WorldWideScience

Sample records for silk proteins insights

  1. 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)

  2. New application of silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Biomaterials Derived from Silk-Tropoelastin Protein Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Osteoinductive recombinant silk fusion proteins for bone regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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%.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  19. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. 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

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Developmental regulation of silk protein P25 in the silkworm ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tribpo

    anti-P25 sera were raised in rabbit and mice. The relative ... of B. mori. Couble et al (1983) identified a new mRNA species in the posterior ... quantitative changes in P25 protein level during development in B. mori. 2 . ..... physiology biochemistry and pharmacology (eds) G A Kerkut and L I Gilbert (New York: Pergamon.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Oligomeric protein structure networks: insights into protein-protein interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brinda KV

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein-protein association is essential for a variety of cellular processes and hence a large number of investigations are being carried out to understand the principles of protein-protein interactions. In this study, oligomeric protein structures are viewed from a network perspective to obtain new insights into protein association. Structure graphs of proteins have been constructed from a non-redundant set of protein oligomer crystal structures by considering amino acid residues as nodes and the edges are based on the strength of the non-covalent interactions between the residues. The analysis of such networks has been carried out in terms of amino acid clusters and hubs (highly connected residues with special emphasis to protein interfaces. Results A variety of interactions such as hydrogen bond, salt bridges, aromatic and hydrophobic interactions, which occur at the interfaces are identified in a consolidated manner as amino acid clusters at the interface, from this study. Moreover, the characterization of the highly connected hub-forming residues at the interfaces and their comparison with the hubs from the non-interface regions and the non-hubs in the interface regions show that there is a predominance of charged interactions at the interfaces. Further, strong and weak interfaces are identified on the basis of the interaction strength between amino acid residues and the sizes of the interface clusters, which also show that many protein interfaces are stronger than their monomeric protein cores. The interface strengths evaluated based on the interface clusters and hubs also correlate well with experimentally determined dissociation constants for known complexes. Finally, the interface hubs identified using the present method correlate very well with experimentally determined hotspots in the interfaces of protein complexes obtained from the Alanine Scanning Energetics database (ASEdb. A few predictions of interface hot

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. 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...

  16. Improved understanding of protein complex offers insight into DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summer Science Writing Internship Improved understanding of protein complex offers insight into DNA clearer understanding of the origin recognition complex (ORC) - a protein complex that directs DNA replication - through its crystal structure offers new insight into fundamental mechanisms of DNA replication

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Bone Morphogenic Protein-2 (rhBMP2)-Loaded Silk Fibroin Scaffolds to Enhance the Osteoinductivity in Bone Tissue Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Guang-Yu; He, Sheng-Wei; Sun, Chuan-Xiu; Mi, Li-Dong

    2017-10-01

    There is an increasing demand for formulations of silk fibroin (SF) scaffolds in biomedical applications. SF was crosslinked via glutaraldehyde with osteoinductive recombinant human bone morphogenic protein-2 (rhBMP2) of different ratios viz. (i) 3% SF with no rhBMP2 (SF), (ii) 3% SF with equal amount of rhBMP2 (SF+BMP2), and (iii) 12% SF with 3% of rhBMP2 (4SF+BMP2), and these solutions were used in electrospinning-based fabrication of nanoscaffolds for evaluating increased osteoinductive potential of SF scaffolds with rhBMP2. Stress-strain relationship suggested there is no loss in mechanical strength of fibers with addition of rhBMP2, and mechanical strength of scaffold was improved with increase in concentration of SF. rhBMP2 association increased the water retention capacity of scaffold as evident from swelling studies. Viability of hMSCs was found to be higher in conjugated scaffolds, and scaffolds do not exhibit any cytotoxicity towards guest cells. Cells were found to have higher alkaline phosphatase activity in conjugated scaffolds under in vitro and in vivo conditions which establishes the increased osteoinductivity of the novel construct. The scaffolds were found to be effective for in vivo bone formation as well.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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....

  1. 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.

  2. [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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. Lysine-doped polypyrrole/spider silk protein/poly(l-lactic) acid containing nerve growth factor composite fibers for neural application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong; Wang, Kefeng; Xing, Yiming; Yu, Qiaozhen

    2015-11-01

    Lysine-doped polypyrrole (PPy)/regenerated spider silk protein (RSSP)/poly(l-lactic) acid (PLLA)/nerve growth factor (NGF) (L-PRPN) composite scaffold was fabricated by co-axial electrospraying and electrospinning. This L-PRPN composite scaffold had a structure of microfibers with a core-shell structure as the stems and nanofibers as branches. Assessment in vitro demonstrated that the L-PRPN composite micro/nano-fibrous scaffold could maintain integrated structure for at least 4months and the pH value of PBS at about 7.28. It had good biocompatibility and cell adhesion and relatively stable conductivity. PC 12 cells cultured on this scaffold, anisotropic cell-neurite-cell-neurite or neurite-neurite sheets were formed after being cultured for 6days. Evaluations in vivo also showed that L-PRPN composite fibrous conduit was effective at bridging 2.0cm sciatic nerve gap in adult rat within 10months. This conduit and electrical stimulation (ES) through it promoted Schwann cell migration and axonal regrowth. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Investigation of synthetic spider silk crystallinity and alignment via electrothermal, pyroelectric, literature XRD, and tensile techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munro, Troy; Putzeys, Tristan; Copeland, Cameron G; Xing, Changhu; Lewis, Randolph V; Ban, Heng; Glorieux, Christ; Wubbenhorst, Michael

    2017-04-01

    The processes used to create synthetic spider silk greatly affect the properties of the produced fibers. This paper investigates the effect of process variations during artificial spinning on the thermal and mechanical properties of the produced silk. Property values are also compared to the ones of the natural dragline silk of the N. clavipes spider, and to unprocessed (as-spun) synthetic silk. Structural characterization by scanning pyroelectric microscopy is employed to provide insight into the axial orientation of the crystalline regions of the fiber and is supported by XRD data. The results show that stretching and passage through liquid baths induce crystal formation and axial alignment in synthetic fibers, but with different structural organization than natural silks. Furthermore, an increase in thermal diffusivity and elastic modulus is observed with decreasing fiber diameter, trending towards properties of natural fiber. This effect seems to be related to silk fibers being subjected to a radial gradient during production.

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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,

  4. 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

  5. '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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Insights into the physiological function of cellular prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martins V.R.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Prions have been extensively studied since they represent a new class of infectious agents in which a protein, PrPsc (prion scrapie, appears to be the sole component of the infectious particle. They are responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which affect both humans and animals. The mechanism of disease propagation is well understood and involves the interaction of PrPsc with its cellular isoform (PrPc and subsequently abnormal structural conversion of the latter. PrPc is a glycoprotein anchored on the cell surface by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol moiety and expressed in most cell types but mainly in neurons. Prion diseases have been associated with the accumulation of the abnormally folded protein and its neurotoxic effects; however, it is not known if PrPc loss of function is an important component. New efforts are addressing this question and trying to characterize the physiological function of PrPc. At least four different mouse strains in which the PrP gene was ablated were generated and the results regarding their phenotype are controversial. Localization of PrPc on the cell membrane makes it a potential candidate for a ligand uptake, cell adhesion and recognition molecule or a membrane signaling molecule. Recent data have shown a potential role for PrPc in the metabolism of copper and moreover that this metal stimulates PrPc endocytosis. Our group has recently demonstrated that PrPc is a high affinity laminin ligand and that this interaction mediates neuronal cell adhesion and neurite extension and maintenance. Moreover, PrPc-caveolin-1 dependent coupling seems to trigger the tyrosine kinase Fyn activation. These data provide the first evidence for PrPc involvement in signal transduction.

  20. Hyperactive antifreeze proteins from longhorn beetles: some structural insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristiansen, Erlend; Wilkens, Casper; Vincents, Bjarne; Friis, Dennis; Lorentzen, Anders Blomkild; Jenssen, Håvard; Løbner-Olesen, Anders; Ramløv, Hans

    2012-11-01

    This study reports on structural characteristics of hyperactive antifreeze proteins (AFPs) from two species of longhorn beetles. In Rhagium mordax, eight unique mRNAs coding for five different mature AFPs were identified from cold-hardy individuals. These AFPs are apparently homologues to a previously characterized AFP from the closely related species Rhagium inquisitor, and consist of six identifiable repeats of a putative ice binding motif TxTxTxT spaced irregularly apart by segments varying in length from 13 to 20 residues. Circular dichroism spectra show that the AFPs from both species have a high content of β-sheet and low levels of α-helix and random coil. Theoretical predictions of residue-specific secondary structure locate these β-sheets within the putative ice-binding motifs and the central parts of the segments separating them, consistent with an overall β-helical structure with the ice-binding motifs stacked in a β-sheet on one side of the coil. Molecular dynamics models based on these findings show that these AFPs would be energetically stable in a β-helical conformation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Predictive modelling-based design and experiments for synthesis and spinning of bioinspired silk fibres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronau, Greta; Jacobsen, Matthew M.; Huang, Wenwen; Rizzo, Daniel J.; Li, David; Staii, Cristian; Pugno, Nicola M.; Wong, Joyce Y.; Kaplan, David L.; Buehler, Markus J.

    2016-01-01

    Scalable computational modelling tools are required to guide the rational design of complex hierarchical materials with predictable functions. Here, we utilize mesoscopic modelling, integrated with genetic block copolymer synthesis and bioinspired spinning process, to demonstrate de novo materials design that incorporates chemistry, processing and material characterization. We find that intermediate hydrophobic/hydrophilic block ratios observed in natural spider silks and longer chain lengths lead to outstanding silk fibre formation. This design by nature is based on the optimal combination of protein solubility, self-assembled aggregate size and polymer network topology. The original homogeneous network structure becomes heterogeneous after spinning, enhancing the anisotropic network connectivity along the shear flow direction. Extending beyond the classical polymer theory, with insights from the percolation network model, we illustrate the direct proportionality between network conductance and fibre Young's modulus. This integrated approach provides a general path towards de novo functional network materials with enhanced mechanical properties and beyond (optical, electrical or thermal) as we have experimentally verified. PMID:26017575

  4. Predictive modelling-based design and experiments for synthesis and spinning of bioinspired silk fibres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Shangchao; Ryu, Seunghwa; Tokareva, Olena; Gronau, Greta; Jacobsen, Matthew M; Huang, Wenwen; Rizzo, Daniel J; Li, David; Staii, Cristian; Pugno, Nicola M; Wong, Joyce Y; Kaplan, David L; Buehler, Markus J

    2015-05-28

    Scalable computational modelling tools are required to guide the rational design of complex hierarchical materials with predictable functions. Here, we utilize mesoscopic modelling, integrated with genetic block copolymer synthesis and bioinspired spinning process, to demonstrate de novo materials design that incorporates chemistry, processing and material characterization. We find that intermediate hydrophobic/hydrophilic block ratios observed in natural spider silks and longer chain lengths lead to outstanding silk fibre formation. This design by nature is based on the optimal combination of protein solubility, self-assembled aggregate size and polymer network topology. The original homogeneous network structure becomes heterogeneous after spinning, enhancing the anisotropic network connectivity along the shear flow direction. Extending beyond the classical polymer theory, with insights from the percolation network model, we illustrate the direct proportionality between network conductance and fibre Young's modulus. This integrated approach provides a general path towards de novo functional network materials with enhanced mechanical properties and beyond (optical, electrical or thermal) as we have experimentally verified.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Structural insights and ab initio sequencing within the DING proteins family

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elias, Mikael; Liebschner, Dorothee; Gotthard, Guillaume; Chabriere, Eric

    2011-01-01

    DING proteins constitute a recently discovered protein family that is ubiquitous in eukaryotes. The structural insights and the physiological involvements of these intriguing proteins are hereby deciphered. DING proteins constitute an intriguing family of phosphate-binding proteins that was identified in a wide range of organisms, from prokaryotes and archae to eukaryotes. Despite their seemingly ubiquitous occurrence in eukaryotes, their encoding genes are missing from sequenced genomes. Such a lack has considerably hampered functional studies. In humans, these proteins have been related to several diseases, like atherosclerosis, kidney stones, inflammation processes and HIV inhibition. The human phosphate binding protein is a human representative of the DING family that was serendipitously discovered from human plasma. An original approach was developed to determine ab initio the complete and exact sequence of this 38 kDa protein by utilizing mass spectrometry and X-ray data in tandem. Taking advantage of this first complete eukaryotic DING sequence, a immunohistochemistry study was undertaken to check the presence of DING proteins in various mice tissues, revealing that these proteins are widely expressed. Finally, the structure of a bacterial representative from Pseudomonas fluorescens was solved at sub-angstrom resolution, allowing the molecular mechanism of the phosphate binding in these high-affinity proteins to be elucidated

  12. Structural insights and ab initio sequencing within the DING proteins family

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elias, Mikael, E-mail: mikael.elias@weizmann.ac.il [Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot (Israel); Liebschner, Dorothee [CRM2, Nancy Université (France); Gotthard, Guillaume; Chabriere, Eric [AFMB, Université Aix-Marseille II (France)

    2011-01-01

    DING proteins constitute a recently discovered protein family that is ubiquitous in eukaryotes. The structural insights and the physiological involvements of these intriguing proteins are hereby deciphered. DING proteins constitute an intriguing family of phosphate-binding proteins that was identified in a wide range of organisms, from prokaryotes and archae to eukaryotes. Despite their seemingly ubiquitous occurrence in eukaryotes, their encoding genes are missing from sequenced genomes. Such a lack has considerably hampered functional studies. In humans, these proteins have been related to several diseases, like atherosclerosis, kidney stones, inflammation processes and HIV inhibition. The human phosphate binding protein is a human representative of the DING family that was serendipitously discovered from human plasma. An original approach was developed to determine ab initio the complete and exact sequence of this 38 kDa protein by utilizing mass spectrometry and X-ray data in tandem. Taking advantage of this first complete eukaryotic DING sequence, a immunohistochemistry study was undertaken to check the presence of DING proteins in various mice tissues, revealing that these proteins are widely expressed. Finally, the structure of a bacterial representative from Pseudomonas fluorescens was solved at sub-angstrom resolution, allowing the molecular mechanism of the phosphate binding in these high-affinity proteins to be elucidated.

  13. Insights into Hox protein function from a large scale combinatorial analysis of protein domains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samir Merabet

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Protein function is encoded within protein sequence and protein domains. However, how protein domains cooperate within a protein to modulate overall activity and how this impacts functional diversification at the molecular and organism levels remains largely unaddressed. Focusing on three domains of the central class Drosophila Hox transcription factor AbdominalA (AbdA, we used combinatorial domain mutations and most known AbdA developmental functions as biological readouts to investigate how protein domains collectively shape protein activity. The results uncover redundancy, interactivity, and multifunctionality of protein domains as salient features underlying overall AbdA protein activity, providing means to apprehend functional diversity and accounting for the robustness of Hox-controlled developmental programs. Importantly, the results highlight context-dependency in protein domain usage and interaction, allowing major modifications in domains to be tolerated without general functional loss. The non-pleoitropic effect of domain mutation suggests that protein modification may contribute more broadly to molecular changes underlying morphological diversification during evolution, so far thought to rely largely on modification in gene cis-regulatory sequences.

  14. 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.

  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. 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,

  17. 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

  18. Crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana provides insights into its product specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Weiwei; Wang, Wenhe; Liu, Zihe; Xie, Yongchao; Wang, Hao; Mu, Yajuan; Huang, Yao; Feng, Yue

    2016-09-16

    Specifier proteins are important components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, which mediate plant defense against herbivory and pathogen attacks. Upon tissue disruption, glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to instable aglucones by myrosinases, and then aglucones will rearrange to form defensive isothiocyanates. Specifier proteins can redirect this reaction to form other products, such as simple nitriles, epithionitriles and organic thiocyanates instead of isothiocyanates based on the side chain structure of glucosinolate and the type of the specifier proteins. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism underlying the different product spectrums of various specifier proteins was not fully understood. Here in this study, we solved the crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtESP) at 2.3 Å resolution. Structural comparisons with the previously solved structure of thiocyanate forming protein, TFP from Thlaspi arvense (TaTFP) reveal that AtESP shows a dimerization pattern different from TaTFP. Moreover, AtESP harbors a slightly larger active site pocket than TaTFP and several residues around the active site are different between the two proteins, which might account for the different product spectrums of the two proteins. Together, our structural study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms of specifier proteins and shed light on the basis of their different product spectrums. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.)

  6. Structural analysis of alanine tripeptide with antiparallel and parallel beta-sheet structures in relation to the analysis of mixed beta-sheet structures in Samia cynthia ricini silk protein fiber using solid-state NMR spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asakura, Tetsuo; Okonogi, Michi; Nakazawa, Yasumoto; Yamauchi, Kazuo

    2006-05-10

    The structural analysis of natural protein fibers with mixed parallel and antiparallel beta-sheet structures by solid-state NMR is reported. To obtain NMR parameters that can characterize these beta-sheet structures, (13)C solid-state NMR experiments were performed on two alanine tripeptide samples: one with 100% parallel beta-sheet structure and the other with 100% antiparallel beta-sheet structure. All (13)C resonances of the tripeptides could be assigned by a comparison of the methyl (13)C resonances of Ala(3) with different [3-(13)C]Ala labeling schemes and also by a series of RFDR (radio frequency driven recoupling) spectra observed by changing mixing times. Two (13)C resonances observed for each Ala residue could be assigned to two nonequivalent molecules per unit cell. Differences in the (13)C chemical shifts and (13)C spin-lattice relaxation times (T(1)) were observed between the two beta-sheet structures. Especially, about 3 times longer T(1) values were obtained for parallel beta-sheet structure as compared to those of antiparallel beta-sheet structure, which could be explicable by the difference in the hydrogen-bond networks of both structures. This very large difference in T(1) becomes a good measure to differentiate between parallel or antiparallel beta-sheet structures. These differences in the NMR parameters found for the tripeptides may be applied to assign the parallel and antiparallel beta-sheet (13)C resonances in the asymmetric and broad methyl spectra of [3-(13)C]Ala silk protein fiber of a wild silkworm, Samia cynthia ricini.

  7. 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.

  8. Structure of the Aeropyrum pernix L7Ae multifunctional protein and insight into its extreme thermostability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhuiya, Mohammad Wadud; Suryadi, Jimmy; Zhou, Zholi; Brown, Bernard Andrew II

    2013-01-01

    The crystal structure of A. pernix L7Ae is reported, providing insight into the extreme thermostability of this protein. Archaeal ribosomal protein L7Ae is a multifunctional RNA-binding protein that directs post-transcriptional modification of archaeal RNAs. The L7Ae protein from Aeropyrum pernix (Ap L7Ae), a member of the Crenarchaea, was found to have an extremely high melting temperature (>383 K). The crystal structure of Ap L7Ae has been determined to a resolution of 1.56 Å. The structure of Ap L7Ae was compared with the structures of two homologs: hyperthermophilic Methanocaldococcus jannaschii L7Ae and the mesophilic counterpart mammalian 15.5 kD protein. The primary stabilizing feature in the Ap L7Ae protein appears to be the large number of ion pairs and extensive ion-pair network that connects secondary-structural elements. To our knowledge, Ap L7Ae is among the most thermostable single-domain monomeric proteins presently observed

  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. Protein kinase CK2 in health and disease: Protein kinase CK2: from structures to insights

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niefind, K; Raaf, J; Issinger, Olaf-Georg

    2009-01-01

    the critical region of CK2alpha recruitment is pre-formed in the unbound state. In CK2alpha the activation segment - a key element of protein kinase regulation - adapts invariably the typical conformation of the active enzymes. Recent structures of human CK2alpha revealed a surprising plasticity in the ATP......Within the last decade, 40 crystal structures corresponding to protein kinase CK2 (former name 'casein kinase 2'), to its catalytic subunit CK2alpha and to its regulatory subunit CK2beta were published. Together they provide a valuable, yet by far not complete basis to rationalize the biochemical...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Complementation studies with the novel "Bungowannah" virus provide new insights in the compatibility of pestivirus proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Maria; Reimann, Ilona; Wegelt, Anne; Kirkland, Peter D; Beer, Martin

    2011-09-30

    In recent years several atypical pestiviruses have been described. Bungowannah virus is the most divergent virus in this group. Therefore, heterologous complementation was used to clarify the phylogenetic relationship and to analyze the exchangeability of genome regions encoding structural proteins. Using a BVDV type 1 backbone, chimeric constructs with substituted envelope proteins E(rns), E1 and E2, were investigated. While all constructs replicated autonomously, infectious high titer chimeric virus could only be observed after exchanging the complete E1-E2 encoding region. The complementation of E1 and E2 alone resulted only in replicons. Complementation of BVDV-E(rns) was only efficient if Bungowannah virus-E(rns) was expressed from a bicistronic construct. Our data provide new insights in the compatibility of pestivirus proteins and demonstrate that heterologous complementation could be useful to characterize new pestiviruses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Atomic Insight into the Altered O6-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase Protein Architecture in Gastric Cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naveed Anjum Chikan

    Full Text Available O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT is one of the major DNA repair protein that counteracts the alkalyting agent-induced DNA damage by replacing O6-methylguanine (mutagenic lesion back to guanine, eventually suppressing the mismatch errors and double strand crosslinks. Exonic alterations in the form of nucleotide polymorphism may result in altered protein structure that in turn can lead to the loss of function. In the present study, we focused on the population feared for high exposure to alkylating agents owing to their typical and specialized dietary habits. To this end, gastric cancer patients pooled out from the population were selected for the mutational screening of a specific error prone region of MGMT gene. We found that nearly 40% of the studied neoplastic samples harbored missense mutation at codon151 resulting into Serine to Isoleucine variation. This variation resulted in bringing about the structural disorder, subsequently ensuing into a major stoichiometric variance in recognition domain, substrate binding and selectivity loop of the active site of the MGMT protein, as observed under virtual microscope of molecular dynamics simulation (MDS. The atomic insight into MGMT protein by computational approach showed a significant change in the intra molecular hydrogen bond pattern, thus leading to the observed structural anomalies. To further examine the mutational implications on regulatory plugs of MGMT that holds the protein in a DNA-Binding position, a MDS based analysis was carried out on, all known physically interacting amino acids essentially clustered into groups based on their position and function. The results generated by physical-functional clustering of protein indicated that the identified mutation in the vicinity of the active site of MGMT protein causes the local and global destabilization of a protein by either eliminating the stabilizing salt bridges in cluster C3, C4, and C5 or by locally destabilizing the

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

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    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.

  2. 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.

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

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    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. The Silk Route from Land to Sea

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    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

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    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.

  10. Insights into the role of protein molecule size and structure on interfacial properties using designed sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer, Mirjana Dimitrijev; He, Lizhong; James, Michael; Nelson, Andrew; Middelberg, Anton P. J.

    2013-01-01

    Mixtures of a large, structured protein with a smaller, unstructured component are inherently complex and hard to characterize at interfaces, leading to difficulties in understanding their interfacial behaviours and, therefore, formulation optimization. Here, we investigated interfacial properties of such a mixed system. Simplicity was achieved using designed sequences in which chemical differences had been eliminated to isolate the effect of molecular size and structure, namely a short unstructured peptide (DAMP1) and its longer structured protein concatamer (DAMP4). Interfacial tension measurements suggested that the size and bulk structuring of the larger molecule led to much slower adsorption kinetics. Neutron reflectometry at equilibrium revealed that both molecules adsorbed as a monolayer to the air–water interface (indicating unfolding of DAMP4 to give a chain of four connected DAMP1 molecules), with a concentration ratio equal to that in the bulk. This suggests the overall free energy of adsorption is equal despite differences in size and bulk structure. At small interfacial extensional strains, only molecule packing influenced the stress response. At larger strains, the effect of size became apparent, with DAMP4 registering a higher stress response and interfacial elasticity. When both components were present at the interface, most stress-dissipating movement was achieved by DAMP1. This work thus provides insights into the role of proteins' molecular size and structure on their interfacial properties, and the designed sequences introduced here can serve as effective tools for interfacial studies of proteins and polymers. PMID:23303222

  11. 2D proteome analysis initiates new Insights on the Salmonella Typhimurium LuxS protein

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    Vanderleyden Jos

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quorum sensing is a term describing a bacterial communication system mediated by the production and recognition of small signaling molecules. The LuxS enzyme, catalyzing the synthesis of AI-2, is conserved in a wide diversity of bacteria. AI-2 has therefore been suggested as an interspecies quorum sensing signal. To investigate the role of endogenous AI-2 in protein expression of the Gram-negative pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium, we performed a 2D-DIGE proteomics experiment comparing total protein extract of wildtype S. Typhimurium with that of a luxS mutant, unable to produce AI-2. Results Differential proteome analysis of wildtype S. Typhimurium versus a luxS mutant revealed relatively few changes beyond the known effect on phase 2 flagellin. However, two highly differentially expressed protein spots with similar molecular weight but differing isoelectric point, were identified as LuxS whereas the S. Typhimurium genome contains only one luxS gene. This observation was further explored and we show that the S. Typhimurium LuxS protein can undergo posttranslational modification at a catalytic cysteine residue. Additionally, by constructing LuxS-βla and LuxS-PhoA fusion proteins, we demonstrate that S. Typhimurium LuxS can substitute the cognate signal peptide sequences of β-lactamase and alkaline phosphatase for translocation across the cytoplasmic membrane in S. Typhimurium. This was further confirmed by fractionation of S. Typhimurium protein extracts, followed by Western blot analysis. Conclusion 2D-DIGE analysis of a luxS mutant vs. wildtype Salmonella Typhimurium did not reveal new insights into the role of AI-2/LuxS in Salmonella as only a small amount of proteins were differentially expressed. However, subsequent in depth analysis of the LuxS protein itself revealed two interesting features: posttranslational modification and potential translocation across the cytoplasmic membrane. As

  12. Structure and stability insights into tumour suppressor p53 evolutionary related proteins.

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    Bruno Pagano

    Full Text Available The p53 family of genes and their protein products, namely, p53, p63 and p73, have over one billion years of evolutionary history. Advances in computational biology and genomics are enabling studies of the complexities of the molecular evolution of p53 protein family to decipher the underpinnings of key biological conditions spanning from cancer through to various metabolic and developmental disorders and facilitate the design of personalised medicines. However, a complete understanding of the inherent nature of the thermodynamic and structural stability of the p53 protein family is still lacking. This is due, to a degree, to the lack of comprehensive structural information for a large number of homologous proteins and to an incomplete knowledge of the intrinsic factors responsible for their stability and how these might influence function. Here we investigate the thermal stability, secondary structure and folding properties of the DNA-binding domains (DBDs of a range of proteins from the p53 family using biophysical methods. While the N- and the C-terminal domains of the p53 family show sequence diversity and are normally targets for post-translational modifications and alternative splicing, the central DBD is highly conserved. Together with data obtained from Molecular Dynamics simulations in solution and with structure based homology modelling, our results provide further insights into the molecular properties of evolutionary related p53 proteins. We identify some marked structural differences within the p53 family, which could account for the divergence in biological functions as well as the subtleties manifested in the oligomerization properties of this family.

  13. 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.

  14. Novel two-step method to form silk fibroin fibrous hydrogel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ming, Jinfa; Li, Mengmeng; Han, Yuhui; Chen, Ying; Li, Han; Zuo, Baoqi; Pan, Fukui

    2016-01-01

    Hydrogels prepared by silk fibroin solution have been studied. However, mimicking the nanofibrous structures of extracellular matrix for fabricating biomaterials remains a challenge. Here, a novel two-step method was applied to prepare fibrous hydrogels using regenerated silk fibroin solution containing nanofibrils in a range of tens to hundreds of nanometers. When the gelation process of silk solution occurred, it showed a top-down type gel within 30 min. After gelation, silk fibroin fibrous hydrogels exhibited nanofiber network morphology with β-sheet structure. Moreover, the compressive stress and modulus of fibrous hydrogels were 31.9 ± 2.6 and 2.8 ± 0.8 kPa, respectively, which was formed using 2.0 wt.% concentration solutions. In addition, fibrous hydrogels supported BMSCs attachment and proliferation over 12 days. This study provides important insight in the in vitro processing of silk fibroin into useful new materials. - Highlights: • SF fibrous hydrogel was prepared by a novel two-step method. • SF solution containing nanofibrils in a range of tens to hundreds of nanometers was prepared. • Gelation process was top-down type gel with several minutes. • SF fibrous hydrogels exhibited nanofiber network morphology with β-sheet structure. • Fibrous hydrogels had higher compressive stresses superior to porous hydrogels.

  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. 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

  17. Insights into alternative prion protein topologies induced under high hydrostatic pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torrent, Joan; Alvarez-Martinez, Maria Teresa; Heitz, Frederic; Liautard, Jean-Pierre; Balny, Claude; Lange, Reinhard

    2004-01-01

    The critical step in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) appears to be a conformational transition of a normal prion protein (PrP C ) into a misfolded isoform (PrP Sc ). To gain insight into the structural conversion of the prion protein we have exploited the use of high hydrostatic pressure combined with various spectroscopic techniques. In vitro transitions of the recombinant PrP to a scrapie-like form have never resulted in an infectious structure. It is our hypothesis that the acquisition of the disease-causing conformation depends on folding pathways which are difficult to attain. We attempt to favour, via specific reaction conditions at high pressure, alternative routes of misfolding leading to a stable infectious amyloidogenic conformer. Our results have demonstrated the potential of high pressure to reveal various prion structural changes, which are inaccessible by conventional methods. Especially, we have characterized a pressure-induced conformer in which the normal α-helical structure is changed into a highly aggregated β-sheet conformation showing markedly increased resistance to proteolysis (key markers of potential infectious agents). Our work may have important implications, not only for ultimately proving the protein-only hypothesis and for understanding the basic mechanism of the disease, but also for developing preventative and therapeutic measures

  18. Insights into alternative prion protein topologies induced under high hydrostatic pressure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torrent, Joan [INSERM U128, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Alvarez-Martinez, Maria Teresa [INSERM U431, IFR 122, Place Eugene Bataillon, F-34095 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Heitz, Frederic [CRBM, CNRS-UPR 1086, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Liautard, Jean-Pierre [INSERM U431, IFR 122, Place Eugene Bataillon, F-34095 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Balny, Claude [INSERM U128, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Lange, Reinhard [INSERM U128, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France)

    2004-04-14

    The critical step in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) appears to be a conformational transition of a normal prion protein (PrP{sup C}) into a misfolded isoform (PrP{sup Sc}). To gain insight into the structural conversion of the prion protein we have exploited the use of high hydrostatic pressure combined with various spectroscopic techniques. In vitro transitions of the recombinant PrP to a scrapie-like form have never resulted in an infectious structure. It is our hypothesis that the acquisition of the disease-causing conformation depends on folding pathways which are difficult to attain. We attempt to favour, via specific reaction conditions at high pressure, alternative routes of misfolding leading to a stable infectious amyloidogenic conformer. Our results have demonstrated the potential of high pressure to reveal various prion structural changes, which are inaccessible by conventional methods. Especially, we have characterized a pressure-induced conformer in which the normal {alpha}-helical structure is changed into a highly aggregated {beta}-sheet conformation showing markedly increased resistance to proteolysis (key markers of potential infectious agents). Our work may have important implications, not only for ultimately proving the protein-only hypothesis and for understanding the basic mechanism of the disease, but also for developing preventative and therapeutic measures.

  19. 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

  20. Bio-industrial waste silk fibroin protein and carbon nanotube induced carbonized growth of one dimensional ZnO based bio-nanosheets and their enhanced optoelectronic properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saravanan, Adhimoorthy; Huang, Bohr-Ran; Kathiravan, Deepa

    2018-06-01

    High performance UV/visible photodetectors are successfully fabricated from ZnO/fibroin protein-carbon nanotube (ZFPCNT) composites using a simple hydrothermal method. The as-fabricated ZnO nanorods (ZnO NRs) and ZFPCNT nanostructures were measured under different light illuminations. The measurements showed the UV-light photoresponse of the as-fabricated ZFPCNT nanostructures (55,555) to be approximately 26454% higher than that of the as-prepared ZnO NRs (210). This photodetector can sense photons with energies considerably smaller (2.75 eV) than the band gap of ZnO (3.22 eV). It was observed that the finest distribution of fibroin and CNT into 1D ZnO resulted in rapid electron transportation and hole recombination via carbon/nitrogen dopants from the ZFPCNT. Carbon dopants create new energy levels on the conduction band of the ZFPCNT, which reduces the barrier height to allow for charge carrier transportation under light illumination. Moreover, the nitrogen dopants increase the adsorptivity and amount of oxygen vacancies in the ZFPCNT so that it exhibits fast response/recovery times both in the dark and under light illumination. The selectivity of UV light among the other types of illumination can be ascribed to the deep-level energy traps (ET) of the ZFPCNT. These significant features of ZFPCNT lead to the excellent optical properties and creation of new pathways for the production of low-cost semiconductors and bio-waste protein based UV/visible photodetectors. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Processing Techniques and Applications of Silk Hydrogels in Bioengineering

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    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.

  5. Theoretical Insights into the Biophysics of Protein Bi-stability and Evolutionary Switches.

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    Tobias Sikosek

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Deciphering the effects of nonsynonymous mutations on protein structure is central to many areas of biomedical research and is of fundamental importance to the study of molecular evolution. Much of the investigation of protein evolution has focused on mutations that leave a protein's folded structure essentially unchanged. However, to evolve novel folds of proteins, mutations that lead to large conformational modifications have to be involved. Unraveling the basic biophysics of such mutations is a challenge to theory, especially when only one or two amino acid substitutions cause a large-scale conformational switch. Among the few such mutational switches identified experimentally, the one between the GA all-α and GB α+β folds is extensively characterized; but all-atom simulations using fully transferrable potentials have not been able to account for this striking switching behavior. Here we introduce an explicit-chain model that combines structure-based native biases for multiple alternative structures with a general physical atomic force field, and apply this construct to twelve mutants spanning the sequence variation between GA and GB. In agreement with experiment, we observe conformational switching from GA to GB upon a single L45Y substitution in the GA98 mutant. In line with the latent evolutionary potential concept, our model shows a gradual sequence-dependent change in fold preference in the mutants before this switch. Our analysis also indicates that a sharp GA/GB switch may arise from the orientation dependence of aromatic π-interactions. These findings provide physical insights toward rationalizing, predicting and designing evolutionary conformational switches.

  6. 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.

  7. Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers

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    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.

  8. 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

  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. Archaeal Genome Guardians Give Insights into Eukaryotic DNA Replication and Damage Response Proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S. Shin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available As the third domain of life, archaea, like the eukarya and bacteria, must have robust DNA replication and repair complexes to ensure genome fidelity. Archaea moreover display a breadth of unique habitats and characteristics, and structural biologists increasingly appreciate these features. As archaea include extremophiles that can withstand diverse environmental stresses, they provide fundamental systems for understanding enzymes and pathways critical to genome integrity and stress responses. Such archaeal extremophiles provide critical data on the periodic table for life as well as on the biochemical, geochemical, and physical limitations to adaptive strategies allowing organisms to thrive under environmental stress relevant to determining the boundaries for life as we know it. Specifically, archaeal enzyme structures have informed the architecture and mechanisms of key DNA repair proteins and complexes. With added abilities to temperature-trap flexible complexes and reveal core domains of transient and dynamic complexes, these structures provide insights into mechanisms of maintaining genome integrity despite extreme environmental stress. The DNA damage response protein structures noted in this review therefore inform the basis for genome integrity in the face of environmental stress, with implications for all domains of life as well as for biomanufacturing, astrobiology, and medicine.

  11. Modulation of protein C activation by histones, platelet factor 4, and heparinoids: new insights into activated protein C formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalska, M Anna; Zhao, Guohua; Zhai, Li; David, George; Marcus, Stephen; Krishnaswamy, Sriram; Poncz, Mortimer

    2014-01-01

    Histones are detrimental in late sepsis. Both activated protein C (aPC) and heparin can reverse their effect. Here, we investigated whether histones can modulate aPC generation in a manner similar to another positively charged molecule, platelet factor 4, and how heparinoids (unfractionated heparin or oxygen-desulfated unfractionated heparin with marked decrease anticoagulant activity) may modulate this effect. We measured in vitro and in vivo effects of histones, platelet factor 4, and heparinoids on aPC formation, activated partial thromboplastin time, and murine survival. In vitro, histones and platelet factor 4 both affect thrombin/thrombomodulin aPC generation following a bell-shaped curve, with a peak of >5-fold enhancement. Heparinoids shift these curves rightward. Murine aPC generation studies after infusions of histones, platelet factor 4, and heparinoids supported the in vitro data. Importantly, although unfractionated heparin and 2-O, 3-O desulfated heparin both reversed the lethality of high-dose histone infusions, only mice treated with 2-O, 3-O desulfated heparin demonstrated corrected activated partial thromboplastin times and had significant levels of aPC. Our data provide a new contextual model of how histones affect aPC generation, and how heparinoid therapy may be beneficial in sepsis. These studies provide new insights into the complex interactions controlling aPC formation and suggest a novel therapeutic interventional strategy.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Proteomic analysis of FUS interacting proteins provides insights into FUS function and its role in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamelgarn, Marisa; Chen, Jing; Kuang, Lisha; Arenas, Alexandra; Zhai, Jianjun; Zhu, Haining; Gal, Jozsef

    2016-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Mutations in the Fused in Sarcoma/Translocated in Liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) gene cause a subset of familial ALS cases and are also implicated in sporadic ALS. FUS is typically localized to the nucleus. The ALS-related FUS mutations cause cytoplasmic mis-localization and the formation of stress granule-like structures. Abnormal cytoplasmic FUS localization was also found in a subset of frontotemporal dementia (FTLD) cases without FUS mutations. To better understand the function of FUS, we performed wild-type and mutant FUS pull-downs followed by proteomic identification of the interacting proteins. The FUS interacting partners we identified are involved in multiple pathways, including chromosomal organization, transcription, RNA splicing, RNA transport, localized translation, and stress response. FUS interacted with hnRNPA1 and Matrin-3, RNA binding proteins whose mutations were also reported to cause familial ALS, suggesting that hnRNPA1 and Matrin-3 may play common pathogenic roles with FUS. The FUS interactions displayed varied RNA dependence. Numerous FUS interacting partners that we identified are components of exosomes. We found that FUS itself was present in exosomes, suggesting that the secretion of FUS might contribute to the cell-to-cell spreading of FUS pathology. FUS interacting proteins were sequestered into the cytoplasmic mutant FUS inclusions that could lead to their mis-regulation or loss of function, contributing to ALS pathogenesis. Our results provide insights into the physiological functions of FUS as well as important pathways where mutant FUS can interfere with cellular processes and potentially contribute to the pathogenesis of ALS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Dermatologic Diseases in Silk Workers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J S Pasricha

    1985-01-01

    Full Text Available A survey of 112 workers of a silk facory near Bangalore, for dermatologic diseases revealed (1 a characteristic wearing off of the medial halves of the distal free edges of the finger nail plates in 10 of the 15 cocoonsorters, (2 maceration of the palms in 58 workers of the boiling and reeling section, and (3 pitted keratolysis of the palms, in 42 workers, also from the boiling and reeling section. There was no clinical evidence of contact dermatitis, and patch tests with the silk thread from the cocoons in 25 workers showed a very mild reaction in 2 workers and a doubtful reaction in another two. In addition, one worker from the skeining section had crisscross superficial fissures on the finger tips caused by friction, two workers had paronychia ′of the fingers and four workers had dermatophytFNx01t fingers webs. As in the previous survey, these workers also had a high incidence of ichthyosis (92 workers and hyperketatosis of the palms (62 workers and soles (110 workers.

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Structural insights into Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 mediated prediction of potentially active semiochemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Zhen; Liu, Jiyuan; Zhang, Yalin

    2016-03-01

    Given the advantages of behavioral disruption application in pest control and the damage of Cydia pomonella, due progresses have not been made in searching active semiochemicals for codling moth. In this research, 31 candidate semiochemicals were ranked for their binding potential to Cydia pomonella pheromone binding protein 2 (CpomPBP2) by simulated docking, and this sorted result was confirmed by competitive binding assay. This high predicting accuracy of virtual screening led to the construction of a rapid and viable method for semiochemicals searching. By reference to binding mode analyses, hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interaction were suggested to be two key factors in determining ligand affinity, so is the length of molecule chain. So it is concluded that semiochemicals of appropriate chain length with hydroxyl group or carbonyl group at one head tended to be favored by CpomPBP2. Residues involved in binding with each ligand were pointed out as well, which were verified by computational alanine scanning mutagenesis. Progress made in the present study helps establish an efficient method for predicting potentially active compounds and prepares for the application of high-throughput virtual screening in searching semiochemicals by taking insights into binding mode analyses.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Insights into the interaction between nucleoid-associated proteins H ha and H-NS by NMR and fluorescence anisotropy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cordeiro, T.N.; Garcia, J. [Institut de Recerca Biomedica-Parc Cientific de (Spain). Lab. of Biomolecular NMR; Pons, M. [Universitat de Barcelona (Spain). Dept. de Quimica Organica]. E-mail: mpons@ub.edu

    2005-07-01

    NMR and fluorescence anisotropy are both valuable tools for studying bio molecular interactions. NMR can provide structural insights at atomic resolution. Still, it can be wisely complemented by lower-resolution biophysical techniques, such as fluorescence anisotropy. In this article we report the combination of NMR and fluorescence anisotropy in establishing novel structure-function insights into the interaction between two bacterial nucleoid-associated proteins, H ha and H-NS. H ha (H-NS) complexes are known to play an important role in modulating the expression of some environmentally regulated genes that confer survival advantage in a particular growth condition. (author)

  10. Insights into the interaction between nucleoid-associated proteins H ha and H-NS by NMR and fluorescence anisotropy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cordeiro, T.N.; Garcia, J.; Pons, M.

    2005-01-01

    NMR and fluorescence anisotropy are both valuable tools for studying bio molecular interactions. NMR can provide structural insights at atomic resolution. Still, it can be wisely complemented by lower-resolution biophysical techniques, such as fluorescence anisotropy. In this article we report the combination of NMR and fluorescence anisotropy in establishing novel structure-function insights into the interaction between two bacterial nucleoid-associated proteins, H ha and H-NS. H ha (H-NS) complexes are known to play an important role in modulating the expression of some environmentally regulated genes that confer survival advantage in a particular growth condition. (author)

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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:.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Insight into temperature dependence of GTPase activity in human guanylate binding protein-1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anjana Rani

    Full Text Available Interferon-γ induced human guanylate binding protein-1(hGBP1 belongs to a family of dynamin related large GTPases. Unlike all other GTPases, hGBP1 hydrolyzes GTP to a mixture of GDP and GMP with GMP being the major product at 37°C but GDP became significant when the hydrolysis reaction was carried out at 15°C. The hydrolysis reaction in hGBP1 is believed to involve with a number of catalytic steps. To investigate the effect of temperature in the product formation and on the different catalytic complexes of hGBP1, we carried out temperature dependent GTPase assays, mutational analysis, chemical and thermal denaturation studies. The Arrhenius plot for both GDP and GMP interestingly showed nonlinear behaviour, suggesting that the product formation from the GTP-bound enzyme complex is associated with at least more than one step. The negative activation energy for GDP formation and GTPase assay with external GDP together indicate that GDP formation occurs through the reversible dissociation of GDP-bound enzyme dimer to monomer, which further reversibly dissociates to give the product. Denaturation studies of different catalytic complexes show that unlike other complexes the free energy of GDP-bound hGBP1 decreases significantly at lower temperature. GDP formation is found to be dependent on the free energy of the GDP-bound enzyme complex. The decrease in the free energy of this complex at low temperature compared to at high is the reason for higher GDP formation at low temperature. Thermal denaturation studies also suggest that the difference in the free energy of the GTP-bound enzyme dimer compared to its monomer plays a crucial role in the product formation; higher stability favours GMP but lower favours GDP. Thus, this study provides the first thermodynamic insight into the effect of temperature in the product formation of hGBP1.

  20. New insights on the sialidase protein family revealed by a phylogenetic analysis in metazoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edoardo Giacopuzzi

    Full Text Available Sialidases are glycohydrolytic enzymes present from virus to mammals that remove sialic acid from oligosaccharide chains. Four different sialidase forms are known in vertebrates: the lysosomal NEU1, the cytosolic NEU2 and the membrane-associated NEU3 and NEU4. These enzymes modulate the cell sialic acid content and are involved in several cellular processes and pathological conditions. Molecular defects in NEU1 are responsible for sialidosis, an inherited disease characterized by lysosomal storage disorder and neurodegeneration. The studies on the biology of sialic acids and sialyltransferases, the anabolic counterparts of sialidases, have revealed a complex picture with more than 50 sialic acid variants selectively present in the different branches of the tree of life. The gain/loss of specific sialoconjugates have been proposed as key events in the evolution of deuterostomes and Homo sapiens, as well as in the host-pathogen interactions. To date, less attention has been paid to the evolution of sialidases. Thus we have conducted a survey on the state of the sialidase family in metazoan. Using an in silico approach, we identified and characterized sialidase orthologs from 21 different organisms distributed among the evolutionary tree: Metazoa relative (Monosiga brevicollis, early Deuterostomia, precursor of Chordata and Vertebrata (teleost fishes, amphibians, reptiles, avians and early and recent mammals. We were able to reconstruct the evolution of the sialidase protein family from the ancestral sialidase NEU1 and identify a new form of the enzyme, NEU5, representing an intermediate step in the evolution leading to the modern NEU3, NEU4 and NEU2. Our study provides new insights on the mechanisms that shaped the substrate specificity and other peculiar properties of the modern mammalian sialidases. Moreover, we further confirm findings on the catalytic residues and identified enzyme loop portions that behave as rapidly diverging regions and may

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Studies of the aggregation of mutant proteins in vitro provide insights into the genetics of amyloid diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiti, Fabrizio; Calamai, Martino; Taddei, Niccolo; Stefani, Massimo; Ramponi, Giampietro; Dobson, Christopher M

    2002-12-10

    Protein aggregation and the formation of highly insoluble amyloid structures is associated with a range of debilitating human conditions, which include Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Muscle acylphosphatase (AcP) has already provided significant insights into mutational changes that modulate amyloid formation. In the present paper, we have used this system to investigate the effects of mutations that modify the charge state of a protein without affecting significantly the hydrophobicity or secondary structural propensities of the polypeptide chain. A highly significant inverse correlation was found to exist between the rates of aggregation of the protein variants under denaturing conditions and their overall net charge. This result indicates that aggregation is generally favored by mutations that bring the net charge of the protein closer to neutrality. In light of this finding, we have analyzed natural mutations associated with familial forms of amyloid diseases that involve alteration of the net charge of the proteins or protein fragments associated with the diseases. Sixteen mutations have been identified for which the mechanism of action that causes the pathological condition is not yet known or fully understood. Remarkably, 14 of these 16 mutations cause the net charge of the corresponding peptide or protein that converts into amyloid deposits to be reduced. This result suggests that charge has been a key parameter in molecular evolution to ensure the avoidance of protein aggregation and identifies reduction of the net charge as an important determinant in at least some forms of protein deposition diseases.

  4. Structural and Functional Studies of H. seropedicae RecA ProteinInsights into the Polymerization of RecA Protein as Nucleoprotein Filament

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leite, Wellington C.; Galvão, Carolina W.; Saab, Sérgio C.; Iulek, Jorge; Etto, Rafael M.; Steffens, Maria B.R.; Chitteni-Pattu, Sindhu; Stanage, Tyler; Keck, James L.; Cox, Michael M. (UW); (UW-MED); (Ponta Grossa)

    2016-07-22

    The bacterial RecA protein plays a role in the complex system of DNA damage repair. Here, we report the functional and structural characterization of the Herbaspirillum seropedicae RecA protein (HsRecA). HsRecA protein is more efficient at displacing SSB protein from ssDNA than Escherichia coli RecA protein. HsRecA also promotes DNA strand exchange more efficiently. The three dimensional structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP complex has been solved to 1.7 Å resolution. HsRecA protein contains a small N-terminal domain, a central core ATPase domain and a large C-terminal domain, that are similar to homologous bacterial RecA proteins. Comparative structural analysis showed that the N-terminal polymerization motif of archaeal and eukaryotic RecA family proteins are also present in bacterial RecAs. Reconstruction of electrostatic potential from the hexameric structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP revealed a high positive charge along the inner side, where ssDNA is bound inside the filament. The properties of this surface may explain the greater capacity of HsRecA protein to bind ssDNA, forming a contiguous nucleoprotein filament, displace SSB and promote DNA exchange relative to EcRecA. In conclusion, our functional and structural analyses provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of polymerization of bacterial RecA as a helical nucleoprotein filament.

  5. Structural and Functional Studies of H. seropedicae RecA Protein - Insights into the Polymerization of RecA Protein as Nucleoprotein Filament.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wellington C Leite

    Full Text Available The bacterial RecA protein plays a role in the complex system of DNA damage repair. Here, we report the functional and structural characterization of the Herbaspirillum seropedicae RecA protein (HsRecA. HsRecA protein is more efficient at displacing SSB protein from ssDNA than Escherichia coli RecA protein. HsRecA also promotes DNA strand exchange more efficiently. The three dimensional structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP complex has been solved to 1.7 Å resolution. HsRecA protein contains a small N-terminal domain, a central core ATPase domain and a large C-terminal domain, that are similar to homologous bacterial RecA proteins. Comparative structural analysis showed that the N-terminal polymerization motif of archaeal and eukaryotic RecA family proteins are also present in bacterial RecAs. Reconstruction of electrostatic potential from the hexameric structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP revealed a high positive charge along the inner side, where ssDNA is bound inside the filament. The properties of this surface may explain the greater capacity of HsRecA protein to bind ssDNA, forming a contiguous nucleoprotein filament, displace SSB and promote DNA exchange relative to EcRecA. Our functional and structural analyses provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of polymerization of bacterial RecA as a helical nucleoprotein filament.

  6. Structural and Functional Studies of H. seropedicae RecA Protein - Insights into the Polymerization of RecA Protein as Nucleoprotein Filament.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, Wellington C; Galvão, Carolina W; Saab, Sérgio C; Iulek, Jorge; Etto, Rafael M; Steffens, Maria B R; Chitteni-Pattu, Sindhu; Stanage, Tyler; Keck, James L; Cox, Michael M

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial RecA protein plays a role in the complex system of DNA damage repair. Here, we report the functional and structural characterization of the Herbaspirillum seropedicae RecA protein (HsRecA). HsRecA protein is more efficient at displacing SSB protein from ssDNA than Escherichia coli RecA protein. HsRecA also promotes DNA strand exchange more efficiently. The three dimensional structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP complex has been solved to 1.7 Å resolution. HsRecA protein contains a small N-terminal domain, a central core ATPase domain and a large C-terminal domain, that are similar to homologous bacterial RecA proteins. Comparative structural analysis showed that the N-terminal polymerization motif of archaeal and eukaryotic RecA family proteins are also present in bacterial RecAs. Reconstruction of electrostatic potential from the hexameric structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP revealed a high positive charge along the inner side, where ssDNA is bound inside the filament. The properties of this surface may explain the greater capacity of HsRecA protein to bind ssDNA, forming a contiguous nucleoprotein filament, displace SSB and promote DNA exchange relative to EcRecA. Our functional and structural analyses provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of polymerization of bacterial RecA as a helical nucleoprotein filament.

  7. Structural and Functional Studies of H. seropedicae RecA ProteinInsights into the Polymerization of RecA Protein as Nucleoprotein Filament

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvão, Carolina W.; Saab, Sérgio C.; Iulek, Jorge; Etto, Rafael M.; Steffens, Maria B. R.; Chitteni-Pattu, Sindhu; Stanage, Tyler; Keck, James L.; Cox, Michael M.

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial RecA protein plays a role in the complex system of DNA damage repair. Here, we report the functional and structural characterization of the Herbaspirillum seropedicae RecA protein (HsRecA). HsRecA protein is more efficient at displacing SSB protein from ssDNA than Escherichia coli RecA protein. HsRecA also promotes DNA strand exchange more efficiently. The three dimensional structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP complex has been solved to 1.7 Å resolution. HsRecA protein contains a small N-terminal domain, a central core ATPase domain and a large C-terminal domain, that are similar to homologous bacterial RecA proteins. Comparative structural analysis showed that the N-terminal polymerization motif of archaeal and eukaryotic RecA family proteins are also present in bacterial RecAs. Reconstruction of electrostatic potential from the hexameric structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP revealed a high positive charge along the inner side, where ssDNA is bound inside the filament. The properties of this surface may explain the greater capacity of HsRecA protein to bind ssDNA, forming a contiguous nucleoprotein filament, displace SSB and promote DNA exchange relative to EcRecA. Our functional and structural analyses provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of polymerization of bacterial RecA as a helical nucleoprotein filament. PMID:27447485

  8. 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.

  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. When Heterotrimeric G Proteins Are Not Activated by G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Structural Insights and Evolutionary Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiGiacomo, Vincent; Marivin, Arthur; Garcia-Marcos, Mikel

    2018-01-23

    Heterotrimeric G proteins are signal-transducing switches conserved across eukaryotes. In humans, they work as critical mediators of intercellular communication in the context of virtually any physiological process. While G protein regulation by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is well-established and has received much attention, it has become recently evident that heterotrimeric G proteins can also be activated by cytoplasmic proteins. However, this alternative mechanism of G protein regulation remains far less studied than GPCR-mediated signaling. This Viewpoint focuses on recent advances in the characterization of a group of nonreceptor proteins that contain a sequence dubbed the "Gα-binding and -activating (GBA) motif". So far, four proteins present in mammals [GIV (also known as Girdin), DAPLE, CALNUC, and NUCB2] and one protein in Caenorhabditis elegans (GBAS-1) have been described as possessing a functional GBA motif. The GBA motif confers guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity on Gαi subunits in vitro and activates G protein signaling in cells. The importance of this mechanism of signal transduction is highlighted by the fact that its dysregulation underlies human diseases, such as cancer, which has made the proteins attractive new candidates for therapeutic intervention. Here we discuss recent discoveries on the structural basis of GBA-mediated activation of G proteins and its evolutionary conservation and compare them with the better-studied mechanism mediated by GPCRs.

  11. New insights into potential functions for the protein 4.1superfamily of proteins in kidney epithelium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calinisan, Venice; Gravem, Dana; Chen, Ray Ping-Hsu; Brittin,Sachi; Mohandas, Narla; Lecomte, Marie-Christine; Gascard, Philippe

    2005-06-17

    Members of the protein 4.1 family of adapter proteins are expressed in a broad panel of tissues including various epithelia where they likely play an important role in maintenance of cell architecture and polarity and in control of cell proliferation. We have recently characterized the structure and distribution of three members of the protein 4.1 family, 4.1B, 4.1R and 4.1N, in mouse kidney. We describe here binding partners for renal 4.1 proteins, identified through the screening of a rat kidney yeast two-hybrid system cDNA library. The identification of putative protein 4.1-based complexes enables us to envision potential functions for 4.1 proteins in kidney: organization of signaling complexes, response to osmotic stress, protein trafficking, and control of cell proliferation. We discuss the relevance of these protein 4.1-based interactions in kidney physio-pathology in the context of their previously identified functions in other cells and tissues. Specifically, we will focus on renal 4.1 protein interactions with beta amyloid precursor protein (beta-APP), 14-3-3 proteins, and the cell swelling-activated chloride channel pICln. We also discuss the functional relevance of another member of the protein 4.1 superfamily, ezrin, in kidney physiopathology.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Insight into bacterial virulence mechanisms against host immune response via the Yersinia pestis-human protein-protein interaction network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Huiying; Ke, Yuehua; Wang, Jian; Tan, Yafang; Myeni, Sebenzile K; Li, Dong; Shi, Qinghai; Yan, Yanfeng; Chen, Hui; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yuan, Yanzhi; Yang, Xiaoming; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2011-11-01

    A Yersinia pestis-human protein interaction network is reported here to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. Up to 204 interactions between 66 Y. pestis bait proteins and 109 human proteins were identified by yeast two-hybrid assay and then combined with 23 previously published interactions to construct a protein-protein interaction network. Topological analysis of the interaction network revealed that human proteins targeted by Y. pestis were significantly enriched in the proteins that are central in the human protein-protein interaction network. Analysis of this network showed that signaling pathways important for host immune responses were preferentially targeted by Y. pestis, including the pathways involved in focal adhesion, regulation of cytoskeleton, leukocyte transendoepithelial migration, and Toll-like receptor (TLR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Cellular pathways targeted by Y. pestis are highly relevant to its pathogenesis. Interactions with host proteins involved in focal adhesion and cytoskeketon regulation pathways could account for resistance of Y. pestis to phagocytosis. Interference with TLR and MAPK signaling pathways by Y. pestis reflects common characteristics of pathogen-host interaction that bacterial pathogens have evolved to evade host innate immune response by interacting with proteins in those signaling pathways. Interestingly, a large portion of human proteins interacting with Y. pestis (16/109) also interacted with viral proteins (Epstein-Barr virus [EBV] and hepatitis C virus [HCV]), suggesting that viral and bacterial pathogens attack common cellular functions to facilitate infections. In addition, we identified vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) as a novel interaction partner of YpkA and showed that YpkA could inhibit in vitro actin assembly mediated by VASP.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Silk fibroin in tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasoju, Naresh; Bora, Utpal

    2012-07-01

    Tissue engineering (TE) is a multidisciplinary field that aims at the in vitro engineering of tissues and organs by integrating science and technology of cells, materials and biochemical factors. Mimicking the natural extracellular matrix is one of the critical and challenging technological barriers, for which scaffold engineering has become a prime focus of research within the field of TE. Amongst the variety of materials tested, silk fibroin (SF) is increasingly being recognized as a promising material for scaffold fabrication. Ease of processing, excellent biocompatibility, remarkable mechanical properties and tailorable degradability of SF has been explored for fabrication of various articles such as films, porous matrices, hydrogels, nonwoven mats, etc., and has been investigated for use in various TE applications, including bone, tendon, ligament, cartilage, skin, liver, trachea, nerve, cornea, eardrum, dental, bladder, etc. The current review extensively covers the progress made in the SF-based in vitro engineering and regeneration of various human tissues and identifies opportunities for further development of this field. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Clusters of proteins in bio-membranes: insights into the roles of interaction potential shapes and of protein diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Meilhac, Nicolas; Destainville, Nicolas

    2011-01-01

    It has recently been proposed that proteins embedded in lipidic bio-membranes can spontaneously self-organize into stable small clusters, or membrane nano-domains, due to the competition between short-range attractive and longer-range repulsive forces between proteins, specific to these systems. In this paper, we carry on our investigation, by Monte Carlo simulations, of different aspects of cluster phases of proteins in bio-membranes. First, we compare different long-range potentials (includ...

  20. 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

  1. Computational analysis of protein-protein interfaces involving an alpha helix: insights for terphenyl-like molecules binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isvoran, Adriana; Craciun, Dana; Martiny, Virginie; Sperandio, Olivier; Miteva, Maria A

    2013-06-14

    Protein-Protein Interactions (PPIs) are key for many cellular processes. The characterization of PPI interfaces and the prediction of putative ligand binding sites and hot spot residues are essential to design efficient small-molecule modulators of PPI. Terphenyl and its derivatives are small organic molecules known to mimic one face of protein-binding alpha-helical peptides. In this work we focus on several PPIs mediated by alpha-helical peptides. We performed computational sequence- and structure-based analyses in order to evaluate several key physicochemical and surface properties of proteins known to interact with alpha-helical peptides and/or terphenyl and its derivatives. Sequence-based analysis revealed low sequence identity between some of the analyzed proteins binding alpha-helical peptides. Structure-based analysis was performed to calculate the volume, the fractal dimension roughness and the hydrophobicity of the binding regions. Besides the overall hydrophobic character of the binding pockets, some specificities were detected. We showed that the hydrophobicity is not uniformly distributed in different alpha-helix binding pockets that can help to identify key hydrophobic hot spots. The presence of hydrophobic cavities at the protein surface with a more complex shape than the entire protein surface seems to be an important property related to the ability of proteins to bind alpha-helical peptides and low molecular weight mimetics. Characterization of similarities and specificities of PPI binding sites can be helpful for further development of small molecules targeting alpha-helix binding proteins.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Hierarchical partitioning of metazoan protein conservation profiles provides new functional insights.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Witztum

    Full Text Available The availability of many complete, annotated proteomes enables the systematic study of the relationships between protein conservation and functionality. We explore this question based solely on the presence or absence of protein homologues (a.k.a. conservation profiles. We study 18 metazoans, from two distinct points of view: the human's and the fly's. Using the GOrilla gene ontology (GO analysis tool, we explore functional enrichment of the "universal proteins", those with homologues in all 17 other species, and of the "non-universal proteins". A large number of GO terms are strongly enriched in both human and fly universal proteins. Most of these functions are known to be essential. A smaller number of GO terms, exhibiting markedly different properties, are enriched in both human and fly non-universal proteins. We further explore the non-universal proteins, whose conservation profiles are consistent with the "tree of life" (TOL consistent, as well as the TOL inconsistent proteins. Finally, we applied Quantum Clustering to the conservation profiles of the TOL consistent proteins. Each cluster is strongly associated with one or a small number of specific monophyletic clades in the tree of life. The proteins in many of these clusters exhibit strong functional enrichment associated with the "life style" of the related clades. Most previous approaches for studying function and conservation are "bottom up", studying protein families one by one, and separately assessing the conservation of each. By way of contrast, our approach is "top down". We globally partition the set of all proteins hierarchically, as described above, and then identify protein families enriched within different subdivisions. While supporting previous findings, our approach also provides a tool for discovering novel relations between protein conservation profiles, functionality, and evolutionary history as represented by the tree of life.

  13. Interactions of glycine betaine with proteins: insights from volume and compressibility measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shek, Yuen Lai; Chalikian, Tigran V

    2013-01-29

    We report the first application of volume and compressibility measurements to characterization of interactions between cosolvents (osmolytes) and globular proteins. Specifically, we measure the partial molar volumes and adiabatic compressibilities of cytochrome c, ribonuclease A, lysozyme, and ovalbumin in aqueous solutions of the stabilizing osmolyte glycine betaine (GB) at concentrations between 0 and 4 M. The fact that globular proteins do not undergo any conformational transitions in the presence of GB provides an opportunity to study the interactions of GB with proteins in their native states within the entire range of experimentally accessible GB concentrations. We analyze our resulting volumetric data within the framework of a statistical thermodynamic model in which each instance of GB interaction with a protein is viewed as a binding reaction that is accompanied by release of four water molecules. From this analysis, we calculate the association constants, k, as well as changes in volume, ΔV(0), and adiabatic compressibility, ΔK(S0), accompanying each GB-protein association event in an ideal solution. By comparing these parameters with similar characteristics determined for low-molecular weight analogues of proteins, we conclude that there are no significant cooperative effects involved in interactions of GB with any of the proteins studied in this work. We also evaluate the free energies of direct GB-protein interactions. The energetic properties of GB-protein association appear to scale with the size of the protein. For all proteins, the highly favorable change in free energy associated with direct protein-cosolvent interactions is nearly compensated by an unfavorable free energy of cavity formation (excluded volume effect), yielding a modestly unfavorable free energy for the transfer of a protein from water to a GB/water mixture.

  14. 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.

  15. Silks produced by insect labial glands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sehnal, František; Sutherland, T.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 4 (2008), s. 145-153 ISSN 1933-6896 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME 907 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : silk * proteinaceous polymers * alfa-helices Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 0.875, year: 2008 http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/prion/article/7489

  16. Mud and silk in the dark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    P. S. Reboleira, Ana Sofia; Enghoff, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    chamber, using the available substrate reinforced by a silken web. We present the detailed ultrastructure of the moulting chamber and silk. It takes five days to build the moulting chamber and between 29 (female) and 35 (male) days to shed the exuviae. The male maturation moult is preceded...

  17. Evaluation of Colorimetric Assays for Analyzing Reductively Methylated Proteins: Biases and Mechanistic Insights

    OpenAIRE

    Brady, Pamlea N.; Macnaughtan, Megan A.

    2015-01-01

    Colorimetric protein assays, such as the Coomassie blue G-250 dye-binding (Bradford) and bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assays, are commonly used to quantify protein concentration. The accuracy of these assays depends on the amino acid composition. Because of the extensive use of reductive methylation in the study of proteins and the importance of biological methylation, it is necessary to evaluate the impact of lysyl methylation on the Bradford and BCA assays. Unmodified and reductively methylated...

  18. Insights into the energetics and mechanism underlying the interaction of tetraethylammonium bromide with proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Banerjee, Tuhina; Kishore, Nand

    2008-01-01

    Calorimetry has been employed to investigate the quantitative energetic aspects and mechanism underlying protein-tetraethylammonium bromide (TEAB) interactions. Differential scanning calorimetry and UV-Visible spectroscopy have been used to study the thermal unfolding of three proteins of different structure and function (bovine serum albumin, α-lactalbumin, and bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A). The mode of interaction has been studied by using isothermal titration calorimetry, which demonstrates the absence of appreciable specific binding of TEAB to the protein. This suggests the involvement of solvent mediated effects and, possibly weak non-specific binding. The thermal unfolding transitions were found to be calorimetrically reversible for α-lactalbumin and bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A and partially reversible in the case of bovine serum albumin. The results indicate protein destabilization promoted by the TEAB interaction. The preferential interaction parameters of TEAB with α-lactalbumin and ribonuclease A confirm that an increased interaction of the hydrophobic groups of the TEAB with that of the protein upon denaturation is responsible for the reduced thermal stability of the protein. The decrease in the thermal stability of proteins in the presence of TEAB is well supported by a red shift in the intrinsic fluorescence of these proteins leading to conformational change thereby shifting the native ↔ denatured equilibrium towards right. The forces responsible for the thermal denaturation of the proteins of different structure and function in the presence of TEAB are discussed

  19. Insights into the role of hydration in protein structure and stability obtained through hydrostatic pressure studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.A. Royer

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available A thorough understanding of protein structure and stability requires that we elucidate the molecular basis for the effects of both temperature and pressure on protein conformational transitions. While temperature effects are relatively well understood and the change in heat capacity upon unfolding has been reasonably well parameterized, the state of understanding of pressure effects is much less advanced. Ultimately, a quantitative parameterization of the volume changes (at the basis of pressure effects accompanying protein conformational transitions will be required. The present report introduces a qualitative hypothesis based on available model compound data for the molecular basis of volume change upon protein unfolding and its dependence on temperature.

  20. In Vitro Reconstitution of Functional Type III Protein Export and Insights into Flagellar Assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terashima, Hiroyuki; Kawamoto, Akihiro; Tatsumi, Chinatsu; Namba, Keiichi; Minamino, Tohru; Imada, Katsumi

    2018-06-26

    The type III secretion system (T3SS) forms the functional core of injectisomes, protein transporters that allow bacteria to deliver virulence factors into their hosts for infection, and flagella, which are critical for many pathogens to reach the site of infection. In spite of intensive genetic and biochemical studies, the T3SS protein export mechanism remains unclear due to the difficulty of accurate measurement of protein export in vivo Here, we developed an in vitro flagellar T3S protein transport assay system using an inverted cytoplasmic membrane vesicle (IMV) for accurate and controlled measurements of flagellar protein export. We show that the flagellar T3SS in the IMV fully retains export activity. The flagellar hook was constructed inside the lumen of the IMV by adding purified component proteins externally to the IMV solution. We reproduced the hook length control and export specificity switch in the IMV consistent with that seen in the native cell. Previous in vivo analyses showed that flagellar protein export is driven by proton motive force (PMF) and facilitated by ATP hydrolysis by FliI, a T3SS-specific ATPase. Our in vitro assay recapitulated these previous in vivo observations but furthermore clearly demonstrated that even ATP hydrolysis by FliI alone can drive flagellar protein export. Moreover, this assay showed that addition of the FliH 2 /FliI complex to the assay solution at a concentration similar to that in the cell dramatically enhanced protein export, confirming that the FliH 2 /FliI complex in the cytoplasm is important for effective protein transport. IMPORTANCE The type III secretion system (T3SS) is the functional core of the injectisome, a bacterial protein transporter used to deliver virulence proteins into host cells, and bacterial flagella, critical for many pathogens. The molecular mechanism of protein transport is still unclear due to difficulties in accurate measurements of protein transport under well-controlled conditions in

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Structural Basis for a Ribofuranosyl Binding Protein: Insights into the Furanose Specific Transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bagaria, A.; Swaminathan, S.; Kumaran, D.; Burley, S. K.

    2011-04-01

    The ATP-binding cassette transporters (ABC-transporters) are members of one of the largest protein superfamilies, with representatives in all extant phyla. These integral membrane proteins utilize the energy of ATP hydrolysis to carry out certain biological processes, including translocation of various substrates across membranes and non-transport related processes such as translation of RNA and DNA repair. Typically, such transport systems in bacteria consist of an ATP binding component, a transmembrane permease, and a periplasmic receptor or binding protein. Soluble proteins found in the periplasm of gram-negative bacteria serve as the primary receptors for transport of many compounds, such as sugars, small peptides, and some ions. Ligand binding activates these periplasmic components, permitting recognition by the membrane spanning domain, which supports for transport and, in some cases, chemotaxis. Transport and chemotaxis processes appear to be independent of one another, and a few mutants of bifunctional periplasmic components reveal the absence of one or the other function. Previously published high-resolution X-ray structures of various periplasmic ligand binding proteins include Arabinose binding protein (ABP), Allose binding protein (ALBP), Glucose-galactose binding protein (GBP) and Ribose binding protein (RBP). Each of these proteins consists of two structurally similar domains connected by a three-stranded hinge region, with ligand buried between the domains. Upon ligand binding and release, various conformational changes have been observed. For RBP, open (apo) and closed (ligand bound) conformations have been reported and so for MBP. The closed/active form of the protein interacts with the integral membrane component of the system in both transport and chemotaxis. Herein, we report 1.9{angstrom} resolution X-ray structure of the R{sub f}BP periplasmic component of an ABC-type sugar transport system from Hahella chejuensis (UniProt Id Q2S7D2) bound to

  4. A new method of high-speed cellular protein separation and insight into subcellular compartmentalization of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Png, Evelyn; Lan, WanWen; Lazaroo, Melisa; Chen, Silin; Zhou, Lei; Tong, Louis

    2011-05-01

    Transglutaminase (TGM)-2 is a ubiquitous protein with important cellular functions such as regulation of cytoskeleton, cell adhesion, apoptosis, energy metabolism, and stress signaling. We identified several proteins that may interact with TGM-2 through a discovery-based proteomics method via pull down of flag-tagged TGM-2 peptide fragments. The distribution of these potential binding partners of TGM-2 was studied in subcellular fractions separated by density using novel high-speed centricollation technology. Centricollation is a compressed air-driven, low-temperature stepwise ultracentrifugation procedure where low extraction volumes can be processed in a relatively short time in non-denaturing separation conditions with high recovery yield. The fractions were characterized by immunoblots against known organelle markers. The changes in the concentrations of the binding partners were studied in cells expressing short hairpin RNA against TGM-2 (shTG). Desmin, mitochondrial intramembrane cleaving protease (PARL), protein tyrosine kinase (NTRK3), and serine protease (PRSS3) were found to be less concentrated in the 8.5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% sucrose fractions (SFs) from the lysate of shTG cells. The Golgi-associated protein (GOLGA2) was predominantly localized in 15% SF fraction, and in shTG, this shifted to predominantly in the 8.5% SF and showed larger aggregations in the cytosol of cells on immunofluorescent staining compared to control. Based on the relative concentrations of these proteins, we propose how trafficking of such proteins between cellular compartments can occur to regulate cell function. Centricollation is useful for elucidating biological function at the molecular level, especially when combined with traditional cell biology techniques.

  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. 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

  7. Structural Insights into Triglyceride Storage Mediated by Fat Storage-Inducing Transmembrane (FIT) Protein 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, David A.; Snapp, Erik L.; Silver, David L.

    2010-01-01

    Fat storage-Inducing Transmembrane proteins 1 & 2 (FIT1/FITM1 and FIT2/FITM2) belong to a unique family of evolutionarily conserved proteins localized to the endoplasmic reticulum that are involved in triglyceride lipid droplet formation. FIT proteins have been shown to mediate the partitioning of cellular triglyceride into lipid droplets, but not triglyceride biosynthesis. FIT proteins do not share primary sequence homology with known proteins and no structural information is available to inform on the mechanism by which FIT proteins function. Here, we present the experimentally-solved topological models for FIT1 and FIT2 using N-glycosylation site mapping and indirect immunofluorescence techniques. These methods indicate that both proteins have six-transmembrane-domains with both N- and C-termini localized to the cytosol. Utilizing this model for structure-function analysis, we identified and characterized a gain-of-function mutant of FIT2 (FLL(157-9)AAA) in transmembrane domain 4 that markedly augmented the total number and mean size of lipid droplets. Using limited-trypsin proteolysis we determined that the FLL(157-9)AAA mutant has enhanced trypsin cleavage at K86 relative to wild-type FIT2, indicating a conformational change. Taken together, these studies indicate that FIT2 is a 6 transmembrane domain-containing protein whose conformation likely regulates its activity in mediating lipid droplet formation. PMID:20520733

  8. Structural insights into triglyceride storage mediated by fat storage-inducing transmembrane (FIT protein 2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Gross

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Fat storage-Inducing Transmembrane proteins 1 & 2 (FIT1/FITM1 and FIT2/FITM2 belong to a unique family of evolutionarily conserved proteins localized to the endoplasmic reticulum that are involved in triglyceride lipid droplet formation. FIT proteins have been shown to mediate the partitioning of cellular triglyceride into lipid droplets, but not triglyceride biosynthesis. FIT proteins do not share primary sequence homology with known proteins and no structural information is available to inform on the mechanism by which FIT proteins function. Here, we present the experimentally-solved topological models for FIT1 and FIT2 using N-glycosylation site mapping and indirect immunofluorescence techniques. These methods indicate that both proteins have six-transmembrane-domains with both N- and C-termini localized to the cytosol. Utilizing this model for structure-function analysis, we identified and characterized a gain-of-function mutant of FIT2 (FLL(157-9AAA in transmembrane domain 4 that markedly augmented the total number and mean size of lipid droplets. Using limited-trypsin proteolysis we determined that the FLL(157-9AAA mutant has enhanced trypsin cleavage at K86 relative to wild-type FIT2, indicating a conformational change. Taken together, these studies indicate that FIT2 is a 6 transmembrane domain-containing protein whose conformation likely regulates its activity in mediating lipid droplet formation.

  9. Evaluation of colorimetric assays for analyzing reductively methylated proteins: Biases and mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Pamlea N; Macnaughtan, Megan A

    2015-12-15

    Colorimetric protein assays, such as the Coomassie blue G-250 dye-binding (Bradford) and bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assays, are commonly used to quantify protein concentration. The accuracy of these assays depends on the amino acid composition. Because of the extensive use of reductive methylation in the study of proteins and the importance of biological methylation, it is necessary to evaluate the impact of lysyl methylation on the Bradford and BCA assays. Unmodified and reductively methylated proteins were analyzed using the absorbance at 280 nm to standardize the concentrations. Using model compounds, we demonstrate that the dimethylation of lysyl ε-amines does not affect the proteins' molar extinction coefficients at 280 nm. For the Bradford assay, the responses (absorbance per unit concentration) of the unmodified and reductively methylated proteins were similar, with a slight decrease in the response upon methylation. For the BCA assay, the responses of the reductively methylated proteins were consistently higher, overestimating the concentrations of the methylated proteins. The enhanced color formation in the BCA assay may be due to the lower acid dissociation constants of the lysyl ε-dimethylamines compared with the unmodified ε-amine, favoring Cu(II) binding in biuret-like complexes. The implications for the analysis of biologically methylated samples are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. New insights in Trichoderma harzianum antagonism of fungal plant pathogens by secreted protein analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Valdirene Neves; do Nascimento Silva, Roberto; Steindorff, Andrei Stecca; Costa, Fabio Teles; Noronha, Eliane Ferreira; Ricart, Carlos André Ornelas; de Sousa, Marcelo Valle; Vainstein, Marilene Henning; Ulhoa, Cirano José

    2010-10-01

    Trichoderma harzianum ALL42 were capable of overgrowing and degrading Rhizoctonia solani and Macrophomina phaseolina mycelia, coiling around the hyphae with formation of apressoria and hook-like structures. Hyphae of T. harzianum ALL42 did not show any coiling around Fusarium sp. hyphae suggesting that mycoparasitism may be different among the plant pathogens. In this study, a secretome analysis was used to identify some extracellular proteins secreted by T. harzianum ALL42 after growth on cell wall of M. phaseolina, Fusarium sp., and R. solani. The secreted proteins were analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. A total of 60 T. harzianum ALL42 secreted proteins excised from the gel were analyzed from the three growth conditions. While seven cell wall-induced proteins were identified, more than 53 proteins spots remain unidentified, indicating that these proteins are either novel proteins or proteins that have not yet been sequenced. Endochitinase, β-glucosidase, α-mannosidase, acid phosphatase, α-1,3-glucanase, and proteases were identified in the gel and also detected in the supernatant of culture.

  11. New insights into structure and function of the different types of fatty acid-binding protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zimmerman, Augusta Wilhelmina

    2002-01-01

    Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are small cytosolic proteins with virtually identical backbone structures that facilitate the solubility and intracellular transport of fatty acids. They may also modulate the effect of fatty acids on various metabolic enzymes and receptors and on cellular

  12. New Insights into the Biological Role of Mammalian ADARs; the RNA Editing Proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niamh Mannion

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The ADAR proteins deaminate adenosine to inosine in double-stranded RNA which is one of the most abundant modifications present in mammalian RNA. Inosine can have a profound effect on the RNAs that are edited, not only changing the base-pairing properties, but can also result in recoding, as inosine behaves as if it were guanosine. In mammals there are three ADAR proteins and two ADAR-related proteins (ADAD expressed. All have a very similar modular structure; however, both their expression and biological function differ significantly. Only two of the ADAR proteins have enzymatic activity. However, both ADAR and ADAD proteins possess the ability to bind double-strand RNA. Mutations in ADARs have been associated with many diseases ranging from cancer, innate immunity to neurological disorders. Here, we will discuss in detail the domain structure of mammalian ADARs, the effects of RNA editing, and the role of ADARs in human diseases.

  13. New Insights into the Biological Role of Mammalian ADARs; the RNA Editing Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannion, Niamh; Arieti, Fabiana; Gallo, Angela; Keegan, Liam P.; O’Connell, Mary A.

    2015-01-01

    The ADAR proteins deaminate adenosine to inosine in double-stranded RNA which is one of the most abundant modifications present in mammalian RNA. Inosine can have a profound effect on the RNAs that are edited, not only changing the base-pairing properties, but can also result in recoding, as inosine behaves as if it were guanosine. In mammals there are three ADAR proteins and two ADAR-related proteins (ADAD) expressed. All have a very similar modular structure; however, both their expression and biological function differ significantly. Only two of the ADAR proteins have enzymatic activity. However, both ADAR and ADAD proteins possess the ability to bind double-strand RNA. Mutations in ADARs have been associated with many diseases ranging from cancer, innate immunity to neurological disorders. Here, we will discuss in detail the domain structure of mammalian ADARs, the effects of RNA editing, and the role of ADARs in human diseases. PMID:26437436

  14. Insights into the Structural Changes Occurring upon Photoconversion in the Orange Carotenoid Protein from Broadband Two-Dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Re, Eleonora; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Leverenz, Ryan L.; Huxter, Vanessa M.; Oliver, Thomas A. A.; Mathies, Richard A.; Fleming, Graham R.

    2014-05-22

    Carotenoids play an essential role in photoprotection, interacting with other pigments to safely dissipate excess absorbed energy as heat. In cyanobacteria, the short time scale photoprotective mechanisms involve the photoactive orange carotenoid protein (OCP), which binds a single carbonyl carotenoid. Blue-green light induces the photoswitching of OCP from its ground state form (OCPO) to a metastable photoproduct (OCPR). OCPR can bind to the phycobilisome antenna and induce fluorescence quenching. The photoswitching is accompanied by structural and functional changes at the level of the protein and of the bound carotenoid. In this study, we use broadband two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy to look at the differences in excited state dynamics of the carotenoid in the two forms of OCP. Our results provide insight into the origin of the pronounced vibrational lineshape and oscillatory dynamics observed in linear absorption and 2D electronic spectroscopy of OCPO and the large inhomogeneous broadening in OCPR, with consequences for the chemical function of the two forms.

  15. Interaction of Tenebrio Molitor Antifreeze Protein with Ice Crystal: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramya, L; Ramakrishnan, Vigneshwar

    2016-07-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFP) observed in cold-adapting organisms bind to ice crystals and prevent further ice growth. However, the molecular mechanism of AFP-ice binding and AFP-inhibited ice growth remains unclear. Here we report the interaction of the insect antifreeze protein (Tenebrio molitor, TmAFP) with ice crystal by molecular dynamics simulation studies. Two sets of simulations were carried out at 263 K by placing the protein near the primary prism plane (PP) and basal plane (BL) of the ice crystal. To delineate the effect of temperatures, both the PP and BL simulations were carried out at 253 K as well. The analyses revealed that the protein interacts strongly with the ice crystal in BL simulation than in PP simulation both at 263 K and 253 K. Further, it was observed that the interactions are primarily mediated through the interface waters. We also observed that as the temperature decreases, the interaction between the protein and the ice increases which can be attributed to the decreased flexibility and the increased structuring of the protein at low temperature. In essence, our study has shed light on the interaction mechanism between the TmAFP antifreeze protein and the ice crystal. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Insights from quantitative metaproteomics and protein-stable isotope probing into microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bergen, Martin; Jehmlich, Nico; Taubert, Martin; Vogt, Carsten; Bastida, Felipe; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Schmidt, Frank; Richnow, Hans-Hermann; Seifert, Jana

    2013-10-01

    The recent development of metaproteomics has enabled the direct identification and quantification of expressed proteins from microbial communities in situ, without the need for microbial enrichment. This became possible by (1) significant increases in quality and quantity of metagenome data and by improvements of (2) accuracy and (3) sensitivity of modern mass spectrometers (MS). The identification of physiologically relevant enzymes can help to understand the role of specific species within a community or an ecological niche. Beside identification, relative and absolute quantitation is also crucial. We will review label-free and label-based methods of quantitation in MS-based proteome analysis and the contribution of quantitative proteome data to microbial ecology. Additionally, approaches of protein-based stable isotope probing (protein-SIP) for deciphering community structures are reviewed. Information on the species-specific metabolic activity can be obtained when substrates or nutrients are labeled with stable isotopes in a protein-SIP approach. The stable isotopes ((13)C, (15)N, (36)S) are incorporated into proteins and the rate of incorporation can be used for assessing the metabolic activity of the corresponding species. We will focus on the relevance of the metabolic and phylogenetic information retrieved with protein-SIP studies and for detecting and quantifying the carbon flux within microbial consortia. Furthermore, the combination of protein-SIP with established tools in microbial ecology such as other stable isotope probing techniques are discussed.

  17. Interdependence of free zinc changes and protein complex assembly - insights into zinc signal regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocyła, Anna; Adamczyk, Justyna; Krężel, Artur

    2018-01-24

    Cellular zinc (Zn(ii)) is bound with proteins that are part of the proteomes of all domains of life. It is mostly utilized as a catalytic or structural protein cofactor, which results in a vast number of binding architectures. The Zn(ii) ion is also important for the formation of transient protein complexes with a Zn(ii)-dependent quaternary structure that is formed upon cellular zinc signals. The mechanisms by which proteins associate with and dissociate from Zn(ii) and the connection with cellular Zn(ii) changes remain incompletely understood. In this study, we aimed to examine how zinc protein domains with various Zn(ii)-binding architectures are formed under free Zn(ii) concentration changes and how formation of the Zn(ii)-dependent assemblies is related to the protein concentration and reactivity. To accomplish these goals we chose four zinc domains with different Zn(ii)-to-protein binding stoichiometries: classical zinc finger (ZnP), LIM domain (Zn 2 P), zinc hook (ZnP 2 ) and zinc clasp (ZnP 1 P 2 ) folds. Our research demonstrated a lack of changes in the saturation level of intraprotein zinc binding sites, despite various peptide concentrations, while homo- and heterodimers indicated a concentration-dependent tendency. In other words, at a certain free Zn(ii) concentration, the fraction of a formed dimeric complex increases or decreases with subunit concentration changes. Secondly, even small or local changes in free Zn(ii) may significantly affect protein saturation depending on its architecture, function and subcellular concentration. In our paper, we indicate the importance of interdependence of free Zn(ii) availability and protein subunit concentrations for cellular zinc signal regulation.

  18. Insight into the intermolecular recognition mechanism between Keap1 and IKKβ combining homology modelling, protein-protein docking, molecular dynamics simulations and virtual alanine mutation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng-Yu Jiang

    Full Text Available Degradation of certain proteins through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is a common strategy taken by the key modulators responsible for stress responses. Kelch-like ECH-associated protein-1(Keap1, a substrate adaptor component of the Cullin3 (Cul3-based ubiquitin E3 ligase complex, mediates the ubiquitination of two key modulators, NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2 and IκB kinase β (IKKβ, which are involved in the redox control of gene transcription. However, compared to the Keap1-Nrf2 protein-protein interaction (PPI, the intermolecular recognition mechanism of Keap1 and IKKβ has been poorly investigated. In order to explore the binding pattern between Keap1 and IKKβ, the PPI model of Keap1 and IKKβ was investigated. The structure of human IKKβ was constructed by means of the homology modeling method and using reported crystal structure of Xenopus laevis IKKβ as the template. A protein-protein docking method was applied to develop the Keap1-IKKβ complex model. After the refinement and visual analysis of docked proteins, the chosen pose was further optimized through molecular dynamics simulations. The resulting structure was utilized to conduct the virtual alanine mutation for the exploration of hot-spots significant for the intermolecular interaction. Overall, our results provided structural insights into the PPI model of Keap1-IKKβ and suggest that the substrate specificity of Keap1 depend on the interaction with the key tyrosines, namely Tyr525, Tyr574 and Tyr334. The study presented in the current project may be useful to design molecules that selectively modulate Keap1. The selective recognition mechanism of Keap1 with IKKβ or Nrf2 will be helpful to further know the crosstalk between NF-κB and Nrf2 signaling.

  19. Promiscuity and the conformational rearrangement of drug-like molecules: insight from the protein data bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Michael W; Lee, Patrick S; Sweeney, Zachary K

    2015-02-01

    Selectivity is a central aspect of lead optimization in the drug discovery process. Medicinal chemists often try to decrease molecular flexibility to improve selectivity, given the common belief that the two are interdependent. To investigate the relationship between polypharmacology and conformational flexibility, we mined the Protein Data Bank and constructed a dataset of pharmaceutically relevant ligands that crystallized in more than one protein target while binding to each co-crystallized receptor with similar in vitro affinities. After analyzing the molecular conformations of these 100 ligands, we found that 59 ligands bound to different protein targets without significantly changing conformation, suggesting that there is no distinct correlation between conformational flexibility and polypharmacology within our dataset. Ligands crystallized in similar proteins and highly ligand-efficient compounds with five or fewer rotatable bonds were less likely to adjust conformation when binding. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. Classification of EA1-box proteins and new insights into their role during reproduction in grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uebler, Susanne; Márton, Mihaela L; Dresselhaus, Thomas

    2015-12-01

    EA1-box protein classification. Success in reproduction and vegetative development in flowering plants strongly depends on precise cell-to-cell signaling events mediated by secreted peptides.A small peptide family named as EA1-like (EAL) has been first described 10 years ago and includes EA1 involved in pollen tubes attraction by the female gametophyte and EAL1-regulating germ cell identity in maize. EALs consist of an N-terminal endoplasmic reticulum-targeting motif, the highly conserved EA1-box and a short C-terminal alanine-rich domain. Whereas EAL peptides are exclusively found in the Gramineae, the EA1-box is widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom. Based on in silico analysis and subcellular localization studies, we report here a new classification of EA1-box proteins in flowering plants. They can be distinguished into three protein classes: the already defined EAL proteins, the EAG (EA1-box glycine-rich) proteins and the EAC (EA1-box containing)proteins. While fusion proteins of EAL and EAC classes locate to the secretory pathway, EAGs are cytoplasmic and locate also to the nucleus. Moreover, we further show that the third EAL protein of Zea mays, EAL2, appears to be also involved in processes related to late embryogenic development as its peptide level increases after formation of leaf primordia. Immunohistochemical studies indicate its presence in the scutellar parenchyma and around the vasculature, where it is secreted to the extracellular space. In conclusion, the members of the maize EAL family possess very diverse functions during reproduction and it will now be exciting to elucidate the functions of EAGs and EACs in plants.

  1. New Insights into the Phylogeny and Gene Context Analysis of Binder of Sperm Proteins (BSPs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edith Serrano

    Full Text Available Seminal plasma (SP proteins support the survival of spermatozoa acting not only at the plasma membrane but also by inhibition of capacitation, resulting in higher fertilizing ability. Among SP proteins, BSP (binder of sperm proteins are the most studied, since they may be useful for the improvement of semen diluents, storage and subsequent fertilization results. However, an updated and detailed phylogenetic analysis of the BSP protein superfamily has not been carried out with all the sequences described in the main databases. The update view shows for the first time an equally distributed number of sequences between the three families: BSP, and their homologs 1 (BSPH1 and 2 (BSPH2. The BSP family is divided in four subfamilies, BSP1 subfamily being the predominant, followed by subfamilies BSP3, BSP5 and BSP2. BSPH proteins were found among placental mammals (Eutheria belonging to the orders Proboscidea, Primates, Lagomorpha, Rodentia, Chiroptera, Perissodactyla and Cetartiodactyla. However, BSPH2 proteins were also found in the Scandentia order and Metatheria clade. This phylogenetic analysis, when combined with a gene context analysis, showed a completely new evolutionary scenario for the BSP superfamily of proteins with three defined different gene patterns, one for BSPs, one for BSPH1/BSPH2/ELSPBP1 and another one for BSPH1/BSPH2 without ELSPBP1. In addition, the study has permitted to define concise conserved blocks for each family (BSP, BSPH1 and BSPH2, which could be used for a more reliable assignment for the incoming sequences, for data curation of current databases, and for cloning new BSPs, as the one described in this paper, ram seminal vesicle 20 kDa protein (RSVP20, Ovis aries BSP5b.

  2. Nature of protein family signatures: insights from singular value analysis of position-specific scoring matrices.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akira R Kinjo

    Full Text Available Position-specific scoring matrices (PSSMs are useful for detecting weak homology in protein sequence analysis, and they are thought to contain some essential signatures of the protein families. In order to elucidate what kind of ingredients constitute such family-specific signatures, we apply singular value decomposition to a set of PSSMs and examine the properties of dominant right and left singular vectors. The first right singular vectors were correlated with various amino acid indices including relative mutability, amino acid composition in protein interior, hydropathy, or turn propensity, depending on proteins. A significant correlation between the first left singular vector and a measure of site conservation was observed. It is shown that the contribution of the first singular component to the PSSMs act to disfavor potentially but falsely functionally important residues at conserved sites. The second right singular vectors were highly correlated with hydrophobicity scales, and the corresponding left singular vectors with contact numbers of protein structures. It is suggested that sequence alignment with a PSSM is essentially equivalent to threading supplemented with functional information. In addition, singular vectors may be useful for analyzing and annotating the characteristics of conserved sites in protein families.

  3. Insights into the immune manipulation mechanisms of pollen allergens by protein domain profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Seema; Rani, Aruna; Goyal, Arun

    2017-10-01

    Plant pollens are airborne allergens, as their inhalation causes immune activation, leading to rhinitis, conjunctivitis, sinusitis and oral allergy syndrome. A myriad of pollen proteins belonging to profilin, expansin, polygalacturonase, glucan endoglucosidase, pectin esterase, and lipid transfer protein class have been identified. In the present in silico study, the protein domains of fifteen pollen sequences were extracted from the UniProt database and submitted to the interactive web tool SMART (Simple Modular Architecture Research Tool), for finding the protein domain profiles. Analysis of the data based on custom-made scripts revealed the conservation of pathogenic domains such as OmpH, PROF, PreSET, Bet_v_1, Cpl-7 and GAS2. Further, the retention of critical domains like CHASE2, Galanin, Dak2, DALR_1, HAMP, PWI, EFh, Excalibur, CT, PbH1, HELICc, and Kelch in pollen proteins, much like cockroach allergens and lethal viruses (such as HIV, HCV, Ebola, Dengue and Zika) was observed. Based on the shared motifs in proteins of taxonomicall-ydispersed organisms, it can be hypothesized that allergens and pathogens manipulate the human immune system in a similar manner. Allergens, being inanimate, cannot replicate in human body, and are neutralized by immune system. But, when the allergens are unremitting, the immune system becomes persistently hyper-sensitized, creating an inflammatory milieu. This study is expected to contribute to the understanding of pollen allergenicity and pathogenicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. New Insights into Functional Roles of the Polypyrimidine Tract-Binding Protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Grazia Romanelli

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Polypyrimidine Tract Binding Protein (PTB is an intensely studied RNA binding protein involved in several post-transcriptional regulatory events of gene expression. Initially described as a pre-mRNA splicing regulator, PTB is now widely accepted as a multifunctional protein shuttling between nucleus and cytoplasm. Accordingly, PTB can interact with selected RNA targets, structural elements and proteins. There is increasing evidence that PTB and its paralog PTBP2 play a major role as repressors of alternatively spliced exons, whose transcription is tissue-regulated. In addition to alternative splicing, PTB is involved in almost all steps of mRNA metabolism, including polyadenylation, mRNA stability and initiation of protein translation. Furthermore, it is well established that PTB recruitment in internal ribosome entry site (IRES activates the translation of picornaviral and cellular proteins. Detailed studies of the structural properties of PTB have contributed to our understanding of the mechanism of RNA binding by RNA Recognition Motif (RRM domains. In the present review, we will describe the structural properties of PTB, its paralogs and co-factors, the role in post-transcriptional regulation and actions in cell differentiation and pathogenesis. Defining the multifunctional roles of PTB will contribute to the understanding of key regulatory events in gene expression.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Characteristics of foraging sites and protein status in wintering muskoxen: insights from isotopes of nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Lawler, James P.; Arthur, Stephen M.; Shults, Brad S.; Persons, Kate; Adams, Layne G.

    2011-01-01

    Identifying links between nutritional condition of individuals and population trajectories greatly enhances our understanding of the ecology, conservation, and management of wildlife. For northern ungulates, the potential impacts of a changing climate to populations are predicted to be nutritionally mediated through an increase in the severity and variance in winter conditions. Foraging conditions and the availability of body protein as a store for reproduction in late winter may constrain productivity in northern ungulates, yet the link between characteristics of wintering habitats and protein status has not been established for a wild ungulate. We used a non‐invasive proxy of protein status derived from isotopes of N in excreta to evaluate the influence of winter habitats on the protein status of muskoxen in three populations in Alaska (2005–2008). Multiple regression and an information‐theoretic approach were used to compare models that evaluated the influence of population, year, and characteristics of foraging sites (components of diet and physiography) on protein status for groups of muskoxen. The observed variance in protein status among groups of muskoxen across populations and years was partially explained (45%) by local foraging conditions that affected forage availability. Protein status improved for groups of muskoxen as the amount of graminoids in the diet increased (−0.430 ± 0.31, β± 95% CI) and elevation of foraging sites decreased (0.824 ± 0.67). Resources available for reproduction in muskoxen are highly dependent upon demographic, environmental, and physiographic constraints that affect forage availability in winter. Due to their very sedentary nature in winter, muskoxen are highly susceptible to localized foraging conditions; therefore, the spatial variance in resource availability may exert a strong effect on productivity. Consequently, there is a clear need to account for climate–topography effects in winter at multiple scales

  10. Insights into the Structure of the Vip3Aa Insecticidal Protein by Protease Digestion Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yolanda Bel

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Vip3 proteins are secretable proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis whose mode of action is still poorly understood. In this study, the activation process for Vip3 proteins was closely examined in order to better understand the Vip3Aa protein stability and to shed light on its structure. The Vip3Aa protoxin (of 89 kDa was treated with trypsin at concentrations from 1:100 to 120:100 (trypsin:Vip3A, w:w. If the action of trypsin was not properly neutralized, the results of SDS-PAGE analysis (as well as those with Agrotis ipsilon midgut juice equivocally indicated that the protoxin could be completely processed. However, when the proteolytic reaction was efficiently stopped, it was revealed that the protoxin was only cleaved at a primary cleavage site, regardless of the amount of trypsin used. The 66 kDa and the 19 kDa peptides generated by the proteases co-eluted after gel filtration chromatography, indicating that they remain together after cleavage. The 66 kDa fragment was found to be extremely resistant to proteases. The trypsin treatment of the protoxin in the presence of SDS revealed the presence of secondary cleavage sites at S-509, and presumably at T-466 and V-372, rendering C-terminal fragments of approximately 29, 32, and 42 kDa, respectively. The fact that the predicted secondary structure of the Vip3Aa protein shows a cluster of beta sheets in the C-terminal region of the protein might be the reason behind the higher stability to proteases compared to the rest of the protein, which is mainly composed of alpha helices.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Proteomics insights: proteins related to larval attachment and metamorphosis of marine invertebrates

    KAUST Repository

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli

    2014-10-31

    The transition in an animal from a pelagic larval stage to a sessile benthic juvenile typically requires major morphological and behavioral changes. Larval competency, attachment and initiation of metamorphosis are thought to be regulated by intrinsic chemical signals and specific sets of proteins. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate larval attachment and metamorphosis in marine invertebrates have yet to be fully elucidated. Despite the many challenges associated with analysis of the larvae proteome, recent proteomic technologies have been used to address specific questions in larval developmental biology. These and other molecular studies have generated substantial amount of information of the proteins and molecular pathways involved in larval attachment and metamorphosis. Furthermore, the results of these studies have shown that systematic changes in protein expression patterns and post-translational modifications (PTMs) are crucial for the transition from larva to juvenile. The degeneration of larval tissues is mediated by protein degradation, while the development of juvenile organs may require PTM. In terms of application, the identified proteins may serve as targets for antifouling compounds, and biomarkers for environmental stressors. In this review we highlight the strengths and limitations of proteomic tools in the context of the study of marine invertebrate larval biology.

  14. Proteomics Insights: Proteins related to Larval Attachment and Metamorphosis of Marine Invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KONDETHIMMANAHALLI eCHANDRAMOULI

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The transition in an animal from a pelagic larval stage to a sessile benthic juvenile typically requires major morphological and behavioral changes. Larval competency, attachment and initiation of metamorphosis are thought to be regulated by intrinsic chemical signals and specific sets of proteins. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate larval attachment and metamorphosis in marine invertebrates have yet to be fully elucidated. Despite the many challenges associated with analysis of the larvae proteome, recent proteomic technologies have been used to address specific questions in larval developmental biology. These and other molecular studies have generated substantial amount of information of the proteins and molecular pathways involved in larval attachment and metamorphosis. Furthermore, the results of these studies have shown that systematic changes in protein expression patterns and post-translational modifications (PTM are crucial for the transition from larva to juvenile. The degeneration of larval tissues is mediated by protein degradation, while the development of juvenile organs may require PTM. In terms of application, the identified proteins may serve as targets for antifouling compounds, and biomarkers for environmental stressors. In this review we highlight the strengths and limitations of proteomic tools in the context of the study of marine invertebrate larval biology.

  15. New Insights to Clathrin and Adaptor Protein 2 for the Design and Development of Therapeutic Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebbe Toftgaard Poulsen

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP has been extensively studied for its role as the precursor of the β-amyloid protein (Aβ in Alzheimer’s disease (AD. However, our understanding of the normal function of APP is still patchy. Emerging evidence indicates that a dysfunction in APP trafficking and degradation can be responsible for neuronal deficits and progressive degeneration in humans. We recently reported that the Y682 mutation in the 682YENPTY687 domain of APP affects its binding to specific adaptor proteins and leads to its anomalous trafficking, to defects in the autophagy machinery and to neuronal degeneration. In order to identify adaptors that influence APP function, we performed pull-down experiments followed by quantitative mass spectrometry (MS on hippocampal tissue extracts of three month-old mice incubated with either the 682YENPTY687 peptide, its mutated form, 682GENPTY687 or its phosphorylated form, 682pYENPTY687. Our experiments resulted in the identification of two proteins involved in APP internalization and trafficking: Clathrin heavy chain (hc and its Adaptor Protein 2 (AP-2. Overall our results consolidate and refine the importance of Y682 in APP normal functions from an animal model of premature aging and dementia. Additionally, they open the perspective to consider Clathrin hc and AP-2 as potential targets for the design and development of new therapeutic strategies.

  16. Unified superresolution experiments and stochastic theory provide mechanistic insight into protein ion-exchange adsorptive separations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisley, Lydia; Chen, Jixin; Mansur, Andrea P; Shuang, Bo; Kourentzi, Katerina; Poongavanam, Mohan-Vivekanandan; Chen, Wen-Hsiang; Dhamane, Sagar; Willson, Richard C; Landes, Christy F

    2014-02-11

    Chromatographic protein separations, immunoassays, and biosensing all typically involve the adsorption of proteins to surfaces decorated with charged, hydrophobic, or affinity ligands. Despite increasingly widespread use throughout the pharmaceutical industry, mechanistic detail about the interactions of proteins with individual chromatographic adsorbent sites is available only via inference from ensemble measurements such as binding isotherms, calorimetry, and chromatography. In this work, we present the direct superresolution mapping and kinetic characterization of functional sites on ion-exchange ligands based on agarose, a support matrix routinely used in protein chromatography. By quantifying the interactions of single proteins with individual charged ligands, we demonstrate that clusters of charges are necessary to create detectable adsorption sites and that even chemically identical ligands create adsorption sites of varying kinetic properties that depend on steric availability at the interface. Additionally, we relate experimental results to the stochastic theory of chromatography. Simulated elution profiles calculated from the molecular-scale data suggest that, if it were possible to engineer uniform optimal interactions into ion-exchange systems, separation efficiencies could be improved by as much as a factor of five by deliberately exploiting clustered interactions that currently dominate the ion-exchange process only accidentally.

  17. Proteomics insights: proteins related to larval attachment and metamorphosis of marine invertebrates

    KAUST Repository

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    The transition in an animal from a pelagic larval stage to a sessile benthic juvenile typically requires major morphological and behavioral changes. Larval competency, attachment and initiation of metamorphosis are thought to be regulated by intrinsic chemical signals and specific sets of proteins. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate larval attachment and metamorphosis in marine invertebrates have yet to be fully elucidated. Despite the many challenges associated with analysis of the larvae proteome, recent proteomic technologies have been used to address specific questions in larval developmental biology. These and other molecular studies have generated substantial amount of information of the proteins and molecular pathways involved in larval attachment and metamorphosis. Furthermore, the results of these studies have shown that systematic changes in protein expression patterns and post-translational modifications (PTMs) are crucial for the transition from larva to juvenile. The degeneration of larval tissues is mediated by protein degradation, while the development of juvenile organs may require PTM. In terms of application, the identified proteins may serve as targets for antifouling compounds, and biomarkers for environmental stressors. In this review we highlight the strengths and limitations of proteomic tools in the context of the study of marine invertebrate larval biology.

  18. Cross-over between discrete and continuous protein structure space: insights into automatic classification and networks of protein structures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Pascual-García

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Structural classifications of proteins assume the existence of the fold, which is an intrinsic equivalence class of protein domains. Here, we test in which conditions such an equivalence class is compatible with objective similarity measures. We base our analysis on the transitive property of the equivalence relationship, requiring that similarity of A with B and B with C implies that A and C are also similar. Divergent gene evolution leads us to expect that the transitive property should approximately hold. However, if protein domains are a combination of recurrent short polypeptide fragments, as proposed by several authors, then similarity of partial fragments may violate the transitive property, favouring the continuous view of the protein structure space. We propose a measure to quantify the violations of the transitive property when a clustering algorithm joins elements into clusters, and we find out that such violations present a well defined and detectable cross-over point, from an approximately transitive regime at high structure similarity to a regime with large transitivity violations and large differences in length at low similarity. We argue that protein structure space is discrete and hierarchic classification is justified up to this cross-over point, whereas at lower similarities the structure space is continuous and it should be represented as a network. We have tested the qualitative behaviour of this measure, varying all the choices involved in the automatic classification procedure, i.e., domain decomposition, alignment algorithm, similarity score, and clustering algorithm, and we have found out that this behaviour is quite robust. The final classification depends on the chosen algorithms. We used the values of the clustering coefficient and the transitivity violations to select the optimal choices among those that we tested. Interestingly, this criterion also favours the agreement between automatic and expert classifications

  19. 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.

  20. Technology intervention to improve the energy efficiency and productivity of silk reeling sector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dhingra, Sunil; Mande, Sanjay; Raman, P.; Srinivas, S.N.; Kishore, V.V.N.

    2004-01-01

    The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has been actively involved in development of biomass gasifier system for thermal and power generation use. Though the basic science of gasification is well established, there have not many efforts in the past on product development. By continuous interaction with users, silk experts and consultants, TERI could able to develop a gasifier based silk reeling oven. A major thrust on this development work was to evolve marketable product by continued efforts to gain an insight of the actual process and user feedback through an extended presence and interaction at field level, and then translating this experience in product design. The present paper gives a summary of design, development and testing of gasifier based cottage basin system for cocoon cooking in silk reeling industry in order to achieve higher fuel efficiency and increase productivity of the process. The paper describes in detail the approach of different technology development stages, its testing both at laboratory and field and economic viability of the system

  1. From DNA to proteins via the ribosome: Structural insights into the workings of the translation machinery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agirrezabala Xabier

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Understanding protein synthesis in bacteria and humans is important for understanding the origin of many human diseases and devising treatments for them. Over the past decade, the field of structural biology has made significant advances in the visualisation of the molecular machinery involved in protein synthesis. It is now possible to discern, at least in outline, the way that interlocking ribosomal components and factors adapt their conformations throughout this process. The determination of structures in various functional contexts, along with the application of kinetic and fluorescent resonance energy transfer approaches to the problem, has given researchers the frame of reference for what remains as the greatest challenge: the complete dynamic portrait of protein synthesis in the cell.

  2. Aggregation in concentrated protein solutions: Insights from rheology, neutron scattering and molecular simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos, Maria Monica

    Aggregation of therapeutic proteins is currently one of the major challenges in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, because aggregates could induce immunogenic responses and compromise the quality of the product. Current scientific efforts, both in industry and academia, are focused on developing rational approaches to screen different drug candidates and predict their stability under different conditions. Moreover, aggregation is promoted in highly concentrated protein solutions, which are typically required for subcutaneous injection. In order to gain further understanding about the mechanisms that lead to aggregation, an approach that combined rheology, neutron scattering, and molecular simulations was undertaken. Two model systems were studied in this work: Bovine Serum Albumin in surfactant-free Phosphate Buffered Saline at pH = 7.4 at concentrations from 11 mg/mL up to ˜519 mg/mL, and a monoclonal antibody in 20 mM Histidine/Histidine Hydrochloride at pH = 6.0 with 60 mg/mL trehalose and 0.2 mg/mL polysorbate-80 at concentrations from 53 mg/mL up to ˜220 mg/mL. The antibody used here has three mutations in the CH2 domain, which result in lower stability upon incubation at 40 °C with respect to the wild-type protein, based on size-exclusion chromatography assays. This temperature is below 49 °C, where unfolding of the least stable, CH2 domain occurs, according to differential scanning calorimetry. This dissertation focuses on identifying the role of aggregation on the viscosity of protein solutions. The protein solutions of this work show an increase in the low shear viscosity in the absence of surfactants, because proteins adsorb at the air/water interface forming a viscoelastic film that affects the measured rheology. Stable surfactant-laden protein solutions behave as simple Newtonian fluids. However, the surfactant-laden antibody solution also shows an increase in the low shear viscosity from bulk aggregation, after prolonged incubation at 40 °C. Small

  3. Mechanistic insight provided by glutaredoxin within a fusion to redox-sensitive yellow fluorescent protein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Björnberg, Olof; Østergaard, Henrik; Winther, Jakob R

    2006-01-01

    Redox-sensitive yellow fluorescent protein (rxYFP) contains a dithiol disulfide pair that is thermodynamically suitable for monitoring intracellular glutathione redox potential. Glutaredoxin 1 (Grx1p) from yeast is known to catalyze the redox equilibrium between rxYFP and glutathione, and here, we...... have generated a fusion of the two proteins, rxYFP-Grx1p. In comparison to isolated subunits, intramolecular transfer of reducing equivalents made the fusion protein kinetically superior in reactions with glutathione. The rate of GSSG oxidation was thus improved by a factor of 3300. The reaction...... separately and in the fusion. This could not be ascribed to the lack of an unproductive side reaction to glutaredoxin disulfide. Instead, slower alkylation kinetics with iodoacetamide indicates a better leaving-group capability of the remaining cysteine residue, which can explain the increased activity....

  4. Location, location, location: new insights into O-GalNAc protein glycosylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gill, David J; Clausen, Henrik; Bard, Frederic

    2011-01-01

    O-GalNAc glycosylation of proteins confers essential structural, protective and signaling roles in eumetazoans. Addition of O-glycans onto proteins is an extremely complex process that regulates both sites of attachment and the types of oligosaccharides added. Twenty distinct polypeptide GalNAc......-transferases (GalNAc-Ts) initiate O-glycosylation and fine-tuning their expression provides a mechanism for regulating this action. Recently, a new mode of regulation has emerged where activation of Src kinase selectively redistributes Golgi-localized GalNAc-Ts to the ER. This relocalization results in a strong...... increase in the density of O-glycan decoration. In this review, we discuss how different mechanisms can regulate the number and the types of O-glycans decorating proteins. In addition, we speculate how Src-dependent relocation of GalNAc-Ts could play an important role in cancerous cellular transformation....

  5. Homology modeling and protein engineering of alkane monooxygenase in Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB121: in silico insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Chakresh Kumar; Gupta, Money; Prasad, Yamuna; Wadhwa, Gulshan; Sharma, Sanjeev Kumar

    2014-07-01

    The degradation of hydrocarbons plays an important role in the eco-balancing of petroleum products, pesticides and other toxic products in the environment. The degradation of hydrocarbons by microbes such as Geobacillus thermodenitrificans, Burkhulderia, Gordonia sp. and Acinetobacter sp. has been studied intensively in the literature. The present study focused on the in silico protein engineering of alkane monooxygenase (ladA)-a protein involved in the alkane degradation pathway. We demonstrated the improvement in substrate binding energy with engineered ladA in Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB121. We identified an ortholog of ladA monooxygenase found in B. thailandensis MSMB121, and showed it to be an enzyme involved in an alkane degradation pathway studied extensively in Geobacillus thermodenitrificans. Homology modeling of the three-dimensional structure of ladA was performed with a crystal structure (protein databank ID: 3B9N) as a template in MODELLER 9v11, and further validated using PROCHECK, VERIFY-3D and WHATIF tools. Specific amino acids were substituted in the region corresponding to amino acids 305-370 of ladA protein, resulting in an enhancement of binding energy in different alkane chain molecules as compared to wild protein structures in the docking experiments. The substrate binding energy with the protein was calculated using Vina (Implemented in VEGAZZ). Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to study the dynamics of different alkane chain molecules inside the binding pockets of wild and mutated ladA. Here, we hypothesize an improvement in binding energies and accessibility of substrates towards engineered ladA enzyme, which could be further facilitated for wet laboratory-based experiments for validation of the alkane degradation pathway in this organism.

  6. Mining Protein Evolution for Insights into Mechanisms of Voltage-Dependent Sodium Channel Auxiliary Subunits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinarolo, Steven; Granata, Daniele; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Ahern, Christopher A

    2018-02-21

    Voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) beta (β) subunits have been called the "overachieving" auxiliary ion channel subunit. Indeed, these subunits regulate the trafficking of the sodium channel complex at the plasma membrane and simultaneously tune the voltage-dependent properties of the pore-forming alpha-subunit. It is now known that VGSC β-subunits are capable of similar modulation of multiple isoforms of related voltage-gated potassium channels, suggesting that their abilities extend into the broader voltage-gated channels. The gene family for these single transmembrane immunoglobulin beta-fold proteins extends well beyond the traditional VGSC β1-β4 subunit designation, with deep roots into the cell adhesion protein family and myelin-related proteins - where inherited mutations result in a myriad of electrical signaling disorders. Yet, very little is known about how VGSC β-subunits support protein trafficking pathways, the basis for their modulation of voltage-dependent gating, and, ultimately, their role in shaping neuronal excitability. An evolutionary approach can be useful in yielding new clues to such functions as it provides an unbiased assessment of protein residues, folds, and functions. An approach is described here which indicates the greater emergence of the modern β-subunits roughly 400 million years ago in the early neurons of Bilateria and bony fish, and the unexpected presence of distant homologues in bacteriophages. Recent structural breakthroughs containing α and β eukaryotic sodium channels containing subunits suggest a novel role for a highly conserved polar contact that occurs within the transmembrane segments. Overall, a mixture of approaches will ultimately advance our understanding of the mechanism for β-subunit interactions with voltage-sensor containing ion channels and membrane proteins.

  7. Recent insights into the biological functions of liver fatty acid binding protein 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, GuQi; Bonkovsky, Herbert L.; de Lemos, Andrew; Burczynski, Frank J.

    2015-01-01

    Over four decades have passed since liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP)1 was first isolated. There are few protein families for which most of the complete tertiary structures, binding properties, and tissue occurrences are described in such detail and yet new functions are being uncovered for this protein. FABP1 is known to be critical for fatty acid uptake and intracellular transport and also has an important role in regulating lipid metabolism and cellular signaling pathways. FABP1 is an important endogenous cytoprotectant, minimizing hepatocyte oxidative damage and interfering with ischemia-reperfusion and other hepatic injuries. The protein may be targeted for metabolic activation through the cross-talk among many transcriptional factors and their activating ligands. Deficiency or malfunction of FABP1 has been reported in several diseases. FABP1 also influences cell proliferation during liver regeneration and may be considered as a prognostic factor for hepatic surgery. FABP1 binds and modulates the action of many molecules such as fatty acids, heme, and other metalloporphyrins. The ability to bind heme is another cytoprotective property and one that deserves closer investigation. The role of FABP1 in substrate availability and in protection from oxidative stress suggests that FABP1 plays a pivotal role during intracellular bacterial/viral infections by reducing inflammation and the adverse effects of starvation (energy deficiency). PMID:26443794

  8. Insights into structural features determining odorant affinities to honey bee odorant binding protein 14.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwaighofer, Andreas; Pechlaner, Maria; Oostenbrink, Chris; Kotlowski, Caroline; Araman, Can; Mastrogiacomo, Rosa; Pelosi, Paolo; Knoll, Wolfgang; Nowak, Christoph; Larisika, Melanie

    2014-04-18

    Molecular interactions between odorants and odorant binding proteins (OBPs) are of major importance for understanding the principles of selectivity of OBPs towards the wide range of semiochemicals. It is largely unknown on a structural basis, how an OBP binds and discriminates between odorant molecules. Here we examine this aspect in greater detail by comparing the C-minus OBP14 of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) to a mutant form of the protein that comprises the third disulfide bond lacking in C-minus OBPs. Affinities of structurally analogous odorants featuring an aromatic phenol group with different side chains were assessed based on changes of the thermal stability of the protein upon odorant binding monitored by circular dichroism spectroscopy. Our results indicate a tendency that odorants show higher affinity to the wild-type OBP suggesting that the introduced rigidity in the mutant protein has a negative effect on odorant binding. Furthermore, we show that OBP14 stability is very sensitive to the position and type of functional groups in the odorant. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. New insights into the structure of Class B G protein-coupled receptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hollenstein, H.; de Graaf, C.; Bortolato, A.; Wang, M-W; Marshall, F.; Stevens, R.C.

    2014-01-01

    The secretin-like (class B) family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are key players in hormonal homeostasis and are interesting drug targets for the treatment of several metabolic disorders (such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and obesity) and nervous system diseases (such as migraine,

  10. Feline coronavirus: Insights into viral pathogenesis based on the spike protein structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaimes, Javier A; Whittaker, Gary R

    2018-04-01

    Feline coronavirus (FCoV) is an etiological agent that causes a benign enteric illness and the fatal systemic disease feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The FCoV spike (S) protein is considered the viral regulator for binding and entry to the cell. This protein is also involved in FCoV tropism and virulence, as well as in the switch from enteric disease to FIP. This regulation is carried out by spike's major functions: receptor binding and virus-cell membrane fusion. In this review, we address important aspects in FCoV genetics, replication and pathogenesis, focusing on the role of S. To better understand this, FCoV S protein models were constructed, based on the human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) S structure. We describe the specific structural characteristics of the FCoV S, in comparison with other coronavirus spikes. We also revise the biochemical events needed for FCoV S activation and its relation to the structural features of the protein. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Structural Insight into Epitopes in the Pregnancy-Associated Malaria Protein VAR2CSA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, P; Nielsen, MA; Resende, M

    2008-01-01

    Pregnancy-associated malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites binding specifically to chondroitin sulfate A in the placenta. This sequestration of parasites is a major cause of low birth weight in infants and anemia in the mothers. VAR2CSA, a polymorphic multi-domain protein o...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Dramatic Enhancement of Graphene Oxide/Silk Nanocomposite Membranes: Increasing Toughness, Strength, and Young's modulus via Annealing of Interfacial Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yaxian; Ma, Ruilong; Hu, Kesong; Kim, Sunghan; Fang, Guangqiang; Shao, Zhengzhong; Tsukruk, Vladimir V

    2016-09-21

    We demonstrate that stronger and more robust nacre-like laminated GO (graphene oxide)/SF (silk fibroin) nanocomposite membranes can be obtained by selectively tailoring the interfacial interactions between "bricks"-GO sheets and "mortar"-silk interlayers via controlled water vapor annealing. This facial annealing process relaxes the secondary structure of silk backbones confined between flexible GO sheets. The increased mobility leads to a significant increase in ultimate strength (by up to 41%), Young's modulus (up to 75%) and toughness (up to 45%). We suggest that local silk recrystallization is initiated in the proximity to GO surface by the hydrophobic surface regions serving as nucleation sites for β-sheet domains formation and followed by SF assembly into nanofibrils. Strong hydrophobic-hydrophobic interactions between GO layers with SF nanofibrils result in enhanced shear strength of layered packing. This work presented here not only gives a better understanding of SF and GO interfacial interactions, but also provides insight on how to enhance the mechanical properties for the nacre-mimic nanocomposites by focusing on adjusting the delicate interactions between heterogeneous "brick" and adaptive "mortar" components with water/temperature annealing routines.

  15. 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.

  16. Structural insights, protein-ligand interactions and spectroscopic characterization of isoformononetin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Anubha; Singh, Harshita; Mishra, Rashmi; Dev, Kapil; Tandon, Poonam; Maurya, Rakesh

    2017-04-01

    Isoformononetin, a methoxylated isoflavone present in medicinal plants, has non-estrogenic bone forming effect via differential mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Spectroscopic (FT-Raman, FT-IR, UV-vis and NMR spectra) and quantum chemical calculations using density functional theory (DFT) and 6-311++G(d,p) as a large basis set have been employed to study the structural and electronic properties of isoformononetin. A detailed conformational analysis is performed to determine the stability among conformers and the various possibilities of intramolecular hydrogen bonding formation. Molecular docking studies with different protein kinases were performed on isoformononetin and previously studied isoflavonoid, formononetin in order to understand their inhibitory nature and the effect of functional groups on osteogenic or osteoporosis associated proteins. It is found that the oxygen atoms of methoxy, hydroxyl groups attached to phenyl rings R1, R3 and carbonyl group attached to pyran ring R2, play a major role in binding with the protein kinases that is responsible for the osteoporosis; however, no hydrophobic interactions are observed between rings of ligand and protein. The electronic properties such as HOMO and LUMO energies were determined by time-dependent TD-DFT which predict that conformer II is a little bit more stable and chemically low reactive than conformer I of isoformononetin. To estimate the structure-activity relationship, the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) surface map, and reactivity descriptors are calculated from the optimized geometry of the molecule. From these results, it is also found that isoformononetin is kinetically more stable, less toxic, weak electrophile and chemically less reactive than formononetin. The atoms in molecules and natural bond orbital analysis are applied for the detailed analysis of intra and intermolecular hydrogen bonding interactions.

  17. New insight on the formation of whey protein microbeads by a microfluidic system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andoyo, Robi; Guyomarc'h, Fanny; Tabuteau, Hervé; Famelart, Marie-Hélène

    2018-02-01

    The current paper describes the formation of whey protein microbeads (WPM) having a spherical shape and a monodispersed size distribution. A microfluidic flow-focusing geometry was used to control the production of whey protein microdroplets in a hydrophobic phase. The microfluidic system consists of two inlet channels where the WPI solution and the lipophilic phase were separately injected towards the flow-focusing (FF) junction where they eventually meet, then co-flow. A whey protein isolate (WPI) solution of 150 g/kg protein and two types of hydrophobic phases, i.e. sunflower oil and n-dodecane, were tested as the continuous phase. The formation of WPM was observed microscopically. The aim of the present study was to describe the production of stable monodisperse WPM in suspension in milk ultrafiltrate using a microfluidic system. Hints to perform the control of the running parameters, i.e. choice of the hydrophobic phase or fluids flowrates, are provided. The results showed that in the sunflower oil, microdroplets had a large polydisperse size distribution, while in n-dodecane, microdroplets with narrow size distribution were obtained. Stabilization of the whey protein microdroplets through heat-gelation at 75 °C for 20 min in n-dodecane produced WPM and no change in shape nor size is observed. Meanwhile replacing the n-dodecane by MUF using centrifugation and washing caused the swelling of the WPM, but dispersity remained low. From this study, microfluidic system seemed to be a suitable method to be used for producing small quantities of monodisperse WPM.

  18. A microscopic insight from conformational thermodynamics to functional ligand binding in proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikdar, Samapan; Chakrabarti, J; Ghosh, Mahua

    2014-12-01

    We show that the thermodynamics of metal ion-induced conformational changes aid to understand the functions of protein complexes. This is illustrated in the case of a metalloprotein, alpha-lactalbumin (aLA), a divalent metal ion binding protein. We use the histograms of dihedral angles of the protein, generated from all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, to calculate conformational thermodynamics. The thermodynamically destabilized and disordered residues in different conformational states of a protein are proposed to serve as binding sites for ligands. This is tested for β-1,4-galactosyltransferase (β4GalT) binding to the Ca(2+)-aLA complex, in which the binding residues are known. Among the binding residues, the C-terminal residues like aspartate (D) 116, glutamine (Q) 117, tryptophan (W) 118 and leucine (L) 119 are destabilized and disordered and can dock β4GalT onto Ca(2+)-aLA. No such thermodynamically favourable binding residues can be identified in the case of the Mg(2+)-aLA complex. We apply similar analysis to oleic acid binding and predict that the Ca(2+)-aLA complex can bind to oleic acid through the basic histidine (H) 32 of the A2 helix and the hydrophobic residues, namely, isoleucine (I) 59, W60 and I95, of the interfacial cleft. However, the number of destabilized and disordered residues in Mg(2+)-aLA are few, and hence, the oleic acid binding to Mg(2+)-bound aLA is less stable than that to the Ca(2+)-aLA complex. Our analysis can be generalized to understand the functionality of other ligand bound proteins.

  19. Gaochang Buddhism and the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Xin

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available At the crossroads between the West and the East in ancient times, one point along the Silk Road was Gaochang (the Turpan basin in Xinjiang which played an important role in cultural exchange and the spread of Buddhism. The bidirectional influence of Buddhism in Gaochang was achieved as Buddhism spread eastward, and through its westward transmission which resulted in Gaochang’s unique and significant position in the history of cultural interaction.

  20. Microscopic insights into the NMR relaxation based protein conformational entropy meter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasinath, Vignesh; Sharp, Kim A.; Wand, A. Joshua

    2013-01-01

    Conformational entropy is a potentially important thermodynamic parameter contributing to protein function. Quantitative measures of conformational entropy are necessary for an understanding of its role but have been difficult to obtain. An empirical method that utilizes changes in conformational dynamics as a proxy for changes in conformational entropy has recently been introduced. Here we probe the microscopic origins of the link between conformational dynamics and conformational entropy using molecular dynamics simulations. Simulation of seven pro! teins gave an excellent correlation with measures of side-chain motion derived from NMR relaxation. The simulations show that the motion of methyl-bearing side-chains are sufficiently coupled to that of other side chains to serve as excellent reporters of the overall side-chain conformational entropy. These results tend to validate the use of experimentally accessible measures of methyl motion - the NMR-derived generalized order parameters - as a proxy from which to derive changes in protein conformational entropy. PMID:24007504

  1. Further insight into the roles of the glycans attached to human blood protein C inhibitor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Wei; Parry, Simon; Ubhayasekera, Wimal

    2010-01-01

    Protein C inhibitor (PCI) is a 57-kDa glycoprotein that exists in many tissues and secretions in human. As a member of the serpin superfamily of proteins it displays unusually broad protease specificity. PCI is implicated in the regulation of a wide range of processes, including blood coagulation......, fertilization, prevention of tumors and pathogen defence. It has been reported that PCI isolated from human blood plasma is highly heterogeneous, and that this heterogeneity is caused by differences in N-glycan structures, N-glycosylation occupancy, and the presence of two forms that differ by the presence...... or absence of 6 amino acids at the amino-terminus. In this study we have verified that such heterogeneity exists in PCI purified from single individuals, and that individuals of two different ethnicities possess a similar PCI pattern, verifying that the micro-heterogeneity is conserved among humans...

  2. Interaction of amyloid inhibitor proteins with amyloid beta peptides: insight from molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Payel Das

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the detailed mechanism by which proteins such as human αB- crystallin and human lysozyme inhibit amyloid beta (Aβ peptide aggregation is crucial for designing treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Thus, unconstrained, atomistic molecular dynamics simulations in explicit solvent have been performed to characterize the Aβ17-42 assembly in presence of the αB-crystallin core domain and of lysozyme. Simulations reveal that both inhibitor proteins compete with inter-peptide interaction by binding to the peptides during the early stage of aggregation, which is consistent with their inhibitory action reported in experiments. However, the Aβ binding dynamics appear different for each inhibitor. The binding between crystallin and the peptide monomer, dominated by electrostatics, is relatively weak and transient due to the heterogeneous amino acid distribution of the inhibitor surface. The crystallin-bound Aβ oligomers are relatively long-lived, as they form more extensive contact surface with the inhibitor protein. In contrast, a high local density of arginines from lysozyme allows strong binding with Aβ peptide monomers, resulting in stable complexes. Our findings not only illustrate, in atomic detail, how the amyloid inhibitory mechanism of human αB-crystallin, a natural chaperone, is different from that of human lysozyme, but also may aid de novo design of amyloid inhibitors.

  3. Structural insights into the interaction of the conserved mammalian proteins GAPR-1 and Beclin 1, a key autophagy protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Yue; Zhao, Yuting; Su, Minfei; Glover, Karen; Chakravarthy, Srinivas; Colbert, Christopher L.; Levine, Beth; Sinha, Sangita C.

    2017-08-29

    Mammalian Golgi-associated plant pathogenesis-related protein 1 (GAPR-1) is a negative autophagy regulator that binds Beclin 1, a key component of the autophagosome nucleation complex. Beclin 1 residues 267–284 are required for binding GAPR-1. Here, sequence analyses, structural modeling, mutagenesis combined with pull-down assays, X-ray crystal structure determination and small-angle X-ray scattering were used to investigate the Beclin 1–GAPR-1 interaction. Five conserved residues line an equatorial GAPR-1 surface groove that is large enough to bind a peptide. A model of a peptide comprising Beclin 1 residues 267–284 docked onto GAPR-1, built using theCABS-dockserver, indicates that this peptide binds to this GAPR-1 groove. Mutation of the five conserved residues lining this groove, H54A/E86A/G102K/H103A/N138G, abrogates Beclin 1 binding. The 1.27 Å resolution X-ray crystal structure of this pentad mutant GAPR-1 was determined. Comparison with the wild-type (WT) GAPR-1 structure shows that the equatorial groove of the pentad mutant is shallower and more positively charged, and therefore may not efficiently bind Beclin 1 residues 267–284, which include many hydrophobic residues. Both WT and pentad mutant GAPR-1 crystallize as dimers, and in each case the equatorial groove of one subunit is partially occluded by the other subunit, indicating that dimeric GAPR-1 is unlikely to bind Beclin 1. SAXS analysis of WT and pentad mutant GAPR-1 indicates that in solution the WT forms monomers, while the pentad mutant is primarily dimeric. Thus, changes in the structure of the equatorial groove combined with the improved dimerization of pentad mutant GAPR-1 are likely to abrogate binding to Beclin 1.

  4. 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)

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 were dissected and prepared for light and polarized light microscopy, as well as for scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The results showed that silk formation starts at the middle of the 5th ...

  9. 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

  10. Structure, composition and mechanical properties of the silk fibres of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The silk egg case and orb web of spiders are elaborate structures that are assembled from a number of components. We analysed the structure, the amino acid and fibre compositions, and the tensile properties of the silk fibres of the egg case of Nephila clavata. SEM shows that the outer and inner covers of the egg case ...

  11. 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).

  12. 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)

  13. Worldwide genetic variability of the Duffy binding protein: insights into Plasmodium vivax vaccine development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taís Nóbrega de Sousa

    Full Text Available The dependence of Plasmodium vivax on invasion mediated by Duffy binding protein (DBP makes this protein a prime candidate for development of a vaccine. However, the development of a DBP-based vaccine might be hampered by the high variability of the protein ligand (DBP(II, known to bias the immune response toward a specific DBP variant. Here, the hypothesis being investigated is that the analysis of the worldwide DBP(II sequences will allow us to determine the minimum number of haplotypes (MNH to be included in a DBP-based vaccine of broad coverage. For that, all DBP(II sequences available were compiled and MNH was based on the most frequent nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms, the majority mapped on B and T cell epitopes. A preliminary analysis of DBP(II genetic diversity from eight malaria-endemic countries estimated that a number between two to six DBP haplotypes (17 in total would target at least 50% of parasite population circulating in each endemic region. Aiming to avoid region-specific haplotypes, we next analyzed the MNH that broadly cover worldwide parasite population. The results demonstrated that seven haplotypes would be required to cover around 60% of DBP(II sequences available. Trying to validate these selected haplotypes per country, we found that five out of the eight countries will be covered by the MNH (67% of parasite populations, range 48-84%. In addition, to identify related subgroups of DBP(II sequences we used a Bayesian clustering algorithm. The algorithm grouped all DBP(II sequences in six populations that were independent of geographic origin, with ancestral populations present in different proportions in each country. In conclusion, in this first attempt to undertake a global analysis about DBP(II variability, the results suggest that the development of DBP-based vaccine should consider multi-haplotype strategies; otherwise a putative P. vivax vaccine may not target some parasite populations.

  14. Worldwide genetic variability of the Duffy binding protein: insights into Plasmodium vivax vaccine development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nóbrega de Sousa, Taís; Carvalho, Luzia Helena; Alves de Brito, Cristiana Ferreira

    2011-01-01

    The dependence of Plasmodium vivax on invasion mediated by Duffy binding protein (DBP) makes this protein a prime candidate for development of a vaccine. However, the development of a DBP-based vaccine might be hampered by the high variability of the protein ligand (DBP(II)), known to bias the immune response toward a specific DBP variant. Here, the hypothesis being investigated is that the analysis of the worldwide DBP(II) sequences will allow us to determine the minimum number of haplotypes (MNH) to be included in a DBP-based vaccine of broad coverage. For that, all DBP(II) sequences available were compiled and MNH was based on the most frequent nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms, the majority mapped on B and T cell epitopes. A preliminary analysis of DBP(II) genetic diversity from eight malaria-endemic countries estimated that a number between two to six DBP haplotypes (17 in total) would target at least 50% of parasite population circulating in each endemic region. Aiming to avoid region-specific haplotypes, we next analyzed the MNH that broadly cover worldwide parasite population. The results demonstrated that seven haplotypes would be required to cover around 60% of DBP(II) sequences available. Trying to validate these selected haplotypes per country, we found that five out of the eight countries will be covered by the MNH (67% of parasite populations, range 48-84%). In addition, to identify related subgroups of DBP(II) sequences we used a Bayesian clustering algorithm. The algorithm grouped all DBP(II) sequences in six populations that were independent of geographic origin, with ancestral populations present in different proportions in each country. In conclusion, in this first attempt to undertake a global analysis about DBP(II) variability, the results suggest that the development of DBP-based vaccine should consider multi-haplotype strategies; otherwise a putative P. vivax vaccine may not target some parasite populations.

  15. Chitinase family GH18: evolutionary insights from the genomic history of a diverse protein family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aronson Nathan N

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chitinases (EC.3.2.1.14 hydrolyze the β-1,4-linkages in chitin, an abundant N-acetyl-β-D-glucosamine polysaccharide that is a structural component of protective biological matrices such as insect exoskeletons and fungal cell walls. The glycoside hydrolase 18 (GH18 family of chitinases is an ancient gene family widely expressed in archea, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Mammals are not known to synthesize chitin or metabolize it as a nutrient, yet the human genome encodes eight GH18 family members. Some GH18 proteins lack an essential catalytic glutamic acid and are likely to act as lectins rather than as enzymes. This study used comparative genomic analysis to address the evolutionary history of the GH18 multiprotein family, from early eukaryotes to mammals, in an effort to understand the forces that shaped the human genome content of chitinase related proteins. Results Gene duplication and loss according to a birth-and-death model of evolution is a feature of the evolutionary history of the GH18 family. The current human family likely originated from ancient genes present at the time of the bilaterian expansion (approx. 550 mya. The family expanded in the chitinous protostomes C. elegans and D. melanogaster, declined in early deuterostomes as chitin synthesis disappeared, and expanded again in late deuterostomes with a significant increase in gene number after the avian/mammalian split. Conclusion This comprehensive genomic study of animal GH18 proteins reveals three major phylogenetic groups in the family: chitobiases, chitinases/chitolectins, and stabilin-1 interacting chitolectins. Only the chitinase/chitolectin group is associated with expansion in late deuterostomes. Finding that the human GH18 gene family is closely linked to the human major histocompatibility complex paralogon on chromosome 1, together with the recent association of GH18 chitinase activity with Th2 cell inflammation, suggests that its late expansion

  16. Trafficking and processing of bacterial proteins by mammalian cells: Insights from chondroitinase ABC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muir, Elizabeth; Raza, Mansoor; Ellis, Clare; Burnside, Emily; Love, Fiona; Heller, Simon; Elliot, Matthew; Daniell, Esther; Dasgupta, Debayan; Alves, Nuno; Day, Priscilla; Fawcett, James; Keynes, Roger

    2017-01-01

    There is very little reported in the literature about the relationship between modifications of bacterial proteins and their secretion by mammalian cells that synthesize them. We previously reported that the secretion of the bacterial enzyme Chondroitinase ABC by mammalian cells requires the strategic removal of at least three N-glycosylation sites. The aim of this study was to determine if it is possible to enhance the efficacy of the enzyme as a treatment for spinal cord injury by increasing the quantity of enzyme secreted or by altering its cellular location. To determine if the efficiency of enzyme secretion could be further increased, cells were transfected with constructs encoding the gene for chondroitinase ABC modified for expression by mammalian cells; these contained additional modifications of strategic N-glycosylation sites or alternative signal sequences to direct secretion of the enzyme from the cells. We show that while removal of certain specific N-glycosylation sites enhances enzyme secretion, N-glycosylation of at least two other sites, N-856 and N-773, is essential for both production and secretion of active enzyme. Furthermore, we find that the signal sequence directing secretion also influences the quantity of enzyme secreted, and that this varies widely amongst the cell types tested. Last, we find that replacing the 3'UTR on the cDNA encoding Chondroitinase ABC with that of β-actin is sufficient to target the enzyme to the neuronal growth cone when transfected into neurons. This also enhances neurite outgrowth on an inhibitory substrate. Some intracellular trafficking pathways are adversely affected by cryptic signals present in the bacterial gene sequence, whilst unexpectedly others are required for efficient secretion of the enzyme. Furthermore, targeting chondroitinase to the neuronal growth cone promotes its ability to increase neurite outgrowth on an inhibitory substrate. These findings are timely in view of the renewed prospects for

  17. Protein phylogenetic analysis of Ca2+/cation antiporters and insights into their evolution in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eEmery

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cation transport is a critical process in all organisms and is essential for mineral nutrition, ion stress tolerance, and signal transduction. Transporters that are members of the Ca2+/Cation Antiporter (CaCA superfamily are involved in the transport of Ca2+ and/or other cations using the counter exchange of another ion such as H+ or Na+. The CaCA superfamily has been previously divided into five transporter families: the YRBG, NCX, NCKX, CAX and CCX families, which include the well-characterized Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX and H+/cation exchanger (CAX transporters. To examine the evolution of CaCA transporters within higher plants and the green plant lineage, CaCA genes were identified from the genomes of sequenced flowering plants, a bryophyte, lycophyte, and freshwater and marine algae, and compared with those from non-plant species. We found evidence of the expansion and increased diversity of flowering plant genes within the CAX and CCX families. Genes related to the NCX family are present in land plant though they encode distinct MHX homologs which probably have an altered transport function. In contrast, the NCX and NCKX genes which are absent in land plants have been retained in many species of algae, especially the marine algae, indicating that these organisms may share ‘animal-like’ characteristics of Ca2+ homeostasis and signaling. A group of genes encoding novel CAX-like proteins containing an EF hand domain were identified from plants and selected algae but appeared to be lacking in any other species. Lack of functional data for most of the CaCA proteins make it impossible to reliably predict substrate specificity and function for many of the groups or individual proteins. The abundance and diversity of CaCA genes throughout all branches of life indicates the importance of this class of cation transporter, and that many transporters with novel functions are waiting to be discovered.

  18. New insight into the solution structures of wheat gluten proteins from Raman optical activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blanch, E.W.; Kasarda, D.D.; Hecht, L.

    2003-01-01

    Vibrational Raman optical activity (ROA) spectra of the wheat proteins a-gliadin (A-gliadin), omega-liadin, and a 30 kDa peptide called T-A-1 from the high molecular weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS) Dx5 were measured to obtain new information about their solution structures. The spectral data show...... that, under the conditions investigated, A-gliadin contains a considerable amount of hydrated alpha-helix, most of which probably lies within a relatively structured C-terminal domain. Smaller quantities of beta-structure and poly(L-proline) II (PPII) helix were also identified. Addition of methanol...

  19. Supplementary Material for: Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole genome sequencing and protein structure modelling provides insights into anti-tuberculosis drug resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Phelan, Jody

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Combating the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis is a global health priority. Whole genome association studies are being applied to identify genetic determinants of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Protein structure and interaction modelling are used to understand the functional effects of putative mutations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms leading to resistance. Methods To investigate the potential utility of these approaches, we analysed the genomes of 144 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) collection sourced from 20 countries in four continents. A genome-wide approach was applied to 127 isolates to identify polymorphisms associated with minimum inhibitory concentrations for first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs. In addition, the effect of identified candidate mutations on protein stability and interactions was assessed quantitatively with well-established computational methods. Results The analysis revealed that mutations in the genes rpoB (rifampicin), katG (isoniazid), inhA-promoter (isoniazid), rpsL (streptomycin) and embB (ethambutol) were responsible for the majority of resistance observed. A subset of the mutations identified in rpoB and katG were predicted to affect protein stability. Further, a strong direct correlation was observed between the minimum inhibitory concentration values and the distance of the mutated residues in the three-dimensional structures of rpoB and katG to their respective drugs binding sites. Conclusions Using the TDR resource, we demonstrate the usefulness of whole genome association and convergent evolution approaches to detect known and potentially novel mutations associated with drug resistance. Further, protein structural modelling could provide a means of predicting the impact of polymorphisms on drug efficacy in the absence of phenotypic data. These approaches could ultimately lead to novel

  20. Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole genome sequencing and protein structure modelling provides insights into anti-tuberculosis drug resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Phelan, Jody

    2016-03-23

    Background Combating the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis is a global health priority. Whole genome association studies are being applied to identify genetic determinants of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Protein structure and interaction modelling are used to understand the functional effects of putative mutations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms leading to resistance. Methods To investigate the potential utility of these approaches, we analysed the genomes of 144 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) collection sourced from 20 countries in four continents. A genome-wide approach was applied to 127 isolates to identify polymorphisms associated with minimum inhibitory concentrations for first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs. In addition, the effect of identified candidate mutations on protein stability and interactions was assessed quantitatively with well-established computational methods. Results The analysis revealed that mutations in the genes rpoB (rifampicin), katG (isoniazid), inhA-promoter (isoniazid), rpsL (streptomycin) and embB (ethambutol) were responsible for the majority of resistance observed. A subset of the mutations identified in rpoB and katG were predicted to affect protein stability. Further, a strong direct correlation was observed between the minimum inhibitory concentration values and the distance of the mutated residues in the three-dimensional structures of rpoB and katG to their respective drugs binding sites. Conclusions Using the TDR resource, we demonstrate the usefulness of whole genome association and convergent evolution approaches to detect known and potentially novel mutations associated with drug resistance. Further, protein structural modelling could provide a means of predicting the impact of polymorphisms on drug efficacy in the absence of phenotypic data. These approaches could ultimately lead to novel resistance

  1. 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

  2. Insight into the effect mechanism of urea-induced protein denaturation by dielectric spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Cancan; Yang, Man; Zhao, Kongshuang

    2017-12-06

    Dielectric relaxation spectroscopy was applied to study how urea affects the phase transition of a thermosensitive polymer, poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM), which has been widely used as a protein model. It was found that there is a pronounced relaxation near 10 GHz for the ternary system of PNIPAM in urea aqueous solution. The temperature dependence of dielectric parameters indicates that urea can reduce the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of PNIPAM, i.e., stabilize the globule state of PNIPAM and collapse the PNIPAM chains. Based on our results, the interaction mechanism of urea on the conformational transition of PNIPAM was presented: urea replaces water molecules directly bonding with PNIPAM and acts as the bridging agent for the adjacent side chains of PNIPAM. Accordingly, the mechanism with which urea denatures protein was deduced. In addition, it is worth mentioning that, from the temperature dependence of the dielectric parameters obtained in the presence of urea, an interesting phenomenon was found in which the effect of urea on PNIPAM seems to take 2 M as a unit. This result may be the reason why urea and TMAO exit marine fishes at a specific ratio of 2 : 1.

  3. Structural Insights into RNA Recognition by the Alternate-Splicing Regulator CUG-Binding Protein 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M Teplova; J Song; H Gaw; A Teplov; D Patel

    2011-12-31

    CUG-binding protein 1 (CUGBP1) regulates multiple aspects of nuclear and cytoplasmic mRNA processing, with implications for onset of myotonic dystrophy. CUGBP1 harbors three RRM domains and preferentially targets UGU-rich mRNA elements. We describe crystal structures of CUGBP1 RRM1 and tandem RRM1/2 domains bound to RNAs containing tandem UGU(U/G) elements. Both RRM1 in RRM1-RNA and RRM2 in RRM1/2-RNA complexes use similar principles to target UGU(U/G) elements, with recognition mediated by face-to-edge stacking and water-mediated hydrogen-bonding networks. The UG step adopts a left-handed Z-RNA conformation, with the syn guanine recognized through Hoogsteen edge-protein backbone hydrogen-bonding interactions. NMR studies on the RRM1/2-RNA complex establish that both RRM domains target tandem UGUU motifs in solution, whereas filter-binding assays identify a preference for recognition of GU over AU or GC steps. We discuss the implications of CUGBP1-mediated targeting and sequestration of UGU(U/G) elements on pre-mRNA alternative-splicing regulation, translational regulation, and mRNA decay.

  4. ANTIFREEZE PROTEINS IN PLANTS: AN OVERVIEW WITH AN INSIGHT INTO THE DETECTION TECHNIQUES INCLUDING NANOBIOTECHNOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhavana Sharma

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Antifreeze proteins (AFPs are a class of polypeptides which enables various organisms to survive subzero temperatures and have been found in vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, fungi and lichens. AFPs possess the characteristic thermal hysteresis (TH and ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI properties which allow them to adsorb the surface of ice crystals and inhibit their growth and recrystallization. AFPs are also known as ice restructuring proteins due to their ability to modify ice crystal morphology which leads to formation of hexagonal shape ice crystals in the presence of AFPs and disc shape AFPs in its absence. AFPs have various applications in medical, agricultural, industrial and biotechnological field. This review provides an overview of the AFPs, their TH and IRI properties and potential biotechnological applications of AFPs. Various conventional detection methods like Capillary assay and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC with their advantages and disadvantages are discussed in detail along with the commonly used Splat assay and Nanoliter osmometer. Moreover, a novel, high-throughput and efficient nanobiotechnological method for AFP detection is also discussed. The method is based on colorimetric detection of freeze-labile gold nanoparticles and can provide an alternative to overcome the limitations of conventional methods by providing quick and easy way to screen AFPs in multiple systems simultaneously

  5. Major depressive disorder: insight into candidate cerebrospinal fluid protein biomarkers from proteomics studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Shweiki, Mhd Rami; Oeckl, Patrick; Steinacker, Petra; Hengerer, Bastian; Schönfeldt-Lecuona, Carlos; Otto, Markus

    2017-06-01

    Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of global disability, and an increasing body of literature suggests different cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins as biomarkers of MDD. The aim of this review is to summarize the suggested CSF biomarkers and to analyze the MDD proteomics studies of CSF and brain tissues for promising biomarker candidates. Areas covered: The review includes the human studies found by a PubMed search using the following terms: 'depression cerebrospinal fluid biomarker', 'major depression biomarker CSF', 'depression CSF biomarker', 'proteomics depression', 'proteomics biomarkers in depression', 'proteomics CSF biomarker in depression', and 'major depressive disorder CSF'. The literature analysis highlights promising biomarker candidates and demonstrates conflicting results on others. It reveals 42 differentially regulated proteins in MDD that were identified in more than one proteomics study. It discusses the diagnostic potential of the biomarker candidates and their association with the suggested pathologies. Expert commentary: One ultimate goal of finding biomarkers for MDD is to improve the diagnostic accuracy to achieve better treatment outcomes; due to the heterogeneous nature of MDD, using bio-signatures could be a good strategy to differentiate MDD from other neuropsychiatric disorders. Notably, further validation studies of the suggested biomarkers are still needed.

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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).

  9. 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).

  10. Novel insights into the unfolded protein response using Pichia pastoris specific DNA microarrays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kreil David P

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background DNA Microarrays are regarded as a valuable tool for basic and applied research in microbiology. However, for many industrially important microorganisms the lack of commercially available microarrays still hampers physiological research. Exemplarily, our understanding of protein folding and secretion in the yeast Pichia pastoris is presently widely dependent on conclusions drawn from analogies to Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To close this gap for a yeast species employed for its high capacity to produce heterologous proteins, we developed full genome DNA microarrays for P. pastoris and analyzed the unfolded protein response (UPR in this yeast species, as compared to S. cerevisiae. Results By combining the partially annotated gene list of P. pastoris with de novo gene finding a list of putative open reading frames was generated for which an oligonucleotide probe set was designed using the probe design tool TherMODO (a thermodynamic model-based oligoset design optimizer. To evaluate the performance of the novel array design, microarrays carrying the oligo set were hybridized with samples from treatments with dithiothreitol (DTT or a strain overexpressing the UPR transcription factor HAC1, both compared with a wild type strain in normal medium as untreated control. DTT treatment was compared with literature data for S. cerevisiae, and revealed similarities, but also important differences between the two yeast species. Overexpression of HAC1, the most direct control for UPR genes, resulted in significant new understanding of this important regulatory pathway in P. pastoris, and generally in yeasts. Conclusion The differences observed between P. pastoris and S. cerevisiae underline the importance of DNA microarrays for industrial production strains. P. pastoris reacts to DTT treatment mainly by the regulation of genes related to chemical stimulus, electron transport and respiration, while the overexpression of HAC1 induced many genes

  11. Trafficking and processing of bacterial proteins by mammalian cells: Insights from chondroitinase ABC.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Muir

    Full Text Available There is very little reported in the literature about the relationship between modifications of bacterial proteins and their secretion by mammalian cells that synthesize them. We previously reported that the secretion of the bacterial enzyme Chondroitinase ABC by mammalian cells requires the strategic removal of at least three N-glycosylation sites. The aim of this study was to determine if it is possible to enhance the efficacy of the enzyme as a treatment for spinal cord injury by increasing the quantity of enzyme secreted or by altering its cellular location.To determine if the efficiency of enzyme secretion could be further increased, cells were transfected with constructs encoding the gene for chondroitinase ABC modified for expression by mammalian cells; these contained additional modifications of strategic N-glycosylation sites or alternative signal sequences to direct secretion of the enzyme from the cells. We show that while removal of certain specific N-glycosylation sites enhances enzyme secretion, N-glycosylation of at least two other sites, N-856 and N-773, is essential for both production and secretion of active enzyme. Furthermore, we find that the signal sequence directing secretion also influences the quantity of enzyme secreted, and that this varies widely amongst the cell types tested. Last, we find that replacing the 3'UTR on the cDNA encoding Chondroitinase ABC with that of β-actin is sufficient to target the enzyme to the neuronal growth cone when transfected into neurons. This also enhances neurite outgrowth on an inhibitory substrate.Some intracellular trafficking pathways are adversely affected by cryptic signals present in the bacterial gene sequence, whilst unexpectedly others are required for efficient secretion of the enzyme. Furthermore, targeting chondroitinase to the neuronal growth cone promotes its ability to increase neurite outgrowth on an inhibitory substrate. These findings are timely in view of the renewed

  12. Protein Phylogenetic Analysis of Ca2+/cation Antiporters and Insights into their Evolution in Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Laura; Whelan, Simon; Hirschi, Kendal D.; Pittman, Jon K.

    2012-01-01

    Cation transport is a critical process in all organisms and is essential for mineral nutrition, ion stress tolerance, and signal transduction. Transporters that are members of the Ca2+/cation antiporter (CaCA) superfamily are involved in the transport of Ca2+ and/or other cations using the counter exchange of another ion such as H+ or Na+. The CaCA superfamily has been previously divided into five transporter families: the YRBG, Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX), Na+/Ca2+, K+ exchanger (NCKX), H+/cation exchanger (CAX), and cation/Ca2+ exchanger (CCX) families, which include the well-characterized NCX and CAX transporters. To examine the evolution of CaCA transporters within higher plants and the green plant lineage, CaCA genes were identified from the genomes of sequenced flowering plants, a bryophyte, lycophyte, and freshwater and marine algae, and compared with those from non-plant species. We found evidence of the expansion and increased diversity of flowering plant genes within the CAX and CCX families. Genes related to the NCX family are present in land plant though they encode distinct MHX homologs which probably have an altered transport function. In contrast, the NCX and NCKX genes which are absent in land plants have been retained in many species of algae, especially the marine algae, indicating that these organisms may share “animal-like” characteristics of Ca2+ homeostasis and signaling. A group of genes encoding novel CAX-like proteins containing an EF-hand domain were identified from plants and selected algae but appeared to be lacking in any other species. Lack of functional data for most of the CaCA proteins make it impossible to reliably predict substrate specificity and function for many of the groups or individual proteins. The abundance and diversity of CaCA genes throughout all branches of life indicates the importance of this class of cation transporter, and that many transporters with novel functions are waiting to be discovered. PMID:22645563

  13. The C1q family of proteins: insights into the emerging non-traditional functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berhane eGhebrehiwet

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Research conducted over the past 20 years have helped us unravel not only the hidden structural and functional subtleties of human C1q, but also has catapulted the molecule from a mere recognition unit of the classical pathway to a well-recognized molecular sensor of damage modified self or non-self antigens. Thus, C1q is involved in a rapidly expanding list of pathological disorders—including autoimmunity, trophoblast migration, preeclampsia and cancer. The results of two recent reports are provided to underscore the critical role C1q plays in health and disease. First is the observation by Singh and colleagues showing that pregnant C1q-/- mice recapitulate the key features of human preeclampsia that correlate with increased fetal death. Treatment of the C1q-/- mice with pravastatin restored trophoblast invasiveness, placental blood flow, and angiogenic balance and, thus, prevented the onset of preeclampsia. Second is the report by Hong et al., which showed that C1q can induce apoptosis of prostate cancer cells by activating the tumor suppressor molecule WW-domain containing oxydoreductase (WWOX or WOX1 and destabilizing cell adhesion. Downregulation of C1q on the other hand enhanced prostate hyperplasia and cancer formation due to failure of WOX1 activation. Recent evidence also shows that C1q belongs to a family of structurally and functionally related TNFα-like family of proteins that may have arisen from a common ancestral gene. Therefore C1q not only shares the diverse functions with the TNF family of proteins, but also explains why C1q has retained some of its ancestral cytokine-like activities. This review is intended to highlight some of the structural and functional aspects of C1q by underscoring the growing list of its non-traditional functions.

  14. Prion protein (PrP) gene-knockout cell lines: insight into functions of the PrP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakudo, Akikazu; Onodera, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Elucidation of prion protein (PrP) functions is crucial to fully understand prion diseases. A major approach to studying PrP functions is the use of PrP gene-knockout (Prnp−/−) mice. So far, six types of Prnp−/− mice have been generated, demonstrating the promiscuous functions of PrP. Recently, other PrP family members, such as Doppel and Shadoo, have been found. However, information obtained from comparative studies of structural and functional analyses of these PrP family proteins do not fully reveal PrP functions. Recently, varieties of Prnp−/− cell lines established from Prnp−/− mice have contributed to the analysis of PrP functions. In this mini-review, we focus on Prnp−/− cell lines and summarize currently available Prnp−/− cell lines and their characterizations. In addition, we introduce the recent advances in the methodology of cell line generation with knockout or knockdown of the PrP gene. We also discuss how these cell lines have provided valuable insights into PrP functions and show future perspectives. PMID:25642423

  15. The impact of phosphate scarcity on pharmaceutical protein production in S. cerevisiae: linking transcriptomic insights to phenotypic responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazemi Seresht Ali

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The adaptation of unicellular organisms like Saccharomyces cerevisiae to alternating nutrient availability is of great fundamental and applied interest, as understanding how eukaryotic cells respond to variations in their nutrient supply has implications spanning from physiological insights to biotechnological applications. Results The impact of a step-wise restricted supply of phosphate on the physiological state of S. cerevisiae cells producing human Insulin was studied. The focus was to determine the changes within the global gene expression of cells being cultured to an industrially relevant high cell density of 33 g/l cell dry weight and under six distinct phosphate concentrations, ranging from 33 mM (unlimited to 2.6 mM (limited. An increased flux through the secretory pathway, being induced by the PHO circuit during low Pi supplementation, proved to enhance the secretory production of the heterologous protein. The re-distribution of the carbon flux from biomass formation towards increased glycerol production under low phosphate led to increased transcript levels of the insulin gene, which was under the regulation of the TPI1 promoter. Conclusions Our study underlines the dynamic character of adaptive responses of cells towards a change in their nutrient access. The gradual decrease of the phosphate supply resulted in a step-wise modulated phenotypic response, thereby alternating the specific productivity and the secretory flux. Our work emphasizes the importance of reduced phosphate supply for improved secretory production of heterologous proteins.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. Structural Insight into the Core of CAD, the Multifunctional Protein Leading De Novo Pyrimidine Biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Morcillo, María; Grande-García, Araceli; Ruiz-Ramos, Alba; Del Caño-Ochoa, Francisco; Boskovic, Jasminka; Ramón-Maiques, Santiago

    2017-06-06

    CAD, the multifunctional protein initiating and controlling de novo biosynthesis of pyrimidines in animals, self-assembles into ∼1.5 MDa hexamers. The structures of the dihydroorotase (DHO) and aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATC) domains of human CAD have been previously determined, but we lack information on how these domains associate and interact with the rest of CAD forming a multienzymatic unit. Here, we prove that a construct covering human DHO and ATC oligomerizes as a dimer of trimers and that this arrangement is conserved in CAD-like from fungi, which holds an inactive DHO-like domain. The crystal structures of the ATC trimer and DHO-like dimer from the fungus Chaetomium thermophilum confirm the similarity with the human CAD homologs. These results demonstrate that, despite being inactive, the fungal DHO-like domain has a conserved structural function. We propose a model that sets the DHO and ATC complex as the central element in the architecture of CAD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Structure and dynamics of cationic membrane peptides and proteins: Insights from solid-state NMR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Mei; Su, Yongchao

    2011-01-01

    Many membrane peptides and protein domains contain functionally important cationic Arg and Lys residues, whose insertion into the hydrophobic interior of the lipid bilayer encounters significant energy barriers. To understand how these cationic molecules overcome the free energy barrier to insert into the lipid membrane, we have used solid-state NMR spectroscopy to determine the membrane-bound topology of these peptides. A versatile array of solid-state NMR experiments now readily yields the conformation, dynamics, orientation, depth of insertion, and site-specific protein–lipid interactions of these molecules. We summarize key findings of several Arg-rich membrane peptides, including β-sheet antimicrobial peptides, unstructured cell-penetrating peptides, and the voltage-sensing helix of voltage-gated potassium channels. Our results indicate the central role of guanidinium-phosphate and guanidinium-water interactions in dictating the structural topology of these cationic molecules in the lipid membrane, which in turn account for the mechanisms of this functionally diverse class of membrane peptides. PMID:21344534

  2. Insights into the variability of nucleated amyloid polymerization by a minimalistic model of stochastic protein assembly

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eugène, Sarah, E-mail: Sarah.Eugene@inria.fr; Doumic, Marie, E-mail: Philippe.Robert@inria.fr, E-mail: Marie.Doumic@inria.fr [INRIA de Paris, 2 Rue Simone Iff, CS 42112, 75589 Paris Cedex 12 (France); Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UMR 7598, Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions, F-75005 Paris (France); Xue, Wei-Feng, E-mail: W.F.Xue@kent.ac.uk [School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NJ (United Kingdom); Robert, Philippe, E-mail: Philippe.Robert@inria.fr [INRIA de Paris, 2 Rue Simone Iff, CS 42112, 75589 Paris Cedex 12 (France)

    2016-05-07

    Self-assembly of proteins into amyloid aggregates is an important biological phenomenon associated with human diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid fibrils also have potential applications in nano-engineering of biomaterials. The kinetics of amyloid assembly show an exponential growth phase preceded by a lag phase, variable in duration as seen in bulk experiments and experiments that mimic the small volumes of cells. Here, to investigate the origins and the properties of the observed variability in the lag phase of amyloid assembly currently not accounted for by deterministic nucleation dependent mechanisms, we formulate a new stochastic minimal model that is capable of describing the characteristics of amyloid growth curves despite its simplicity. We then solve the stochastic differential equations of our model and give mathematical proof of a central limit theorem for the sample growth trajectories of the nucleated aggregation process. These results give an asymptotic description for our simple model, from which closed form analytical results capable of describing and predicting the variability of nucleated amyloid assembly were derived. We also demonstrate the application of our results to inform experiments in a conceptually friendly and clear fashion. Our model offers a new perspective and paves the way for a new and efficient approach on extracting vital information regarding the key initial events of amyloid formation.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Insights from the Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Topoisomerase I with a Novel Protein Fold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Kemin; Cao, Nan; Cheng, Bokun; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Tse-Dinh, Yuk-Ching

    2016-01-16

    The DNA topoisomerase I enzyme of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtTOP1) is essential for the viability of the organism and survival in a murine model. This topoisomerase is being pursued as a novel target for the discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In this study, we succeeded in obtaining a structure of MtTOP1 by first predicting that the C-terminal region of MtTOP1 contains four repeated domains that do not involve the Zn-binding tetracysteine motifs seen in the C-terminal domains of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I. A construct (amino acids A2-T704), MtTOP1-704t, that includes the N-terminal domains (D1-D4) and the first predicted C-terminal domain (D5) of MtTOP1 was expressed and found to retain DNA cleavage-religation activity and catalyze single-stranded DNA catenation. MtTOP1-704t was crystallized, and a structure of 2.52Å resolution limit was obtained. The structure of the MtTOP1 N-terminal domains has features that have not been observed in other previously available bacterial topoisomerase I crystal structures. The first C-terminal domain D5 forms a novel protein fold of a four-stranded antiparallel β-sheet stabilized by a crossing-over α-helix. Since there is only one type IA topoisomerase present in Mycobacteriaceae and related Actinobacteria, this subfamily of type IA topoisomerase may be required for multiple functions in DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and repair. The unique structural features observed for MtTOP1 may allow these topoisomerase I enzymes to carry out physiological functions associated with topoisomerase III enzyme in other bacteria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Looking at the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) chromophore from a different perspective: A computational insight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Bijan Kumar; Guchhait, Nikhil

    2013-02-01

    In the present contribution Density Functional Theory (DFT) has been applied to explore molecular dipole moment, frontier molecular orbital (FMO) features, chemical hardness, and the molecular electrostatic potential surface (MEPS) characteristics for optimized molecular geometry of the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) chromophore p-hydroxybenzylideneimidazolinone (HBDI) both in its protonated (neutral) and deprotonated (anion) forms. The distribution of atomic charges over the entire molecular framework as obtained from Natural Bond Orbital (NBO) analysis is found to faithfully replicate the predictions from the MEP map in respect of reactivity map of HBDI (neutral and anion) and possible sites for hydrogen bonding interactions etc. The three dimensional MEP map encompassing the entire molecule yields a reliable reactivity map of HBDI molecule also displaying the most probable regions for non-covalent interactions. The differential distribution of the electrostatic potential over the neutral and anionic species of HBDI is authentically reflected on MEP map and NBO charge distribution analysis. Thermodynamic properties such as heat capacity, thermal energy, enthalpy, entropy have been calculated and the correlation of the various thermodynamic functions with temperature has been established for neutral molecule. More importantly, however, the computational approach has been employed to unveil the nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of protonated (neutral) and deprotonated (anion) HBDI. Also in an endeavor to achieve a fuller understanding on this aspect the effect of basis set on the NLO properties of the title molecule has been investigated. Our computations delineate the discernible differences in NLO properties between the neutral and anionic species of HBDI whereby indicating the possibility of development of photoswitchable NLO device.

  7. Insights from the Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Topoisomerase I with a Novel Protein Fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, Kemin; Cao, Nan; Cheng, Bokun; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Tse-Dinh, Yuk-Ching

    2016-01-16

    The DNA topoisomerase I enzyme of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtTOP1) is essential for the viability of the organism and survival in a murine model. This topoisomerase is being pursued as a novel target for the discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In this study, we succeeded in obtaining a structure of MtTOP1 by first predicting that the C-terminal region of MtTOP1 contains four repeated domains that do not involve the Zn-binding tetracysteine motifs seen in the C-terminal domains of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I. A construct (amino acids A2-T704), MtTOP1-704t, that includes the N-terminal domains (D1-D4) and the first predicted C-terminal domain (D5) of MtTOP1 was expressed and found to retain DNA cleavage-religation activity and catalyze single-stranded DNA catenation. MtTOP1-704t was crystallized, and a structure of 2.52 angstrom resolution limit was obtained. The structure of the MtTOP1 N-terminal domains has features that have not been observed in other previously available bacterial topoisomerase I crystal structures. The first C-terminal domain D5 forms a novel protein fold of a four-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet stabilized by a crossing-over alpha-helix. Since there is only one type IA topoisomerase present in Mycobacteriaceae and related Actinobacteria, this subfamily of type IA topoisomerase may be required for multiple functions in DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and repair. The unique structural features observed for MtTOP1 may allow these topoisomerase I enzymes to carry out physiological functions associated with topoisomerase III enzyme in other bacteria.

  8. The effect of gamma irradiation on some morphological and quantitative changes of Bombyx mori L. silk gland; Vliyanie na gama lychite vyrhu nykoi morfologichni i kolichestveni izmeneniya na koprinenootdelitelnata zhleza na Bombyx mori L

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petkov, N; Malinova, K [Institute of Animal Breeding, Kostinbrod (Bulgaria); Binkh, N [National Centre of Sericulture, Hanoj (Viet Nam)

    1997-12-31

    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{sub 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 {mu}m, which is of significant importance for the synthesis and secretion of silk proteins (fibroin and sericin). A breed specificity was also observed. 4 refs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Unique genome organization of non-mammalian papillomaviruses provides insights into the evolution of viral early proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Doorslaer, Koenraad; Ruoppolo, Valeria; Schmidt, Annie; Lescroël, Amelie; Jongsomjit, Dennis; Elrod, Megan; Kraberger, Simona; Stainton, Daisy; Dugger, Katie M; Ballard, Grant; Ainley, David G; Varsani, Arvind

    2017-07-01

    estimated the divergence time between Northern fulmar-associated papillomavirus and the other Sauropsid papillomaviruses be to around 250 million years ago, during the Paleozoic-Mesozoic transition and our analysis dates the root of the papillomavirus tree between 400 and 600 million years ago. Our analysis shows evidence for niche adaptation and that these non-mammalian viruses have highly divergent E6 and E7 proteins, providing insights into the evolution of the early viral (onco-)proteins.

  18. Unique genome organization of non-mammalian papillomaviruses provides insights into the evolution of viral early proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Doorslaer, Koenraad; Ruoppolo, Valeria; Schmidt, Annie; Lescroël, Amelie; Jongsomjit, Dennis; Elrod, Megan; Kraberger, Simona; Stainton, Daisy; Dugger, Katie M.; Ballard, Grant; Ainley, David G.; Varsani, Arvind

    2017-01-01

    divergence time between Northern fulmar-associated papillomavirus and the other Sauropsid papillomaviruses be to around 250 million years ago, during the Paleozoic-Mesozoic transition and our analysis dates the root of the papillomavirus tree between 400 and 600 million years ago. Our analysis shows evidence for niche adaptation and that these non-mammalian viruses have highly divergent E6 and E7 proteins, providing insights into the evolution of the early viral (onco-)proteins.

  19. 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.

  20. Insights into Basal Signaling Regulation, Oligomerization, and Structural Organization of the Human G-Protein Coupled Receptor 83.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Müller

    Full Text Available The murine G-protein coupled receptor 83 (mGPR83 is expressed in the hypothalamus and was previously suggested to be involved in the regulation of metabolism. The neuropeptide PEN has been recently identified as a potent GPR83 ligand. Moreover, GPR83 constitutes functionally relevant hetero-oligomers with other G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR such as the ghrelin receptor (GHSR or GPR171. Previous deletion studies also revealed that the long N-terminal extracellular receptor domain (eNDo of mGPR83 may act as an intra-molecular ligand, which participates in the regulation of basal signaling activity, which is a key feature of GPCR function. Here, we investigated particular amino acids at the eNDo of human GPR83 (hGPR83 by side-directed mutagenesis to identify determinants of the internal ligand. These studies were accompanied by structure homology modeling to combine functional insights with structural information. The capacity for hetero-oligomer formation of hGPR83 with diverse family A GPCRs such as the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R was also investigated, with a specific emphasis on the impact of the eNDo on oligomerization and basal signaling properties. Finally, we demonstrate that hGPR83 exhibits an unusual basal signaling for different effectors, which also supports signaling promiscuity. hGPR83 interacts with a variety of hypothalamic GPCRs such as the MC4R or GHSR. These interactions are not dependent on the ectodomain and most likely occur at interfaces constituted in the transmembrane regions. Moreover, several amino acids at the transition between the eNDo and transmembrane helix 1 were identified, where mutations lead also to biased basal signaling modulation.

  1. 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.

  2. Doliroside A from Dolichos falcata Klein suppressing amyloid β-protein 42 fibrillogenesis: An insight at molecular level.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongpu Li

    Full Text Available A bioactive chemical constituent, doliroside A, from Chinese traditional herbal medicine Dolichos falcata Klein was isolated, purified and identified by 60% ethanol extraction, thin layer chromatography (TLC, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy. Molecular interaction mechanism between doliroside and amyloid β42 protein was evaluated by thioflavin T fluorescence (ThT, circular dichroism (CD, atomic force microscope (AFM, and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC from the aspects of kinetics, secondary structure, morphology, and thermodynamics, respectively. Results show that the purity of doliroside A is 99.9% by HPLC, and its chemical structure is identified by 1H- and 13C-NMR. Doliroside A is observed to be concentration-dependent inhibiting the fibrillation of Aβ42 with the IC50 value of 26.57 ± 1.6 μM. CD and DSC results imply that doliroside A can bind to the nuclei and oligomers of Aβ42 to form a stable complex and suppress Aβ42 fibrillation. AFM images show that doliroside A, after bound to the nuclei and oligomers, redirect Aβ42 into off-pathway, amorphous oligomers. These findings not only provide a full insight into the molecular interaction mechanisms between Aβ42 and doliroside A, but also facilitate the development of new native anti-AD drug of doliroside A compound.

  3. Hydrocarbons and heavy metals in fine particulates in oil field air: possible impacts on production of natural silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devi, Gitumani; Devi, Arundhuti; Bhattacharyya, Krishna Gopal

    2016-02-01

    Analyses of fine particulates (PM2.5) from the upper Assam oil fields of India indicated considerable presence of higher hydrocarbons (C22-C35) and heavy metals, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn. This has raised serious concern for the sustainability of the exotic Muga (Antheraea assama) silk production, which has been a prime activity of a large number of people living in the area. The Muga worm feeds on the leaves of Machilus bombycina plant, and the impacts of air quality on its survival were further investigated by analyzing the leaves of the plant, the plantation soil, and the Muga cocoons. PM2.5 content in the air was much more during the winter due to near calm conditions and high humidity. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) analysis of PM2.5 showed the presence of higher alkanes (C22-C35) that could be traced to crude oil. Cr, Ni, and Zn were found in higher concentrations in PM2.5, M. bombycina leaves, and the plantation soil indicating a common origin. The winter has been the best period for production of the silk cocoons, and the unhealthy air during this period is likely to affect the production, which is already reflected in the declining yield of Muga cocoons from the area. SEM and protein analyses of the Muga silk fiber produced in the oil field area have exhibited the deteriorating quality of the silk. This is the first report from India on hydrocarbons and associated metals in PM2.5 collected from an oil field and on their possible effects on production of silk by A. assama.

  4. 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.

  5. Native Silk Feedstock as a Model Biopolymer: A Rheological Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laity, Peter R; Holland, Chris

    2016-08-08

    Variability in silk's rheology is often regarded as an impediment to understanding or successfully copying the natural spinning process. We have previously reported such variability in unspun native silk extracted straight from the gland of the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori and discounted classical explanations such as differences in molecular weight and concentration. We now report that variability in oscillatory measurements can be reduced onto a simple master-curve through normalizing with respect to the crossover. This remarkable result suggests that differences between silk feedstocks are rheologically simple and not as complex as originally thought. By comparison, solutions of poly(ethylene-oxide) and hydroxypropyl-methyl-cellulose showed similar normalization behavior; however, the resulting curves were broader than for silk, suggesting greater polydispersity in the (semi)synthetic materials. Thus, we conclude Nature may in fact produce polymer feedstocks that are more consistent than typical man-made counterparts as a model for future rheological investigations.

  6. 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.

  7. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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,

  8. Direct transfer of subwavelength plasmonic nanostructures on bioactive silk films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Dianmin; Tao, Hu; Trevino, Jacob; Mondia, Jessica P; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Dal Negro, Luca

    2012-11-27

    By a reusable transfer fabrication technique, we demonstrate high-fidelity fabrication of metal nanoparticles, optical nanoantennas, and nanohole arrays directly on a functional silk biopolymer. The ability to reproducibly pattern silk biopolymers with arbitrarily complex plasmonic arrays is of importance for a variety of applications in optical biosensing, tissue engineering, cell biology, and the development of novel bio-optoelectronic medical devices. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. [Study on the chemical constituents of flavones from corn silk].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui-en; Xu, De-ping

    2007-02-01

    The three flavones were isolated from water extracts of corn silk by chromatography on macroporous resin, polyamide, ODS and Sephadex LH-20. Three compounds were identified as formononetin (7-hydroxy-4'-methoxyisoflavone) ( I ) ,2"-O-alpha-L-rham-nosyl-6-C-( 3-deoxyglucosyl) -3 '-methoxyluteolin( II ) ,2"-O-alpha-L-rhamnosyl-6-C-( 6-deoxy-ax-5-methyl-xylo-hexos-4-ulosyl) -3'-methoxyluteolin( II ). Compounds ( I ) and ( II ) were isolated from the corn silk for the first time.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. Discovery of cyclotides in the fabaceae plant family provides new insights into the cyclization, evolution, and distribution of circular proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poth, Aaron G; Colgrave, Michelle L; Philip, Reynold; Kerenga, Bomai; Daly, Norelle L; Anderson, Marilyn A; Craik, David J

    2011-04-15

    Cyclotides are plant proteins whose defining structural features are a head-to-tail cyclized backbone and three interlocking disulfide bonds, which in combination are known as a cyclic cystine knot. This unique structural motif confers cyclotides with exceptional resistance to proteolysis. Their endogenous function is thought to be as plant defense agents, associated with their insecticidal and larval growth-inhibitory properties. However, in addition, an array of pharmaceutically relevant biological activities has been ascribed to cyclotides, including anti-HIV, anthelmintic, uterotonic, and antimicrobial effects. So far, >150 cyclotides have been elucidated from members of the Rubiaceae, Violaceae, and Cucurbitaceae plant families, but their wider distribution among other plant families remains unclear. Clitoria ternatea (Butterfly pea) is a member of plant family Fabaceae and through its usage in traditional medicine to aid childbirth bears similarity to Oldenlandia affinis, from which many cyclotides have been isolated. Using a