained-release profile. Doxorubicin loaded silk e-gels were applied to human gastric cancer cells. Significant cell viability decrease was observed. We believe that with further characterization as well as functional analysis, the silk e-gel system has the potential to become an effective vehicle for gastric drug delivery applications.

  10. The osteogenic potential of mesoporous bioglasses/silk and non-mesoporous bioglasses/silk scaffolds in ovariectomized rats: in vitro and in vivo evaluation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Cheng

    Full Text Available Silk-based scaffolds have been introduced to bone tissue regeneration for years, however, their local therapeutic efficiency in bone metabolic disease condition has been seldom reported. According to our previous report, mesoporous bioactive glass (MBG/silk scaffolds exhibits superior in vitro bioactivity and in vivo osteogenic properties compared to non-mesoporous bioactive glass (BG/silk scaffolds, but no information could be found about their efficiency in osteoporotic (OVX environment. This study investigated a biomaterial-based approach for improving MSCs behavior in vitro, and accelerating OVX defect healing by using 3D BG/silk and MBG/silk scaffolds, and pure silk scaffolds as control. The results of SEM, CCK-8 assay and quantitative ALP activity showed that MBG/silk scaffolds can improve attachment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of both O-MSCs and sham control. In vivo therapeutic efficiency was evaluated by μCT analysis, hematoxylin and eosin staining, safranin O staining and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, indicating accelerated bone formation with compatible scaffold degradation and reduced osteoclastic response of defect healing in OVX rats after 2 and 4 weeks treatment, with a rank order of MBG/silk > BG/silk > silk group. Immunohistochemical markers of COL I, OPN, BSP and OCN also revealed that MBG/silk scaffolds can better induce accelerated collagen and non-collagen matrix production. The findings of this study suggest that MBG/silk scaffolds provide a better environment for cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation, and act as potential substitute for treating local osteoporotic defects.

  11. Tyrosinase-Mediated Construction of a Silk Fibroin/Elastin Nanofiber Bioscaffold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Yanqing; Zhu, Xueke; Wang, Ping; Fu, Haitian; Deng, Chao; Cui, Li; Wang, Qiang; Fan, Xuerong

    2016-04-01

    Elastin has characteristics of elasticity, biological activity, and mechanical stability. In the present work, tyrosinase-mediated construction of a bioscaffold with silk fibroin and elastin was carried out, aiming at developing a novel medical biomaterial. The efficiency of enzymatic oxidation of silk fibroin and the covalent reaction between fibroin and elastin were examined by spectrophotometry, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), and size exclusion chromatography (SEC). The properties of composite air-dried and nanofiber scaffolds were investigated. The results reveal that elastin was successfully bonded to silk fibroins, resulting in an increase in molecular weight of fibroin proteins. ATR-FTIR spectra indicated that tyrosinase treatment impacted the conformational structure of fibroin-based membrane. The thermal behaviors and mechanical properties of the tyrosinase-treated scaffolds were also improved compared with the untreated group. NIH/3T3 cells exhibited optimum densities when grown on the nanofiber scaffold, implying that the nanofiber scaffold has enhanced biocompatibility compared to the air-dried scaffold. A biological nanofiber scaffold constructed from tyrosinase-treated fibroin and elastin could potentially be utilized in biomedical applications.

  12. The processing and heterostructuring of silk with light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Mehra S.; Kumar, Bhupesh; Singh, Kamal P.

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk is a tough, elastic and lightweight biomaterial, although there is a lack of tools available for non-invasive processing of silk structures. Here we show that nonlinear multiphoton interactions of silk with few-cycle femtosecond pulses allow the processing and heterostructuring of the material in ambient air. Two qualitatively different responses, bulging by multiphoton absorption and plasma-assisted ablation, are observed for low- and high-peak intensities, respectively. Plasma ablation allows us to make localized nanocuts, microrods, nanotips and periodic patterns with minimal damage while preserving molecular structure. The bulging regime facilitates confined bending and microwelding of silk with materials such as metal, glass and Kevlar with strengths comparable to pristine silk. Moreover, analysis of Raman bands of microwelded joints reveals that the polypeptide backbone remains intact while perturbing its weak hydrogen bonds. Using this approach, we fabricate silk-based functional topological microstructures, such as Mobiüs strips, chiral helices and silk-based sensors.

  13. Fabrication and Biocompatibility of Electrospun Silk Biocomposites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ick-Soo Kim

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Silk fibroin has attracted great interest in tissue engineering because of its outstanding biocompatibility, biodegradability and minimal inflammatory reaction. In this study, two kinds of biocomposites based on regenerated silk fibroin are fabricated by electrospinning and post-treatment processes, respectively. Firstly, regenerated silk fibroin/tetramethoxysilane (TMOS hybrid nanofibers with high hydrophilicity are prepared, which is superior for fibroblast attachment. The electrospinning process causes adjacent fibers to ‘weld’ at contact points, which can be proved by scanning electron microscope (SEM. The water contact angle of silk/tetramethoxysilane (TMOS composites shows a sharper decrease than pure regenerated silk fibroin nanofiber, which has a great effect on the early stage of cell attachment behavior. Secondly, a novel tissue engineering scaffold material based on electrospun silk fibroin/nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA biocomposites is prepared by means of an effective calcium and phosphate (Ca–P alternate soaking method. nHA is successfully produced on regenerated silk fibroin nanofiber within several min without any pre-treatments. The osteoblastic activities of this novel nanofibrous biocomposites are also investigated by employing osteoblastic-like MC3T3-E1 cell line. The cell functionality such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP activity is ameliorated on mineralized silk nanofibers. All these results indicate that this silk/nHA biocomposite scaffold material may be a promising biomaterial for bone tissue engineering.

  14. Self-assembled silk sericin/poloxamer nanoparticles as nanocarriers of hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs for targeted delivery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mandal, Biman B; Kundu, S C

    2009-01-01

    In recent times self-assembled micellar nanoparticles have been successfully employed in tissue engineering for targeted drug delivery applications. In this review, silk sericin protein from non-mulberry Antheraea mylitta tropical tasar silk cocoons was blended with pluronic F-127 and F-87 in the presence of solvents to achieve self-assembled micellar nanostructures capable of carrying both hydrophilic (FITC-inulin) and hydrophobic (anticancer drug paclitaxel) drugs. The fabricated nanoparticles were subsequently characterized for their size distribution, drug loading capability, cellular uptake and cytotoxicity. Nanoparticle sizes ranged between 100 and 110 nm in diameter as confirmed by dynamic light scattering. Rapid uptake of these particles into cells was observed in in vitro cellular uptake studies using breast cancer MCF-7 cells. In vitro cytotoxicity assay using paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles against breast cancer cells showed promising results comparable to free paclitaxel drugs. Drug-encapsulated nanoparticle-induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells was confirmed by FACS and confocal microscopic studies using Annexin V staining. Up-regulation of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, down-regulation of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and cleavage of regulatory protein PARP through Western blot analysis suggested further drug-induced apoptosis in cells. This study projects silk sericin protein as an alternative natural biomaterial for fabrication of self-assembled nanoparticles in the presence of poloxamer for successful delivery of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs to target sites.

  15. Self-assembled silk sericin/poloxamer nanoparticles as nanocarriers of hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs for targeted delivery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mandal, Biman B; Kundu, S C, E-mail: kundu@hijli.iitkgp.ernet.i [Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India)

    2009-09-02

    In recent times self-assembled micellar nanoparticles have been successfully employed in tissue engineering for targeted drug delivery applications. In this review, silk sericin protein from non-mulberry Antheraea mylitta tropical tasar silk cocoons was blended with pluronic F-127 and F-87 in the presence of solvents to achieve self-assembled micellar nanostructures capable of carrying both hydrophilic (FITC-inulin) and hydrophobic (anticancer drug paclitaxel) drugs. The fabricated nanoparticles were subsequently characterized for their size distribution, drug loading capability, cellular uptake and cytotoxicity. Nanoparticle sizes ranged between 100 and 110 nm in diameter as confirmed by dynamic light scattering. Rapid uptake of these particles into cells was observed in in vitro cellular uptake studies using breast cancer MCF-7 cells. In vitro cytotoxicity assay using paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles against breast cancer cells showed promising results comparable to free paclitaxel drugs. Drug-encapsulated nanoparticle-induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells was confirmed by FACS and confocal microscopic studies using Annexin V staining. Up-regulation of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, down-regulation of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and cleavage of regulatory protein PARP through Western blot analysis suggested further drug-induced apoptosis in cells. This study projects silk sericin protein as an alternative natural biomaterial for fabrication of self-assembled nanoparticles in the presence of poloxamer for successful delivery of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs to target sites.

  16. Self-assembly of silk fibroin under osmotic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohn, Sungkyun

    The supramolecular self-assembly behavior of silk fibroin was investigated using osmotic stress technique. In Chapter 2, a ternary phase diagram of water-silk-LiBr was constructed based on X-ray results on the osmotically stressed regenerated silk fibroin of Bombyx mori silkworm. Microscopic data indicated that silk I is a hydrated structure and a rough estimate of the number of water molecules lost by the structure upon converting from silk I to silk II has been made, and found to be about 2.2 per [GAGAGS] hexapeptide. In Chapter 3, wet-spinning of osmotically stressed, regenerated silk fibroin was performed, based on the prediction that the enhanced control over structure and phase behavior using osmotic stress method helps improve the physical properties of wet-spun regenerated silk fibroin fibers. The osmotic stress was applied in order to pre-structure the regenerated silk fibroin molecule from its original random coil state to more oriented state, manipulating the phase of the silk solution in the phase diagram before the start of spinning. Monofilament fiber with a diameter of 20 microm was produced. In Chapter 4, we investigated if there is a noticeable synergistic osmotic pressure increase between co-existing polymeric osmolyte and salt when extremely highly concentrated salt molecules are present both at sample subphase and stressing subphase, as is the case of silk fibroin self-assembly. The equilibration method that measures osmotic pressure relative to a reference with known osmotic pressure was introduced. Osmotic pressure of aqueous LiBr solution up to 2.75M was measured and it was found that the synergistic effect was insignificant up to this salt concentration. Solution parameters of stressing solutions and Arrhenius kinetics based on time-temperature relationship for the equilibration process were derived as well. In Chapter 5, self-assembly behavior of natural silk fibroin within the gland of Bombyx mori silkworm was investigated using osmotic

  17. The impact of environment change on culture evolution in east Ancient Silk Road.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, G.; Liu, F.; Li, G.; Zhang, D. D.; Lee, H. F.; Chen, F.

    2017-12-01

    Ancient Silk Road played an important role in culture communication between west and east parts of the Eurasia during Bronze Age and historical period. Tens of archaic civilizations rise and fall in east parts of the Ancient Silk Road, climate change is attributed as one of the most important driving forces, while the process and mechanism for the impact of environmental change on culture evolution in the area has not been well-understood. Here we report new paleoclimate data based on multi-proxy analysis from two well-dated aeolian deposit sequences in the Hexi Corridor and Qaidam basin, where locate at the throat position of the Ancient Silk Road. Comparing with high-resolution tree rings from Qilian Mountain nearby, and archaeological evidence and historical documents, we proposed that two desertification events occurred in west Hexi Corridor between 3400-3100 BP and post 1450 AD, which induced two cultural discontinuity in that area. Climate was dry between 3400-2900 BP and wet between 2900-2000 BP in lowlands of east Qaidam basin, mismatching with the development of Nuomuhong Bronze culture in the area during 3400-2450 BP. We propose culture evolution in east Ancient Silk Road was mainly influenced by precipitation change of highlands in mountain areas,which was further influenced by large-scale vapor transport.

  18. Use of designed sequences in protein structure recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Gayatri; Mudgal, Richa; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy; Sandhya, Sankaran

    2018-05-09

    Knowledge of the protein structure is a pre-requisite for improved understanding of molecular function. The gap in the sequence-structure space has increased in the post-genomic era. Grouping related protein sequences into families can aid in narrowing the gap. In the Pfam database, structure description is provided for part or full-length proteins of 7726 families. For the remaining 52% of the families, information on 3-D structure is not yet available. We use the computationally designed sequences that are intermediately related to two protein domain families, which are already known to share the same fold. These strategically designed sequences enable detection of distant relationships and here, we have employed them for the purpose of structure recognition of protein families of yet unknown structure. We first measured the success rate of our approach using a dataset of protein families of known fold and achieved a success rate of 88%. Next, for 1392 families of yet unknown structure, we made structural assignments for part/full length of the proteins. Fold association for 423 domains of unknown function (DUFs) are provided as a step towards functional annotation. The results indicate that knowledge-based filling of gaps in protein sequence space is a lucrative approach for structure recognition. Such sequences assist in traversal through protein sequence space and effectively function as 'linkers', where natural linkers between distant proteins are unavailable. This article was reviewed by Oliviero Carugo, Christine Orengo and Srikrishna Subramanian.

  19. Modified silk fibroin scaffolds with collagen/decellularized pulp for bone tissue engineering in cleft palate: Morphological structures and biofunctionalities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sangkert, Supaporn; Meesane, Jirut; Kamonmattayakul, Suttatip; Chai, Wen Lin

    2016-01-01

    Cleft palate is a congenital malformation that generates a maxillofacial bone defect around the mouth area. The creation of performance scaffolds for bone tissue engineering in cleft palate is an issue that was proposed in this research. Because of its good biocompatibility, high stability, and non-toxicity, silk fibroin was selected as the scaffold of choice in this research. Silk fibroin scaffolds were prepared by freeze-drying before immerging in a solution of collagen, decellularized pulp, and collagen/decellularized pulp. Then, the immersed scaffolds were freeze-dried. Structural organization in solution was observed by Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The molecular organization of the solutions and crystal structure of the scaffolds were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. The weight increase of the modified scaffolds and the pore size were determined. The morphology was observed by a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Mechanical properties were tested. Biofunctionalities were considered by seeding osteoblasts in silk fibroin scaffolds before analysis of the cell proliferation, viability, total protein assay, and histological analysis. The results demonstrated that dendrite structure of the fibrils occurred in those solutions. Molecular organization of the components in solution arranged themselves into an irregular structure. The fibrils were deposited in the pores of the modified silk fibroin scaffolds. The modified scaffolds showed a beta-sheet structure. The morphological structure affected the mechanical properties of the silk fibroin scaffolds with and without modification. Following assessment of the biofunctionalities, the modified silk fibroin scaffolds could induce cell proliferation, viability, and total protein particularly in modified silk fibroin with collagen/decellularized pulp. Furthermore, the histological analysis indicated that the cells could adhere in modified silk fibroin

  20. Self-assembly model, hepatocytes attachment and inflammatory response for silk fibroin/chitosan scaffolds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    She Zhending; Feng Qingling; Liu Weiqiang

    2009-01-01

    Silk fibroin is an attractive natural fibrous protein for biomedical application due to its good biocompatibility and high tensile strength. Silk fibroin is apt to form a sheet-like structure during the freeze-drying process, which is not suitable for the scaffold of tissue engineering. In our former study, the adding of chitosan promoted the self-assembly of silk fibroin/chitosan (SFCS) into a three-dimensional (3D) homogeneous porous structure. In this study, a model of the self-assembly is proposed; furthermore, hepatocytes attachment and inflammatory response for the SFCS scaffold were examined. The rigid chain of chitosan may be used as a template for β-sheet formation of silk fibroin, and this may break the sheet structure of the silk fibroin scaffold and promote the formation of a 3D porous structure of the SFCS scaffold. Compared with the polylactic glycolic acid scaffold, the SFCS scaffold further facilitates the attachment of hepatocytes. To investigate the inflammatory response, SFCS scaffolds were implanted into the greater omentum of rats. From the results of implantation, we could demonstrate in vivo that the implantation of SFCS scaffolds resulted in only slight inflammation. Keeping the good histocompatibility and combining the advantages of both fibroin and chitosan, the SFCS scaffold could be a prominent candidate for soft tissue engineering, for example, in the liver.

  1. Self-assembly model, hepatocytes attachment and inflammatory response for silk fibroin/chitosan scaffolds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    She Zhending; Feng Qingling [State Key Laboratory of New Ceramics and Fine Processing, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Liu Weiqiang, E-mail: biomater@mail.tsinghua.edu.c [Center for Advanced Materials and Biotechnology, Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518057 (China)

    2009-08-15

    Silk fibroin is an attractive natural fibrous protein for biomedical application due to its good biocompatibility and high tensile strength. Silk fibroin is apt to form a sheet-like structure during the freeze-drying process, which is not suitable for the scaffold of tissue engineering. In our former study, the adding of chitosan promoted the self-assembly of silk fibroin/chitosan (SFCS) into a three-dimensional (3D) homogeneous porous structure. In this study, a model of the self-assembly is proposed; furthermore, hepatocytes attachment and inflammatory response for the SFCS scaffold were examined. The rigid chain of chitosan may be used as a template for beta-sheet formation of silk fibroin, and this may break the sheet structure of the silk fibroin scaffold and promote the formation of a 3D porous structure of the SFCS scaffold. Compared with the polylactic glycolic acid scaffold, the SFCS scaffold further facilitates the attachment of hepatocytes. To investigate the inflammatory response, SFCS scaffolds were implanted into the greater omentum of rats. From the results of implantation, we could demonstrate in vivo that the implantation of SFCS scaffolds resulted in only slight inflammation. Keeping the good histocompatibility and combining the advantages of both fibroin and chitosan, the SFCS scaffold could be a prominent candidate for soft tissue engineering, for example, in the liver.

  2. Dilute self-healing hydrogels of silk-collagen-like block copolypeptides at neutral pH

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Golinska, M.D.; Wlodarczyk-Biegun, M.K.; Werten, M.W.T.; Cohen Stuart, M.A.; Wolf, de F.A.; Vries, de R.J.

    2014-01-01

    We report on self-healing, pH-responsive hydrogels that are entirely protein-based. The protein is a denovo designed recombinant triblock polypeptide of 66 kg/mol consisting of a silk-like middle block (GAGAGAGH)48, flanked by two long collagen-inspired hydrophilic random coil side blocks. The

  3. Regeneration of Bombyx mori silk nanofibers and nanocomposite fibrils by the electrospinning process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayutsede, Jonathan Eyitouyo

    In recent years, there has been significant interest in the utilization of natural materials for novel nanoproducts such as tissue engineered scaffolds. Silkworm silk fibers represent one of the strongest natural fibers known. Silkworm silk, a protein-based natural biopolymer, has received renewed interest in recent years due to its unique properties (strength, toughness) and potential applications such as smart textiles, protective clothing and tissue engineering. The traditional 10--20 mum diameter, triangular-shaped Bombyx mori fibers have remained unchanged over the years. However, in our study, we examine the scientific implication and potential applications of reducing the diameter to the nanoscale, changing the triangular shape of the fiber and adding nanofillers in the form of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT) by the electrospinning process. The electrospinning process preserves the natural conformation of the silk (random and beta-sheet). The feasibility of changing the properties of the electrospun nanofibers by post processing treatments (annealing and chemical treatment) was investigated. B. mori silk fibroin solution (formic acid) was successfully electrospun to produce uniform nanofibers (as small as 12 nm). Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was applied for the first time to experimental results of electrospinning, to develop a processing window that can reproduce regenerated silk nanofibers of a predictable size (d silk multifunctional nanocomposite fibers were fabricated for the first time with anticipated properties (mechanical, thermal and electrically conductive) that may have scientific applications (nerve regeneration, stimulation of cell-scaffold interaction). In order to realize these applications, the following areas need to be addressed: a systematic investigation of the dispersion of the nanotubes in the silk matrix, a determination of new methodologies for characterizing the nanofiber properties and establishing the nature of the silk

  4. Determination of the torsion angles of alanine and glycine residues of model compounds of spider silk (AGG){sub 10} using solid-state NMR methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashida, Jun; Ohgo, Kosuke; Komatsu, Kohei; Kubota, Ayumi; Asakura, Tetsuo [Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Department of Biotechnology (Japan)], E-mail: asakura@cc.tuat.ac.jp

    2003-02-15

    Spiders synthesize several kinds of silk fibers. In the primary structure of spider silk, one of the major ampullate (dragline, frame) silks, spidroin 1, and flagelliform silk (core fibers of adhesive spiral), there are common repeated X-Gly-Gly (X = Ala, Leu, Pro, Tyr, Glu, and Arg) sequences, which are considered to be related to the elastic character of these fibers. In this paper, two dimensional spin diffusion solid-state NMR under off magic angle spinning (OMAS), {sup 13}C chemical shift contour plots, and Rotational Echo DOuble Resonance (REDOR) were applied to determine the torsion angles of one Ala and two kinds of Gly residues in the Ala-Gly-Gly sequence of {sup 13}C=O isotope-labeled (Ala-Gly-Gly){sub 10}. The torsion angles were determined to be ({phi}, {psi}) = (-90 deg., 150 deg.) within an experimental error of {+-}10 deg. for each residue. This conformation is characterized as 3{sub 1} helix which is in agreement with the structure proposed from the X-ray powder diffraction pattern of poly(Ala-Gly-Gly). The 3{sub 1} helix of (Ala-Gly-Gly){sub 10} does not change by formic acid treatment although (Ala-Gly){sub 15} easily changes from the silk I conformation (the structure of Bombyx mori silk fibroin before spinning in the solid state) to silk II conformation (the structure of the silk fiber after spinning) by such treatment. Thus, the 3{sub 1} helix conformation of (Ala-Gly-Gly){sub 10} is considered very stable. Furthermore, the torsion angles of the 16th Leu residue of (Leu-Gly-Gly){sub 10} were also determined as ({phi}, {psi}) = (-90 deg., 150 deg.) and this peptide is also considered to take 3{sub 1} helix conformation.

  5. Identification and Characterization of 30 K Protein Genes Found in Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) Transcriptome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Xiao-Feng; Li, Yi-Nü; Yi, Yong-Zhu; Xiao, Xing-Guo; Zhang, Zhi-Fang

    2015-01-01

    The 30 K proteins, the major group of hemolymph proteins in the silkworm, Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae), are structurally related with molecular masses of ∼30 kDa and are involved in various physiological processes, e.g., energy storage, embryonic development, and immune responses. For this report, known 30 K protein gene sequences were used as Blastn queries against sequences in the B. mori transcriptome (SilkTransDB). Twenty-nine cDNAs (Bm30K-1–29) were retrieved, including four being previously unidentified in the Lipoprotein_11 family. The genomic structures of the 29 genes were analyzed and they were mapped to their corresponding chromosomes. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis revealed that the 29 genes encode three types of 30 K proteins. The members increased in each type is mainly a result of gene duplication with the appearance of each type preceding the differentiation of each species included in the tree. Real-Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (Q-PCR) confirmed that the genes could be expressed, and that the three types have different temporal expression patterns. Proteins from the hemolymph was separated by SDS-PAGE, and those with molecular mass of ∼30 kDa were isolated and identified by mass spectrometry sequencing in combination with searches of various databases containing B. mori 30K protein sequences. Of the 34 proteins identified, 13 are members of the 30 K protein family, with one that had not been found in the SilkTransDB, although it had been found in the B. mori genome. Taken together, our results indicate that the 30 K protein family contains many members with various functions. Other methods will be required to find more members of the family. PMID:26078299

  6. Improving accuracy of protein-protein interaction prediction by considering the converse problem for sequence representation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Yong

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the development of genome-sequencing technologies, protein sequences are readily obtained by translating the measured mRNAs. Therefore predicting protein-protein interactions from the sequences is of great demand. The reason lies in the fact that identifying protein-protein interactions is becoming a bottleneck for eventually understanding the functions of proteins, especially for those organisms barely characterized. Although a few methods have been proposed, the converse problem, if the features used extract sufficient and unbiased information from protein sequences, is almost untouched. Results In this study, we interrogate this problem theoretically by an optimization scheme. Motivated by the theoretical investigation, we find novel encoding methods for both protein sequences and protein pairs. Our new methods exploit sufficiently the information of protein sequences and reduce artificial bias and computational cost. Thus, it significantly outperforms the available methods regarding sensitivity, specificity, precision, and recall with cross-validation evaluation and reaches ~80% and ~90% accuracy in Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae respectively. Our findings here hold important implication for other sequence-based prediction tasks because representation of biological sequence is always the first step in computational biology. Conclusions By considering the converse problem, we propose new representation methods for both protein sequences and protein pairs. The results show that our method significantly improves the accuracy of protein-protein interaction predictions.

  7. Response of human corneal fibroblasts on silk film surface patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Eun Seok; Park, Sang-Hyug; Marchant, Jeff; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2010-06-11

    Transparent, biodegradable, mechanically robust, and surface-patterned silk films were evaluated for the effect of surface morphology on human corneal fibroblast (hCF) cell proliferation, orientation, and ECM deposition and alignment. A series of dimensionally different surface groove patterns were prepared from optically graded glass substrates followed by casting poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) replica molds. The features on the patterned silk films showed an array of asymmetric triangles and displayed 37-342 nm depths and 445-3 582 nm widths. hCF DNA content on all patterned films were not significantly different from that on flat silk films after 4 d in culture. However, the depth and width of the grooves influenced cell alignment, while the depth differences affected cell orientation; overall, deeper and narrower grooves induced more hCF orientation. Over 14 d in culture, cell layers and actin filament organization demonstrated that confluent hCFs and their cytoskeletal filaments were oriented along the direction of the silk film patterned groove axis. Collagen type V and proteoglycans (decorin and biglycan), important markers of corneal stromal tissue, were highly expressed with alignment. Understanding corneal stromal fibroblast responses to surface features on a protein-based biomaterial applicable in vivo for corneal repair potential suggests options to improve corneal tissue mimics. Further, the approaches provide fundamental biomaterial designs useful for bioengineering oriented tissue layers, an endemic feature in most biological tissue structures that lead to critical tissue functions.

  8. Structure determination of a peptide model of the repeated helical domain in Samia cynthia ricini silk fibroin before spinning by a combination of advanced solid-state NMR methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakazawa, Yasumoto; Asakura, Tetsuo

    2003-06-18

    Fibrous proteins unlike globular proteins, contain repetitive amino acid sequences, giving rise to very regular secondary protein structures. Silk fibroin from a wild silkworm, Samia cynthia ricini, consists of about 100 repeats of alternating polyalanine (poly-Ala) regions of 12-13 residues in length and Gly-rich regions. In this paper, the precise structure of the model peptide, GGAGGGYGGDGG(A)(12)GGAGDGYGAG, which is a typical repeated sequence of the silk fibroin, was determined using a combination of three kinds of solid-state NMR studies; a quantitative use of (13)C CP/MAS NMR chemical shift with conformation-dependent (13)C chemical shift contour plots, 2D spin diffusion (13)C solid-state NMR under off magic angle spinning and rotational echo double resonance. The structure of the model peptide corresponding to the silk fibroin structure before spinning was determined. The torsion angles of the central Ala residue, Ala(19), in the poly-Ala region were determined to be (phi, psi) = (-59 degrees, -48 degrees ) which are values typically associated with alpha-helical structures. However, the torsion angles of the Gly(25) residue adjacent to the C-terminal side of the poly-Ala chain were determined to be (phi, psi) = (-66 degrees, -22 degrees ) and those of Gly(12) and Ala(13) residues at the N-terminal of the poly-Ala chain to be (phi, psi) = (-70 degrees, -30 degrees ). In addition, REDOR experiments indicate that the torsion angles of the two C-terminal Ala residues, Ala(23) and Ala(24), are (phi, psi) = (-66 degrees, -22 degrees ) and those of N-terminal two Ala residues, Ala(13) and Ala(14) are (phi, psi) = (-70 degrees, -30 degrees ). Thus, the local structure of N-terminal and C-terminal residues, and also the neighboring residues of alpha-helical poly-Ala chain in the model peptide is a more strongly wound structure than found in typical alpha-helix structures.

  9. Spider Silk as Guiding Biomaterial for Human Model Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Roloff

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years, a number of therapeutic strategies have emerged to promote axonal regeneration. An attractive strategy is the implantation of biodegradable and nonimmunogenic artificial scaffolds into injured peripheral nerves. In previous studies, transplantation of decellularized veins filled with spider silk for bridging critical size nerve defects resulted in axonal regeneration and remyelination by invading endogenous Schwann cells. Detailed interaction of elongating neurons and the spider silk as guidance material is unknown. To visualize direct cellular interactions between spider silk and neurons in vitro, we developed an in vitro crossed silk fiber array. Here, we describe in detail for the first time that human (NT2 model neurons attach to silk scaffolds. Extending neurites can bridge gaps between single silk fibers and elongate afterwards on the neighboring fiber. Culturing human neurons on the silk arrays led to an increasing migration and adhesion of neuronal cell bodies to the spider silk fibers. Within three to four weeks, clustered somata and extending neurites formed ganglion-like cell structures. Microscopic imaging of human neurons on the crossed fiber arrays in vitro will allow for a more efficient development of methods to maximize cell adhesion and neurite growth on spider silk prior to transplantation studies.

  10. Prediction of folding preference of 10 kDa silk-like proteins using a Lego approach and ab initio calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Gábor; Beke, Tamás; Borbély, János; Perczel, András

    2006-11-15

    Because of their great flexibility and strength resistance, both spider silks and silkworm silks are of increasing scientific and commercial interest. Despite numerous spectroscopic and theoretical studies, several structural properties at the atomic level have yet to be identified. The present theoretical investigation focuses on these issues by studying three silk-like model peptides: (AG)(64), [(AG)(4)EG](16), and [(AG)(4)PEG](16), using a Lego-type approach to construct these polypeptides. On the basis of these examples it is shown that thermoneutral isodesmic reactions and ab initio calculations provide a capable method to investigate structural properties of repetitive polypeptides. The most probable overall fold schema of these molecules with respect to the type of embedded hairpin structures were determined at the ab initio level of theory (RHF/6-311++G(d,p)//RHF/3-21G). Further on, analysis is carried out on the possible hairpin and turn regions and on their effect on the global fold. In the case of the (AG)(64) model peptide, the optimal beta-sheet/turn ratio was also determined, which provided good support for experimental observations. In addition, lateral shearing of a hairpin "folding unit" was investigated at the quantum chemical level to explain the mechanical properties of spider silk. The unique mechanical characteristics of silk bio-compounds are now investigated at the atomic level.

  11. Molecular evolution of lepidopteran silk proteins: Insights from the ghost moth, Hepialus californicus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Collin, M. A.; Mita, K.; Sehnal, František; Hayashi, C. Y.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 70, č. 5 (2010), s. 519-529 ISSN 0022-2844 Grant - others:NSF(BE) DEB-0515868 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Lepidoptera * Trichoptera * silk Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.311, year: 2010

  12. The Silk Route from Land to Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Weatherford

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The Silk Route reached its historic and economic apogee under the Mongol Empire (1207–1368, as a direct result of the policies of Chinggis Khan (Genghis Khan and his successors. Because the land network proved inefficient for the amount of goods needing transport from one part of the empire to another, the Mongols expanded the Silk Route to ocean shipping and thus created the first Maritime Silk Route. The sea traffic initially expanded the land routes but soon strangled them. With the expansion of the Maritime Silk Route through the fourteenth century, the land connections reverted to local networks and lost their global importance.

  13. Effects of silk fibroin in murine dry eye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chae Eun; Lee, Ji Hyun; Yeon, Yeung Kyu; Park, Chan Hum; Yang, Jaewook

    2017-03-01

    The study aimed to investigate the effects of silk fibroin in a mouse model of dry eye. The experimental dry eye mouse model was developed using more than twelve-weeks-old NOD.B10.H2b mice exposing them to 30-40% ambient humidity and injecting them with scopolamine hydrobromide for 10 days. Tear production and corneal irregularity score were measured by the instillation of phosphate buffered saline or silk fibroin. Corneal detachment and conjunctival goblet cell density were observed by hematoxylin and eosin or periodic acid Schiff staining in the cornea or conjunctiva. The expression of inflammatory markers was detected by immunohistochemistry in the lacrimal gland. The silk group tear production was increased, and corneal smoothness was improved. The corneal epithelial cells and conjunctival goblet cells were recovered in the silk groups. The expression of inflammatory factors was inhibited in the lacrimal gland of the silk group. These results show that silk fibroin improved the cornea, conjunctiva, and lacrimal gland in the mouse model of dry eye. These findings suggest that silk fibroin has anti-inflammatory effects in the experimental models of dry eye.

  14. Quantitative analysis of allantoin in Iranian corn silk

    OpenAIRE

    E. Khanpour*; M. Modarresi

    2017-01-01

    Background and objectives: Zea mays is cultivated in different parts of Iran and corn silk is used in traditional medicine. Allantoin is one of the major compounds in corn silk. The purpose of this research was the quantitatve analysis of allantoin in corn silks belonging to several regions of Iran. Methods: The samples of corn silk were prepared from three provinces of Iran (Kermanshah, Fars and Razavi Khorasan). The dried plant materials were infused in boiling distilled water with a temper...

  15. Silk Fibroin Degradation Related to Rheological and Mechanical Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partlow, Benjamin P; Tabatabai, A Pasha; Leisk, Gary G; Cebe, Peggy; Blair, Daniel L; Kaplan, David L

    2016-05-01

    Regenerated silk fibroin has been proposed as a material substrate for biomedical, optical, and electronic applications. Preparation of the silk fibroin solution requires extraction (degumming) to remove contaminants, but results in the degradation of the fibroin protein. Here, a mechanism of fibroin degradation is proposed and the molecular weight and polydispersity is characterized as a function of extraction time. Rheological analysis reveals significant changes in the viscosity of samples while mechanical characterization of cast and drawn films shows increased moduli, extensibility, and strength upon drawing. Fifteen minutes extraction time results in degraded fibroin that generates the strongest films. Structural analysis by wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) indicates molecular alignment in the drawn films and shows that the drawing process converts amorphous films into the crystalline, β-sheet, secondary structure. Most interesting, by using selected extraction times, films with near-native crystallinity, alignment, and molecular weight can be achieved; yet maximal mechanical properties for the films from regenerated silk fibroin solutions are found with solutions subjected to some degree of degradation. These results suggest that the regenerated solutions and the film casting and drawing processes introduce more complexity than native spinning processes. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Silk-microfluidics for advanced biotechnological applications: A progressive review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konwarh, Rocktotpal; Gupta, Prerak; Mandal, Biman B

    2016-01-01

    Silk based biomaterials have not only carved a unique niche in the domain of regenerative medicine but new avenues are also being explored for lab-on-a-chip applications. It is pertinent to note that biospinning of silk represents nature's signature microfluidic-maneuver. Elucidation of non-Newtonian flow of silk in the glands of spiders and silkworms has inspired researchers to fabricate devices for continuous extrusion and concentration of silk. Microfluidic channel networks within porous silk scaffolds ensure optimal nutrient and oxygen supply apart from serving as precursors for vascularization in tissue engineering applications. On the other hand, unique topographical features and surface wettability of natural silk fibers have inspired development of a number of simple and cost-effective devices for applications like blood typing and chemical sensing. This review mirrors the recent progress and challenges in the domain of silk-microfluidics for prospective avant-garde applications in the realm of biotechnology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The processing and heterostructuring of silk with light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Mehra S; Kumar, Bhupesh; Singh, Kamal P

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk is a tough, elastic and lightweight biomaterial, although there is a lack of tools available for non-invasive processing of silk structures. Here we show that nonlinear multiphoton interactions of silk with few-cycle femtosecond pulses allow the processing and heterostructuring of the material in ambient air. Two qualitatively different responses, bulging by multiphoton absorption and plasma-assisted ablation, are observed for low- and high-peak intensities, respectively. Plasma ablation allows us to make localized nanocuts, microrods, nanotips and periodic patterns with minimal damage while preserving molecular structure. The bulging regime facilitates confined bending and microwelding of silk with materials such as metal, glass and Kevlar with strengths comparable to pristine silk. Moreover, analysis of Raman bands of microwelded joints reveals that the polypeptide backbone remains intact while perturbing its weak hydrogen bonds. Using this approach, we fabricate silk-based functional topological microstructures, such as Mobiüs strips, chiral helices and silk-based sensors.

  18. Silk Film Topography Directs Collective Epithelial Cell Migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblatt, Mark I.

    2012-01-01

    The following study provides new insight into how surface topography dictates directed collective epithelial cell sheet growth through the guidance of individual cell movement. Collective cell behavior of migrating human corneal limbal-epithelial cell sheets were studied on highly biocompatible flat and micro-patterned silk film surfaces. The silk film edge topography guided the migratory direction of individual cells making up the collective epithelial sheet, which resulted in a 75% increase in total culture elongation. This was due to a 3-fold decrease in cell sheet migration rate efficiency for movement perpendicular to the topography edge. Individual cell migration direction is preferred in the parallel approach to the edge topography where localization of cytoskeletal proteins to the topography’s edge region is reduced, which results in the directed growth of the collective epithelial sheet. Findings indicate customized biomaterial surfaces may be created to direct both the migration rate and direction of tissue epithelialization. PMID:23185573

  19. Nonlinear deterministic structures and the randomness of protein sequences

    CERN Document Server

    Huang Yan Zhao

    2003-01-01

    To clarify the randomness of protein sequences, we make a detailed analysis of a set of typical protein sequences representing each structural classes by using nonlinear prediction method. No deterministic structures are found in these protein sequences and this implies that they behave as random sequences. We also give an explanation to the controversial results obtained in previous investigations.

  20. Silk-elastin-like protein polymer matrix for intraoperative delivery of an oncolytic vaccinia virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Daniel L; Li, Pingdong; Chen, Chun-Hao; Wong, Danni; Yu, Zhenkun; Chen, Nanhai G; Yu, Yong A; Szalay, Aladar A; Cappello, Joseph; Fong, Yuman; Wong, Richard J

    2016-02-01

    Oncolytic viral efficacy may be limited by the penetration of the virus into tumors. This may be enhanced by intraoperative application of virus immediately after surgical resection. Oncolytic vaccinia virus GLV-1h68 was delivered in silk-elastin-like protein polymer (SELP) in vitro and in vivo in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cell line 8505c in nude mice. GLV-1h68 in SELP infected and lysed anaplastic thyroid cancer cells in vitro equally as effectively as in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and at 1 week retains a thousand fold greater infectious plaque-forming units. In surgical resection models of residual tumor, GLV-1h68 in SELP improves tumor control and shows increased viral β-galactosidase expression as compared to PBS. The use of SELP matrix for intraoperative oncolytic viral delivery protects infectious viral particles from degradation, facilitates sustained viral delivery and transgene expression, and improves tumor control. Such optimization of methods of oncolytic viral delivery may enhance therapeutic outcomes. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Structural analysis and application to biomaterials of the silk fibroins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakazawa, Yasumoto

    2010-01-01

    Silk fibroin from Bombyx mori silkworm has outstanding mechanical properties despite being spun from aqueous solution. I have clarified two distinct structures in the solid state; silk I and silk II, which mean the structures before and after spinning, by using solid state NMR. Moreover, I have been developing several kinds of biomaterials, such as bone regeneration materials and vascular grafts. In this paper, I present two topics: one is the structural analyses of the silk fibroin in detail, the other is applications of silk fibroins to tissue engineering. In the case of vascular regeneration, I have developed the small diameter vascular grafts made by silk fibroins. The new grafts from silk fibroins have good patency, and these grafts were commonly covered with cells and platelets at 4 weeks after implantation. For bone tissue engineering, I performed structural analyses of a new silk-like peptide, E n (AGSGAG) 4 , in order to consider the molecular design of biomaterials for bone regeneration. (author)

  2. Nucleation phenomena in protein folding: the modulating role of protein sequence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Travasso, Rui D M; FaIsca, Patricia F N; Gama, Margarida M Telo da

    2007-01-01

    For the vast majority of naturally occurring, small, single-domain proteins, folding is often described as a two-state process that lacks detectable intermediates. This observation has often been rationalized on the basis of a nucleation mechanism for protein folding whose basic premise is the idea that, after completion of a specific set of contacts forming the so-called folding nucleus, the native state is achieved promptly. Here we propose a methodology to identify folding nuclei in small lattice polymers and apply it to the study of protein molecules with a chain length of N = 48. To investigate the extent to which protein topology is a robust determinant of the nucleation mechanism, we compare the nucleation scenario of a native-centric model with that of a sequence-specific model sharing the same native fold. To evaluate the impact of the sequence's finer details in the nucleation mechanism, we consider the folding of two non-homologous sequences. We conclude that, in a sequence-specific model, the folding nucleus is, to some extent, formed by the most stable contacts in the protein and that the less stable linkages in the folding nucleus are solely determined by the fold's topology. We have also found that, independently of the protein sequence, the folding nucleus performs the same 'topological' function. This unifying feature of the nucleation mechanism results from the residues forming the folding nucleus being distributed along the protein chain in a similar and well-defined manner that is determined by the fold's topological features

  3. WildSpan: mining structured motifs from protein sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Chien-Yu

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Automatic extraction of motifs from biological sequences is an important research problem in study of molecular biology. For proteins, it is desired to discover sequence motifs containing a large number of wildcard symbols, as the residues associated with functional sites are usually largely separated in sequences. Discovering such patterns is time-consuming because abundant combinations exist when long gaps (a gap consists of one or more successive wildcards are considered. Mining algorithms often employ constraints to narrow down the search space in order to increase efficiency. However, improper constraint models might degrade the sensitivity and specificity of the motifs discovered by computational methods. We previously proposed a new constraint model to handle large wildcard regions for discovering functional motifs of proteins. The patterns that satisfy the proposed constraint model are called W-patterns. A W-pattern is a structured motif that groups motif symbols into pattern blocks interleaved with large irregular gaps. Considering large gaps reflects the fact that functional residues are not always from a single region of protein sequences, and restricting motif symbols into clusters corresponds to the observation that short motifs are frequently present within protein families. To efficiently discover W-patterns for large-scale sequence annotation and function prediction, this paper first formally introduces the problem to solve and proposes an algorithm named WildSpan (sequential pattern mining across large wildcard regions that incorporates several pruning strategies to largely reduce the mining cost. Results WildSpan is shown to efficiently find W-patterns containing conserved residues that are far separated in sequences. We conducted experiments with two mining strategies, protein-based and family-based mining, to evaluate the usefulness of W-patterns and performance of WildSpan. The protein-based mining mode

  4. A novel electrospun silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ming, Jinfa; Zuo, Baoqi

    2012-01-01

    A novel electrospinning of silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers with different composition ratios was performed with methanoic acid as a spinning solvent. The silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrids containing up to 30% hydroxyapatite nanoparticles could be electrospun into the continuous fibrous structure. The electrospun silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers showed bigger diameter and wider diameter distribution than pure silk fibroin nanofibers, and the average diameter gradually increased from 95 to 582 nm. At the same time, the secondary structure of silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite nanofibers was characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared analysis, and DSC measurement. Comparing with the pure silk fibroin nanofibers, the crystal structure of silk fibroin was mainly amorphous structure in the hybrid nanofibers. X-ray diffraction results demonstrated the hydroxyapatite crystalline nature remained as evidenced from the diffraction planes (002), (211), (300), and (202) of the hydroxyapatite crystallites, which was also confirmed by Fourier transform infrared analysis. The thermal behavior of hybrid nanofibers exhibited the endothermic peak of moisture evaporation ranging from 86 to 113 °C, and the degradation peak at 286 °C appeared. The SF/HAp nanofibers mats containing 30% HAp nanoparticles showed higher breaking tenacity and extension at break for 1.1688 ± 0.0398 MPa and 6.55 ± 1.95%, respectively. Therefore, the electrospun silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers should be provided potentially useful options for the fabrication of biomaterial scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. -- Highlights: ► The novel SF/HAp nanofibers were directly prepared by electrospinning method. ► The nanofiber diameter had significant related to the content of HAp. ► The crystal structure of silk fibroin was mainly amorphous structure in the hybrid nanofibers. ► The HAp crystals existing in the hybrid nanofibers were characterized

  5. HomPPI: a class of sequence homology based protein-protein interface prediction methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dobbs Drena

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although homology-based methods are among the most widely used methods for predicting the structure and function of proteins, the question as to whether interface sequence conservation can be effectively exploited in predicting protein-protein interfaces has been a subject of debate. Results We studied more than 300,000 pair-wise alignments of protein sequences from structurally characterized protein complexes, including both obligate and transient complexes. We identified sequence similarity criteria required for accurate homology-based inference of interface residues in a query protein sequence. Based on these analyses, we developed HomPPI, a class of sequence homology-based methods for predicting protein-protein interface residues. We present two variants of HomPPI: (i NPS-HomPPI (Non partner-specific HomPPI, which can be used to predict interface residues of a query protein in the absence of knowledge of the interaction partner; and (ii PS-HomPPI (Partner-specific HomPPI, which can be used to predict the interface residues of a query protein with a specific target protein. Our experiments on a benchmark dataset of obligate homodimeric complexes show that NPS-HomPPI can reliably predict protein-protein interface residues in a given protein, with an average correlation coefficient (CC of 0.76, sensitivity of 0.83, and specificity of 0.78, when sequence homologs of the query protein can be reliably identified. NPS-HomPPI also reliably predicts the interface residues of intrinsically disordered proteins. Our experiments suggest that NPS-HomPPI is competitive with several state-of-the-art interface prediction servers including those that exploit the structure of the query proteins. The partner-specific classifier, PS-HomPPI can, on a large dataset of transient complexes, predict the interface residues of a query protein with a specific target, with a CC of 0.65, sensitivity of 0.69, and specificity of 0.70, when homologs of

  6. Building Interfaces: Mechanisms, fabrication, and applications at the biotic/abiotic interface for silk fibroin based bioelectronic and biooptical devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenckle, Mark

    Recent efforts in bioelectronics and biooptics have led to a shift in the materials and form factors used to make medical devices, including high performance, implantable, and wearable sensors. In this context, biopolymer-based devices must be processed to interface the soft, curvilinear biological world with the rigid, inorganic world of traditional electronics and optics. This poses new material-specific fabrication challenges in designing such devices, which in turn requires further understanding of the fundamental physical behaviors of the materials in question. As a biopolymer, silk fibroin protein has remarkable promise in this space, due to its bioresorbability, mechanical strength, optical clarity, ability to be reshaped on the micro- and nano-scale, and ability to stabilize labile compounds. Application of this material to devices at the biotic/abiotic interface will require the development of fabrication techniques for nano-patterning, lithography, multilayer adhesion, and transfer printing in silk materials. In this work, we address this need through fundamental study of the thermal and diffusional properties of silk protein as it relates to these fabrication strategies. We then leverage these properties to fabricate devices well suited to the biotic/abiotic interface in three areas: shelf-ready sensing, implantable transient electronics, and wearable biosensing. These example devices will illustrate the advantages of silk in this class of bioelectronic and biooptical devices, from fundamentals through application, and contribute to a silk platform for the development of future devices that combine biology with high technology.

  7. Protein 3D structure computed from evolutionary sequence variation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora S Marks

    Full Text Available The evolutionary trajectory of a protein through sequence space is constrained by its function. Collections of sequence homologs record the outcomes of millions of evolutionary experiments in which the protein evolves according to these constraints. Deciphering the evolutionary record held in these sequences and exploiting it for predictive and engineering purposes presents a formidable challenge. The potential benefit of solving this challenge is amplified by the advent of inexpensive high-throughput genomic sequencing.In this paper we ask whether we can infer evolutionary constraints from a set of sequence homologs of a protein. The challenge is to distinguish true co-evolution couplings from the noisy set of observed correlations. We address this challenge using a maximum entropy model of the protein sequence, constrained by the statistics of the multiple sequence alignment, to infer residue pair couplings. Surprisingly, we find that the strength of these inferred couplings is an excellent predictor of residue-residue proximity in folded structures. Indeed, the top-scoring residue couplings are sufficiently accurate and well-distributed to define the 3D protein fold with remarkable accuracy.We quantify this observation by computing, from sequence alone, all-atom 3D structures of fifteen test proteins from different fold classes, ranging in size from 50 to 260 residues, including a G-protein coupled receptor. These blinded inferences are de novo, i.e., they do not use homology modeling or sequence-similar fragments from known structures. The co-evolution signals provide sufficient information to determine accurate 3D protein structure to 2.7-4.8 Å C(α-RMSD error relative to the observed structure, over at least two-thirds of the protein (method called EVfold, details at http://EVfold.org. This discovery provides insight into essential interactions constraining protein evolution and will facilitate a comprehensive survey of the universe of

  8. Study on silk yellowing induced by gamma-irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsukada, Masuhiro; Aoki, Akira

    1985-01-01

    The changes in the yellow color of silk threads with total dose of irradiation applied were described and studied by a colorimetric method and by monochrome photography. The change into a yellow color of the specimen in the course of irradiation was clearly detected in photographs using filters, 2B and SC 56 under light conditions at the wavelength of 366 nm. The b/L value measured by colorimetry in undegummed and degummed silk fibers sharply increased in the early stage of irradiation. Yellow color indices (b/L) of the specimen subjected to gamma-irradiation continued to increase and the yellow color of the silk threads became more pronounced above a total dose of irradiation of 21 Mrad. The b/L value of the undegummed silk fiber which had deen irradiated was about 2 times that of the degummed silk fiber. (author)

  9. Modulation and Stabilization of Silk Fibroin-Coated Oil-in-Water Emulsions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhong-Min Chen

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to prepare and characterize stable oil-in-water emulsions containing droplets coated with silk fibroin. Silk fibroin, a native edible fibrous protein originating from silkworm cocoons, was used to prepare 10 % (by mass corn oil-in-water emulsions at ambient temperature (pH=7.0, 10 mM phosphate buffer. Emulsions with relatively small mean particle diameter (d32=0.47 μm and extremely good creaming stability (>7 days could be produced at silk fibroin concentration of 1 % (by mass. The influence of pH (2–8, thermal processing (60–90 °C, 20 min, and concentration of salt (c(NaCl=0–250 mM on the properties and stability of the emulsions was analyzed using ζ-potential, particle size, and creaming stability measurements. The isoelectric point of droplets stabilized with silk fibroin was pH~4. The emulsions were stable to droplet flocculation and creaming at any pH except intermediate value (pH=4.0 when stored at room temperature, which was attributed to their relatively low ζ-potential. Their ζ-potential went from around 25 to –35 mV as the pH was increased from 2 to 8. The emulsions were also stable to thermal treatment (60 and 90 °C for 20 min, pH=3 and 7, with a slight decrease in the magnitude of ζ-potential at temperatures exceeding 60 °C. The emulsions were unstable to aggregation and creaming even at relatively low salt concentrations (c(NaCl=0–250 mM, pH=3 and 7 as a result of electrostatic screening effects. These results suggest that bulk oil stabilized with silk fibroin has improved physical stability and may provide a new way of creating functional oil products and delivery systems.

  10. The failure mode of natural silk epoxy triggered composite tubes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eshkour, R A; Ariffin, A K; Zulkifli, R; Sulong, A B; Azhari, C H

    2012-01-01

    In this study the quasi static compression test over natural silk epoxy triggered composite tubes has been carried out, the natural silk epoxy composite tubes consist of 24 layer of woven natural silk as reinforcement and thermoset epoxy resin as matrix which both of them i e natural silk and epoxy have excellent mechanical properties More over the natural silk have better moisture resistance in comparison with other natural reinforcements, the length of tubes are 50, 80 and 120 mm The natural silk epoxy composite tubes are associated with an external trigger which includes 4 steel pieces welded on downside flat plate fixture The hand lay up fabrication method has been used to make the natural silk epoxy composite tubes Instron universal testing machine with 250 KN load capacity has been employed to accomplish this investigation The failure modes of natural silk epoxy triggered composite tubes has been investigated by representative photographs which has been taken by a high resolution camera(12 2 Mp) during the quasi static compression test, from the photographs is observed the failure modes is progressive local buckling

  11. Protein Function Prediction Based on Sequence and Structure Information

    KAUST Repository

    Smaili, Fatima Z.

    2016-05-25

    The number of available protein sequences in public databases is increasing exponentially. However, a significant fraction of these sequences lack functional annotation which is essential to our understanding of how biological systems and processes operate. In this master thesis project, we worked on inferring protein functions based on the primary protein sequence. In the approach we follow, 3D models are first constructed using I-TASSER. Functions are then deduced by structurally matching these predicted models, using global and local similarities, through three independent enzyme commission (EC) and gene ontology (GO) function libraries. The method was tested on 250 “hard” proteins, which lack homologous templates in both structure and function libraries. The results show that this method outperforms the conventional prediction methods based on sequence similarity or threading. Additionally, our method could be improved even further by incorporating protein-protein interaction information. Overall, the method we use provides an efficient approach for automated functional annotation of non-homologous proteins, starting from their sequence.

  12. Plasticity in Major Ampullate Silk Production in Relation to Spider Phylogeny and Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutry, Cecilia; Řezáč, Milan; Blackledge, Todd Alan

    2011-01-01

    Spider major ampullate silk is a high-performance biomaterial that has received much attention. However, most studies ignore plasticity in silk properties. A better understanding of silk plasticity could clarify the relative importance of chemical composition versus processing of silk dope for silk properties. It could also provide insight into how control of silk properties relates to spider ecology and silk uses. We compared silk plasticity (defined as variation in the properties of silk spun by a spider under different conditions) between three spider clades in relation to their anatomy and silk biochemistry. We found that silk plasticity exists in RTA clade and orbicularian spiders, two clades that differ in their silk biochemistry. Orbiculariae seem less dependent on external spinning conditions. They probably use a valve in their spinning duct to control friction forces and speed during spinning. Our results suggest that plasticity results from different processing of the silk dope in the spinning duct. Orbicularian spiders seem to display better control of silk properties, perhaps in relation to their more complex spinning duct valve. PMID:21818328

  13. Plasticity in major ampullate silk production in relation to spider phylogeny and ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Boutry

    Full Text Available Spider major ampullate silk is a high-performance biomaterial that has received much attention. However, most studies ignore plasticity in silk properties. A better understanding of silk plasticity could clarify the relative importance of chemical composition versus processing of silk dope for silk properties. It could also provide insight into how control of silk properties relates to spider ecology and silk uses. We compared silk plasticity (defined as variation in the properties of silk spun by a spider under different conditions between three spider clades in relation to their anatomy and silk biochemistry. We found that silk plasticity exists in RTA clade and orbicularian spiders, two clades that differ in their silk biochemistry. Orbiculariae seem less dependent on external spinning conditions. They probably use a valve in their spinning duct to control friction forces and speed during spinning. Our results suggest that plasticity results from different processing of the silk dope in the spinning duct. Orbicularian spiders seem to display better control of silk properties, perhaps in relation to their more complex spinning duct valve.

  14. Co-effect of silk and amniotic membrane for tendon repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Young-Kwon; Kim, Jun-Hyung; Eo, Su-Rak

    2016-08-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine the feasibility and biocompatibility of a silk scaffold and a composite silk scaffold in terms of new tendon generation using a rabbit Achilles tendon model. The silk scaffold was constructed using a weaving machine, then soaked in a 1% collagen-hyaluronan (HA) solution and air-dried, whereas the composite silk scaffold was composed of a silk scaffold containing a lyophilized collagen-HA substrate. Tenocytes were cultured in vitro to compare cell populations in the two groups. The cellular densities on composite silk scaffolds were 40% higher on average than those on silk scaffolds in 30-day tenocyte cultures. The tendon scaffolds had implanted into Achilles tendon defects in 16 white New Zealand rabbits. Rabbits were randomly divided into the following three groups: group I, silk scaffold alone; group II, composite silk scaffold; and group III, composite silk scaffold wrapped by an amniotic membrane. Implants were harvested 2, 8, and 12 weeks post-implantation. Histological examinations were conducted using hematoxylin-eosin (H&E), Masson's trichrome, and by performing immunohistochemical staining for CD34. After 12 weeks, the three groups were distinguishable based on gross examination. The histological examination revealed more organized collagen fibrils in groups III, which showed a dense, parallel, linear organization of collagen bundles. CD34 staining revealed neoangiogenesis in groups III. The results of this research showed that collagen-HA substrates with amniotic membrane accelerate cellular migration and angiogenesis in neotendons.

  15. Determination of Na, Mn and Cu in cocoon, raw silk and degummed silk by nondestructive activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maki, Y; Ishiguro, Y [Industrial Research Inst. of Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama (Japan)

    1976-01-01

    The sodium, manganese and copper contained in cocoons, raw silk and degummed silk thread were determined by the nondestructive activation analysis. After each sample was irradiated with the thermal neutron flux of 5 x 10/sup 11/n/cm/sup 2/.sec, its ..gamma..-ray spectrum was measured with a NaI(Tl) detector. With the photoelectric peaks at 511 keV (/sup 64/Cu), 1368 keV (/sup 24/Na) and 847 keV (/sup 56/Mn), each element was quantitatively determined and its content was obtained. The measurement of the ..gamma..-ray spectra of samples with a Ge (Li) detector proved the presence of An, Sb, Fe, Zn, Cr, Sc, Co, etc. Large amounts of Na and Cu were detected in the sericin portion of cocoons, and the adhesion of Cu from a reeling-off machine to raw silk was also observed during the process of degumming cocoons to make raw silk.

  16. GuiTope: an application for mapping random-sequence peptides to protein sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halperin, Rebecca F; Stafford, Phillip; Emery, Jack S; Navalkar, Krupa Arun; Johnston, Stephen Albert

    2012-01-03

    Random-sequence peptide libraries are a commonly used tool to identify novel ligands for binding antibodies, other proteins, and small molecules. It is often of interest to compare the selected peptide sequences to the natural protein binding partners to infer the exact binding site or the importance of particular residues. The ability to search a set of sequences for similarity to a set of peptides may sometimes enable the prediction of an antibody epitope or a novel binding partner. We have developed a software application designed specifically for this task. GuiTope provides a graphical user interface for aligning peptide sequences to protein sequences. All alignment parameters are accessible to the user including the ability to specify the amino acid frequency in the peptide library; these frequencies often differ significantly from those assumed by popular alignment programs. It also includes a novel feature to align di-peptide inversions, which we have found improves the accuracy of antibody epitope prediction from peptide microarray data and shows utility in analyzing phage display datasets. Finally, GuiTope can randomly select peptides from a given library to estimate a null distribution of scores and calculate statistical significance. GuiTope provides a convenient method for comparing selected peptide sequences to protein sequences, including flexible alignment parameters, novel alignment features, ability to search a database, and statistical significance of results. The software is available as an executable (for PC) at http://www.immunosignature.com/software and ongoing updates and source code will be available at sourceforge.net.

  17. GuiTope: an application for mapping random-sequence peptides to protein sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halperin Rebecca F

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Random-sequence peptide libraries are a commonly used tool to identify novel ligands for binding antibodies, other proteins, and small molecules. It is often of interest to compare the selected peptide sequences to the natural protein binding partners to infer the exact binding site or the importance of particular residues. The ability to search a set of sequences for similarity to a set of peptides may sometimes enable the prediction of an antibody epitope or a novel binding partner. We have developed a software application designed specifically for this task. Results GuiTope provides a graphical user interface for aligning peptide sequences to protein sequences. All alignment parameters are accessible to the user including the ability to specify the amino acid frequency in the peptide library; these frequencies often differ significantly from those assumed by popular alignment programs. It also includes a novel feature to align di-peptide inversions, which we have found improves the accuracy of antibody epitope prediction from peptide microarray data and shows utility in analyzing phage display datasets. Finally, GuiTope can randomly select peptides from a given library to estimate a null distribution of scores and calculate statistical significance. Conclusions GuiTope provides a convenient method for comparing selected peptide sequences to protein sequences, including flexible alignment parameters, novel alignment features, ability to search a database, and statistical significance of results. The software is available as an executable (for PC at http://www.immunosignature.com/software and ongoing updates and source code will be available at sourceforge.net.

  18. Electrospun silk-elastin-like fibre mats for tissue engineering applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Machado, Raul; Da Costa, André; Padrão, Jorge; Gomes, Andreia; Casal, Margarida; Sencadas, Vitor; Costa, Carlos M; Lanceros-Méndez, Senentxu; Garcia-Arévalo, Carmen; Rodríguez-Cabello, José Carlos

    2013-01-01

    Protein-based polymers are present in a wide variety of organisms fulfilling structural and mechanical roles. Advances in protein engineering and recombinant DNA technology allow the design and production of recombinant protein-based polymers (rPBPs) with an absolute control of its composition. Although the application of recombinant proteins as biomaterials is still an emerging technology, the possibilities are limitless and far superior to natural or synthetic materials, as the complexity of the structural design can be fully customized. In this work, we report the electrospinning of two new genetically engineered silk-elastin-like proteins (SELPs) consisting of alternate silk- and elastin-like blocks. Electrospinning was performed with formic acid and aqueous solutions at different concentrations without addition of further agents. The size and morphology of the electrospun structures was characterized by scanning electron microscopy showing its dependence on the concentration and solvent used. Treatment with methanol-saturated air was employed to stabilize the structure and promote water insolubility through a time-dependent conversion of random coils into β-sheets (FTIR). The resultant methanol-treated electrospun mats were characterized for swelling degree (570–720%), water vapour transmission rate (1083 g/m 2 /day) and mechanical properties (modulus of elasticity ∼126 MPa). Furthermore, the methanol-treated SELP fibre mats showed no cytotoxicity and were able to support adhesion and proliferation of normal human skin fibroblasts. Adhesion was characterized by a filopodia-mediated mechanism. These results demonstrate that SELP fibre mats can provide promising solutions for the development of novel biomaterials suitable for tissue engineering applications. (paper)

  19. Dynamics of domain coverage of the protein sequence universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The currently known protein sequence space consists of millions of sequences in public databases and is rapidly expanding. Assigning sequences to families leads to a better understanding of protein function and the nature of the protein universe. However, a large portion of the current protein space remains unassigned and is referred to as its “dark matter”. Results Here we suggest that true size of “dark matter” is much larger than stated by current definitions. We propose an approach to reducing the size of “dark matter” by identifying and subtracting regions in protein sequences that are not likely to contain any domain. Conclusions Recent improvements in computational domain modeling result in a decrease, albeit slowly, in the relative size of “dark matter”; however, its absolute size increases substantially with the growth of sequence data. PMID:23157439

  20. Dynamics of domain coverage of the protein sequence universe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rekapalli Bhanu

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The currently known protein sequence space consists of millions of sequences in public databases and is rapidly expanding. Assigning sequences to families leads to a better understanding of protein function and the nature of the protein universe. However, a large portion of the current protein space remains unassigned and is referred to as its “dark matter”. Results Here we suggest that true size of “dark matter” is much larger than stated by current definitions. We propose an approach to reducing the size of “dark matter” by identifying and subtracting regions in protein sequences that are not likely to contain any domain. Conclusions Recent improvements in computational domain modeling result in a decrease, albeit slowly, in the relative size of “dark matter”; however, its absolute size increases substantially with the growth of sequence data.

  1. MIPS: a database for genomes and protein sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mewes, H W; Frishman, D; Güldener, U; Mannhaupt, G; Mayer, K; Mokrejs, M; Morgenstern, B; Münsterkötter, M; Rudd, S; Weil, B

    2002-01-01

    The Munich Information Center for Protein Sequences (MIPS-GSF, Neuherberg, Germany) continues to provide genome-related information in a systematic way. MIPS supports both national and European sequencing and functional analysis projects, develops and maintains automatically generated and manually annotated genome-specific databases, develops systematic classification schemes for the functional annotation of protein sequences, and provides tools for the comprehensive analysis of protein sequences. This report updates the information on the yeast genome (CYGD), the Neurospora crassa genome (MNCDB), the databases for the comprehensive set of genomes (PEDANT genomes), the database of annotated human EST clusters (HIB), the database of complete cDNAs from the DHGP (German Human Genome Project), as well as the project specific databases for the GABI (Genome Analysis in Plants) and HNB (Helmholtz-Netzwerk Bioinformatik) networks. The Arabidospsis thaliana database (MATDB), the database of mitochondrial proteins (MITOP) and our contribution to the PIR International Protein Sequence Database have been described elsewhere [Schoof et al. (2002) Nucleic Acids Res., 30, 91-93; Scharfe et al. (2000) Nucleic Acids Res., 28, 155-158; Barker et al. (2001) Nucleic Acids Res., 29, 29-32]. All databases described, the protein analysis tools provided and the detailed descriptions of our projects can be accessed through the MIPS World Wide Web server (http://mips.gsf.de).

  2. Prediction of Protein Hotspots from Whole Protein Sequences by a Random Projection Ensemble System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinjian Jiang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Hotspot residues are important in the determination of protein-protein interactions, and they always perform specific functions in biological processes. The determination of hotspot residues is by the commonly-used method of alanine scanning mutagenesis experiments, which is always costly and time consuming. To address this issue, computational methods have been developed. Most of them are structure based, i.e., using the information of solved protein structures. However, the number of solved protein structures is extremely less than that of sequences. Moreover, almost all of the predictors identified hotspots from the interfaces of protein complexes, seldom from the whole protein sequences. Therefore, determining hotspots from whole protein sequences by sequence information alone is urgent. To address the issue of hotspot predictions from the whole sequences of proteins, we proposed an ensemble system with random projections using statistical physicochemical properties of amino acids. First, an encoding scheme involving sequence profiles of residues and physicochemical properties from the AAindex1 dataset is developed. Then, the random projection technique was adopted to project the encoding instances into a reduced space. Then, several better random projections were obtained by training an IBk classifier based on the training dataset, which were thus applied to the test dataset. The ensemble of random projection classifiers is therefore obtained. Experimental results showed that although the performance of our method is not good enough for real applications of hotspots, it is very promising in the determination of hotspot residues from whole sequences.

  3. Phononic band gap and mechanical anisotropy in spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadopoulos, Periklis; Gomopoulos, Nikos; Kremer, Friedrich; Fytas, George

    2010-03-01

    Spider dragline silk is a semi-crystalline biopolymer exhibiting superior properties compared to synthetic polymers with similar chemical structure, such as polyamides. This is ascribed to the hierarchical nanostructure that is created in the spinning duct. During this process the aqueous solution of the two protein constituents of dragline silk is crystallized, while the macromolecules maintain their high orientation, leading to a high value of the Young's modulus (in the order of 10 GPa) along the fiber. We employed spontaneous Brillouin light scattering to measure the longitudinal modulus (M//,,M) along the two symmetry directions of the native fiber with increased (decreased) pre-strain created by stretching (supercontracting after hydration). A strong mechanical anisotropy is found; at about 18% strain M///M˜5. Most important, an unexpected finding is the first observation of a unidirectional hypersonic phononic band gap in biological structures. This relates to the existence of a strain-dependent correlation length of the mechanical modulus in the submicron range along the fiber axis.

  4. Effect of degumming ph value on electrospining of silk fibroin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Shen-Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Regenerated silk fibroin fibers show properties dependent on the molecular weight of fibroin. The cocoon-degumming approaches had great impact on the degradation of silk fibroin. The effect of degumming pH value to electrospining of fibroin was studied in this paper. The viscosity and molecular weight of regenerated silk fibroin were studied using rheometer and gel electrophoresis. The results showed that the weaker the alkalinity of degumming reagent, there was the milder the effect on silk fibroin molecular. The fibroin fibers can be prepared by electrospining with low concentration of regenerated silk fibroin solution.

  5. Acute and Subacute Toxicity Evaluation of Corn Silk Extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Ae Wha; Kang, Hyeon Jung; Kim, Sun Lim; Kim, Myung Hwan; Kim, Woo Kyoung

    2018-03-01

    Many studies have reported therapeutic efficacy of corn silk extract. However, research on its toxicity and safe dose range is limited. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the acute and subacute toxicity of corn silk extract in ICR mice. To determine acute toxicity, corn silk extract containing high levels of maysin was orally administered to mice at a dose of 0 or 2,000 mg/kg. Clinical symptoms, mortality, and body weight changes were recorded for 14 days. To determine subacute toxicity, corn silk extract was orally administered to mice over a 4-week period, and then body weight, water and food consumption, and organ weight were determined. In addition, urine and serum analyses were performed. In the acute toxicity study, no death or abnormal symptoms was observed in all treatment groups during the study period. Body weights did not show any significant change compared to those of the control group. Lethal dose of corn silk extract was estimated to be more than 2,000 mg/kg. In the 4-week subacute toxicity study, there was no corn silk extract related toxic effect on body weight, water intake, food consumption, urine parameters, clinical chemistry, or organ weight. Histopathological examination showed no abnormality related to the administration of corn silk extract at 500 mg/kg. The maximum non-toxic dose of corn silk extract containing high levels of maysin was found to be more than 500 mg/kg.

  6. Differentiation of human endometrial stem cells into urothelial cells on a three-dimensional nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffold: an autologous cell resource for reconstruction of the urinary bladder wall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoae-Hassani, Alireza; Mortazavi-Tabatabaei, Seyed Abdolreza; Sharif, Shiva; Seifalian, Alexander Marcus; Azimi, Alireza; Samadikuchaksaraei, Ali; Verdi, Javad

    2015-11-01

    Reconstruction of the bladder wall via in vitro differentiated stem cells on an appropriate scaffold could be used in such conditions as cancer and neurogenic urinary bladder. This study aimed to examine the potential of human endometrial stem cells (EnSCs) to form urinary bladder epithelial cells (urothelium) on nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffolds, for construction of the urinary bladder wall. After passage 4, EnSCs were induced by keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) and seeded on electrospun collagen-V, silk and silk-collagen nanofibres. Later we tested urothelium-specific genes and proteins (uroplakin-Ia, uroplakin-Ib, uroplakin-II, uroplakin-III and cytokeratin 20) by immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR and western blot analyses. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and histology were used to detect cell-matrix interactions. DMEM/F12 supplemented by KGF and EGF induced EnSCs to express urothelial cell-specific genes and proteins. Either collagen, silk or silk-collagen scaffolds promoted cell proliferation. The nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffolds provided a three-dimensional (3D) structure to maximize cell-matrix penetration and increase differentiation of the EnSCs. Human EnSCs seeded on 3D nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffolds and differentiated to urothelial cells provide a suitable source for potential use in bladder wall reconstruction in women. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. Dock 'n roll: folding of a silk-inspired polypeptide into an amyloid-like beta solenoid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Binwu; Cohen Stuart, Martien A; Hall, Carol K

    2016-04-20

    Polypeptides containing the motif ((GA)mGX)n occur in silk and have a strong tendency to self-assemble. For example, polypeptides containing (GAGAGAGX)n, where X = G or H have been observed to form filaments; similar sequences but with X = Q have been used in the design of coat proteins (capsids) for artificial viruses. The structure of the (GAGAGAGX)m filaments has been proposed to be a stack of peptides in a β roll structure with the hydrophobic side chains pointing outwards (hydrophobic shell). Another possible configuration, a β roll or β solenoid structure which has its hydrophobic side chains buried inside (hydrophobic core) was, however, overlooked. We perform ground state analysis as well as atomic-level molecular dynamics simulations, both on single molecules and on two-molecule stacks of the silk-inspired sequence (GAGAGAGQ)10, to decide whether the hydrophobic core or the hydrophobic shell configuration is the most stable one. We find that a stack of two hydrophobic core molecules is energetically more favorable than a stack of two hydrophobic shell molecules. A shell molecule initially placed in a perfect β roll structure tends to rotate its strands, breaking in-plane hydrogen bonds and forming out-of-plane hydrogen bonds, while a core molecule stays in the β roll structure. The hydrophobic shell structure has type II' β turns whereas the core configuration has type II β turns; only the latter secondary structure agrees well with solid-state NMR experiments on a similar sequence (GA)15. We also observe that the core stack has a higher number of intra-molecular hydrogen bonds and a higher number of hydrogen bonds between stack and water than the shell stack. Hence, we conclude that the hydrophobic core configuration is the most likely structure. In the stacked state, each peptide has more intra-molecular hydrogen bonds than a single folded molecule, which suggests that stacking provides the extra stability needed for molecules to reach the folded

  8. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A [Department of Tissue Regeneration, University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede (Netherlands); Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan [Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Biomedical Centre, Box 575, 751 23 Uppsala (Sweden); Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus [Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 534, S-751 21 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2010-08-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  9. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A; Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan; Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  10. More than a safety line: jump-stabilizing silk of salticids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yung-Kang; Liao, Chen-Pan; Tsai, Feng-Yueh; Chi, Kai-Jung

    2013-10-06

    Salticids are diurnal hunters known for acute vision, remarkable predatory strategies and jumping ability. Like other jumpers, they strive for stability and smooth landings. Instead of using inertia from swinging appendages or aerodynamic forces by flapping wings as in other organisms, we show that salticids use a different mechanism for in-air stability by using dragline silk, which was previously believed to function solely as a safety line. Analyses from high-speed images of jumps by the salticid Hasarius adansoni demonstrate that despite being subject to rearward pitch at take-off, spiders with dragline silk can change body orientation in the air. Instantaneous drag and silk forces calculated from kinematic data further suggest a comparable contribution to deceleration and energy dissipation, and reveal that adjustments by the spider to the silk force can reverse its body pitch for a predictable and optimal landing. Without silk, upright-landing spiders would slip or even tumble, deferring completion of landing. Thus, for salticids, dragline silk is critical for dynamic stability and prey-capture efficiency. The dynamic functioning of dragline silk revealed in this study can advance the understanding of silk's physiological control over material properties and its significance to spider ecology and evolution, and also provide inspiration for future manoeuvrable robot designs.

  11. Gene Unprediction with Spurio: A tool to identify spurious protein sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höps, Wolfram; Jeffryes, Matt; Bateman, Alex

    2018-01-01

    We now have access to the sequences of tens of millions of proteins. These protein sequences are essential for modern molecular biology and computational biology. The vast majority of protein sequences are derived from gene prediction tools and have no experimental supporting evidence for their translation.  Despite the increasing accuracy of gene prediction tools there likely exists a large number of spurious protein predictions in the sequence databases.  We have developed the Spurio tool to help identify spurious protein predictions in prokaryotes.  Spurio searches the query protein sequence against a prokaryotic nucleotide database using tblastn and identifies homologous sequences. The tblastn matches are used to score the query sequence's likelihood of being a spurious protein prediction using a Gaussian process model. The most informative feature is the appearance of stop codons within the presumed translation of homologous DNA sequences. Benchmarking shows that the Spurio tool is able to distinguish spurious from true proteins. However, transposon proteins are prone to be predicted as spurious because of the frequency of degraded homologs found in the DNA sequence databases. Our initial experiments suggest that less than 1% of the proteins in the UniProtKB sequence database are likely to be spurious and that Spurio is able to identify over 60 times more spurious proteins than the AntiFam resource. The Spurio software and source code is available under an MIT license at the following URL: https://bitbucket.org/bateman-group/spurio.

  12. Structure and Sequence Search on Aptamer-Protein Docking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Jiajie; Bonin, Keith; Guthold, Martin; Salsbury, Freddie

    2015-03-01

    Interactions between proteins and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) play a significant role in the living systems, especially through gene regulation. However, short nucleic acids sequences (aptamers) with specific binding affinity to specific proteins exhibit clinical potential as therapeutics. Our capillary and gel electrophoresis selection experiments show that specific sequences of aptamers can be selected that bind specific proteins. Computationally, given the experimentally-determined structure and sequence of a thrombin-binding aptamer, we can successfully dock the aptamer onto thrombin in agreement with experimental structures of the complex. In order to further study the conformational flexibility of this thrombin-binding aptamer and to potentially develop a predictive computational model of aptamer-binding, we use GPU-enabled molecular dynamics simulations to both examine the conformational flexibility of the aptamer in the absence of binding to thrombin, and to determine our ability to fold an aptamer. This study should help further de-novo predictions of aptamer sequences by enabling the study of structural and sequence-dependent effects on aptamer-protein docking specificity.

  13. AlignMe—a membrane protein sequence alignment web server

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamm, Marcus; Staritzbichler, René; Khafizov, Kamil; Forrest, Lucy R.

    2014-01-01

    We present a web server for pair-wise alignment of membrane protein sequences, using the program AlignMe. The server makes available two operational modes of AlignMe: (i) sequence to sequence alignment, taking two sequences in fasta format as input, combining information about each sequence from multiple sources and producing a pair-wise alignment (PW mode); and (ii) alignment of two multiple sequence alignments to create family-averaged hydropathy profile alignments (HP mode). For the PW sequence alignment mode, four different optimized parameter sets are provided, each suited to pairs of sequences with a specific similarity level. These settings utilize different types of inputs: (position-specific) substitution matrices, secondary structure predictions and transmembrane propensities from transmembrane predictions or hydrophobicity scales. In the second (HP) mode, each input multiple sequence alignment is converted into a hydrophobicity profile averaged over the provided set of sequence homologs; the two profiles are then aligned. The HP mode enables qualitative comparison of transmembrane topologies (and therefore potentially of 3D folds) of two membrane proteins, which can be useful if the proteins have low sequence similarity. In summary, the AlignMe web server provides user-friendly access to a set of tools for analysis and comparison of membrane protein sequences. Access is available at http://www.bioinfo.mpg.de/AlignMe PMID:24753425

  14. Acellular bi-layer silk fibroin scaffolds support tissue regeneration in a rabbit model of onlay urethroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Yeun Goo; Tu, Duong; Franck, Debra; Gil, Eun Seok; Algarrahi, Khalid; Adam, Rosalyn M; Kaplan, David L; Estrada, Carlos R; Mauney, Joshua R

    2014-01-01

    Acellular scaffolds derived from Bombyx mori silk fibroin were investigated for their ability to support functional tissue regeneration in a rabbit model of urethra repair. A bi-layer silk fibroin matrix was fabricated by a solvent-casting/salt leaching process in combination with silk fibroin film casting to generate porous foams buttressed by homogeneous silk fibroin films. Ventral onlay urethroplasty was performed with silk fibroin grafts (Group 1, N = 4) (Width × Length, 1 × 2 cm(2)) in adult male rabbits for 3 m of implantation. Parallel control groups consisted of animals receiving small intestinal submucosa (SIS) implants (Group 2, N = 4) or urethrotomy alone (Group 3, N = 3). Animals in all groups exhibited 100% survival prior to scheduled euthanasia and achieved voluntary voiding following 7 d of initial catheterization. Retrograde urethrography of each implant group at 3 m post-op revealed wide urethral calibers and preservation of organ continuity similar to pre-operative and urethrotomy controls with no evidence of contrast extravasation, strictures, fistulas, or stone formation. Histological (hematoxylin and eosin and Masson's trichrome), immunohistochemical, and histomorphometric analyses demonstrated that both silk fibroin and SIS scaffolds promoted similar extents of smooth muscle and epithelial tissue regeneration throughout the original defect sites with prominent contractile protein (α-smooth muscle actin and SM22α) and cytokeratin expression, respectively. De novo innervation and vascularization were also evident in all regenerated tissues indicated by synaptophysin-positive neuronal cells and vessels lined with CD31 expressing endothelial cells. Following 3 m post-op, minimal acute inflammatory reactions were elicited by silk fibroin scaffolds characterized by the presence of eosinophil granulocytes while SIS matrices promoted chronic inflammatory responses indicated by mobilization of mononuclear cell infiltrates. The results of this study

  15. Acellular bi-layer silk fibroin scaffolds support tissue regeneration in a rabbit model of onlay urethroplasty.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeun Goo Chung

    Full Text Available Acellular scaffolds derived from Bombyx mori silk fibroin were investigated for their ability to support functional tissue regeneration in a rabbit model of urethra repair. A bi-layer silk fibroin matrix was fabricated by a solvent-casting/salt leaching process in combination with silk fibroin film casting to generate porous foams buttressed by homogeneous silk fibroin films. Ventral onlay urethroplasty was performed with silk fibroin grafts (Group 1, N = 4 (Width × Length, 1 × 2 cm(2 in adult male rabbits for 3 m of implantation. Parallel control groups consisted of animals receiving small intestinal submucosa (SIS implants (Group 2, N = 4 or urethrotomy alone (Group 3, N = 3. Animals in all groups exhibited 100% survival prior to scheduled euthanasia and achieved voluntary voiding following 7 d of initial catheterization. Retrograde urethrography of each implant group at 3 m post-op revealed wide urethral calibers and preservation of organ continuity similar to pre-operative and urethrotomy controls with no evidence of contrast extravasation, strictures, fistulas, or stone formation. Histological (hematoxylin and eosin and Masson's trichrome, immunohistochemical, and histomorphometric analyses demonstrated that both silk fibroin and SIS scaffolds promoted similar extents of smooth muscle and epithelial tissue regeneration throughout the original defect sites with prominent contractile protein (α-smooth muscle actin and SM22α and cytokeratin expression, respectively. De novo innervation and vascularization were also evident in all regenerated tissues indicated by synaptophysin-positive neuronal cells and vessels lined with CD31 expressing endothelial cells. Following 3 m post-op, minimal acute inflammatory reactions were elicited by silk fibroin scaffolds characterized by the presence of eosinophil granulocytes while SIS matrices promoted chronic inflammatory responses indicated by mobilization of mononuclear cell infiltrates. The results

  16. The relationship of protein conservation and sequence length

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panchenko Anna R

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In general, the length of a protein sequence is determined by its function and the wide variance in the lengths of an organism's proteins reflects the diversity of specific functional roles for these proteins. However, additional evolutionary forces that affect the length of a protein may be revealed by studying the length distributions of proteins evolving under weaker functional constraints. Results We performed sequence comparisons to distinguish highly conserved and poorly conserved proteins from the bacterium Escherichia coli, the archaeon Archaeoglobus fulgidus, and the eukaryotes Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogaster, and Homo sapiens. For all organisms studied, the conserved and nonconserved proteins have strikingly different length distributions. The conserved proteins are, on average, longer than the poorly conserved ones, and the length distributions for the poorly conserved proteins have a relatively narrow peak, in contrast to the conserved proteins whose lengths spread over a wider range of values. For the two prokaryotes studied, the poorly conserved proteins approximate the minimal length distribution expected for a diverse range of structural folds. Conclusions There is a relationship between protein conservation and sequence length. For all the organisms studied, there seems to be a significant evolutionary trend favoring shorter proteins in the absence of other, more specific functional constraints.

  17. Conductive Au nanowires regulated by silk fibroin nanofibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Bo-Ju; Lu, Qiang

    2014-03-01

    Conductive Au-biopolymer composites have promising applications in tissue engineering such as nerve tissue regeneration. In this study, silk fibroin nanofibers were formed in aqueous solution by regulating silk self-assembly process and then used as template for Au nanowire fabrication. We performed the synthesis of Au seeds by repeating the seeding cycles for several times in order to increase the density of Au seeds on the nanofibers. After electroless plating, densely decorated Au seeds grew into irregularly shaped particles following silk nanofiber to fill the gaps between particles and finally form uniform continuous nanowires. The conductive property of the Au-silk fibroin nanowires was studied with current-voltage ( I-V) measurement. A typical ohmic behavior was observed, which highlighted their potential applications in nerve tissue regeneration.

  18. Anti-inflammation effects of corn silk in a rat model of carrageenin-induced pleurisy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guang-Qiang; Xu, Tao; Bu, Xue-Mei; Liu, Bao-Yi

    2012-06-01

    Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleural layers that surround the lungs. Despite much research into inflammatory diseases, no drugs with favorable safety profiles are available yet for their treatment. Corn silk has been used in many parts of the world for the treatment of edema, cystitis, gout, kidney stones nephritis, and prostitutes. However, no scientific reports on the anti-inflammatory effects of corn silk were so far available. To test the anti-inflammatory efficacy of corn silk extract (CSEX) in a rat model of carrageenin (Cg)-induced pleurisy, exudate formation, and cellular infiltration, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), vascular endothelial growth factor alpha (VEGF-α), interleukin-17 (IL-17), C3 and C4 complement protein levels, adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) levels, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation, and total antioxidant activity were studied, respectively. Pretreatment with CSEX reduced Cg-induced pleurisy exudate, number of leukocytes, oxidative stress, C3 protein level, and O (2)(-) levels at the inflammatory site. Pretreatment with CSEX also inhibited TNF-α, IL-1β, VEGF-α, and IL-17A and blocked inflammation-related events (ICAM-1 and iNOS) by activation of NF-κB. Supplementation with CSEX may be a promising treatment for inflammatory diseases that involve oxidative stress.

  19. Politics of contemporary "Silk Roads"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey I. Litvinov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently in mass media we can find the idea about a new Silk Road or the concept of "Silk Road Economic Belt" which has been formulated by the Chinese PresidentXi Jinping on September 7,2013, during his official visit to Kazakhstan. This project is not only the creation of a transport, power and trade corridor, and also the project which will promote development of tourism in the region and to strengthening of cultural exchanges of China with the countries of Central Asia, it also includes construction of a network of high-speed fiber-optical networks. The economic strip of the Silk Road will begin in China and pass across the Central and the Southern Asia, part of branches across the territory of the Russian Federation and to leave to Europe. This international investment project assumes creation of a continental transport way. For implementation of overland part of "A great Silk Road is a three railway corridors (northern, central have to be constructed and southern They have form a basis for development of other means of transport, including automobile subsequently. Construction of these three railway corridors acts as the most important and necessary stage of implementation of the project. The government of China declares that creation of an economic belt of the Silk way is a revival of once prospering trade-transport and cultural corridor from Asia to Europe which will promote activization of a friendly exchange between the people of the different countries. Further all this has to connect trade and economic space of Europe and Asia in a whole that has to serve implementation of deeper economic cooperation, between the countries participating in him, to increase in a trade turnover and expansion of scientific and technical exchanges between them.

  20. MIPS: a database for protein sequences and complete genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mewes, H W; Hani, J; Pfeiffer, F; Frishman, D

    1998-01-01

    The MIPS group [Munich Information Center for Protein Sequences of the German National Center for Environment and Health (GSF)] at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried near Munich, Germany, is involved in a number of data collection activities, including a comprehensive database of the yeast genome, a database reflecting the progress in sequencing the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, the systematic analysis of other small genomes and the collection of protein sequence data within the framework of the PIR-International Protein Sequence Database (described elsewhere in this volume). Through its WWW server (http://www.mips.biochem.mpg.de ) MIPS provides access to a variety of generic databases, including a database of protein families as well as automatically generated data by the systematic application of sequence analysis algorithms. The yeast genome sequence and its related information was also compiled on CD-ROM to provide dynamic interactive access to the 16 chromosomes of the first eukaryotic genome unraveled. PMID:9399795

  1. Thermal Performance Testing of Cryogenic Multilayer Insulation with Silk Net Spacers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, W L; Frank, D J; Nast, T C; Fesmire, J E

    2015-01-01

    Early comprehensive testing of cryogenic multilayer insulation focused on the use of silk netting as a spacer material. Silk netting was used for multiple test campaigns that were designed to provide baseline thermal performance estimates for cryogenic insulation systems. As more focus was put on larger systems, the cost of silk netting became a deterrent and most aerospace insulation firms were using Dacron (or polyester) netting spacers by the early 1970s. In the midst of the switch away from silk netting there was no attempt to understand the difference between silk and polyester netting, though it was widely believed that the silk netting provided slightly better performance. Without any better reference for thermal performance data, the silk netting performance correlations continued to be used. In order to attempt to quantify the difference between the silk netting and polyester netting, a brief test program was developed. The silk netting material was obtained from Lockheed Martin and was tested on the Cryostat-100 instrument in three different configurations, 20 layers with both single and double netting and 10 layers with single netting only. The data show agreement within 15 - 30% with the historical silk netting based correlations and show a substantial performance improvement when compared to previous testing performed using polyester netting and aluminum foil/fiberglass paper multilayer insulation. Additionally, the data further reinforce a recently observed trend that the heat flux is not directly proportional to the number of layers installed on a system. (paper)

  2. Can Natural Proteins Designed with ‘Inverted’ Peptide Sequences Adopt Native-Like Protein Folds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sridhar, Settu; Guruprasad, Kunchur

    2014-01-01

    We have carried out a systematic computational analysis on a representative dataset of proteins of known three-dimensional structure, in order to evaluate whether it would possible to ‘swap’ certain short peptide sequences in naturally occurring proteins with their corresponding ‘inverted’ peptides and generate ‘artificial’ proteins that are predicted to retain native-like protein fold. The analysis of 3,967 representative proteins from the Protein Data Bank revealed 102,677 unique identical inverted peptide sequence pairs that vary in sequence length between 5–12 and 18 amino acid residues. Our analysis illustrates with examples that such ‘artificial’ proteins may be generated by identifying peptides with ‘similar structural environment’ and by using comparative protein modeling and validation studies. Our analysis suggests that natural proteins may be tolerant to accommodating such peptides. PMID:25210740

  3. Binding Quantum Dots to Silk Biomaterials for Optical Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Disi Lu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Quantum dots (QDs, have great potential for fabricating optical sensing devices and imaging biomaterial degradation in vivo. In the present study, 2-mercaptoethylamine- (MEA- and mercaptopropionic acid- (MPA- capped CdTe-QDs were physically incorporated in silk films that contained a high content (>30% of crystalline beta-sheet structure. The beta-sheets were induced by the addition of glycerol, water annealing, glycerol/annealing, or treatment with methanol. Incorporation of QDs did not influence the formation of beta-sheets. When the films were extracted with water, most QDs remained associated with the silk, based on the retention of photoluminescence in the silk films and negligible photoluminescence in the extracts. Compared to the solution state, photoluminescence intensity significantly decreased for MEA-QDs but not for MPA-QDs in the silk films, while the emission maximum blue shifted (≈4 nm slightly for both. Further film digestion using protease XIV, alpha-chymotrypsin, and the combination of the two proteases suggested that QDs may be bound to the silk beta-sheet regions but not the amorphous regions. QDs photoluminescence in silk films was quenched when the concentration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 was above 0.2-0.3 mM, indicating the QDs-incorporated silk films can be used to report oxidation potential in solution.

  4. The SWISS-PROT protein sequence data bank: current status.

    OpenAIRE

    Bairoch, A; Boeckmann, B

    1994-01-01

    SWISS-PROT is an annotated protein sequence database established in 1986 and maintained collaboratively, since 1988, by the Department of Medical Biochemistry of the University of Geneva and the EMBL Data Library. The SWISS-PROT protein sequence data bank consist of sequence entries. Sequence entries are composed of different lines types, each with their own format. For standardization purposes the format of SWISS-PROT follows as closely as possible that of the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Databa...

  5. Effects of Japanese beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and silk clipping in field corn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckel, Sandy; Stewart, S D; Tindall, K V

    2013-10-01

    Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newman) is an emerging silk-feeding insect found in fields in the lower Corn Belt and Midsouthern United States. Studies were conducted in 2010 and 2011 to evaluate how silk clipping in corn affects pollination and yield parameters. Manually clipping silks once daily had modest effects on yield parameters. Sustained clipping by either manually clipping silks three times per day or by caging Japanese beetles onto ears affected total kernel weight if it occurred during early silking (R1 growth stage). Manually clipping silks three times per day for the first 5 d of silking affected the number of kernels per ear, total kernel weight, and the weight of individual kernels. Caged beetles fed on silks and, depending on the number of beetles caged per ear, reduced the number of kernels per ear. Caging eight beetles per ear significantly reduced total kernel weight compared with noninfested ears. Drought stress before anthesis appeared to magnify the impact of silk clipping by Japanese beetles. There was evidence of some compensation for reduced pollination by increasing the size of pollinated kernels within the ear. Our results showed that it requires sustained silk clipping during the first week of silking to have substantial impacts on pollination and yield parameters, at least under good growing conditions. Some states recommend treating for Japanese beetle when three Japanese beetles per ear are found, silks are clipped to < 13 mm, and pollination is < 50% complete, and that recommendation appears to be adequate.

  6. Effect of polyamines on mechanical and structural properties of Bombyx mori silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yerra, Aparna; Mysarla, Danti Kumari; Siripurapu, Prasanthi; Jha, Anjali; Valluri, Satyavathi V; Mamillapalli, Anitha

    2017-01-01

    Silkworm, Bombyx mori (B. mori) belongs to the Lepidoptera family. The silk produced from this insect, mulberry silk, gained lot of importance as a fabric. Silk is being exploited as a biomaterial due to its surprising strength and biocompatibility. Polyamines (PA) are important cell growth regulators. In the present work the effect of treatment of polyamines, putrescine (Put), spermidine (Spd), and spermine (Spm) on the quantity and quality of silk produced was assessed. Results showed that exogenous feeding of Spd at a concentration of 50 µM increased fiber length significantly. Analysis by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) on the properties of silk obtained from Spd treated silkworms revealed an increase in percentage of absorption with no difference in peak positions of amide I and amide III groups. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed an increase in diameter of silk. Further, analysis at molecular level showed an increase in fibroin expression in Spd treated silk glands. However, the Spd treatment showed no significant difference with respect to fibroin to sericin ratio per unit weight of cocoon, silk tenacity, and percent elongation. Thus, the present results show that polyamine treatment would influence silk quality at structural, mechanical, and molecular level in the Bombyx mori, which can be exploited in silk biomaterial production. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Partial sequence determination of metabolically labeled radioactive proteins and peptides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, C.W.

    1982-01-01

    The author has used the sequence analysis of radioactive proteins and peptides to approach several problems during the past few years. They, in collaboration with others, have mapped precisely several adenovirus proteins with respect to the nucleotide sequence of the adenovirus genome; identified hitherto missed proteins encoded by bacteriophage MS2 and by simian virus 40; analyzed the aminoterminal maturation of several virus proteins; determined the cleavage sites for processing of the poliovirus polyprotein; and analyzed the mechanism of frameshifting by excess normal tRNAs during cell-free protein synthesis. This chapter is designed to aid those without prior experience at protein sequence determinations. It is based primarily on the experience gained in the studies cited above, which made use of the Beckman 890 series automated protein sequencers

  8. Correlation between protein sequence similarity and x-ray diffraction quality in the protein data bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hui-Meng; Yin, Da-Chuan; Ye, Ya-Jing; Luo, Hui-Min; Geng, Li-Qiang; Li, Hai-Sheng; Guo, Wei-Hong; Shang, Peng

    2009-01-01

    As the most widely utilized technique to determine the 3-dimensional structure of protein molecules, X-ray crystallography can provide structure of the highest resolution among the developed techniques. The resolution obtained via X-ray crystallography is known to be influenced by many factors, such as the crystal quality, diffraction techniques, and X-ray sources, etc. In this paper, the authors found that the protein sequence could also be one of the factors. We extracted information of the resolution and the sequence of proteins from the Protein Data Bank (PDB), classified the proteins into different clusters according to the sequence similarity, and statistically analyzed the relationship between the sequence similarity and the best resolution obtained. The results showed that there was a pronounced correlation between the sequence similarity and the obtained resolution. These results indicate that protein structure itself is one variable that may affect resolution when X-ray crystallography is used.

  9. Immobilized Lentivirus Vector on Chondroitin Sulfate-Hyaluronate Acid-Silk Fibroin Hybrid Scaffold for Tissue-Engineered Ligament-Bone Junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liguo Sun

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The lack of a fibrocartilage layer between graft and bone remains the leading cause of graft failure after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL reconstruction. The objective of this study was to develop a gene-modified silk cable-reinforced chondroitin sulfate-hyaluronate acid-silk fibroin (CHS hybrid scaffold for reconstructing the fibrocartilage layer. The scaffold was fabricated by lyophilizing the CHS mixture with braided silk cables. The scanning electronic microscopy (SEM showed that microporous CHS sponges were formed around silk cables. Each end of scaffold was modified with lentiviral-mediated transforming growth factor-β3 (TGF-β3 gene. The cells on scaffold were transfected by bonded lentivirus. In vitro culture demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs on scaffolds proliferated vigorously and produced abundant collagen. The transcription levels of cartilage-specific genes also increased with culture time. After 2 weeks, the MSCs were distributed uniformly throughout scaffold. Deposited collagen was also found to increase. The chondral differentiation of MSCs was verified by expressions of collagen II and TGF-β3 genes in mRNA and protein level. Histology also confirmed the production of cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM components. The results demonstrated that gene-modified silk cable-reinforced CHS scaffold was capable of supporting cell proliferation and differentiation to reconstruct the cartilage layer of interface.

  10. Taxonomic colouring of phylogenetic trees of protein sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrade-Navarro Miguel A

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phylogenetic analyses of protein families are used to define the evolutionary relationships between homologous proteins. The interpretation of protein-sequence phylogenetic trees requires the examination of the taxonomic properties of the species associated to those sequences. However, there is no online tool to facilitate this interpretation, for example, by automatically attaching taxonomic information to the nodes of a tree, or by interactively colouring the branches of a tree according to any combination of taxonomic divisions. This is especially problematic if the tree contains on the order of hundreds of sequences, which, given the accelerated increase in the size of the protein sequence databases, is a situation that is becoming common. Results We have developed PhyloView, a web based tool for colouring phylogenetic trees upon arbitrary taxonomic properties of the species represented in a protein sequence phylogenetic tree. Provided that the tree contains SwissProt, SpTrembl, or GenBank protein identifiers, the tool retrieves the taxonomic information from the corresponding database. A colour picker displays a summary of the findings and allows the user to associate colours to the leaves of the tree according to any number of taxonomic partitions. Then, the colours are propagated to the branches of the tree. Conclusion PhyloView can be used at http://www.ogic.ca/projects/phyloview/. A tutorial, the software with documentation, and GPL licensed source code, can be accessed at the same web address.

  11. Microphase Separation Controlled beta-Sheet Crystallization Kinetics in Fibrous Proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, X.; Lu, Q.; Kaplan, D.; Cebe, P.

    2009-01-01

    Silk is a naturally occurring fibrous protein with a multiblock chain architecture. As such, it has many similarities with synthetic block copolymers, including the possibility for e-sheet crystallization restricted within the crystallizable blocks. The mechanism of isothermal crystallization kinetics of e-sheet crystals in silk multiblock fibrous proteins is reported in this study. Kinetics theories, such as Avrami analysis which was established for studies of synthetic polymer crystal growth, are for the first time extended to investigate protein self-assembly in e-sheet rich Bombyx mori silk fibroin samples, using time-resolved Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and synchrotron real-time wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). The Avrami exponent, n, was close to 2 for all methods and crystallization temperatures, indicating formation of e-sheet crystals in silk proteins is different from the 3-D spherulitic crystal growth found in synthetic polymers. Observations by scanning electron microscopy support the view that the protein structures vary during the different stages of crystal growth, and show a microphase separation pattern after chymotrypsin enzyme biodegradation. We present a model to explain the crystallization of the multiblock silk fibroin protein, by analogy to block copolymers: crystallization of e-sheets occurs under conditions of geometrical restriction caused by phase separation of the crystallizable and uncrystallizable blocks. This crystallization model could be widely applicable in other proteins with multiblock (i.e., crystallizable and noncrystallizable) domains.

  12. Development and Evaluation of Isoniazid Loaded Silk Fibroin Microsphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narinder Singh

    Full Text Available Aim: Current experimental investigation is dedicated to prepare microspheres with small size and good sphericity by Phase Separation method using Isoniazid (INH as model drug. Silk fibroin has unique intrinsic qualities like biodegradability, biocompatibility or release properties and their tunable drug loading capacity. The delivery loading proficiency of the drug molecules in silk spheres be contingent on their charge, and hydrophobicity or subsequent in altered drug release profiles. Methods: In the present work Isoniazid loaded silk fibroin microsphere was prepared by using phase separation method. Microsphere was evaluated for Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy, Entrapment efficiency, Scanning electron microscopy Studies. Results: Scanning electron microscopy studies revealed that Isoniazid Loaded Silk Fibroin Microspheres were spherical. Entrapment Efficiency of Isoniazid loaded Microspheres of different Formulation from F1 to F5 was in range of 53 to 68 %. F3 showed 68.47 % entrapment Efficiency and the optimized formulation drug release was 93.56 % at 24 hours. Conclusion: Experimental report disclosed a new aqueous based formulation method for silk spheres with controllable shape or size and sphere. Isoniazid loaded silk microspheres may act as ideal nano formulation with elaborated studies.

  13. Corn silk induces nitric oxide synthase in murine macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyung A; Choi, Sang Kyu; Choi, Hye Seon

    2004-12-31

    Corn silk has been purified as an anticoagulant previously and the active component is a polysaccharide with a molecular mass of 135 kDa. It activates murine macrophages to induce nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and generate substantial amounts of NO in time and dose-dependent manners. It was detectable first at 15 h after stimulation by corn silk, peaked at 24 h, and undetectable by 48 h. Induction of NOS is inhibited by pyrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) and genistein, an inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) and tyrosine kinase, respectively, indicating that iNOS stimulated by corn silk is associated with tyrosine kinase and NF-kappaB signaling pathways. IkappaB-alpha degradation was detectible at 10 min, and the level was restored at 120 min after treatment of corn silk. Corn silk induced nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB by phosphorylation and degradation of IkappaB-alpha.

  14. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R [Department of Physics, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia); Herberstein, M E, E-mail: deb.kane@mq.edu.a [Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia)

    2010-09-15

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  15. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R; Herberstein, M E

    2010-01-01

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  16. Secondary Structure Adopted by the Gly-Gly-X Repetitive Regions of Dragline Spider Silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey M. Gray

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Solid-state NMR and molecular dynamics (MD simulations are presented to help elucidate the molecular secondary structure of poly(Gly-Gly-X, which is one of the most common structural repetitive motifs found in orb-weaving dragline spider silk proteins. The combination of NMR and computational experiments provides insight into the molecular secondary structure of poly(Gly-Gly-X segments and provides further support that these regions are disordered and primarily non-β-sheet. Furthermore, the combination of NMR and MD simulations illustrate the possibility for several secondary structural elements in the poly(Gly-Gly-X regions of dragline silks, including β-turns, 310-helicies, and coil structures with a negligible population of α-helix observed.

  17. Highly water-absorbing silk yarn with interpenetrating network via in situ polymerization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ka I; Wang, Xiaowen; Guo, Xia; Yung, Ka-Fu; Fei, Bin

    2017-02-01

    Silk was modified via in situ polymerization of two monomers acrylamide and sodium acrylate by swelling in an effective LiBr dissolution system. Swelling of natural silks in LiBr solutions of low concentration was clearly observed under optical microscope, and their conformational changes were revealed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Dissolution tests and FTIR spectra of these modified silks suggested the presence of interpenetrating network of polyacrylamide and poly(sodium acrylate) in the silk yarns. These modified silks exhibited superior water absorption to that of raw silk and greatly improved mechanical properties in both dry and wet states. These novel modified silks also showed low cytotoxicity towards skin keratinocytes, having potential applications in biomedical textiles. This modification method by in situ polymerization after swelling in LiBr provides a new route to highly enhance the properties and performance of silk for various applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Silk Fibroin-Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zheng; Li, Yi; Xie, Mao-Bin

    2015-01-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a protein-based biomacromolecule with excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immunogenicity. The development of SF-based nanoparticles for drug delivery have received considerable attention due to high binding capacity for various drugs, controlled drug release properties and mild preparation conditions. By adjusting the particle size, the chemical structure and properties, the modified or recombinant SF-based nanoparticles can be designed to improve the therapeutic efficiency of drugs encapsulated into these nanoparticles. Therefore, they can be used to deliver small molecule drugs (e.g., anti-cancer drugs), protein and growth factor drugs, gene drugs, etc. This paper reviews recent progress on SF-based nanoparticles, including chemical structure, properties, and preparation methods. In addition, the applications of SF-based nanoparticles as carriers for therapeutic drugs are also reviewed. PMID:25749470

  19. Semi-Supervised Learning for Classification of Protein Sequence Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian R. King

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Protein sequence data continue to become available at an exponential rate. Annotation of functional and structural attributes of these data lags far behind, with only a small fraction of the data understood and labeled by experimental methods. Classification methods that are based on semi-supervised learning can increase the overall accuracy of classifying partly labeled data in many domains, but very few methods exist that have shown their effect on protein sequence classification. We show how proven methods from text classification can be applied to protein sequence data, as we consider both existing and novel extensions to the basic methods, and demonstrate restrictions and differences that must be considered. We demonstrate comparative results against the transductive support vector machine, and show superior results on the most difficult classification problems. Our results show that large repositories of unlabeled protein sequence data can indeed be used to improve predictive performance, particularly in situations where there are fewer labeled protein sequences available, and/or the data are highly unbalanced in nature.

  20. Regenerative potential of silk conduits in repair of peripheral nerve injury in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, W; Begum, R; Barber, T; Ibba, V; Tee, N C H; Hussain, M; Arastoo, M; Yang, Q; Robson, L G; Lesage, S; Gheysens, T; Skaer, Nicholas J V; Knight, D P; Priestley, J V

    2012-01-01

    Various attempts have been made to develop artificial conduits for nerve repair, but with limited success. We describe here conduits made from Bombyx mori regenerated silk protein, and containing luminal fibres of Spidrex(®), a silk-based biomaterial with properties similar to those of spider silk. Assessment in vitro demonstrated that Spidrex(®) fibres support neurite outgrowth. For evaluation in vivo, silk conduits 10 mm in length and containing 0, 100, 200 or 300 luminal Spidrex(®) fibres, were implanted to bridge an 8 mm gap in the rat sciatic nerve. At 4 weeks, conduits containing 200 luminal Spidrex(®) fibres (PN200) supported 62% and 59% as much axon growth as autologous nerve graft controls at mid-conduit and distal nerve respectively. Furthermore, Spidrex(®) conduits displayed similar Schwann cell support and macrophage response to controls. At 12 weeks, animals implanted with PN200 conduits showed similar numbers of myelinated axons (81%) to controls, similar gastrocnemius muscle innervation, and similar hindpaw stance assessed by Catwalk footprint analysis. Plantar skin innervation was 73% of that of controls. PN200 Spidrex(®) conduits were also effective at bridging longer (11 and 13 mm) gaps. Our results show that Spidrex(®) conduits promote excellent axonal regeneration and function recovery, and may have potential for clinical application. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Sequence motifs in MADS transcription factors responsible for specificity and diversification of protein-protein interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aalt D J van Dijk

    Full Text Available Protein sequences encompass tertiary structures and contain information about specific molecular interactions, which in turn determine biological functions of proteins. Knowledge about how protein sequences define interaction specificity is largely missing, in particular for paralogous protein families with high sequence similarity, such as the plant MADS domain transcription factor family. In comparison to the situation in mammalian species, this important family of transcription regulators has expanded enormously in plant species and contains over 100 members in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we provide insight into the mechanisms that determine protein-protein interaction specificity for the Arabidopsis MADS domain transcription factor family, using an integrated computational and experimental approach. Plant MADS proteins have highly similar amino acid sequences, but their dimerization patterns vary substantially. Our computational analysis uncovered small sequence regions that explain observed differences in dimerization patterns with reasonable accuracy. Furthermore, we show the usefulness of the method for prediction of MADS domain transcription factor interaction networks in other plant species. Introduction of mutations in the predicted interaction motifs demonstrated that single amino acid mutations can have a large effect and lead to loss or gain of specific interactions. In addition, various performed bioinformatics analyses shed light on the way evolution has shaped MADS domain transcription factor interaction specificity. Identified protein-protein interaction motifs appeared to be strongly conserved among orthologs, indicating their evolutionary importance. We also provide evidence that mutations in these motifs can be a source for sub- or neo-functionalization. The analyses presented here take us a step forward in understanding protein-protein interactions and the interplay between protein sequences and

  2. How Many Protein Sequences Fold to a Given Structure? A Coevolutionary Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Pengfei; Best, Robert B

    2017-10-17

    Quantifying the relationship between protein sequence and structure is key to understanding the protein universe. A fundamental measure of this relationship is the total number of amino acid sequences that can fold to a target protein structure, known as the "sequence capacity," which has been suggested as a proxy for how designable a given protein fold is. Although sequence capacity has been extensively studied using lattice models and theory, numerical estimates for real protein structures are currently lacking. In this work, we have quantitatively estimated the sequence capacity of 10 proteins with a variety of different structures using a statistical model based on residue-residue co-evolution to capture the variation of sequences from the same protein family. Remarkably, we find that even for the smallest protein folds, such as the WW domain, the number of foldable sequences is extremely large, exceeding the Avogadro constant. In agreement with earlier theoretical work, the calculated sequence capacity is positively correlated with the size of the protein, or better, the density of contacts. This allows the absolute sequence capacity of a given protein to be approximately predicted from its structure. On the other hand, the relative sequence capacity, i.e., normalized by the total number of possible sequences, is an extremely tiny number and is strongly anti-correlated with the protein length. Thus, although there may be more foldable sequences for larger proteins, it will be much harder to find them. Lastly, we have correlated the evolutionary age of proteins in the CATH database with their sequence capacity as predicted by our model. The results suggest a trade-off between the opposing requirements of high designability and the likelihood of a novel fold emerging by chance. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Protein unfolding versus β-sheet separation in spider silk nanocrystals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alam, Parvez

    2014-01-01

    In this communication a mechanism for spider silk strain hardening is proposed. Shear failure of β-sheet nanocrystals is the first failure mode that gives rise to the creation of smaller nanocrystals, which are of higher strength and stiffness. β-sheet unfolding requires more energy than nanocrystal separation in a shear mode of failure. As a result, unfolding occurs after the nanocrystals separate in shear. β-sheet unfolding yields a secondary strain hardening effect once the β-sheet conformation is geometrically stable and acts like a unidirectional fibre in a fibre reinforced composite. The mechanism suggested herein is based on molecular dynamics calculations of residual inter-β-sheet separation strengths against residual intra-β-sheet unfolding strengths. (paper)

  4. In planta production of ELPylated spidroin-based proteins results in non-cytotoxic biopolymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauptmann, Valeska; Menzel, Matthias; Weichert, Nicola; Reimers, Kerstin; Spohn, Uwe; Conrad, Udo

    2015-02-19

    Spider silk is a tear-resistant and elastic biopolymer that has outstanding mechanical properties. Additionally, exiguous immunogenicity is anticipated for spider silks. Therefore, spider silk represents a potential ideal biomaterial for medical applications. All known spider silk proteins, so-called spidroins, reveal a composite nature of silk-specific units, allowing the recombinant production of individual and combined segments. In this report, a miniaturized spidroin gene, named VSO1 that contains repetitive motifs of MaSp1 has been synthesized and combined to form multimers of distinct lengths, which were heterologously expressed as elastin-like peptide (ELP) fusion proteins in tobacco. The elastic penetration moduli of layered proteins were analyzed for different spidroin-based biopolymers. Moreover, we present the first immunological analysis of synthetic spidroin-based biopolymers. Characterization of the binding behavior of the sera after immunization by competitive ELISA suggested that the humoral immune response is mainly directed against the fusion partner ELP. In addition, cytocompatibility studies with murine embryonic fibroblasts indicated that recombinant spidroin-based biopolymers, in solution or as coated proteins, are well tolerated. The results show that spidroin-based biopolymers can induce humoral immune responses that are dependent on the fusion partner and the overall protein structure. Furthermore, cytocompatibility assays gave no indication of spidroin-derived cytotoxicity, suggesting that recombinant produced biopolymers composed of spider silk-like repetitive elements are suitable for biomedical applications.

  5. Transmission Electron Microscopy of Bombyx Mori Silk Fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Y.; Martin, D. C.

    1997-03-01

    The microstructure of B. Mori silk fibers before and after degumming was examined by TEM, selected area electron diffraction (SAED), WAXS and low voltage SEM. SEM micrographs of the neat cocoon revealed a network of pairs of twisting filaments. After degumming, there were only individual filaments showing a surface texture consistent with an oriented fibrillar structure in the fiber interior. WAXS patterns confirmed the oriented beta-sheet crystal structure common to silkworm and spider silks. Low dose SAED results were fully consistent with the WAXS data, and revealed that the crystallographic texture did not vary significantly across the fiber diameter. TEM observations of microtomed fiber cross sections indicated a somewhat irregular shape, and also revealed a 0.5-2 micron sericin coating which was removed by the degumming process. TEM observations of the degummed silk fiber showed banded features with a characteristic spacing of nominally 600 nm along the fiber axis. These bands were oriented in a roughly parabolic or V-shape pointing along one axis within a given fiber. We hypothesize that this orientation is induced by the extrusion during the spinning process. Equatorial DF images revealed that axial and lateral sizes of the β-sheet crystallites in silk fibroin ranged from 20 to 170 nm and from 1 to 24 nm, respectively. Crazes developed in the degummed silk fiber parallel to the fiber direction. The formation of these crazes suggests that there are significant lateral interactions between fibrils in silk fibers.

  6. Predicting the tolerated sequences for proteins and protein interfaces using RosettaBackrub flexible backbone design.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin A Smith

    Full Text Available Predicting the set of sequences that are tolerated by a protein or protein interface, while maintaining a desired function, is useful for characterizing protein interaction specificity and for computationally designing sequence libraries to engineer proteins with new functions. Here we provide a general method, a detailed set of protocols, and several benchmarks and analyses for estimating tolerated sequences using flexible backbone protein design implemented in the Rosetta molecular modeling software suite. The input to the method is at least one experimentally determined three-dimensional protein structure or high-quality model. The starting structure(s are expanded or refined into a conformational ensemble using Monte Carlo simulations consisting of backrub backbone and side chain moves in Rosetta. The method then uses a combination of simulated annealing and genetic algorithm optimization methods to enrich for low-energy sequences for the individual members of the ensemble. To emphasize certain functional requirements (e.g. forming a binding interface, interactions between and within parts of the structure (e.g. domains can be reweighted in the scoring function. Results from each backbone structure are merged together to create a single estimate for the tolerated sequence space. We provide an extensive description of the protocol and its parameters, all source code, example analysis scripts and three tests applying this method to finding sequences predicted to stabilize proteins or protein interfaces. The generality of this method makes many other applications possible, for example stabilizing interactions with small molecules, DNA, or RNA. Through the use of within-domain reweighting and/or multistate design, it may also be possible to use this method to find sequences that stabilize particular protein conformations or binding interactions over others.

  7. CMsearch: simultaneous exploration of protein sequence space and structure space improves not only protein homology detection but also protein structure prediction

    KAUST Repository

    Cui, Xuefeng

    2016-06-15

    Motivation: Protein homology detection, a fundamental problem in computational biology, is an indispensable step toward predicting protein structures and understanding protein functions. Despite the advances in recent decades on sequence alignment, threading and alignment-free methods, protein homology detection remains a challenging open problem. Recently, network methods that try to find transitive paths in the protein structure space demonstrate the importance of incorporating network information of the structure space. Yet, current methods merge the sequence space and the structure space into a single space, and thus introduce inconsistency in combining different sources of information. Method: We present a novel network-based protein homology detection method, CMsearch, based on cross-modal learning. Instead of exploring a single network built from the mixture of sequence and structure space information, CMsearch builds two separate networks to represent the sequence space and the structure space. It then learns sequence–structure correlation by simultaneously taking sequence information, structure information, sequence space information and structure space information into consideration. Results: We tested CMsearch on two challenging tasks, protein homology detection and protein structure prediction, by querying all 8332 PDB40 proteins. Our results demonstrate that CMsearch is insensitive to the similarity metrics used to define the sequence and the structure spaces. By using HMM–HMM alignment as the sequence similarity metric, CMsearch clearly outperforms state-of-the-art homology detection methods and the CASP-winning template-based protein structure prediction methods.

  8. EST2Prot: Mapping EST sequences to proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin David M

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background EST libraries are used in various biological studies, from microarray experiments to proteomic and genetic screens. These libraries usually contain many uncharacterized ESTs that are typically ignored since they cannot be mapped to known genes. Consequently, new discoveries are possibly overlooked. Results We describe a system (EST2Prot that uses multiple elements to map EST sequences to their corresponding protein products. EST2Prot uses UniGene clusters, substring analysis, information about protein coding regions in existing DNA sequences and protein database searches to detect protein products related to a query EST sequence. Gene Ontology terms, Swiss-Prot keywords, and protein similarity data are used to map the ESTs to functional descriptors. Conclusion EST2Prot extends and significantly enriches the popular UniGene mapping by utilizing multiple relations between known biological entities. It produces a mapping between ESTs and proteins in real-time through a simple web-interface. The system is part of the Biozon database and is accessible at http://biozon.org/tools/est/.

  9. Foundation of the Outstanding Toughness in Biomimetic and Natural Spider Silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton, Arthur Markus; Heidebrecht, Aniela; Mahmood, Nasir; Beiner, Mario; Scheibel, Thomas; Kremer, Friedrich

    2017-12-11

    Spider dragline silk is distinguished through the highest toughness of all natural as well as artificial fiber materials. To unravel the toughness's molecular foundation and to enable manufacturing biomimetic analogues, we investigated the morphological and functional structure of recombinant fibers, which exhibit toughness similar to that of the natural template, on the molecular scale by means of vibrational spectroscopy and on the mesoscale by X-ray scattering. Whereas the former was used to identify protein secondary structures and their alignment in the natural as well as artificial silks, the latter revealed nanometer-sized crystallites on the higher structural level. Furthermore, a spectral red shift of a crystal-specific absorption band demonstrated that macroscopically applied stress is directly transferred to the molecular scale, where it is finally dissipated. Concerning this feature, both the natural as well as the biomimetic fibers are almost indistinguishable, giving rise to the toughness of both fiber materials.

  10. Evaluating drug trafficking on the Tor Network: Silk Road 2, the sequel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolliver, Diana S

    2015-11-01

    Housing an illicit, online drug retail market generating sales in the millions of USD, the Silk Road was a profitable marketplace with a growing and loyal consumer base. Following its FBI-forced shut down in October 2013, the Silk Road enjoyed newfound fame that contributed to an increase in new users downloading and accessing the Tor Network; however, with this particular marketplace out of order, Silk Road 2 was launched to fill the void. The goals of this study were to (1) compare the metrics of Silk Road 2 to the original site, and to (2) determine if there were any indications of the presence of more sophisticated drug trafficking operations. Data were collected from Silk Road 2 during the months of August and September 2014 using webcrawling software. Silk Road 2 was a much smaller marketplace than the original Silk Road. Of the 1834 unique items for sale, 348 were drug items sold by 145 distinct vendors shipping from 19 countries. Of the drug items advertised, most were stimulants and hallucinogens. The United States is both the number one country of origin for drug sales on Silk Road 2 and the number one destination country. Interestingly, 73% of all vendor accounts on Silk Road 2 advertised drug items, even though drugs only constituted 19% of all items advertised. This study was the first to research Silk Road 2, the replacement illicit marketplace to the original virtual Silk Road. This study was also the first to examine indications of the presence of more coordinated drug trafficking efforts in an online setting. The findings indicated that while Silk Road 2 was not primarily a drug market, there were indications that some vendor accounts may have connections reaching beyond a base retail market. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Adaptive compressive learning for prediction of protein-protein interactions from primary sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ya-Nan; Pan, Xiao-Yong; Huang, Yan; Shen, Hong-Bin

    2011-08-21

    Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) play an important role in biological processes. Although much effort has been devoted to the identification of novel PPIs by integrating experimental biological knowledge, there are still many difficulties because of lacking enough protein structural and functional information. It is highly desired to develop methods based only on amino acid sequences for predicting PPIs. However, sequence-based predictors are often struggling with the high-dimensionality causing over-fitting and high computational complexity problems, as well as the redundancy of sequential feature vectors. In this paper, a novel computational approach based on compressed sensing theory is proposed to predict yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae PPIs from primary sequence and has achieved promising results. The key advantage of the proposed compressed sensing algorithm is that it can compress the original high-dimensional protein sequential feature vector into a much lower but more condensed space taking the sparsity property of the original signal into account. What makes compressed sensing much more attractive in protein sequence analysis is its compressed signal can be reconstructed from far fewer measurements than what is usually considered necessary in traditional Nyquist sampling theory. Experimental results demonstrate that proposed compressed sensing method is powerful for analyzing noisy biological data and reducing redundancy in feature vectors. The proposed method represents a new strategy of dealing with high-dimensional protein discrete model and has great potentiality to be extended to deal with many other complicated biological systems. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Compliant threads maximize spider silk connection strength and toughness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Avery; Pugno, Nicola M.; Cranford, Steven W.

    2014-01-01

    Millions of years of evolution have adapted spider webs to achieve a range of functionalities, including the well-known capture of prey, with efficient use of material. One feature that has escaped extensive investigation is the silk-on-silk connection joints within spider webs, particularly from a structural mechanics perspective. We report a joint theoretical and computational analysis of an idealized silk-on-silk fibre junction. By modifying the theory of multiple peeling, we quantitatively compare the performance of the system while systematically increasing the rigidity of the anchor thread, by both scaling the stress–strain response and the introduction of an applied pre-strain. The results of our study indicate that compliance is a virtue—the more extensible the anchorage, the tougher and stronger the connection becomes. In consideration of the theoretical model, in comparison with rigid substrates, a compliant anchorage enormously increases the effective adhesion strength (work required to detach), independent of the adhered thread itself, attributed to a nonlinear alignment between thread and anchor (contact peeling angle). The results can direct novel engineering design principles to achieve possible load transfer from compliant fibre-to-fibre anchorages, be they silk-on-silk or another, as-yet undeveloped, system. PMID:25008083

  13. Enhanced stiffness of silk-like fibers by loop formation in the corona leads to stronger gels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rombouts, Wolf H; Domeradzka, Natalia E; Werten, Marc W T; Leermakers, Frans A M; de Vries, Renko J; de Wolf, Frits A; van der Gucht, Jasper

    2016-11-01

    We study the self-assembly of protein polymers consisting of a silk-like block flanked by two hydrophilic blocks, with a cysteine residue attached to the C-terminal end. The silk blocks self-assemble to form fibers while the hydrophilic blocks form a stabilizing corona. Entanglement of the fibers leads to the formation of hydrogels. Under oxidizing conditions the cysteine residues form disulfide bridges, effectively connecting two corona chains at their ends to form a loop. We find that this leads to a significant increase in the elastic modulus of the gels. Using atomic force microscopy, we show that this stiffening is due to an increase of the persistence length of the fibers. Self-consistent-field calculations indicate a slight decrease of the lateral pressure in the corona upon loop formation. We argue that this small decrease in the repulsive interactions affects the stacking of the silk-like blocks in the core, resulting in a more rigid fiber. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Design of Protein Multi-specificity Using an Independent Sequence Search Reduces the Barrier to Low Energy Sequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander M Sevy

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Computational protein design has found great success in engineering proteins for thermodynamic stability, binding specificity, or enzymatic activity in a 'single state' design (SSD paradigm. Multi-specificity design (MSD, on the other hand, involves considering the stability of multiple protein states simultaneously. We have developed a novel MSD algorithm, which we refer to as REstrained CONvergence in multi-specificity design (RECON. The algorithm allows each state to adopt its own sequence throughout the design process rather than enforcing a single sequence on all states. Convergence to a single sequence is encouraged through an incrementally increasing convergence restraint for corresponding positions. Compared to MSD algorithms that enforce (constrain an identical sequence on all states the energy landscape is simplified, which accelerates the search drastically. As a result, RECON can readily be used in simulations with a flexible protein backbone. We have benchmarked RECON on two design tasks. First, we designed antibodies derived from a common germline gene against their diverse targets to assess recovery of the germline, polyspecific sequence. Second, we design "promiscuous", polyspecific proteins against all binding partners and measure recovery of the native sequence. We show that RECON is able to efficiently recover native-like, biologically relevant sequences in this diverse set of protein complexes.

  15. Nonlinear analysis of sequence symmetry of beta-trefoil family proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li Mingfeng [Biomolecular Physics and Modeling Group, Department of Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, Hubei (China); Huang Yanzhao [Biomolecular Physics and Modeling Group, Department of Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, Hubei (China); Xu Ruizhen [Biomolecular Physics and Modeling Group, Department of Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, Hubei (China); Xiao Yi [Biomolecular Physics and Modeling Group, Department of Physics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, Hubei (China)]. E-mail: yxiao@mail.hust.edu.cn

    2005-07-01

    The tertiary structures of proteins of beta-trefoil family have three-fold quasi-symmetry while their amino acid sequences appear almost at random. In the present paper we show that these amino acid sequences have hidden symmetries in fact and furthermore the degrees of these hidden symmetries are the same as those of their tertiary structures. We shall present a modified recurrence plot to reveal hidden symmetries in protein sequences. Our results can explain the contradiction in sequence-structure relations of proteins of beta-trefoil family.

  16. Rotational-echo Double-resonance in Complex Biopolymers: a Study of Nephila Clavipes Dragline Silk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michal, Carl A.; Jelinski, Lynn W.

    1998-01-01

    Rotational-Echo Double-Resonance (REDOR) NMR on strategically 13C and 15N labeled samples is used to study the conformation of the LGXQ (X = S, G, or N) motif in the major ampullate gland dragline silk from the spider Nephila clavipes. A method is described for calculating REDOR dephasing curves suitable for background subtractions, using probability distributions of nitrogen atoms surrounding a given carbon site, which are developed from coordinates in the Brookhaven Protein Data Bank. The validity of the method is established by comparison to dephasings observed from natural abundance 13C peaks for G and A. Straightforward fitting of universal REDOR dephasing curves to the background corrected peaks of interest provide results which are not self-consistent, and a more sophisticated analysis is developed which better accounts for 15N labels which have scrambled from the intended positions. While there is likely some heterogeneity in the structures formed by the LGXQ sequences, the data indicate that they all form compact turn-like structures

  17. Treatment with solubilized Silk-Derived Protein (SDP enhances rabbit corneal epithelial wound healing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waleed Abdel-Naby

    Full Text Available There is a significant clinical need to improve current therapeutic approaches to treat ocular surface injuries and disease, which affect hundreds of millions of people annually worldwide. The work presented here demonstrates that the presence of Silk-Derived Protein (SDP on the healing rabbit corneal surface, administered in an eye drop formulation, corresponds with an enhanced epithelial wound healing profile. Rabbit corneas were denuded of their epithelial surface, and then treated for 72-hours with either PBS or PBS containing 5 or 20 mg/mL SDP in solution four times per day. Post-injury treatment with SDP formulations was found to accelerate the acute healing phase of the injured rabbit corneal epithelium. In addition, the use of SDP corresponded with an enhanced tissue healing profile through the formation of a multi-layered epithelial surface with increased tight junction formation. Additional biological effects were also revealed that included increased epithelial proliferation, and increased focal adhesion formation with a corresponding reduction in the presence of MMP-9 enzyme. These in vivo findings demonstrate for the first time that the presence of SDP on the injured ocular surface may aid to improve various steps of rabbit corneal wound healing, and provides evidence that SDP may have applicability as an ingredient in therapeutic ophthalmic formulations.

  18. Correlated mutations in protein sequences: Phylogenetic and structural effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lapedes, A.S. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States). Theoretical Div.]|[Santa Fe Inst., NM (United States); Giraud, B.G. [C.E.N. Saclay, Gif/Yvette (France). Service Physique Theorique; Liu, L.C. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States). Theoretical Div.; Stormo, G.D. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

    1998-12-01

    Covariation analysis of sets of aligned sequences for RNA molecules is relatively successful in elucidating RNA secondary structure, as well as some aspects of tertiary structure. Covariation analysis of sets of aligned sequences for protein molecules is successful in certain instances in elucidating certain structural and functional links, but in general, pairs of sites displaying highly covarying mutations in protein sequences do not necessarily correspond to sites that are spatially close in the protein structure. In this paper the authors identify two reasons why naive use of covariation analysis for protein sequences fails to reliably indicate sequence positions that are spatially proximate. The first reason involves the bias introduced in calculation of covariation measures due to the fact that biological sequences are generally related by a non-trivial phylogenetic tree. The authors present a null-model approach to solve this problem. The second reason involves linked chains of covariation which can result in pairs of sites displaying significant covariation even though they are not spatially proximate. They present a maximum entropy solution to this classic problem of causation versus correlation. The methodologies are validated in simulation.

  19. Electrospun Collagen/Silk Tissue Engineering Scaffolds: Fiber Fabrication, Post-Treatment Optimization, and Application in Neural Differentiation of Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Bofan

    Biocompatible scaffolds mimicking the locally aligned fibrous structure of native extracellular matrix (ECM) are in high demand in tissue engineering. In this thesis research, unidirectionally aligned fibers were generated via a home-built electrospinning system. Collagen type I, as a major ECM component, was chosen in this study due to its support of cell proliferation and promotion of neuroectodermal commitment in stem cell differentiation. Synthetic dragline silk proteins, as biopolymers with remarkable tensile strength and superior elasticity, were also used as a model material. Good alignment, controllable fiber size and morphology, as well as a desirable deposition density of fibers were achieved via the optimization of solution and electrospinning parameters. The incorporation of silk proteins into collagen was found to significantly enhance mechanical properties and stability of electrospun fibers. Glutaraldehyde (GA) vapor post-treatment was demonstrated as a simple and effective way to tune the properties of collagen/silk fibers without changing their chemical composition. With 6-12 hours GA treatment, electrospun collagen/silk fibers were not only biocompatible, but could also effectively induce the polarization and neural commitment of stem cells, which were optimized on collagen rich fibers due to the unique combination of biochemical and biophysical cues imposed to cells. Taken together, electrospun collagen rich composite fibers are mechanically strong, stable and provide excellent cell adhesion. The unidirectionally aligned fibers can accelerate neural differentiation of stem cells, representing a promising therapy for neural tissue degenerative diseases and nerve injuries.

  20. Thin Film Assembly of Spider Silk-like Block Copolymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Shipley, N. H.; Lewis, R. V. Int. J. Biol.Macromol. 1999, 24, 271. (c) Thiel, B. L.; Guess, K. B.; Viney, C. Biopolymers 1997, 41, 703. (13) Silk ...Film Assembly of Spider Silk -like Block Copolymers Sreevidhya T. Krishnaji,†,‡ Wenwen Huang,§ Olena Rabotyagova,†,‡ Eugenia Kharlampieva, ) Ikjun Choi...Received November 26, 2010 We report the self-assembly of monolayers of spider silk -like block copolymers. Langmuir isotherms were obtained for a series of

  1. Effects of silk sericin on the proliferation and apoptosis of colon cancer cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waraporn Kaewkorn

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Sericin is a silk protein woven from silkworm cocoons (Bombyx mori. In animal model, sericin has been reported to have anti-tumoral action against colon cancer. The mechanisms underlying the activity of sericin against cancer cells are not fully understood. The present study investigated the effects of sericin on human colorectal cancer SW480 cells compared to normal colonic mucosal FHC cells. Since the size of the sericin protein may be important for its activity, two ranges of molecular weight were tested. Sericin was found to decrease SW480 and FHC cell viability. The small sericin had higher anti-proliferative effects than that of the large sericin in both cell types. Increased apoptosis of SW480 cells is associated with increased caspase-3 activity and decreased Bcl-2 expression. The anti-proliferative effect of sericin was accompanied by cell cycle arrest at the S phase. Thus, sericin reduced SW480 cell viability by inducing cell apoptosis via caspase-3 activation and down-regulation of Bcl-2 expression. The present study provides scientific data that support the protective effect of silk sericin against cancer cells of the colon and suggests that this protein may have significant health benefits and could potentially be developed as a dietary supplement for colon cancer prevention.

  2. Bioprospecting finds the toughest biological material: extraordinary silk from a giant riverine orb spider.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingi Agnarsson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Combining high strength and elasticity, spider silks are exceptionally tough, i.e., able to absorb massive kinetic energy before breaking. Spider silk is therefore a model polymer for development of high performance biomimetic fibers. There are over 41,000 described species of spiders, most spinning multiple types of silk. Thus we have available some 200,000+ unique silks that may cover an amazing breadth of material properties. To date, however, silks from only a few tens of species have been characterized, most chosen haphazardly as model organisms (Nephila or simply from researchers' backyards. Are we limited to 'blindly fishing' in efforts to discover extraordinary silks? Or, could scientists use ecology to predict which species are likely to spin silks exhibiting exceptional performance properties? METHODOLOGY: We examined the biomechanical properties of silk produced by the remarkable Malagasy 'Darwin's bark spider' (Caerostris darwini, which we predicted would produce exceptional silk based upon its amazing web. The spider constructs its giant orb web (up to 2.8 m(2 suspended above streams, rivers, and lakes. It attaches the web to substrates on each riverbank by anchor threads as long as 25 meters. Dragline silk from both Caerostris webs and forcibly pulled silk, exhibits an extraordinary combination of high tensile strength and elasticity previously unknown for spider silk. The toughness of forcibly silked fibers averages 350 MJ/m(3, with some samples reaching 520 MJ/m(3. Thus, C. darwini silk is more than twice tougher than any previously described silk, and over 10 times better than Kevlar®. Caerostris capture spiral silk is similarly exceptionally tough. CONCLUSIONS: Caerostris darwini produces the toughest known biomaterial. We hypothesize that this extraordinary toughness coevolved with the unusual ecology and web architecture of these spiders, decreasing the likelihood of bridgelines breaking and collapsing the web

  3. Spider silk reinforced by graphene or carbon nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepore, Emiliano; Bosia, Federico; Bonaccorso, Francesco; Bruna, Matteo; Taioli, Simone; Garberoglio, Giovanni; Ferrari, Andrea C.; Pugno, Nicola Maria

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk has promising mechanical properties, since it conjugates high strength (~1.5 GPa) and toughness (~150 J g-1). Here, we report the production of silk incorporating graphene and carbon nanotubes by spider spinning, after feeding spiders with the corresponding aqueous dispersions. We observe an increment of the mechanical properties with respect to pristine silk, up to a fracture strength ~5.4 GPa and a toughness modulus ~1570 J g-1. This approach could be extended to other biological systems and lead to a new class of artificially modified biological, or ‘bionic’, materials.

  4. Subchronic toxicity study of corn silk with rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Cuina; Zhang, Tiehua; Liu, Jun; Lu, Shuang; Zhang, Cheng; Wang, Erlei; Wang, Zuozhao; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Jingbo

    2011-09-01

    Corn silk is a traditional herbal medicine in China, which has been used in many parts of the world for the treatment of edema as well as for cystitis, gout, kidney stones, nephritis, prostatitis and similar ailments. However, there is little scientific evidence about its safety. As a part of its safety assessment, a subchronic toxicity was performed in this paper. The subchronic toxicity was investigated in male and female Wistar rats by dietary administration at concentrations of 0.5%, 2.0% and 8.0% (w/w) for 90 days. Overall health, body weight, food consumption, hematology, blood chemistry, organ weights, gross and microscopic appearance of tissues were compared between test and control groups. A number of significant differences were seen between groups, but none of them was considered to be adverse. Based on the present study, the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of corn silk is at least 8.0% which corresponds to a mean daily corn silk intake of approximately 9.354 and 10.308 g/day/kg body weight for males and females, respectively. The results obtained in the present study suggest that consumption of corn silk has no adverse effects and support the safety of corn silk for humans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Xianhua

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Silk sericin (SS/silk fibroin (SF blend nanofibers have been produced by electrospinning in a binary SS/SF trifluoroacetic acid (TFA solution system, which was prepared by mixing 20 wt.% SS TFA solution and 10 wt.% SF TFA solution to give different compositions. The diameters of the SS/SF nanofibers ranged from 33 to 837 nm, and they showed a round cross section. The surface of the SS/SF nanofibers was smooth, and the fibers possessed a bead-free structure. The average diameters of the SS/SF (75/25, 50/50, and 25/75 blend nanofibers were much thicker than that of SS and SF nanofibers. The SS/SF (100/0, 75/25, and 50/50 blend nanofibers were easily dissolved in water, while the SS/SF (25/75 and 0/100 blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in water. The SS/SF blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in methanol. The SS/SF blend nanofibers were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and differential thermal analysis. FTIR showed that the SS/SF blend nanofibers possessed a random coil conformation and ß-sheet structure.

  6. Flexible and wearable electronic silk fabrics for human physiological monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Cuiping; Zhang, Huihui; Lu, Zhisong

    2017-09-01

    The development of textile-based devices for human physiological monitoring has attracted tremendous interest in recent years. However, flexible physiological sensing elements based on silk fabrics have not been realized. In this paper, ZnO nanorod arrays are grown in situ on reduced graphene oxide-coated silk fabrics via a facile electro-deposition method for the fabrication of silk-fabric-based mechanical sensing devices. The data show that well-aligned ZnO nanorods with hexagonal wurtzite crystalline structures are synthesized on the conductive silk fabric surface. After magnetron sputtering of gold electrodes, silk-fabric-based devices are produced and applied to detect periodic bending and twisting. Based on the electric signals, the deformation and release processes can be easily differentiated. Human arterial pulse and respiration can also be real-time monitored to calculate the pulse rate and respiration frequency, respectively. Throat vibrations during coughing and singing are detected to demonstrate the voice recognition capability. This work may not only help develop silk-fabric-based mechanical sensing elements for potential applications in clinical diagnosis, daily healthcare monitoring and voice recognition, but also provide a versatile method for fabricating textile-based flexible electronic devices.

  7. 'Surfing the Silk Road': a study of users' experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hout, Marie Claire; Bingham, Tim

    2013-11-01

    The online drug marketplace called 'Silk Road' has operated anonymously on the 'Deep Web' since 2011. It is accessible through computer encrypting software (Tor) and is supported by online transactions using peer to peer anonymous and untraceable crypto-currency (Bit Coins). The study aimed to describe user motives and realities of accessing, navigating and purchasing on the 'Silk Road' marketplace. Systematic online observations, monitoring of discussion threads on the site during four months of fieldwork and analysis of anonymous online interviews (n=20) with a convenience sample of adult 'Silk Road' users was conducted. The majority of participants were male, in professional employment or in tertiary education. Drug trajectories ranged from 18 months to 25 years, with favourite drugs including MDMA, 2C-B, mephedrone, nitrous oxide, ketamine, cannabis and cocaine. Few reported prior experience of online drug sourcing. Reasons for utilizing 'Silk Road' included curiosity, concerns for street drug quality and personal safety, variety of products, anonymous transactioning, and ease of product delivery. Vendor selection appeared to be based on trust, speed of transaction, stealth modes and quality of product. Forums on the site provided user advice, trip reports, product and transaction reviews. Some users reported solitary drug use for psychonautic and introspective purposes. A minority reported customs seizures, and in general a displacement away from traditional drug sourcing (street and closed markets) was described. Several reported intentions to commence vending on the site. The study provides an insight into 'Silk Road' purchasing motives and processes, the interplay between traditional and 'Silk Road' drug markets, the 'Silk Road' online community and its communication networks. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Bombyx mori silk protein films microprocessing with a nanosecond ultraviolet laser and a femtosecond laser workstation: theory and experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazare, S.; Sionkowska, A.; Zaborowicz, M.; Planecka, A.; Lopez, J.; Dijoux, M.; Louména, C.; Hernandez, M.-C.

    2012-01-01

    Laser microprocessing of several biopolymers from renewable resources is studied. Three proteinic materials were either extracted from the extracellular matrix like Silk Fibroin/Sericin and collagen, or coming from a commercial source like gelatin. All can find future applications in biomedical experimentation, in particular for cell scaffolding. Films of ˜hundred of microns thick were made by aqueous solution drying and laser irradiation. Attention is paid to the properties making them processable with two laser sources: the ultraviolet and nanosecond (ns) KrF (248 nm) excimer and the infrared and femtosecond (fs) Yb:KGW laser. The UV radiation is absorbed in a one-photon resonant process to yield ablation and the surface foaming characteristics of a laser-induced pressure wave. To the contrary, resonant absorption of the IR photons of the fs laser is not possible and does not take place. However, the high field of the intense I>˜1012 W/cm2 femtosecond laser pulse ionizes the film by the multiphoton absorption followed by the electron impact mechanism, yielding a dense plasma capable to further absorb the incident radiation of the end of the pulse. The theoretical model of this absorption is described in detail, and used to discuss the presented experimental effects (cutting, ablation and foaming) of the fs laser. The ultraviolet laser was used to perform simultaneous multiple spots experiments in which energetic foaming yields melt ejection and filament spinning. Airborne nanosize filaments "horizontally suspended by both ends" (0.25 μm diameter and 10 μm length) of silk biopolymer were observed upon irradiation with large fluences.

  9. Prediction of solvent dependent Beta-roll formation of a self-assembling silk-like protein domain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schor, M.; Martens, A.A.; Wolf, de F.A.; Cohen Stuart, M.A.; Bolhuis, P.G.

    2009-01-01

    Triblock copolymers consisting of a middle silk-like [(Gly-Ala)3-Gly-Glu]n block flanked by two hydrophilic end blocks that assume a random conformation in aqueous solution at all pH spontaneously assemble into micrometre long fibers at low pH. As elucidating the molecular structure of the stacked

  10. Prediction of solvent dependent beta-roll formation of a self-assembling silk-like protein domain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schor, M.; Martens, A.A.; de Wolf, F.A.; Cohen Stuart, M.A.; Bolhuis, P.G.

    2009-01-01

    Triblock copolymers consisting of a middle silk-like [(Gly - Ala)(3) - Gly - Glu](n) block flanked by two hydrophilic end blocks that assume a random conformation in aqueous solution at all pH spontaneously assemble into micrometre long fibers at low pH. As elucidating the molecular structure of the

  11. Invited review current progress and limitations of spider silk for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widhe, Mona; Johansson, Jan; Hedhammar, My; Rising, Anna

    2012-06-01

    Spider silk is a fascinating material combining remarkable mechanical properties with low density and biodegradability. Because of these properties and historical descriptions of medical applications, spider silk has been proposed to be the ideal biomaterial. However, overcoming the obstacles to produce spider silk in sufficient quantities and in a manner that meets regulatory demands has proven to be a difficult task. Also, there are relatively few studies of spider silk in biomedical applications available, and the methods and materials used vary a lot. Herein we summarize cell culture- and in vivo implantation studies of natural and synthetic spider silk, and also review the current status and future challenges in the quest for a large scale production of spider silk for medical applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Structural and thermal properties of silk fibroin - Silver nanoparticles composite films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivananda, C. S.; Rao B, B. Lakshmeesha; Shetty, G. Rajesh; Sangappa, Y.

    2018-05-01

    In this work, silk fibroin-silver nanoparticles (SF-AgNPs) composite films have been prepared by simple solution casting method. The composite films were examined for structural and thermal properties using X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimatric (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis. The XRD results showed that with the introduction of AgNPs in the silk fibroin matrix the amorphous nature of the silk fibroin decreases with increasing nanoparticles concentration. The silk fibroin films possess good thermal stability with the presence of AgNPs.

  13. Silk fibroin-chondroitin sulfate scaffold with immuno-inhibition property for articular cartilage repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Feifei; Zhang, Xianzhu; Cai, Dandan; Li, Jun; Mu, Qin; Zhang, Wei; Zhu, Shouan; Jiang, Yangzi; Shen, Weiliang; Zhang, Shufang; Ouyang, Hong Wei

    2017-11-01

    The demand of favorable scaffolds has increased for the emerging cartilage tissue engineering. Chondroitin sulfate (CS) and silk fibroin have been investigated and reported with safety and excellent biocompatibility as tissue engineering scaffolds. However, the rapid degradation rate of pure CS scaffolds presents a challenge to effectively recreate neo-tissue similar to natural articular cartilage. Meanwhile the silk fibroin is well used as a structural constituent material because its remarkable mechanical properties, long-lasting in vivo stability and hypoimmunity. The application of composite silk fibroin and CS scaffolds for joint cartilage repair has not been well studied. Here we report that the combination of silk fibroin and CS could synergistically promote articular cartilage defect repair. The silk fibroin (silk) and silk fibroin/CS (silk-CS) scaffolds were fabricated with salt-leaching, freeze-drying and crosslinking methodologies. The biocompatibility of the scaffolds was investigated in vitro by cell adhesion, proliferation and migration with human articular chondrocytes. We found that silk-CS scaffold maintained better chondrocyte phenotype than silk scaffold; moreover, the silk-CS scaffolds reduced chondrocyte inflammatory response that was induced by interleukin (IL)-1β, which is in consistent with the well-documented anti-inflammatory activities of CS. The in vivo cartilage repair was evaluated with a rabbit osteochondral defect model. Silk-CS scaffold induced more neo-tissue formation and better structural restoration than silk scaffold after 6 and 12weeks of implantation in ICRS histological evaluations. In conclusion, we have developed a silk fibroin/ chondroitin sulfate scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering that exhibits immuno-inhibition property and can improve the self-repair capacity of cartilage. Severe cartilage defect such as osteoarthritis (OA) is difficult to self-repair because of its avascular, aneural and alymphatic nature

  14. Novel silk fibroin films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ming, Jinfa; Liu, Zhi; Bie, Shiyu; Zhang, Feng; Zuo, Baoqi

    2014-01-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin from the silkworm was firstly found to be soluble in formic acid/hydroxyapatite system. The rheological behavior of silk fibroin solution was significantly influenced by HAp contents in dissolved solution. At the same time, silk fibroin nanofibers were observed in dissolved solution with 103.6 ± 20.4 nm in diameter. Moreover, the structure behavior of SF films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method was examined. The secondary structure of silk fibroin films was attributed to silk II structure (β-sheet), indicating that the hydroxyapatite contents in dissolved solution were not significantly affected by the structure of silk fibroin. The X-ray diffraction results exhibited obviously hydroxyapatite crystalline nature existing in silk fibroin films; however, when the hydroxyapatite content was 5.0 wt.% in dissolved solution, some hydroxyapatite crystals were converted to calcium hydrogen phosphate dehydrate in silk fibroin dissolution process. This result was also confirmed by Fourier transform infrared analysis and DSC measurement. In addition, silk fibroin films prepared by this dissolution method had higher breaking strength and extension at break. Based on these analyses, an understanding of novel SF dissolution method may provide an additional tool for designing and synthesizing advanced materials with more complex structures, which should be helpful in different fields, including biomaterial applications. - Highlights: • SF fibers were firstly successfully dissolved in FA/HAp solution. • The rheological behavior of SF solution was significantly influenced by HAp contents. • SF nanofibrils were observed in FA/HAp solution with 103.6 ± 20.4 nm in diameter. • SF films prepared by FA/HAp dissolution method had higher mechanical properties

  15. Novel silk fibroin films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ming, Jinfa, E-mail: jinfa.ming@gmail.com [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215021 (China); Liu, Zhi; Bie, Shiyu [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215021 (China); Zhang, Feng [Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Research, Medical College, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Zuo, Baoqi, E-mail: bqzuo@suda.edu.cn [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215021 (China)

    2014-04-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin from the silkworm was firstly found to be soluble in formic acid/hydroxyapatite system. The rheological behavior of silk fibroin solution was significantly influenced by HAp contents in dissolved solution. At the same time, silk fibroin nanofibers were observed in dissolved solution with 103.6 ± 20.4 nm in diameter. Moreover, the structure behavior of SF films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method was examined. The secondary structure of silk fibroin films was attributed to silk II structure (β-sheet), indicating that the hydroxyapatite contents in dissolved solution were not significantly affected by the structure of silk fibroin. The X-ray diffraction results exhibited obviously hydroxyapatite crystalline nature existing in silk fibroin films; however, when the hydroxyapatite content was 5.0 wt.% in dissolved solution, some hydroxyapatite crystals were converted to calcium hydrogen phosphate dehydrate in silk fibroin dissolution process. This result was also confirmed by Fourier transform infrared analysis and DSC measurement. In addition, silk fibroin films prepared by this dissolution method had higher breaking strength and extension at break. Based on these analyses, an understanding of novel SF dissolution method may provide an additional tool for designing and synthesizing advanced materials with more complex structures, which should be helpful in different fields, including biomaterial applications. - Highlights: • SF fibers were firstly successfully dissolved in FA/HAp solution. • The rheological behavior of SF solution was significantly influenced by HAp contents. • SF nanofibrils were observed in FA/HAp solution with 103.6 ± 20.4 nm in diameter. • SF films prepared by FA/HAp dissolution method had higher mechanical properties.

  16. Effect of corn silk extract on acetaminophen induced renal damage in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mehboob, F.; Tahir, M.

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate the protective role of Corn Silk extract on Acetaminophen induced nephrotoxicity in albino mice. Study Design: Laboratory based randomized controlled trials. Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in experimental research laboratory University of Health Sciences and Anatomy department, Lahore. The study duration was one year from February 2012 to February 2013. Material and Methods: Twenty seven male albino mice, 6-8 weeks old weighing 30 + 5 gm, were used; these animals were randomly divided into three groups having nine mice in each group. Group A served as control and was given 16.6ml/kg normal saline intraperitoneally on first day of experiment and was sacrificed on 10th day of the experiment. Group B was treated with acetaminophen 600 mg/kg dissolved in 16.6 ml of normal saline intraperitoneally on 1st day of experiment and was sacrificed after 48 hours. Group C was given acetaminophen at a dose of 600 mg/kg intraperitoneally on first day of experiment and then corn silk extract was given by oral route at a dose of 400 mg/kg for next 8 days. The animals were sacrificed on 10th day of the experiment, the kidneys were removed; 3mm three tissue pieces were fixed in 10% formaline; processed and stained with H and E for histological study. Results: It was observed on microscopic examination that Corn silk extract reduced deleterious effects of acetaminophen on tubules of kidney as evidenced by reduction of tubular vacuolation and necrosis, absence of protein casts, vascular congestion and inflammation. Conclusion: It is concluded from current results that corn silk extract protects acetaminophen induced nephrotoxicity. (author)

  17. Deep sequencing methods for protein engineering and design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrenbeck, Emily E; Faber, Matthew S; Whitehead, Timothy A

    2017-08-01

    The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized protein science, and the development of complementary methods enabling NGS-driven protein engineering have followed. In general, these experiments address the functional consequences of thousands of protein variants in a massively parallel manner using genotype-phenotype linked high-throughput functional screens followed by DNA counting via deep sequencing. We highlight the use of information rich datasets to engineer protein molecular recognition. Examples include the creation of multiple dual-affinity Fabs targeting structurally dissimilar epitopes and engineering of a broad germline-targeted anti-HIV-1 immunogen. Additionally, we highlight the generation of enzyme fitness landscapes for conducting fundamental studies of protein behavior and evolution. We conclude with discussion of technological advances. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Traveling the Silk Road: A Measurement of a Large Anonymous Online Marketplace

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-28

    Silk Road, an anonymous, international online marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We gather...analysis of Silk Road, an anonymous, international on- line marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We...anonymity, Silk Road needs to also preserve payment anonymity. To that effect, Silk Road only supports Bitcoin (BTC, [30]) as a trading currency

  19. Biophysical and structural considerations for protein sequence evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grahnen Johan A

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein sequence evolution is constrained by the biophysics of folding and function, causing interdependence between interacting sites in the sequence. However, current site-independent models of sequence evolutions do not take this into account. Recent attempts to integrate the influence of structure and biophysics into phylogenetic models via statistical/informational approaches have not resulted in expected improvements in model performance. This suggests that further innovations are needed for progress in this field. Results Here we develop a coarse-grained physics-based model of protein folding and binding function, and compare it to a popular informational model. We find that both models violate the assumption of the native sequence being close to a thermodynamic optimum, causing directional selection away from the native state. Sampling and simulation show that the physics-based model is more specific for fold-defining interactions that vary less among residue type. The informational model diffuses further in sequence space with fewer barriers and tends to provide less support for an invariant sites model, although amino acid substitutions are generally conservative. Both approaches produce sequences with natural features like dN/dS Conclusions Simple coarse-grained models of protein folding can describe some natural features of evolving proteins but are currently not accurate enough to use in evolutionary inference. This is partly due to improper packing of the hydrophobic core. We suggest possible improvements on the representation of structure, folding energy, and binding function, as regards both native and non-native conformations, and describe a large number of possible applications for such a model.

  20. Quantitative analysis of allantoin in Iranian corn silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Khanpour*

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background and objectives: Zea mays is cultivated in different parts of Iran and corn silk is used in traditional medicine. Allantoin is one of the major compounds in corn silk. The purpose of this research was the quantitatve analysis of allantoin in corn silks belonging to several regions of Iran. Methods: The samples of corn silk were prepared from three provinces of Iran (Kermanshah, Fars and Razavi Khorasan. The dried plant materials were infused in boiling distilled water with a temperature of 90-95 °C on magnetic stirrer for 30 min. The levels of allantoin in aqueous extracts were determined by HPLC. Quantification was achieved using an C18 column (250×4.6 mm, 5 µm under isocratic conditions and phosphate buffer solution (pH 3.0 as the mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.5 mL/min. Column effluent was monitored at 210 nm. The calibration curve of allantoin standard was plotted with concentrations from 6.25 to 100 µg/mL. Results: The calibration curve of standard was linear over the concentration range used (R2=0.9999. The results showed that the amount of allantoin in samples was between 205 and 374 mg/100g of dry plant material. The corn silk samples of Razavi Khorasan and Fars provinces showed the lowest and highest amount of allantoin, respectively. Conclusion: The levels of allantoin obtained in this study were higher than the values reported in other studies; therefore, the researchers of this project are investigating the wound healing effect of corn silk.

  1. Cytocompatibility of a silk fibroin tubular scaffold

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jiannan; Wei, Yali; Yi, Honggen; Liu, Zhiwu; Sun, Dan; Zhao, Huanrong

    2014-01-01

    Regenerated silk fibroin (SF) materials are increasingly used for tissue engineering applications. In order to explore the feasibility of a novel biomimetic silk fibroin tubular scaffold (SFTS) crosslinked by poly(ethylene glycol) diglycidyl ether (PEG-DE), biocompatibility with cells was evaluated. The novel biomimetic design of the SFTS consisted of three distinct layers: a regenerated SF intima, a silk braided media and a regenerated SF adventitia. The SFTS exhibited even silk fibroin penetration throughout the braid, forming a porous layered tube with superior mechanical, permeable and cell adhesion properties that are beneficial to vascular regeneration. Cytotoxicity and cell compatibility were tested on L929 cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (EA.hy926). DNA content analysis, scanning electron and confocal microscopies and MTT assay showed no inhibitory effects on DNA replication. Cell morphology, viability and proliferation were good for L929 cells, and satisfactory for EA.hy926 cells. Furthermore, the suture retention strength of the SFTS was about 23 N and the Young's modulus was 0.2–0.3 MPa. Collectively, these data demonstrate that PEG-DE crosslinked SFTS possesses the appropriate cytocompatibility and mechanical properties for use as vascular scaffolds as an alternative to vascular autografts. - Highlights: • A PEG-DE cross-linked small caliber porous silk fibroin tubular scaffold (SFTS) • PEG-DE cross-linked SF film had no inhibitory effect on DNA replication of cells. • Cells cultured on the SFTS showed good morphology, cell viability and proliferative activity. • SFTS would be beneficial to endothelialization. • SFTS had good suture retention strength and flexibility

  2. Multifunctional surface modification of silk fabric via graphene oxide repeatedly coating and chemical reduction method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jiliang; Wang, Chaoxia

    2017-05-01

    Multifunctional silk fabrics with electrical conductive, anti-ultraviolet and water repellent were successfully prepared by surface modification with graphene oxide (GO). The yellow-brown GO deposited on the surface of silk fabric was converted into graphitic black reduced graphene (RGO) by sodium hydrosulfite. The surface properties of silk fabrics were changed by repeatedly RGO coating process, which have been proved by SEM and XPS. The SEM results showed that the RGO sheets were successive form a continuously thin film on the surface of silk fabrics, and the deposition of GO or RGO also can be proved by XPS. The electrical conductivity was tested by electrical surface resistance value of the silk fabric, the surface resistance decreased with increasing of RGO surface modification times, and a low surface resistance value reached to 3.24 KΩ cm-1 after 9 times of modification, indicating the silk obtained excellent conductivity. The UPF value of one time GO modification silk fabric (silk-1RGO) was enhanced significantly to 24.45 in comparison to 10.40 of original silk. The contact angle of RGO coating silk samples was all above of 120°. The durability of RGO coated silk fabrics was tested by laundering. The electrical surface resistance of silk-4RGO (65.74 KΩ cm-1), silk-6RGO (15.54 KΩ cm-1) and silk-8RGO (3.86 KΩ cm-1) fabrics was up to 86.82, 22.30 and 6.57 KΩ cm-1 after 10 times of standard washing, respectively. The UPF value, contact angle and color differences of RGO modified silk fabric slightly changed before and after 10 times of standard washing. Therefore, the washing fastness of electric conduction, anti-ultraviolet and water repellent multifunctional silk fabrics was excellent.

  3. Beneficial Effects of Corn Silk on Metabolic Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bing; Xiao, Tiegang; Ruan, Jun; Liu, Wensheng

    2017-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a very common medical problem worldwide. It includes obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia, and abnormal levels of triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It is closely associated with insulin resistance and may lead to diabetes mellitus, liver diseases, or cardiovascular diseases. Corn silk (CS), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been reported to have multiple beneficial effects, including hypotensive, anti-diabetic, and hypolipidemic properties. This suggests that corn silk could be used to treat or prevent metabolic syndrome. In this review, we will discuss the potential role of corn silk in different components of metabolic syndrome. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  4. MIPS: a database for protein sequences, homology data and yeast genome information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mewes, H W; Albermann, K; Heumann, K; Liebl, S; Pfeiffer, F

    1997-01-01

    The MIPS group (Martinsried Institute for Protein Sequences) at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried near Munich, Germany, collects, processes and distributes protein sequence data within the framework of the tripartite association of the PIR-International Protein Sequence Database (,). MIPS contributes nearly 50% of the data input to the PIR-International Protein Sequence Database. The database is distributed on CD-ROM together with PATCHX, an exhaustive supplement of unique, unverified protein sequences from external sources compiled by MIPS. Through its WWW server (http://www.mips.biochem.mpg.de/ ) MIPS permits internet access to sequence databases, homology data and to yeast genome information. (i) Sequence similarity results from the FASTA program () are stored in the FASTA database for all proteins from PIR-International and PATCHX. The database is dynamically maintained and permits instant access to FASTA results. (ii) Starting with FASTA database queries, proteins have been classified into families and superfamilies (PROT-FAM). (iii) The HPT (hashed position tree) data structure () developed at MIPS is a new approach for rapid sequence and pattern searching. (iv) MIPS provides access to the sequence and annotation of the complete yeast genome (), the functional classification of yeast genes (FunCat) and its graphical display, the 'Genome Browser' (). A CD-ROM based on the JAVA programming language providing dynamic interactive access to the yeast genome and the related protein sequences has been compiled and is available on request. PMID:9016498

  5. Silk industry and carbon footprint mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomin, A. M.; Garcia, J. B., Jr.; Zonatti, W. F.; Silva-Santos, M. C.; Laktim, M. C.; Baruque-Ramos, J.

    2017-10-01

    Currently there is a concern with issues related to sustainability and more conscious consumption habits. The carbon footprint measures the total amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced directly and indirectly by human activities and is usually expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents. The present study takes into account data collected in scientific literature regarding the carbon footprint, garments produced with silk fiber and the role of mulberry as a CO2 mitigation tool. There is an indication of a positive correlation between silk garments and carbon footprint mitigation when computed the cultivation of mulberry trees in this calculation. A field of them mitigates CO2 equivalents in a proportion of 735 times the weight of the produced silk fiber by the mulberry cultivated area. At the same time, additional researches are needed in order to identify and evaluate methods to advertise this positive correlation in order to contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry.

  6. Formatt: Correcting protein multiple structural alignments by incorporating sequence alignment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniels Noah M

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The quality of multiple protein structure alignments are usually computed and assessed based on geometric functions of the coordinates of the backbone atoms from the protein chains. These purely geometric methods do not utilize directly protein sequence similarity, and in fact, determining the proper way to incorporate sequence similarity measures into the construction and assessment of protein multiple structure alignments has proved surprisingly difficult. Results We present Formatt, a multiple structure alignment based on the Matt purely geometric multiple structure alignment program, that also takes into account sequence similarity when constructing alignments. We show that Formatt outperforms Matt and other popular structure alignment programs on the popular HOMSTRAD benchmark. For the SABMark twilight zone benchmark set that captures more remote homology, Formatt and Matt outperform other programs; depending on choice of embedded sequence aligner, Formatt produces either better sequence and structural alignments with a smaller core size than Matt, or similarly sized alignments with better sequence similarity, for a small cost in average RMSD. Conclusions Considering sequence information as well as purely geometric information seems to improve quality of multiple structure alignments, though defining what constitutes the best alignment when sequence and structural measures would suggest different alignments remains a difficult open question.

  7. Extracted sericin from silk waste for film formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rungsinee Sothornvit

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Sericin is the second main component in cocoons, which are removed in the silk reeling process of the raw silk industry and in the silk waste degumming of the spun silk industry. The main amino acid of sericin, serine, exhibits a skin moisturing and antiwrinkle action, which is interesting to use for film formation in this study. The extraction conditions of sericin from two silk wastes, pieced cocoon and inferior knubbs were studied to find the optimum extraction conditions. Boiling water extraction was considered based on the response surface methodology (RSM in order to identify the important factors for the sericin extraction. The two factors considered were time and temperature. Both factors were needed to be independent parameters in the predicted equation in order to improve the model fit with R2 = 0.84. The components ofextracted sericin were 18.24% serine, 9.83% aspatate, and 5.51% glycine with a molecular weight of 132 kDa. Film formationfrom extracted sericin was carried out to find the optimum conditions. Extracted sericin could not form a stand-alonefilm. Therefore, polysaccharide polymers, such as glucomannan, were incorporated with glycerol to form a flexible film.Sericin-based films were characterized for its properties in terms of solubility and permeability before application. It wasfound that sericin-based films showed a film flexibility and solubility without an increasing film water vapor permeability.

  8. Single-molecule protein sequencing through fingerprinting: computational assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Yao; Docter, Margreet; van Ginkel, Jetty; de Ridder, Dick; Joo, Chirlmin

    2015-10-01

    Proteins are vital in all biological systems as they constitute the main structural and functional components of cells. Recent advances in mass spectrometry have brought the promise of complete proteomics by helping draft the human proteome. Yet, this commonly used protein sequencing technique has fundamental limitations in sensitivity. Here we propose a method for single-molecule (SM) protein sequencing. A major challenge lies in the fact that proteins are composed of 20 different amino acids, which demands 20 molecular reporters. We computationally demonstrate that it suffices to measure only two types of amino acids to identify proteins and suggest an experimental scheme using SM fluorescence. When achieved, this highly sensitive approach will result in a paradigm shift in proteomics, with major impact in the biological and medical sciences.

  9. Single-molecule protein sequencing through fingerprinting: computational assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yao, Yao; Docter, Margreet; Van Ginkel, Jetty; Joo, Chirlmin; De Ridder, Dick

    2015-01-01

    Proteins are vital in all biological systems as they constitute the main structural and functional components of cells. Recent advances in mass spectrometry have brought the promise of complete proteomics by helping draft the human proteome. Yet, this commonly used protein sequencing technique has fundamental limitations in sensitivity. Here we propose a method for single-molecule (SM) protein sequencing. A major challenge lies in the fact that proteins are composed of 20 different amino acids, which demands 20 molecular reporters. We computationally demonstrate that it suffices to measure only two types of amino acids to identify proteins and suggest an experimental scheme using SM fluorescence. When achieved, this highly sensitive approach will result in a paradigm shift in proteomics, with major impact in the biological and medical sciences. (paper)

  10. Engagement and contestation: The entangled imagery of the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timur Dadabaev

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available There is considerable debate over how and in what form Central Asian (CA states should conduct relations among each other and with other post-Soviet states. The notion of the “Silk Road” has become one of the symbols of extended economic and political cooperation. Notably, however, Japan (Silk Road Diplomacy, 1996–1999, China (One Belt, One Road [OBOR] or the Belt and Road initiative [BRI] and South Korea (Silk Road Strategy, 2011 have used the rhetoric of reviving the Silk Road to imply closer engagement with the CA region but with different connotations. This paper focuses on the formation of this discourse of engagement with the CA region through the notion of the Silk Road in China, South Korea and Japan and raises the following questions: What are the approaches that facilitate the most effective ways of engaging CA states under this “Silk Road” rhetoric? What are the principles that have detrimental effects on the successes and failures of the engagement of China, Japan and South Korea? The primary objective of this paper is to address these questions and to stimulate debate among both academics and policy makers on the formats of engagement and cooperation in Eurasia.

  11. Microscopic structural analysis of fractured silk fibers from Bombyx mori and Samia cynthia ricini using 13C CP/MAS NMR with a 1 mm microcoil MAS NMR probehead

    KAUST Repository

    Yamauchi, Kazuo

    2010-07-01

    Conformational changes have been studied in silk fibers from the domestic silkworm Bombyx mori and a wild silkworm Samia cynthia ricini as a result of fractured by stretching. About 300 samples consisting of only the fractured regions of [1-13C]Ala or [1-13C]Gly labeled silk fibers were collected and observed by 13C CP/MAS NMR spectra. The total amount of these fractured fibers is only about 1 mg and therefore we used a home-built 1 mm microcoil MAS NMR probehead. A very small increase in the fraction of random coil was noted for the alanine regions of both silk fibroins and for the glycine region of B. mori silk fibroin. However, there is no difference in the spectra before and after fractured for the glycine region of S. c. ricini silk fibroin. Thus, the influence of fracture occurs exclusively at the Ala region for S. c. ricini. The relationship between sequence, fracture and structure is discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The Eurasian Silk Road: Its historical roots and the Chinese imagination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally Church

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This article takes a long historical perspective on the Silk Road, attempting to see it from a Chinese point of view. It focuses on five themes that figure in the Chinese imagination of the Silk Road, all rooted in China’s history. These include influences that came to China via the Silk Road in prehistoric and early historic times, patterns of military expansion of Chinese power in the Western regions, the threat of invasion from the northern and north-western frontiers, commercial exchanges and individual travel. Individuals journeyed across the Silk Road for diplomatic, military, commercial and sometimes religious reasons and the various themes overlap to some extent. Some myths are also dispelled: first, the Silk Road was not one route but many; second, other commodities besides silk travelled along it and third, the maritime Silk Road should also be included in the concept. Under Mongol rule, the route was at times an unbroken corridor between East and West on which many people travelled in both directions. When the Mongol empire broke up, travel overland was restricted again, which may have been why China took to the seas in the Ming. At present, China is building a New Silk Road to connect with the rest of the world in a more integrated way than ever before. The focus of this article is on establishing the patterns of the past in the hopes that it will contribute to the discussion of whether these patterns will be repeated in the present or if we are in completely uncharted territory.

  13. Anti-EGFR-iRGD recombinant protein conjugated silk fibroin nanoparticles for enhanced tumor targeting and antitumor efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bian X

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Xinyu Bian,* Puyuan Wu,* Huizi Sha, Hanqing Qian, Qing Wang, Lei Cheng, Yang Yang, Mi Yang, Baorui LiuComprehensive Cancer Center of Drum-Tower Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, Clinical Cancer Institute of Nanjing University, Nanjing, People’s Republic of China*These authors contributed equally to this workAbstract: In this study, we report a novel kind of targeting with paclitaxel (PTX-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles conjugated with iRGD–EGFR nanobody recombinant protein (anti-EGFR-iRGD. The new nanoparticles (called A-PTX-SF-NPs were prepared using the carbodiimide-mediated coupling procedure and their characteristics were evaluated. The cellular cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of A-PTX-SF-NPs were also investigated. The results in vivo suggested that NPs conjugated with the recombinant protein exhibited more targeting and anti-neoplastic property in cells with high EGFR expression. In the in vivo antitumor efficacy assay, the A-PTX-SF-NPs group showed slower tumor growth and smaller tumor volumes than PTX-SF-NPs in a HeLa xenograft mouse model. A real-time near-infrared fluorescence imaging study showed that A-PTX-SF-NPs could target the tumor more effectively. These results suggest that the anticancer activity and tumor targeting of A-PTX-SF-NPs were superior to those of PTX-SF-NPs and may have the potential to be used for targeted delivery for tumor therapies. Keywords: EGFR, nanobody, iRGD, recombinant protein, targeting drug carriers, antitumor efficiency

  14. Preparation of Porous Scaffolds from Silk Fibroin Extracted from the Silk Gland of Bombyx mori (B. mori

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangjun Zhu

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available In order to use a simple and ecofriendly method to prepare porous silk scaffolds, aqueous silk fibroin solution (ASF was extracted from silk gland of 7-day-old fifth instar larvae of Bombyx mori (B. mori. SDS-page analysis indicated that the obtained fibroin had a molecular weight higher than 200 kDa. The fabrication of porous scaffolds from ASF was achieved by using the freeze-drying method. The pore of porous scaffolds is homogenous and tends to become smaller with an increase in the concentration of ASF. Conversely, the porosity is decreased. The porous scaffolds show impressive compressive strength which can be as high as 6.9 ± 0.4 MPa. Furthermore, ASF has high cell adhesion and growth activity. It also exhibits high ALP activity. This implies that porous scaffolds prepared from ASF have biocompatibility. Therefore, the porous scaffolds prepared in this study have potential application in tissue engineering due to the impressive compressive strength and biocompatibility.

  15. Prediction of Protein Structural Classes for Low-Similarity Sequences Based on Consensus Sequence and Segmented PSSM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunyun Liang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Prediction of protein structural classes for low-similarity sequences is useful for understanding fold patterns, regulation, functions, and interactions of proteins. It is well known that feature extraction is significant to prediction of protein structural class and it mainly uses protein primary sequence, predicted secondary structure sequence, and position-specific scoring matrix (PSSM. Currently, prediction solely based on the PSSM has played a key role in improving the prediction accuracy. In this paper, we propose a novel method called CSP-SegPseP-SegACP by fusing consensus sequence (CS, segmented PsePSSM, and segmented autocovariance transformation (ACT based on PSSM. Three widely used low-similarity datasets (1189, 25PDB, and 640 are adopted in this paper. Then a 700-dimensional (700D feature vector is constructed and the dimension is decreased to 224D by using principal component analysis (PCA. To verify the performance of our method, rigorous jackknife cross-validation tests are performed on 1189, 25PDB, and 640 datasets. Comparison of our results with the existing PSSM-based methods demonstrates that our method achieves the favorable and competitive performance. This will offer an important complementary to other PSSM-based methods for prediction of protein structural classes for low-similarity sequences.

  16. Functional regeneration of ligament-bone interface using a triphasic silk-based graft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongguo; Fan, Jiabing; Sun, Liguo; Liu, Xincheng; Cheng, Pengzhen; Fan, Hongbin

    2016-11-01

    The biodegradable silk-based scaffold with unique mechanical property and biocompatibility represents a favorable ligamentous graft for tissue-engineering anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. However, the low efficiency of ligament-bone interface restoration barriers the isotropic silk graft to common ACL therapeutics. To enhance the regeneration of the silk-mediated interface, we developed a specialized stratification approach implementing a sequential modification on isotropic silk to constitute a triphasic silk-based graft in which three regions respectively referring to ligament, cartilage and bone layers of interface were divided, followed by respective biomaterial coating. Furthermore, three types of cells including bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), chondrocytes and osteoblasts were respectively seeded on the ligament, cartilage and bone region of the triphasic silk graft, and the cell/scaffold complex was rolled up as a multilayered graft mimicking the stratified structure of native ligament-bone interface. In vitro, the trilineage cells loaded on the triphasic silk scaffold revealed a high proliferative capacity as well as enhanced differentiation ability into their corresponding cell lineage. 24 weeks postoperatively after the construct was implanted to repair the ACL defect in rabbit model, the silk-based ligamentous graft exhibited the enhancement of osseointegration detected by a robust pullout force and formation of three-layered structure along with conspicuously corresponding matrix deposition via micro-CT and histological analysis. These findings potentially broaden the application of silk-based ligamentous graft for ACL reconstruction and further large animal study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Scoring protein relationships in functional interaction networks predicted from sequence data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaston K Mazandu

    Full Text Available UNLABELLED: The abundance of diverse biological data from various sources constitutes a rich source of knowledge, which has the power to advance our understanding of organisms. This requires computational methods in order to integrate and exploit these data effectively and elucidate local and genome wide functional connections between protein pairs, thus enabling functional inferences for uncharacterized proteins. These biological data are primarily in the form of sequences, which determine functions, although functional properties of a protein can often be predicted from just the domains it contains. Thus, protein sequences and domains can be used to predict protein pair-wise functional relationships, and thus contribute to the function prediction process of uncharacterized proteins in order to ensure that knowledge is gained from sequencing efforts. In this work, we introduce information-theoretic based approaches to score protein-protein functional interaction pairs predicted from protein sequence similarity and conserved protein signature matches. The proposed schemes are effective for data-driven scoring of connections between protein pairs. We applied these schemes to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteome to produce a homology-based functional network of the organism with a high confidence and coverage. We use the network for predicting functions of uncharacterised proteins. AVAILABILITY: Protein pair-wise functional relationship scores for Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain CDC1551 sequence data and python scripts to compute these scores are available at http://web.cbio.uct.ac.za/~gmazandu/scoringschemes.

  18. Feeding Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes or Graphene to Silkworms for Reinforced Silk Fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Wang, Chunya; Zhang, Mingchao; Jian, Muqiang; Zhang, Yingying

    2016-10-12

    Silkworm silk is gaining significant attention from both the textile industry and research society because of its outstanding mechanical properties and lustrous appearance. The possibility of creating tougher silks attracts particular research interest. Carbon nanotubes and graphene are widely studied for their use as reinforcement. In this work, we report mechanically enhanced silk directly collected by feeding Bombyx mori larval silkworms with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and graphene. We found that parts of the fed carbon nanomaterials were incorporated into the as-spun silk fibers, whereas the others went into the excrement of silkworms. Spectroscopy study indicated that nanocarbon additions hindered the conformation transition of silk fibroin from random coil and α-helix to β-sheet, which may contribute to increased elongation at break and toughness modules. We further investigated the pyrolysis of modified silk, and a highly developed graphitic structure with obviously enhanced electrical conductivity was obtained through the introduction of SWNTs and graphene. The successful generation of these SWNT- or graphene-embedded silks by in vivo feeding is expected to open up possibilities for the large-scale production of high-strength silk fibers.

  19. Timing of autophagy and apoptosis during posterior silk gland degeneration in Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montali, Aurora; Romanelli, Davide; Cappellozza, Silvia; Grimaldi, Annalisa; de Eguileor, Magda; Tettamanti, Gianluca

    2017-07-01

    Over the years, the silkworm, Bombyx mori, has been manipulated by means of chemical and genetic approaches to improve silk production both quantitatively and qualitatively. The silk is produced by the silk gland, which degenerates quickly once the larva has finished spinning the cocoon. Thus, interfering with this degeneration process could help develop new technologies aimed at ameliorating silk yield. To this end, in this work we studied the cell death processes that lead to the demise of the posterior silk gland of B. mori, directing in particular our attention to autophagy and apoptosis. We focused on this portion of the gland because it produces fibroin, the main component of the silk thread. By using multiple markers, we provide a morphological, biochemical and molecular characterization of the apoptotic and autophagic processes and define their timing in this biological setting. Our data demonstrate that the activation of both autophagy and apoptosis is preceded by a transcriptional rise in key regulatory genes. Moreover, while autophagy is maintained active for several days and progressively digests silk gland cells, apoptosis is only switched on at a very late stage of silk gland demise. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Inverse statistical physics of protein sequences: a key issues review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocco, Simona; Feinauer, Christoph; Figliuzzi, Matteo; Monasson, Rémi; Weigt, Martin

    2018-03-01

    In the course of evolution, proteins undergo important changes in their amino acid sequences, while their three-dimensional folded structure and their biological function remain remarkably conserved. Thanks to modern sequencing techniques, sequence data accumulate at unprecedented pace. This provides large sets of so-called homologous, i.e. evolutionarily related protein sequences, to which methods of inverse statistical physics can be applied. Using sequence data as the basis for the inference of Boltzmann distributions from samples of microscopic configurations or observables, it is possible to extract information about evolutionary constraints and thus protein function and structure. Here we give an overview over some biologically important questions, and how statistical-mechanics inspired modeling approaches can help to answer them. Finally, we discuss some open questions, which we expect to be addressed over the next years.

  1. Ultra-fast evaluation of protein energies directly from sequence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gevorg Grigoryan

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available The structure, function, stability, and many other properties of a protein in a fixed environment are fully specified by its sequence, but in a manner that is difficult to discern. We present a general approach for rapidly mapping sequences directly to their energies on a pre-specified rigid backbone, an important sub-problem in computational protein design and in some methods for protein structure prediction. The cluster expansion (CE method that we employ can, in principle, be extended to model any computable or measurable protein property directly as a function of sequence. Here we show how CE can be applied to the problem of computational protein design, and use it to derive excellent approximations of physical potentials. The approach provides several attractive advantages. First, following a one-time derivation of a CE expansion, the amount of time necessary to evaluate the energy of a sequence adopting a specified backbone conformation is reduced by a factor of 10(7 compared to standard full-atom methods for the same task. Second, the agreement between two full-atom methods that we tested and their CE sequence-based expressions is very high (root mean square deviation 1.1-4.7 kcal/mol, R2 = 0.7-1.0. Third, the functional form of the CE energy expression is such that individual terms of the expansion have clear physical interpretations. We derived expressions for the energies of three classic protein design targets-a coiled coil, a zinc finger, and a WW domain-as functions of sequence, and examined the most significant terms. Single-residue and residue-pair interactions are sufficient to accurately capture the energetics of the dimeric coiled coil, whereas higher-order contributions are important for the two more globular folds. For the task of designing novel zinc-finger sequences, a CE-derived energy function provides significantly better solutions than a standard design protocol, in comparable computation time. Given these advantages

  2. Synthetic Adhesive Attachment Discs based on Spider Pyriform Silk Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2014-03-01

    Among the variety of silks produced by spiders, pyriform silk is used in conjunction with the dragline silk to attach webs to different surfaces. Cob weaver spiders employ different architectural patterns to utilize the pyriform silk and form attachment joints with each pattern having a characteristic adhesive performance. The staple pin architecture is a one of the strongest attachment designs employed by spiders to attach their webs. Here we use a synthetic approach to create the a similar patterned architecture attachment discs on aluminum substrate using thermoplastic polyurethane. Measurable pull off forces are generated when the synthetic discs are peeled off a surface. This innovative adhesive strategy can be a source of design in various biomedical applications. Financial Support from National Science Foundation.

  3. Re-Opening the Silk Road to Transform Chinese Trade

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Ning (Mao); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractUnder anti-globalization and isolationism, China is seeking to portray itself as a new leader for globalization under the banner of the Silk Road initiative. Meanwhile, China’s traditional and comparatively advantaged industry, silk, has faced dire predicaments and challenges for long

  4. Re-opening the silk road to transform Chinese trade

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    N. Mao (Ning); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractUnder anti-globalization and isolationism, China is seeking to portray itself as a new leader for globalization under the banner of the Silk Road initiative. Meanwhile, China's traditional and comparatively advantaged industry, silk, has faced dire predicaments and challenges for long

  5. Tailoring the properties and functions of phosphate/silk/Ag/chitosan scaffolds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdel-Fattah, Wafa I.; Sallam, Abdel Sattar M.; Diab, A.M.; Ali, Ghareib W.

    2015-01-01

    Two novel silk composites of phosphatic phases with nanosilver/chitosan having enhanced biocompatibility were achieved. Hydroxyapatite and octa calcium phosphates were synthesized in situ within silk fibroin/chitosan/nanosilver composites recently studied. Thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) verified their thermal behavior. The structural aspects were characterized applying X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) with EDAX. Additionally X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were applied. Mercury porosimeter was used to verify the pore size distribution. The in vitro degradation was followed in D-MEM for 48 h in a cumulative manner for five successive periods. Biochemical analyses of Ca, P and total protein using relevant chemical kits and atomic absorption for silver were performed. ANOVA statistics was carried out. Phosphatic crystalline phases along with the presence of silk, chitosan and nano-silver were developed. The diameters of hydroxyapatite and octa calcium phosphate particles were ~ 8–17 nm and 15–22 nm respectively. Comparatively higher degradation of Octa composite possessing higher porosity proved in turn more osteoinduction with in situ apatitic development. - Highlights: • A bottom–up approach controlled the achieved in situ configurations. • The calculated (CI) XDR and (CI) FTIR for both phases are highly conformable. • Post-immersion trimodal pore system was achieved in OCP composite. • Silver nanoparticle inclusion expected to enhance composite bactericidal activity

  6. Effects of β-sheet crystals and a glycine-rich matrix on the thermal conductivity of spider dragline silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jinju; Kim, Duckjong; Lee, Seung-Mo; Choi, Ji-Ung; You, Myungil; So, Hye-Mi; Han, Junkyu; Nah, Junghyo; Seol, Jae Hun

    2017-03-01

    We measured the thermal conductivity of Araneus ventricosus' spider dragline silk using a suspended microdevice. The thermal conductivity of the silk fiber was approximately 0.4Wm -1 K -1 at room temperature and gradually increased with an increasing temperature in a manner similar to that of other disordered crystals or proteins. In order to elucidate the effect of β-sheet crystals in the silk, thermal denaturation was used to reduce the quantity of the β-sheet crystals. A calculation with an effective medium approximation supported this measurement result showing that the thermal conductivity of β-sheet crystals had an insignificant effect on the thermal conductivity of SDS. Additionally, the enhancement of bonding strength in a glycine-rich matrix by atomic layer deposition did not increase the thermal conductivity. Thus, this study suggests that the disordered part of the glycine-rich matrix prevented the peptide chains from being coaxially extended via the cross-linking covalent bonds. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. ProteinSplit: splitting of multi-domain proteins using prediction of ordered and disordered regions in protein sequences for virtual structural genomics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wyrwicz, Lucjan S; Koczyk, Grzegorz; Rychlewski, Leszek; Plewczynski, Dariusz

    2007-01-01

    The annotation of protein folds within newly sequenced genomes is the main target for semi-automated protein structure prediction (virtual structural genomics). A large number of automated methods have been developed recently with very good results in the case of single-domain proteins. Unfortunately, most of these automated methods often fail to properly predict the distant homology between a given multi-domain protein query and structural templates. Therefore a multi-domain protein should be split into domains in order to overcome this limitation. ProteinSplit is designed to identify protein domain boundaries using a novel algorithm that predicts disordered regions in protein sequences. The software utilizes various sequence characteristics to assess the local propensity of a protein to be disordered or ordered in terms of local structure stability. These disordered parts of a protein are likely to create interdomain spacers. Because of its speed and portability, the method was successfully applied to several genome-wide fold annotation experiments. The user can run an automated analysis of sets of proteins or perform semi-automated multiple user projects (saving the results on the server). Additionally the sequences of predicted domains can be sent to the Bioinfo.PL Protein Structure Prediction Meta-Server for further protein three-dimensional structure and function prediction. The program is freely accessible as a web service at http://lucjan.bioinfo.pl/proteinsplit together with detailed benchmark results on the critical assessment of a fully automated structure prediction (CAFASP) set of sequences. The source code of the local version of protein domain boundary prediction is available upon request from the authors

  8. Rapid identification of sequences for orphan enzymes to power accurate protein annotation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin R Ramkissoon

    Full Text Available The power of genome sequencing depends on the ability to understand what those genes and their proteins products actually do. The automated methods used to assign functions to putative proteins in newly sequenced organisms are limited by the size of our library of proteins with both known function and sequence. Unfortunately this library grows slowly, lagging well behind the rapid increase in novel protein sequences produced by modern genome sequencing methods. One potential source for rapidly expanding this functional library is the "back catalog" of enzymology--"orphan enzymes," those enzymes that have been characterized and yet lack any associated sequence. There are hundreds of orphan enzymes in the Enzyme Commission (EC database alone. In this study, we demonstrate how this orphan enzyme "back catalog" is a fertile source for rapidly advancing the state of protein annotation. Starting from three orphan enzyme samples, we applied mass-spectrometry based analysis and computational methods (including sequence similarity networks, sequence and structural alignments, and operon context analysis to rapidly identify the specific sequence for each orphan while avoiding the most time- and labor-intensive aspects of typical sequence identifications. We then used these three new sequences to more accurately predict the catalytic function of 385 previously uncharacterized or misannotated proteins. We expect that this kind of rapid sequence identification could be efficiently applied on a larger scale to make enzymology's "back catalog" another powerful tool to drive accurate genome annotation.

  9. Rapid Identification of Sequences for Orphan Enzymes to Power Accurate Protein Annotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojha, Sunil; Watson, Douglas S.; Bomar, Martha G.; Galande, Amit K.; Shearer, Alexander G.

    2013-01-01

    The power of genome sequencing depends on the ability to understand what those genes and their proteins products actually do. The automated methods used to assign functions to putative proteins in newly sequenced organisms are limited by the size of our library of proteins with both known function and sequence. Unfortunately this library grows slowly, lagging well behind the rapid increase in novel protein sequences produced by modern genome sequencing methods. One potential source for rapidly expanding this functional library is the “back catalog” of enzymology – “orphan enzymes,” those enzymes that have been characterized and yet lack any associated sequence. There are hundreds of orphan enzymes in the Enzyme Commission (EC) database alone. In this study, we demonstrate how this orphan enzyme “back catalog” is a fertile source for rapidly advancing the state of protein annotation. Starting from three orphan enzyme samples, we applied mass-spectrometry based analysis and computational methods (including sequence similarity networks, sequence and structural alignments, and operon context analysis) to rapidly identify the specific sequence for each orphan while avoiding the most time- and labor-intensive aspects of typical sequence identifications. We then used these three new sequences to more accurately predict the catalytic function of 385 previously uncharacterized or misannotated proteins. We expect that this kind of rapid sequence identification could be efficiently applied on a larger scale to make enzymology’s “back catalog” another powerful tool to drive accurate genome annotation. PMID:24386392

  10. Complete cDNA sequence coding for human docking protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hortsch, M; Labeit, S; Meyer, D I

    1988-01-11

    Docking protein (DP, or SRP receptor) is a rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated protein essential for the targeting and translocation of nascent polypeptides across this membrane. It specifically interacts with a cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein complex, the signal recognition particle (SRP). The nucleotide sequence of cDNA encoding the entire human DP and its deduced amino acid sequence are given.

  11. Designing sequence to control protein function in an EF-hand protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunick, Christopher G; Nelson, Melanie R; Mangahas, Sheryll; Hunter, Michael J; Sheehan, Jonathan H; Mizoue, Laura S; Bunick, Gerard J; Chazin, Walter J

    2004-05-19

    The extent of conformational change that calcium binding induces in EF-hand proteins is a key biochemical property specifying Ca(2+) sensor versus signal modulator function. To understand how differences in amino acid sequence lead to differences in the response to Ca(2+) binding, comparative analyses of sequence and structures, combined with model building, were used to develop hypotheses about which amino acid residues control Ca(2+)-induced conformational changes. These results were used to generate a first design of calbindomodulin (CBM-1), a calbindin D(9k) re-engineered with 15 mutations to respond to Ca(2+) binding with a conformational change similar to that of calmodulin. The gene for CBM-1 was synthesized, and the protein was expressed and purified. Remarkably, this protein did not exhibit any non-native-like molten globule properties despite the large number of mutations and the nonconservative nature of some of them. Ca(2+)-induced changes in CD intensity and in the binding of the hydrophobic probe, ANS, implied that CBM-1 does undergo Ca(2+) sensorlike conformational changes. The X-ray crystal structure of Ca(2+)-CBM-1 determined at 1.44 A resolution reveals the anticipated increase in hydrophobic surface area relative to the wild-type protein. A nascent calmodulin-like hydrophobic docking surface was also found, though it is occluded by the inter-EF-hand loop. The results from this first calbindomodulin design are discussed in terms of progress toward understanding the relationships between amino acid sequence, protein structure, and protein function for EF-hand CaBPs, as well as the additional mutations for the next CBM design.

  12. The Influence of Corn Silk Polysaccharide on Signal Pathway of TGF-β1 in Type 2 Diabetic Mellitus Rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Xianchun; Yue, Liling

    2015-01-01

    In prevention stage, comparing with normal control group, triglycerides, blood sugar (BG), 24-hour urinary protein and cholesterol (CHO) were higher in T2DM group, but weight and urea nitrogen (BUN) was less in it. 24-hour urinary protein and cholesterol (CHO) were higher in T2DM group than the intervention group. 24-hour urinary protein and BG in the intervention group were higher than normal control group, but BUN is less than normal control group; In the intervention group the weight of kidney and weight of rat were also higher than T2DM group, but CHO and 24-hour urinary protein were less than T2DM group. The expression of TGF-β1 in T2DM group were more than the other groups. In treatment stage, serum creatinine (Cr), weight, BG and CHO, TGand 24-hour urinary protein quantitative were significantly higher in the DN rats than those in the normal control rats (P>0.05). The expression level of TGF-β1 and triglyceride level in the corn silk dihydroxycorn silk3 treated group were obviously lower than those in the DN rats.

  13. Improved strength of silk fibers in Bombyx mori trimolters induced by an anti-juvenile hormone compound.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Kaiyu; Dong, Zhaoming; Zhang, Yan; Wang, Dandan; Tang, Muya; Zhang, Xiaolu; Xia, Qingyou; Zhao, Ping

    2018-05-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibers with thin diameters have advantages of lightness and crease-resistance. Many studies have used anti-juvenile hormones to induce trimolters in order to generate thin silk; however, there has been comparatively little analysis of the morphology, structure and mechanical properties of trimolter silk. This study induced two kinds of trimolters by appling topically anti-juvenile hormones and obtained thin diameter silk. Scanning electron microscope (SEM), FTIR analysis, tensile mechanical testing, chitin staining were used to reveal that the morphology, conformation and mechanical property of the trimolter silk. Cocoon of trimolters were highly densely packed by thinner fibers and thus had small apertures. We found that the conformation of trimolter silk fibroin changed and formed more β-sheet structures. In addition, analysis of mechanical parameters yielded a higher Young's modulus and strength in trimolter silk than in the control. By chitin staining of silk gland, we postulated that the mechanical properties of trimolters' silk was enhanced greatly during to the structural changes of silk gland. We induced trimolters by anti-juvenile hormones and the resulting cocoons were more closely packed and had smaller silk fiber diameters. We found that the conformation of trimolters silk fibroin had a higher content of β-sheet structures and better mechanical properties. Our study revealed the structures and mechanical properties of trimolter silk, and provided a valuable reference to improve silk quality by influencing molting in silkworms. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Prediction of protein-protein interaction sites in sequences and 3D structures by random forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mile Sikić

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Identifying interaction sites in proteins provides important clues to the function of a protein and is becoming increasingly relevant in topics such as systems biology and drug discovery. Although there are numerous papers on the prediction of interaction sites using information derived from structure, there are only a few case reports on the prediction of interaction residues based solely on protein sequence. Here, a sliding window approach is combined with the Random Forests method to predict protein interaction sites using (i a combination of sequence- and structure-derived parameters and (ii sequence information alone. For sequence-based prediction we achieved a precision of 84% with a 26% recall and an F-measure of 40%. When combined with structural information, the prediction performance increases to a precision of 76% and a recall of 38% with an F-measure of 51%. We also present an attempt to rationalize the sliding window size and demonstrate that a nine-residue window is the most suitable for predictor construction. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of our prediction methods by modeling the Ras-Raf complex using predicted interaction sites as target binding interfaces. Our results suggest that it is possible to predict protein interaction sites with quite a high accuracy using only sequence information.

  15. Photoluminescent properties of spider silk coated with Eu-doped nanoceria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dmitrović, Svetlana, E-mail: svetlana8@vin.bg.ac.rs [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia); Nikolić, Marko G.; Jelenković, Branislav [University of Belgrade, Institute of Physics (Serbia); Prekajski, Marija [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia); Rabasović, Mihailo [University of Belgrade, Institute of Physics (Serbia); Zarubica, Aleksandra [University of Niš, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Mathematics (Serbia); Branković, Goran [University of Belgrade, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Department of Material Science (Serbia); Matović, Branko [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia)

    2017-02-15

    Spider dragline silk was coated with pure as well as Eu-doped ceria nanopowders at the room temperature. The treatment was done by immersion of the spider silk mesh into aqueous solutions of cerium nitrate (Ce(NO{sub 3}){sub 3}) and ammonium hydroxide (NH{sub 4}OH). Depending on the relationship between Ce{sup 3+} ion and ammonium hydroxide concentration, coated fibers exhibited a different thickness. Obtained materials were studied by means of FESEM. It was found that ceria nanoparticles of average size of 3 nm were coated along spider thread. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) confirmed crystal nature of nanoparticle coating of spider silk. By using Williamson-Hall plots, crystallite size and strain were estimated. EDS measurement confirmed the presence of Eu in spider-Eu-doped ceria composite, and according to FTIR analysis, the interaction between CeO2 and spider silk was proposed. The morphology of obtained composite was observed by TEM. The photoluminescence emission spectra of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria were measured with two different excitations of 385 and 466 nm. The two-photon excited auto-fluorescence of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria was detected using a nonlinear laser scanning microscope. Obtained composite has a potential as a fluorescent labeling material in diverse applications.

  16. Photoluminescent properties of spider silk coated with Eu-doped nanoceria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dmitrović, Svetlana; Nikolić, Marko G.; Jelenković, Branislav; Prekajski, Marija; Rabasović, Mihailo; Zarubica, Aleksandra; Branković, Goran; Matović, Branko

    2017-01-01

    Spider dragline silk was coated with pure as well as Eu-doped ceria nanopowders at the room temperature. The treatment was done by immersion of the spider silk mesh into aqueous solutions of cerium nitrate (Ce(NO_3)_3) and ammonium hydroxide (NH_4OH). Depending on the relationship between Ce"3"+ ion and ammonium hydroxide concentration, coated fibers exhibited a different thickness. Obtained materials were studied by means of FESEM. It was found that ceria nanoparticles of average size of 3 nm were coated along spider thread. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) confirmed crystal nature of nanoparticle coating of spider silk. By using Williamson-Hall plots, crystallite size and strain were estimated. EDS measurement confirmed the presence of Eu in spider-Eu-doped ceria composite, and according to FTIR analysis, the interaction between CeO2 and spider silk was proposed. The morphology of obtained composite was observed by TEM. The photoluminescence emission spectra of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria were measured with two different excitations of 385 and 466 nm. The two-photon excited auto-fluorescence of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria was detected using a nonlinear laser scanning microscope. Obtained composite has a potential as a fluorescent labeling material in diverse applications.

  17. Robust microcapsules with controlled permeability from silk fibroin reinforced with graphene oxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Chunhong; Combs, Zachary A; Calabrese, Rossella; Dai, Hongqi; Kaplan, David L; Tsukruk, Vladimir V

    2014-12-29

    Robust and stable microcapsules are assembled from poly-amino acid-modified silk fibroin reinforced with graphene oxide flakes using layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly, based on biocompatible natural protein and carbon nanosheets. The composite microcapsules are extremely stable in acidic (pH 2.0) and basic (pH 11.5) conditions, accompanied with pH-triggered permeability, which facilitates the controllable encapsulation and release of macromolecules. Furthermore, the graphene oxide incorporated into ultrathin LbL shells induces greatly reinforced mechanical properties, with an elastic modulus which is two orders of magnitude higher than the typical values of original silk LbL shells and shows a significant, three-fold reduction in pore size. Such strong nanocomposite microcapsules can provide solid protection of encapsulated cargo under harsh conditions, indicating a promising candidate with controllable loading/unloading for drug delivery, reinforcement, and bioengineering applications. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Comparative analysis of the prion protein gene sequences in African lion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chang-De; Pang, Wan-Yong; Zhao, De-Ming

    2006-10-01

    The prion protein gene of African lion (Panthera Leo) was first cloned and polymorphisms screened. The results suggest that the prion protein gene of eight African lions is highly homogenous. The amino acid sequences of the prion protein (PrP) of all samples tested were identical. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (C42T, C81A, C420T, T600C) in the prion protein gene (Prnp) of African lion were found, but no amino acid substitutions. Sequence analysis showed that the higher homology is observed to felis catus AF003087 (96.7%) and to sheep number M31313.1 (96.2%) Genbank accessed. With respect to all the mammalian prion protein sequences compared, the African lion prion protein sequence has three amino acid substitutions. The homology might in turn affect the potential intermolecular interactions critical for cross species transmission of prion disease.

  19. Preparation and properties of silk sericin/cellulose cross-linking films

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Kunyan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Silk sericin/cellulose cross-linked films were successfully prepared using glutaraldehyde as cross-linkinger. FTIR was applied to characterize the chemical structure of films. Cross-linked silk sericin film was found the peak intensity of FTIR for cross-linked film decreased markedly compared to pure silk sericin, which indicating cross-linking reaction has been occurred. The increasing value of swelling ratio also indicated the cross-linking has been happened. The cross-linking reaction increased the thermal decomposition temperature.

  20. Analysis of long-range correlation in sequences data of proteins

    OpenAIRE

    ADRIANA ISVORAN; LAURA UNIPAN; DANA CRACIUN; VASILE MORARIU

    2007-01-01

    The results presented here suggest the existence of correlations in the sequence data of proteins. 32 proteins, both globular and fibrous, both monomeric and polymeric, were analyzed. The primary structures of these proteins were treated as time series. Three spatial series of data for each sequence of a protein were generated from numerical correspondences between each amino acid and a physical property associated with it, i.e., its electric charge, its polar character and its dipole moment....

  1. The effect of hirudin modification of silk fibroin on cell growth and antithrombogenicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Qiongyu; Tu, Fangfang; Liu, Yunfei; Zhang, Yujin; Li, Helei; Kang, Zhao [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, No. 199 Ren-ai Road, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province 215123 (China); Yin, Yin [Laboratory Animal Research Center, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123 (China); Wang, Jiannan, E-mail: wangjn@suda.edu.cn [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, No. 199 Ren-ai Road, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province 215123 (China)

    2017-06-01

    Thrombus formation remains a particular challenge for small-diameter vascular grafts. In this study, the direct thrombin inhibitor hirudin (Hir) was used to modify silk fibroin films in an attempt to enhance its antithrombogenic properties. Hir was successfully attached to silk fibroin and uniformly distributed in the regenerative material. Hir-modified films showed good cytocompatibility, and supported adhesion and proliferation of fibroblasts (L929), human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs). Proliferation of HAVSMCs was inhibited by increasing Hir concentration. Activated partial thrombin time (APTT), prothrombin time (PT) and thrombin time (TT) of Hir-modified silk fibroin tubular scaffolds (SFTSs) were all increased markedly compared with fresh rabbit blood, ethanol-treated SFTS and unmodified SFTS, demonstrating the improved antithrombogenicity of SFTSs following modification with Hir. - Highlights: • A direct thrombin inhibitor hirudin was used to modify silk fibroin. • Antithrombogenic property of Hir-modified silk fibroin films was improved. • Hir-modified silk fibroin films supported adhesion and proliferation of HUVECs and HAVSMCs. • Proliferation of HAVSMCs on silk fibroin films was inhibited by increasing Hir concentration.

  2. Sequence analysis reveals how G protein-coupled receptors transduce the signal to the G protein.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveira, L.; Paiva, P.B.; Paiva, A.C.; Vriend, G.

    2003-01-01

    Sequence entropy-variability plots based on alignments of very large numbers of sequences-can indicate the location in proteins of the main active site and modulator sites. In the previous article in this issue, we applied this observation to a series of well-studied proteins and concluded that it

  3. Silk Film Embossing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, Mark S.

    New tools are often required to facilitate new discoveries and test new methods. Commercial offerings can be prohibitively expensive and difficult to customize. The development of ad-hoc tools provides the most flexibility and provides an opportunity to modify and refine a technology. An embossing system was developed for silk film imprinting and stamping in order to facilitate and add versatility to the efforts involving micro- and nanoscale device manufacturing in biopolymers. This system features temperature controlled embossing surfaces, adjustable embossing pressures, and variable embossing times. The device can also be fitted with interchangeable temperature controlled embossing and stamping tools. The design, development, fabrication, applications, and future improvements are explored for the system. This device may facilitate new discoveries in the realm of biopolymer micro- and nanomanufacturing and may provide a path towards high volume production of silk film based technologies.

  4. Evaluation of silk biomaterials in combination with extracellular matrix coatings for bladder tissue engineering with primary and pluripotent cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franck, Debra; Gil, Eun Seok; Adam, Rosalyn M; Kaplan, David L; Chung, Yeun Goo; Estrada, Carlos R; Mauney, Joshua R

    2013-01-01

    Silk-based biomaterials in combination with extracellular matrix (ECM) coatings were assessed as templates for cell-seeded bladder tissue engineering approaches. Two structurally diverse groups of silk scaffolds were produced by a gel spinning process and consisted of either smooth, compact multi-laminates (Group 1) or rough, porous lamellar-like sheets (Group 2). Scaffolds alone or coated with collagen types I or IV or fibronectin were assessed independently for their ability to support attachment, proliferation, and differentiation of primary cell lines including human bladder smooth muscle cells (SMC) and urothelial cells as well as pluripotent cell populations, such as murine embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. AlamarBlue evaluations revealed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest degree of primary SMC and urothelial cell attachment in comparison to uncoated Group 2 controls and all Group 1 scaffold variants. Real time RT-PCR and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses demonstrated that both fibronectin-coated silk groups were permissive for SMC contractile differentiation as determined by significant upregulation of α-actin and SM22α mRNA and protein expression levels following TGFβ1 stimulation. Prominent expression of epithelial differentiation markers, cytokeratins, was observed in urothelial cells cultured on both control and fibronectin-coated groups following IHC analysis. Evaluation of silk matrices for ESC and iPS cell attachment by alamarBlue showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest levels in comparison to all other scaffold formulations. In addition, real time RT-PCR and IHC analyses showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds facilitated ESC and iPS cell differentiation toward both urothelial and smooth muscle lineages in response to all trans retinoic acid as assessed by induction of uroplakin and contractile gene and protein expression. These results

  5. 3D freeform printing of silk fibroin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Maria J; Dixon, Thomas A; Cohen, Eliad; Huang, Wenwen; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Kaplan, David L

    2018-04-15

    Freeform fabrication has emerged as a key direction in printing biologically-relevant materials and structures. With this emerging technology, complex structures with microscale resolution can be created in arbitrary geometries and without the limitations found in traditional bottom-up or top-down additive manufacturing methods. Recent advances in freeform printing have used the physical properties of microparticle-based granular gels as a medium for the submerged extrusion of bioinks. However, most of these techniques require post-processing or crosslinking for the removal of the printed structures (Miller et al., 2015; Jin et al., 2016) [1,2]. In this communication, we introduce a novel method for the one-step gelation of silk fibroin within a suspension of synthetic nanoclay (Laponite) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Silk fibroin has been used as a biopolymer for bioprinting in several contexts, but chemical or enzymatic additives or bulking agents are needed to stabilize 3D structures. Our method requires no post-processing of printed structures and allows for in situ physical crosslinking of pure aqueous silk fibroin into arbitrary geometries produced through freeform 3D printing. 3D bioprinting has emerged as a technology that can produce biologically relevant structures in defined geometries with microscale resolution. Techniques for fabrication of free-standing structures by printing into granular gel media has been demonstrated previously, however, these methods require crosslinking agents and post-processing steps on printed structures. Our method utilizes one-step gelation of silk fibroin within a suspension of synthetic nanoclay (Laponite), with no need for additional crosslinking compounds or post processing of the material. This new method allows for in situ physical crosslinking of pure aqueous silk fibroin into defined geometries produced through freeform 3D printing. Copyright © 2018 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  6. Metabolism of labelled proteins of bombicid moth hemolymph at the final stage of its larval development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klunova, S M; Altsybeeva, T I; Filippovich, Yu B [Moskovskij Gosudarstvennyj Pedagogicheskij Inst. (USSR)

    1980-01-01

    Studied was the distribution of radioactivity among hemolymph total proteins, fat body, carcass, intestinal wall, febroin and sericin sections of the silk gland after a single injection of hemolymph radioactive preparation into a bombyx. The fat body was the place of the synthesis of proteins used for silk protein formation at the end of 5-larval age.

  7. Peptide Pattern Recognition for high-throughput protein sequence analysis and clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Busk, Peter Kamp

    2017-01-01

    Large collections of protein sequences with divergent sequences are tedious to analyze for understanding their phylogenetic or structure-function relation. Peptide Pattern Recognition is an algorithm that was developed to facilitate this task but the previous version does only allow a limited...... number of sequences as input. I implemented Peptide Pattern Recognition as a multithread software designed to handle large numbers of sequences and perform analysis in a reasonable time frame. Benchmarking showed that the new implementation of Peptide Pattern Recognition is twenty times faster than...... the previous implementation on a small protein collection with 673 MAP kinase sequences. In addition, the new implementation could analyze a large protein collection with 48,570 Glycosyl Transferase family 20 sequences without reaching its upper limit on a desktop computer. Peptide Pattern Recognition...

  8. Production of Curcumin-Loaded Silk Fibroin Nanoparticles for Cancer Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coburn, Jeannine M.; Cenis, José L.; Víllora, Gloria; Kaplan, David L.

    2018-01-01

    Curcumin, extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa, has been widely used in medicine for centuries due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial effects. However, its bioavailability during treatments is poor because of its low solubility in water, slow dissolution rate and rapid intestinal metabolism. For these reasons, improving the therapeutic efficiency of curcumin using nanocarriers (e.g., biopolymer nanoparticles) has been a research focus, to foster delivery of the curcumin inside cells due to their small size and large surface area. Silk fibroin from the Bombyx mori silkworm is a biopolymer characterized by its biocompatibility, biodegradability, amphiphilic chemistry, and excellent mechanical properties in various material formats. These features make silk fibroin nanoparticles useful vehicles for delivering therapeutic drugs, such as curcumin. Curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles were synthesized using two procedures (physical adsorption and coprecipitation) more scalable than methods previously described using ionic liquids. The results showed that nanoparticle formulations were 155 to 170 nm in diameter with a zeta potential of approximately −45 mV. The curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles obtained by both processing methods were cytotoxic to carcinogenic cells, while not decreasing viability of healthy cells. In the case of tumor cells, curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles presented higher efficacy in cytotoxicity against neuroblastoma cells than hepatocarcinoma cells. In conclusion, curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles constitute a biodegradable and biocompatible delivery system with the potential to treat tumors by local, long-term sustained drug delivery. PMID:29495296

  9. Protective effects of flavonoids from corn silk on oxidative stress ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Protective effects of flavonoids from corn silk on oxidative stress induced by ... The present study aims at exploring the effects of flavonoids from corn silk (FCS) on oxidative stress induced by exhaustive exercise in mice. ... from 32 Countries:.

  10. Elman RNN based classification of proteins sequences on account of their mutual information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Pooja; Nath Pandey, Paras

    2012-10-21

    In the present work we have employed the method of estimating residue correlation within the protein sequences, by using the mutual information (MI) of adjacent residues, based on structural and solvent accessibility properties of amino acids. The long range correlation between nonadjacent residues is improved by constructing a mutual information vector (MIV) for a single protein sequence, like this each protein sequence is associated with its corresponding MIVs. These MIVs are given to Elman RNN to obtain the classification of protein sequences. The modeling power of MIV was shown to be significantly better, giving a new approach towards alignment free classification of protein sequences. We also conclude that sequence structural and solvent accessible property based MIVs are better predictor. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Adsorption Properties of Lac Dyes on Wool, Silk, and Nylon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Wei

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available There has been growing interest in the dyeing of textiles with natural dyes. The research about the adsorption properties of natural dyes can help to understand their adsorption mechanism and to control their dyeing process. This study is concerned with the kinetics and isotherms of adsorption of lac dyes on wool, silk, and nylon fibers. It was found that the adsorption kinetics of lac dyes on the three fibers followed the pseudosecond-order kinetic model, and the adsorption rate of lac dyes was the fastest for silk and the slowest for wool. The activation energies for the adsorption process on wool, silk, and nylon were found to be 107.15, 87.85, and 45.31 kJ/mol, respectively. The adsorption of lac dyes on the three fibers followed the Langmuir mechanism, indicating that the electrostatic interactions between lac dyes and those fibers occurred. The saturation values for lac adsorption on the three fibers decreased in the order of wool > silk > nylon; the Langmuir affinity constant of lac adsorption on nylon was much higher than those on wool and silk.

  12. Predicting membrane protein types by fusing composite protein sequence features into pseudo amino acid composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayat, Maqsood; Khan, Asifullah

    2011-02-21

    Membrane proteins are vital type of proteins that serve as channels, receptors, and energy transducers in a cell. Prediction of membrane protein types is an important research area in bioinformatics. Knowledge of membrane protein types provides some valuable information for predicting novel example of the membrane protein types. However, classification of membrane protein types can be both time consuming and susceptible to errors due to the inherent similarity of membrane protein types. In this paper, neural networks based membrane protein type prediction system is proposed. Composite protein sequence representation (CPSR) is used to extract the features of a protein sequence, which includes seven feature sets; amino acid composition, sequence length, 2 gram exchange group frequency, hydrophobic group, electronic group, sum of hydrophobicity, and R-group. Principal component analysis is then employed to reduce the dimensionality of the feature vector. The probabilistic neural network (PNN), generalized regression neural network, and support vector machine (SVM) are used as classifiers. A high success rate of 86.01% is obtained using SVM for the jackknife test. In case of independent dataset test, PNN yields the highest accuracy of 95.73%. These classifiers exhibit improved performance using other performance measures such as sensitivity, specificity, Mathew's correlation coefficient, and F-measure. The experimental results show that the prediction performance of the proposed scheme for classifying membrane protein types is the best reported, so far. This performance improvement may largely be credited to the learning capabilities of neural networks and the composite feature extraction strategy, which exploits seven different properties of protein sequences. The proposed Mem-Predictor can be accessed at http://111.68.99.218/Mem-Predictor. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Dissolvable Films of Silk Fibroin for Ultrathin Conformal Bio-Integrated Electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    implantation. *A full list of authors and their affiliations appears at the end of the paper. Silk is an appealing biopolymer as a temporary, soluble...18 APR 2010 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2010 to 00-00-2010 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dissolvable films of silk fibroin for ultrathin...10.1038/NMAT2745 Dissolvable films of silk fibroin for ultrathin conformal bio-integrated electronics Dae-Hyeong Kim and Jonathan Viventi et al

  14. Physico-chemical study of flavonoids from different matureness corn silk material

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Peng; Lapčík, Lubomír; Lapčíková, Barbora; Kalytchuk, Sergii

    2018-01-01

    There was tested a simple extraction procedure of flavonoids separation from the original corn silk (CS) material. It was found, that the total flavonoids content differs with the extraction time and extraction temperature. There were found different flavonoids contents in extracts prepared from different maturity stages of the original corn silk material (silking stage (CS-S), milky stage (CS-M)). Extracted flavonoids content was quantified by the lutin standardization method by means of col...

  15. Biobased silver nanocolloid coating on silk fibers for prevention of post-surgical wound infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhas SP

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Sindhu Priya Dhas, Suruthi Anbarasan, Amitava Mukherjee, Natarajan Chandrasekaran Center for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore, India Abstract: Bombyx mori silk fibers are an important biomaterial and are used in surgical sutures due to their remarkable biocompatibility. The major drawback to the application of biomaterials is the risk of bacterial invasion, leading to clinical complications. We have developed an easy and cost-effective method for fabrication of antibacterial silk fibers loaded with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs by an in situ and ex situ process using an aqueous extract of Rhizophora apiculata leaf. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that well dispersed nanoparticles impregnated the silk fibers both in situ and ex situ. The crystalline nature of the AgNPs in the silk fibers was demonstrated by X-ray diffraction. The thermal and mechanical properties of the silk fibers were enhanced after they were impregnated with AgNPs. The silver-coated silk fibers fabricated by the in situ and ex situ method exhibited more than 90% inhibition against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Silk fibers doped with AgNPs were found to be biocompatible with 3T3 fibroblasts. The results obtained represent an important advance towards the clinical application of biocompatible AgNP-loaded silk fibers for prevention of surgical wound infections. Keywords: silk fibers, silver nanoparticles, antibacterial activity, wound infections, cytotoxicity, 3T3 fibroblast cells

  16. Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-02

    inert  atmosphere  (N2   gas   flow  rate  of  100  mL/min).  Changes   in  weight  percentage  during   temperature...Performance 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 01-06-2012 to 31-05-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behaviour 5a...deploy the huge range in mechanical behaviour between different silk species and intra-species varieties. In particular, I set out to formulate a

  17. Introducing biomimetic shear and ion gradients to microfluidic spinning improves silk fiber strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, David; Jacobsen, Matthew M; Gyune Rim, Nae; Backman, Daniel; Kaplan, David L; Wong, Joyce Y

    2017-05-31

    Silkworm silk is an attractive biopolymer for biomedical applications due to its high mechanical strength and biocompatibility; as a result, there is increasing interest in scalable devices to spin silk and recombinant silk so as to improve and customize their properties for diverse biomedical purposes (Vepari and Kaplan 2007 Prog. Polym. Sci. 32 ). While artificial spinning of regenerated silk fibroins adds tunability to properties such as degradation rate and surface functionalization, the resulting fibers do not yet approach the mechanical strength of native silkworm silk. These drawbacks reduce the applicability and attractiveness of artificial silk (Kinahan et al 2011 Biomacromolecules 12 ). Here, we used computational fluid dynamic simulations to incorporate shear in tandem with biomimetic ion gradients by coupling a modular novel glass microfluidic device to our previous co-axial flow device. Fibers spun with this combined apparatus demonstrated a significant increase in mechanical strength compared to fibers spun with the basic apparatus alone, with a three-fold increase in Young's modulus and extensibility and a twelve-fold increase in toughness. These results thus demonstrate the critical importance of ionic milieu and shear stress in spinning strong fibers from solubilized silk fibroin.

  18. Silk formation mechanisms in the larval salivary glands of Apis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    The mechanism of silk formation in Apis mellifera salivary glands, during the 5th instar, was studied. Larval salivary glands .... be used in the silk-manufacture industry. This paper analyses .... (figure 3C); and are highly birefringent (figure 3D).

  19. The HMMER Web Server for Protein Sequence Similarity Search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Ananth; Jeffryes, Matt; Bateman, Alex; Finn, Robert D

    2017-12-08

    Protein sequence similarity search is one of the most commonly used bioinformatics methods for identifying evolutionarily related proteins. In general, sequences that are evolutionarily related share some degree of similarity, and sequence-search algorithms use this principle to identify homologs. The requirement for a fast and sensitive sequence search method led to the development of the HMMER software, which in the latest version (v3.1) uses a combination of sophisticated acceleration heuristics and mathematical and computational optimizations to enable the use of profile hidden Markov models (HMMs) for sequence analysis. The HMMER Web server provides a common platform by linking the HMMER algorithms to databases, thereby enabling the search for homologs, as well as providing sequence and functional annotation by linking external databases. This unit describes three basic protocols and two alternate protocols that explain how to use the HMMER Web server using various input formats and user defined parameters. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  20. Quantiprot - a Python package for quantitative analysis of protein sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Bogumił M; Marciniak, Marta; Dyrka, Witold

    2017-07-17

    The field of protein sequence analysis is dominated by tools rooted in substitution matrices and alignments. A complementary approach is provided by methods of quantitative characterization. A major advantage of the approach is that quantitative properties defines a multidimensional solution space, where sequences can be related to each other and differences can be meaningfully interpreted. Quantiprot is a software package in Python, which provides a simple and consistent interface to multiple methods for quantitative characterization of protein sequences. The package can be used to calculate dozens of characteristics directly from sequences or using physico-chemical properties of amino acids. Besides basic measures, Quantiprot performs quantitative analysis of recurrence and determinism in the sequence, calculates distribution of n-grams and computes the Zipf's law coefficient. We propose three main fields of application of the Quantiprot package. First, quantitative characteristics can be used in alignment-free similarity searches, and in clustering of large and/or divergent sequence sets. Second, a feature space defined by quantitative properties can be used in comparative studies of protein families and organisms. Third, the feature space can be used for evaluating generative models, where large number of sequences generated by the model can be compared to actually observed sequences.

  1. Osteocalcin protein sequences of Neanderthals and modern primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen-Marsh, Christina M; Richards, Michael P; Hauschka, Peter V; Thomas-Oates, Jane E; Trinkaus, Erik; Pettitt, Paul B; Karavanic, Ivor; Poinar, Hendrik; Collins, Matthew J

    2005-03-22

    We report here protein sequences of fossil hominids, from two Neanderthals dating to approximately 75,000 years old from Shanidar Cave in Iraq. These sequences, the oldest reported fossil primate protein sequences, are of bone osteocalcin, which was extracted and sequenced by using MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. Through a combination of direct sequencing and peptide mass mapping, we determined that Neanderthals have an osteocalcin amino acid sequence that is identical to that of modern humans. We also report complete osteocalcin sequences for chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and a partial sequence for orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), all of which are previously unreported. We found that the osteocalcin sequences of Neanderthals, modern human, chimpanzee, and orangutan are unusual among mammals in that the ninth amino acid is proline (Pro-9), whereas most species have hydroxyproline (Hyp-9). Posttranslational hydroxylation of Pro-9 in osteocalcin by prolyl-4-hydroxylase requires adequate concentrations of vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid), molecular O(2), Fe(2+), and 2-oxoglutarate, and also depends on enzyme recognition of the target proline substrate consensus sequence Leu-Gly-Ala-Pro-9-Ala-Pro-Tyr occurring in most mammals. In five species with Pro-9-Val-10, hydroxylation is blocked, whereas in gorilla there is a mixture of Pro-9 and Hyp-9. We suggest that the absence of hydroxylation of Pro-9 in Pan, Pongo, and Homo may reflect response to a selective pressure related to a decline in vitamin C in the diet during omnivorous dietary adaptation, either independently or through the common ancestor of these species.

  2. Sequence protein identification by randomized sequence database and transcriptome mass spectrometry (SPIDER-TMS): from manual to automatic application of a 'de novo sequencing' approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascale, Raffaella; Grossi, Gerarda; Cruciani, Gabriele; Mecca, Giansalvatore; Santoro, Donatello; Sarli Calace, Renzo; Falabella, Patrizia; Bianco, Giuliana

    Sequence protein identification by a randomized sequence database and transcriptome mass spectrometry software package has been developed at the University of Basilicata in Potenza (Italy) and designed to facilitate the determination of the amino acid sequence of a peptide as well as an unequivocal identification of proteins in a high-throughput manner with enormous advantages of time, economical resource and expertise. The software package is a valid tool for the automation of a de novo sequencing approach, overcoming the main limits and a versatile platform useful in the proteomic field for an unequivocal identification of proteins, starting from tandem mass spectrometry data. The strength of this software is that it is a user-friendly and non-statistical approach, so protein identification can be considered unambiguous.

  3. An optically transparent, flexible, patterned and conductive silk biopolymer film (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umar, Muhammad; Min, Kyungtaek; Kim, Sunghwan

    2017-02-01

    Transparent, flexible, and conducting films are of great interest for wearable electronics. For better biotic/abiotic interface, the films to integrate the electronics components requires the patterned surface conductors with optical transparency, smoothness, good electrical conductivity, along with the biofriendly traits of films. We focus on silk fibroin, a natural biopolymer extracted from the Bombyx mori cocoons, for this bioelectronics applications. Here we report an optically transparent, flexible, and patterned surface conductor on a silk film by burying a silver nanowires (AgNW) network below the surface of the silk film. The conducting silk film reveals high optical transparency of 80% and the excellent electronic conductivity of 15 Ω/sq, along with smooth surface. The integration of light emitting diode (LED) chip on the patterned electrodes confirms that the current can flow through the transparent and patterned electrodes on the silk film, and this result shows an application for integration of functional electronic/opto-electronic devices. Additionally, we fabricate a transparent and flexible radio frequency (RF) antenna and resistor on a silk film and apply these as a food sensor by monitoring the increasing resistance by the flow of gases from the spoiled food.

  4. The Role of Silk in the Behaviour and Sociality of Spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bertrand Krafft

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This article describes the links between the production of silk by spiders and their behaviour. Silk allows the spider to change its physical environment, which in turn leads to behavioural changes and impacts in the new environment. The feedback between silk and the animal producer can explain the architecture of spider webs and their adaptation to the environment, by referring only to stereotypic stimulus-response reactions without necessarily resorting to a “representation” by the animal of the structure it builds. Silk can act as a means of protection against environmental stress, a snare for prey, a means of locomotion, and also as support for chemical signals or to act as a vector of vibratory signals. These last two functions have undoubtedly played a key role in spider socialization and explains the phenomena of group cohesion, collective decision making, and the coordination of activities, without resorting to mental “representations” for the overall situation. The bulk of this review describes silk as the chief agent directing the construction of traps, communication, social cohesion, and cooperation amongst its producers.

  5. Flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance of silk fabric coated by graphene oxide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Yi-Min

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Silk fabrics were coated by graphene oxide hydrosol in order to improve its flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance. In addition, montmorillonoid was doped into the graphene oxide hydrosol to further improve the flame retardancy of silk fabrics. The flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance were mainly characterized by limiting oxygen index, vertical flame test, smoke density test, and ultraviolet protection factor. The synergistic effect of graphene oxide and montmorillonoid on the thermal stabilization property of the treated silk fabrics was also investigated. The results show that the treated silk fabrics have excellent flame retardancy, thermal stability, smoke suppression, and ultraviolet resistance simultaneously.

  6. Production of Curcumin-Loaded Silk Fibroin Nanoparticles for Cancer Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes G. Montalbán

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Curcumin, extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa, has been widely used in medicine for centuries due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial effects. However, its bioavailability during treatments is poor because of its low solubility in water, slow dissolution rate and rapid intestinal metabolism. For these reasons, improving the therapeutic efficiency of curcumin using nanocarriers (e.g., biopolymer nanoparticles has been a research focus, to foster delivery of the curcumin inside cells due to their small size and large surface area. Silk fibroin from the Bombyx mori silkworm is a biopolymer characterized by its biocompatibility, biodegradability, amphiphilic chemistry, and excellent mechanical properties in various material formats. These features make silk fibroin nanoparticles useful vehicles for delivering therapeutic drugs, such as curcumin. Curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles were synthesized using two procedures (physical adsorption and coprecipitation more scalable than methods previously described using ionic liquids. The results showed that nanoparticle formulations were 155 to 170 nm in diameter with a zeta potential of approximately −45 mV. The curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles obtained by both processing methods were cytotoxic to carcinogenic cells, while not decreasing viability of healthy cells. In the case of tumor cells, curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles presented higher efficacy in cytotoxicity against neuroblastoma cells than hepatocarcinoma cells. In conclusion, curcumin-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles constitute a biodegradable and biocompatible delivery system with the potential to treat tumors by local, long-term sustained drug delivery.

  7. Mechanical properties of silk of the Australian golden orb weavers Nephila pilipes and Nephilaplumipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Genevieve G; Nahrung, Helen F; Wiegand, Aaron; Kristoffersen, Joanna; Killen, Peter; Brown, Cameron; Macdonald, Joanne

    2018-02-22

    Silks from orb-weaving spiders are exceptionally tough, producing a model polymer for biomimetic fibre development. The mechanical properties of naturally spun silk threads from two species of Australian orb-weavers, Nephila pilipes and Nephila plumipes , were examined here in relation to overall thread diameter, the size and number of fibres within threads, and spider size. N. pilipes , the larger of the two species, had significantly tougher silk with higher strain capacity than its smaller congener, producing threads with average toughness of 150 MJ m -3 , despite thread diameter, mean fibre diameter and number of fibres per thread not differing significantly between the two species. Within N. pilipes , smaller silk fibres were produced by larger spiders, yielding tougher threads. In contrast, while spider size was correlated with thread diameter in N. plumipes , there were no clear patterns relating to silk toughness, which suggests that the differences in properties between the silk of the two species arise through differing molecular structure. Our results support previous studies that found that the mechanical properties of silk differ between distantly related spider species, and extends on that work to show that the mechanical and physical properties of silk from more closely related species can also differ remarkably. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Biodegradable materials based on silk fibroin and keratin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasconcelos, Andreia; Freddi, Giuliano; Cavaco-Paulo, Artur

    2008-04-01

    Wool and silk were dissolved and used for the preparation of blended films. Two systems are proposed: (1) blend films of silk fibroin and keratin aqueous solutions and (2) silk fibroin and keratin dissolved in formic acid. The FTIR spectra of pure films cast from aqueous solutions indicated that the keratin secondary structure mainly consists of alpha-helix and random coil conformations. The IR spectrum of pure SF is characteristic of films with prevalently amorphous structure (random coil conformation). Pure keratin film cast from formic acid shows an increase in the amount of beta-sheet and disordered keratin structures. The FTIR pattern of SF dissolved in formic acid is characteristic of films with prevalently beta-sheet conformations with beta-sheet crystallites embedded in an amorphous matrix. The thermal behavior of the blends confirmed the FTIR results. DSC curve of pure SF is typical of amorphous SF and the curve of pure keratin show the characteristic melting peak of alpha-helices for the aqueous system. These patterns are no longer observed in the films cast from formic acid due to the ability of formic acid to induce crystallization of SF and to increase the amount of beta-sheet structures on keratin. The nonlinear trend of the different parameters obtained from FTIR analysis and DSC curves of both SF/keratin systems indicate that when proteins are mixed they do not follow additives rules but are able to establish intermolecular interactions. Degradable polymeric biomaterials are preferred candidates for medical applications. It was investigated the degradation behavior of both SF/keratin systems by in vitro enzymatic incubation with trypsin. The SF/keratin films cast from water underwent a slower biological degradation than the films cast from formic acid. The weight loss obtained is a function of the amount of keratin in the blend. This study encourages the further investigation of the type of matrices presented here to be applied whether in scaffolds

  9. Behaviour of human mesenchymal stem cells on a polyelectrolyte-modified HEMA hydrogel for silk-based ligament tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosetti, M; Boccafoschi, F; Calarco, A; Leigheb, M; Gatti, S; Piffanelli, V; Peluso, G; Cannas, M

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to design a functional bio-engineered material to be used as scaffold for autologous mesenchymal stem cells in ligament tissue engineering. Polyelectrolyte m