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

    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.

  5. 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)

  6. Effect of Silk Protein Processing on Drug Delivery from Silk Films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, Eleanor M.; Hu, Xiao; Finley, Violet; Kuo, Catherine K.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Sericin removal from the core fibroin protein of silkworm silk is a critical first step in the use of silk for biomaterial-related applications, but degumming can affect silk biomaterial properties, including molecular weight, viscosity, diffusivity and degradation behavior. Increasing the degumming time (10, 30, 60 and 90 min) decreases the average molecular weight of silk protein in solution, silk solution viscosity, and silk film glass transition temperature, and increases the rate of degradation of silk film by protease. Model compounds spanning a range of physical-chemical properties generally showed an inverse relationship between degumming time and release rate through a varied degumming time silk coating. Degumming provides a useful control point to manipulate silk’s material properties. PMID:23349062

  7. High-toughness silk produced by a transgenic silkworm expressing spider (Araneus ventricosus dragline silk protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshihiko Kuwana

    Full Text Available Spider dragline silk is a natural fiber that has excellent tensile properties; however, it is difficult to produce artificially as a long, strong fiber. Here, the spider (Araneus ventricosus dragline protein gene was cloned and a transgenic silkworm was generated, that expressed the fusion protein of the fibroin heavy chain and spider dragline protein in cocoon silk. The spider silk protein content ranged from 0.37 to 0.61% w/w (1.4-2.4 mol% native silkworm fibroin. Using a good silk-producing strain, C515, as the transgenic silkworm can make the raw silk from its cocoons for the first time. The tensile characteristics (toughness of the raw silk improved by 53% after the introduction of spider dragline silk protein; the improvement depended on the quantity of the expressed spider dragline protein. To demonstrate the commercial feasibility for machine reeling, weaving, and sewing, we used the transgenic spider silk to weave a vest and scarf; this was the first application of spider silk fibers from transgenic silkworms.

  8. Variation in protein intake induces variation in spider silk expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean J Blamires

    Full Text Available 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

  9. Biomedical Applications of Mulberry Silk and its Proteins: A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nivedita, S.; Sivaprasad, V.

    2014-04-01

    Silk is a natural fibre used mainly for aesthetic purposes. It has also been used for making surgical sutures for centuries. The recent rediscovery of silk's biological properties have led to new areas of research and utilization in cosmetic, health and medical fields. The silk proteins, fibroin and sericin are processed into biomaterials because of bio-compatibility, bio-degradability, excellent mechanical properties, thermo tolerance and UV protective properties. Silk proteins could be obtained as pure liquids and regenerated in different forms suitable for tissue engineering applications. This paper presents some of the biomedical products and biomaterials made from native, degraded and regenerated silk and their fabrication techniques.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. Vibrational spectroscopic study of sulphated silk proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monti, P.; Freddi, G.; Arosio, C.; Tsukada, M.; Arai, T.; Taddei, P.

    2007-05-01

    Degummed Bombyx mori ( B. m.) silk fibroin fabric and mutant naked pupa cocoons (Nd-s) consisting of almost pure silk sericin were treated with chlorosulphonic acid in pyridine and investigated by FT-IR and FT-Raman spectroscopies. Untreated silk fibroin and sericin displayed typical spectral features due to characteristic amino acid composition and molecular conformation (prevailing β-sheet with a less ordered structure in sericin). Upon sulphation, the degree of molecular disorder increased in both proteins and new bands appeared. The IR bands at 1049 and 1014 cm -1 were attributed to vibrations of sulphate salts and that at 1385 cm -1 to the νasSO 2 mode of organic covalent sulphates. In the 1300-1180 cm -1 range various contributions of alkyl and aryl sulphate salts, sulphonamides, sulphoamines and organic covalent sulphates, fell. Fibroin covalently bound sulphate groups through the hydroxyl groups of tyrosine and serine, while sericin through the hydroxyl groups of serine, since the δOH vibrations at 1399 cm -1 in IR and at 1408 cm -1 in Raman disappeared almost completely. Finally, the increase of the I850/ I830 intensity ratio of Raman tyrosine doublet in fibroin suggested a change towards a more exposed state of tyrosine residues, in good agreement with the more disordered conformation taken upon sulphation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-02

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

  14. Isolation and processing of silk proteins for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundu, Banani; Kurland, Nicholas E; Yadavalli, Vamsi K; Kundu, Subhas C

    2014-09-01

    Silk proteins of silkworms are chiefly composed of core fibroin protein and glycoprotein sericin that glues fibroin. Unique mechanical properties, cyto-compatibility and controllable biodegradability facilitate the use of fibroin in biomedical applications. Sericin serves as additive in cosmetic and food industries, as mitotic factor in cell culture media, anti-cancerous drug, anticoagulant and as biocompatible coating. For all these uses; aqueous solutions of silk proteins are preferred. Therefore, an accurate understanding of extraction procedure of silk proteins from their sources is critical. A number of protocols exist, amongst which it is required to settle a precise and easy one with desired yield and least down-stream processing. Here, we report extraction of proteins employing methods mentioned in literature using cocoons of mulberry and nonmulberry silks. This study reveals sodium carbonate salt-boiling system is the most efficient sericin extraction procedure for all silk variants. Lithium bromide is observed as the effective fibroin dissolution system for mulberry silk cocoons; whereas heterogeneous species-dependent result is obtained in case of nonmulberry species. We further show the effect of common post processing on nanoscale morphology of mulberry silk fibroin films. This knowledge eases the adoption and fabrication of silk biomaterials in devices and therapeutic delivery systems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Tubuliform silk protein: A protein with unique molecular characteristics and mechanical properties in the spider silk fibroin family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, M.; Lewis, R. V.

    2006-02-01

    Orb-web weavers can produce up to six different types of silk and a glue for various functions. Tubuliform silk is unique among them due to its distinct amino acid composition, specific time of production, and atypical mechanical properties. To study the protein composing this silk, tubuliform gland cDNA libraries were constructed from three orb-weaving spiders Argiope aurantia, Araneus gemmoides, and Nephila clavipes. Amino acid composition comparison between the predicted tubuliform silk protein sequence (TuSp1) and the corresponding gland protein confirms that TuSp1 is the major component in tubuliform gland in three spiders. Sequence analysis suggests that TuSp1 shares no significant similarity with its paralogues, while it has conserved sequence motifs with the most primitive spider, Euagrus chisoseus silk protein. The presence of large side-chain amino acids in TuSp1 sequence is consistent with the frustrated β-sheet crystalline structure of tubuliform silk observed in transmission electron microscopy. Repeat unit comparison within species as well as among three spiders exhibits high sequence conservation. Parsimony analysis based on carboxy terminal sequence shows that Argiope and Araneus are more closely related than either is to Nephila which is consistent with phylogenetic analysis based on morphological evidence.

  16. Acid-induced assembly of a reconstituted silk protein system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabatabai, A. Pasha; Weigandt, Katie M.; Blair, Daniel L.

    2017-08-01

    Silk cocoons are reconstituted into an aqueous suspension, and protein stability is investigated by comparing the protein's response to hydrochloric acid and sodium chloride. Aggregation occurs for systems mixed with hydrochloric acid, while sodium chloride over the same range of concentrations does not cause aggregation. We measure the structures present on the protein and aggregate length scales in these solutions using both optical and small-angle neutron scattering, while mass spectrometry techniques shed light on a possible mechanism for aggregate formation. We find that the introduction of acid modulates the aggregate size and pervaded volume of the protein, an effect that is not observed with salt.

  17. 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)

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. Structure, evolution, and expression of antimicrobial silk proteins, seroins in Lepidoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhaoming; Song, Qianru; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Shiyi; Zhang, Xiaolu; Zhao, Ping; Xia, Qingyou

    2016-08-01

    The silks of silkworm and waxworm contain abundant antimicrobial proteins, including protease inhibitors and seroins. Protease inhibitors have antifungal activities, whereas seroins have antiviral and antibacterial activities. In order to obtain insights into the structure, evolution, and expression of seroins, we performed an extensive survey based on the available genome, transcriptome, and expressed sequence tags datasets. Sixty-four seroins were identified in 32 lepidopteran species. The phylogenetic and structural analyses revealed that seroins can be classified into five subfamilies: seroin 1, seroin 2, seroin 3, seroin 2 + 1, and seroin 3 + 3. It is interesting that seroin 2 + 1 contains two tandem seroin domains, seroin 2 and seroin 1, whereas seroin 3 + 3 has two tandem seroin 3 domains. Each seroin domain contains a proline-rich N-terminal motif and a conserved C-terminal motif. The transcriptome and EST data indicated that seroin 1 and seroin 2 genes were expressed in the silk gland but seroin 3 genes were not. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR and western blot analyses suggested that seroin 1 and seroin 2 were constantly accumulated in the silk gland of silkworm during the fifth instar, and then secreted into cocoon silk during spinning. Immunofluorescence analyses indicated that seroin 1 was secreted into the fibroin and sericin layers, whereas seroin 2 protein was only secreted into the sericin layer. However, the antimicrobial activity of seroin 2 was more effective than that of seroin 1. The presence of seroin 1 in the fibroin layer suggested that this protein not only acts as an antimicrobial protein, but might also play a role in the assembly and secretion of fibroins. Seroin 3, which was first identified here, might be related to pheromone synthesis or recognition, as it was highly expressed in male antennae and in the pheromone gland. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. Silks as ancient models for modern polymers

    OpenAIRE

    Vollrath, Fritz; Porter, David

    2009-01-01

    Silks have a great potential as sustainable, ecologically benign commercial polymers. Here we discuss this fascinating bio-material by merging the biologist's with the polymer scientist's views i.e. combine insights into the characterisation and understanding of evolved structure, property and function in natural silk proteins with the broad scope of applied disciplines ranging from molecular modelling to rheology and mechanical testing. We conclude that silk cannot be defined simply by only ...

  4. Isolation of the smallest component of silk protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokutake, S

    1980-01-01

    Silk proteins were solubilized from cocoons with ethylenediamine/cupric hydroxide solution. A series of polymers of the smallest component, detected by polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis, could be converted into the smallest component by reduction and aminoethylation. Fibroin and sericin fractions were separated by precipitation of sericin at pH 5.5. On gel electrophoresis, sericin showed distinct bands but fibroin did not. The components of fibroin and sericin were fractionated by gel filtration on Sepharose 6B. The smallest component in the sericin fraction was purified by rechromatography and showed a single band on gel electrophoresis. Its mol. wt. was 24 000, and its amino acid composition was determined. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 4. PMID:7396855

  5. 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%.

  6. Conferring biological activity to native spider silk: A biofunctionalized protein-based microfiber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hsuan-Chen; Quan, David N; Tsao, Chen-Yu; Liu, Yi; Terrell, Jessica L; Luo, Xiaolong; Yang, Jen-Chang; Payne, Gregory F; Bentley, William E

    2017-01-01

    Spider silk is an extraordinary material with physical properties comparable to the best scaffolding/structural materials, and as a fiber it can be manipulated with ease into a variety of configurations. Our work here demonstrates that natural spider silk fibers can also be used to organize biological components on and in devices through rapid and simple means. Micron scale spider silk fibers (5-10 μm in diameter) were surface modified with a variety of biological entities engineered with pentaglutamine tags via microbial transglutaminase (mTG). Enzymes, enzyme pathways, antibodies, and fluorescent proteins were all assembled onto spider silk fibers using this biomolecular engineering/biofabrication process. Additionally, arrangement of biofunctionalized fiber should in of itself generate a secondary level of biomolecular organization. Toward this end, as proofs of principle, spatially defined arrangement of biofunctionalized spider silk fiber was shown to generate effects specific to silk position in two cases. In one instance, arrangement perpendicular to a flow produced selective head and neck carcinoma cell capture on silk with antibodies complexed to conjugated protein G. In a second scenario, asymmetric bacterial chemotaxis arose from asymmetric conjugation of enzymes to arranged silk. Overall, the biofabrication processes used here were rapid, required no complex chemistries, were biologically benign, and also the resulting engineered silk microfibers were flexible, readily manipulated and functionally active. Deployed here in microfluidic environments, biofunctional spider silk fiber provides a means to convey complex biological functions over a range of scales, further extending its potential as a biomaterial in biotechnological settings. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 83-95. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Comparative proteomics reveal diverse functions and dynamic changes of Bombyx mori silk proteins spun from different development stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhaoming; Zhao, Ping; Wang, Chen; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Jianping; Wang, Xin; Lin, Ying; Xia, Qingyou

    2013-11-01

    Silkworms (Bombyx mori) produce massive amounts of silk proteins to make cocoons during the final stages of larval development. Although the major components, fibroin and sericin, have been the focus for a long time, few researchers have realized the complexity of the silk proteome. We collected seven kinds of silk fibers spun by silkworm larvae at different developmental stages: the silks spun by new hatched larvae, second instar day 0 larvae, third instar day 0 larvae, fourth instar day 0 larvae, and fourth instar molting larvae, the scaffold silk used to attach the cocoon to the substrate and the cocoon silk. Analysis by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry identified 500 proteins from the seven silks. In addition to the expected fibroins, sericins, and some known protease inhibitors, we also identified further protease inhibitors, enzymes, proteins of unknown function, and other proteins. Unsurprisingly, our quantitative results showed fibroins and sericins were the most abundant proteins in all seven silks. Except for fibroins and sericins, protease inhibitors, enzymes, and proteins of unknown function were more abundant than other proteins. We found significant change in silk protein compositions through development, being consistent with their different biological functions and complicated formation.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Convergently-evolved structural anomalies in the coiled coil domains of insect silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Tara D; Trueman, Holly E; Walker, Andrew A; Weisman, Sarah; Campbell, Peter M; Dong, Zhaoming; Huson, Mickey G; Woodhead, Andrea L; Church, Jeffrey S

    2014-06-01

    The use of coiled coil proteins as the basis of silk materials is an engineering solution that has evolved convergently in at least five insect lineages-the stinging hymenopterans (ants, bees, hornets), argid sawflies, fleas, lacewings, and praying mantises-and persisted throughout large radiations of these insect families. These coiled coil silk proteins share a characteristic distinct from other coiled coil proteins, in that they are fabricated into solid materials after accumulating as highly concentrated solutions within dedicated glands. Here, we relate the amino acid sequences of these proteins to the secondary and tertiary structural information available from biophysical methods such as X-ray scattering, nuclear magnetic resonance and Raman spectroscopy. We investigate conserved and convergently evolved features within these proteins and compare these to the features of classic coiled coil proteins including tropomyosin and leucine zippers. Our analysis finds that the coiled coil domains of insect silk proteins have several common structural anomalies including a high prevalence of alanine residues in core positions. These atypical features of the coiled coil fibrous proteins - which likely produce deviations from canonical coiled-coil structure - likely exist due to selection pressures related to the process of silk fabrication and the final function of the proteins. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Neuenfeldt

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. Integration of silk protein in organic and light-emitting transistors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capelli, R.; Amsden, J. J.; Generali, G.; Toffanin, S.; Benfenati, V.; Muccini, M.; Kaplan, D. L.; Omenetto, F. G.; Zamboni, R.

    2012-01-01

    We present the integration of a natural protein into electronic and optoelectronic devices by using silk fibroin as a thin film dielectric in an organic thin film field-effect transistor (OFET) ad an organic light emitting transistor device (OLET) structures. Both n- (perylene) and p-type (thiophene) silk-based OFETs are demonstrated. The measured electrical characteristics are in agreement with high-efficiency standard organic transistors, namely charge mobility of the order of 10-2 cm2/Vs and on/off ratio of 104. The silk-based optolectronic element is an advanced unipolar n-type OLET that yields a light emission of 100nW. PMID:22899899

  18. Sequence basis of Barnacle Cement Nanostructure is Defined by Proteins with Silk Homology

    Science.gov (United States)

    So, Christopher R.; Fears, Kenan P.; Leary, Dagmar H.; Scancella, Jenifer M.; Wang, Zheng; Liu, Jinny L.; Orihuela, Beatriz; Rittschof, Dan; Spillmann, Christopher M.; Wahl, Kathryn J.

    2016-11-01

    Barnacles adhere by producing a mixture of cement proteins (CPs) that organize into a permanently bonded layer displayed as nanoscale fibers. These cement proteins share no homology with any other marine adhesives, and a common sequence-basis that defines how nanostructures function as adhesives remains undiscovered. Here we demonstrate that a significant unidentified portion of acorn barnacle cement is comprised of low complexity proteins; they are organized into repetitive sequence blocks and found to maintain homology to silk motifs. Proteomic analysis of aggregate bands from PAGE gels reveal an abundance of Gly/Ala/Ser/Thr repeats exemplified by a prominent, previously unidentified, 43 kDa protein in the solubilized adhesive. Low complexity regions found throughout the cement proteome, as well as multiple lysyl oxidases and peroxidases, establish homology with silk-associated materials such as fibroin, silk gum sericin, and pyriform spidroins from spider silk. Distinct primary structures defined by homologous domains shed light on how barnacles use low complexity in nanofibers to enable adhesion, and serves as a starting point for unraveling the molecular architecture of a robust and unique class of adhesive nanostructures.

  19. 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.

  20. Air filter devices including nonwoven meshes of electrospun recombinant spider silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Gregor; Jokisch, Stephan; Scheibel, Thomas

    2013-05-08

    Based on the natural sequence of Araneus diadematus Fibroin 4 (ADF4), the recombinant spider silk protein eADF4(C16) has been engineered. This highly repetitive protein has a molecular weight of 48kDa and is soluble in different solvents (hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP), formic acid and aqueous buffers). eADF4(C16) provides a high potential for various technical applications when processed into morphologies such as films, capsules, particles, hydrogels, coatings, fibers and nonwoven meshes. Due to their chemical stability and controlled morphology, the latter can be used to improve filter materials. In this protocol, we present a procedure to enhance the efficiency of different air filter devices, by deposition of nonwoven meshes of electrospun recombinant spider silk proteins. Electrospinning of eADF4(C16) dissolved in HFIP results in smooth fibers. Variation of the protein concentration (5-25% w/v) results in different fiber diameters (80-1,100 nm) and thus pore sizes of the nonwoven mesh. Post-treatment of eADF4(C16) electrospun from HFIP is necessary since the protein displays a predominantly α-helical secondary structure in freshly spun fibers, and therefore the fibers are water soluble. Subsequent treatment with ethanol vapor induces formation of water resistant, stable β-sheet structures, preserving the morphology of the silk fibers and meshes. Secondary structure analysis was performed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and subsequent Fourier self-deconvolution (FSD). The primary goal was to improve the filter efficiency of existing filter substrates by adding silk nonwoven layers on top. To evaluate the influence of electrospinning duration and thus nonwoven layer thickness on the filter efficiency, we performed air permeability tests in combination with particle deposition measurements. The experiments were carried out according to standard protocols.

  1. Air Filter Devices Including Nonwoven Meshes of Electrospun Recombinant Spider Silk Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Gregor; Jokisch, Stephan; Scheibel, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Based on the natural sequence of Araneus diadematus Fibroin 4 (ADF4), the recombinant spider silk protein eADF4(C16) has been engineered. This highly repetitive protein has a molecular weight of 48kDa and is soluble in different solvents (hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP), formic acid and aqueous buffers). eADF4(C16) provides a high potential for various technical applications when processed into morphologies such as films, capsules, particles, hydrogels, coatings, fibers and nonwoven meshes. Due to their chemical stability and controlled morphology, the latter can be used to improve filter materials. In this protocol, we present a procedure to enhance the efficiency of different air filter devices, by deposition of nonwoven meshes of electrospun recombinant spider silk proteins. Electrospinning of eADF4(C16) dissolved in HFIP results in smooth fibers. Variation of the protein concentration (5-25% w/v) results in different fiber diameters (80-1,100 nm) and thus pore sizes of the nonwoven mesh. Post-treatment of eADF4(C16) electrospun from HFIP is necessary since the protein displays a predominantly α-helical secondary structure in freshly spun fibers, and therefore the fibers are water soluble. Subsequent treatment with ethanol vapor induces formation of water resistant, stable β-sheet structures, preserving the morphology of the silk fibers and meshes. Secondary structure analysis was performed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and subsequent Fourier self-deconvolution (FSD). The primary goal was to improve the filter efficiency of existing filter substrates by adding silk nonwoven layers on top. To evaluate the influence of electrospinning duration and thus nonwoven layer thickness on the filter efficiency, we performed air permeability tests in combination with particle deposition measurements. The experiments were carried out according to standard protocols. PMID:23685883

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Amanda

    2015-11-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Minimum inhibitory concentration of irradiated silk protein powder for bacterial activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tuntivisoottikul, Kunya; Bunnak, Jintana [King Mongkut' s Institute of Technology Chaokhun Taharn Ladkrabang, Faculty of Industrial Education, Dept. of Agricultural Educaiton, Bangkok (Thailand); Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2002-03-01

    The objective of this research was to study a minimum concentration level of irradiated silk protein powder, which inhibited bacterial activity. The concentration of 100 kGy irradiated silk protein powder (ISP) solution was ranged from 5 to 15% in distilled water. The activities of three types of bacteria, Escherichia coli B/r, Bacillus subtilis M3-1 and Staphylococcus aureus K, were tested by using minimum inhibition concentration method (MIC). The results indicated that the minimum concentration level that inhibited growth of E. coli B/r and S. aureus K was 5% ISP and all concentration levels studied could not inhibit the Bacilus subtilis M3-1 activity. (author)

  5. 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

  6. 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

    2016-01-01

    Hox genes 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 Hox genes can also function in terminally differentiated tissue of the lepidopteran Bombyx mori. In this species, Antennapedia (Antp) regulates expression of sericin-1, a major silk protein gene, in the silk gland. Here, we investigated whether Antp can regulate expression of multiple genes in this tissue. By means of proteomic, RT-PCR, and in situ hybridization analyses, we demonstrate that misexpression of Antp in the posterior silk gland induced ectopic expression of major silk protein genes such as sericin-3, fhxh4, and fhxh5. These genes are normally expressed specifically in the middle silk gland as is Antp. Therefore, the evidence strongly suggests that Antp activates these silk protein genes in the middle silk gland. The putative sericin-1 activator complex (middle silk gland-intermolt-specific complex) can bind to the upstream regions of these genes, suggesting that Antp directly activates their expression. We also found that the pattern of gene expression was well conserved between B. mori and 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 Hox genes have a role as a master control in terminally differentiated tissues, possibly acting as a primary regulator for a range of physiological processes. PMID:26814126

  7. Heterogeneous nucleation of hydroxyapatite on protein: structural effect of silk sericin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Akari; Ohtsuki, Chikara; Miyazaki, Toshiki; Kamitakahara, Masanobu; Ogata, Shin-ichi; Yamazaki, Masao; Furutani, Yoshiaki; Kinoshita, Hisao; Tanihara, Masao

    2005-01-01

    Acidic proteins play an important role during mineral formation in biological systems, but the mechanism of mineral formation is far from understood. In this paper, we report on the relationship between the structure of a protein and hydroxyapatite deposition under biomimetic conditions. Sericin, a type of silk protein, was adopted as a suitable protein for studying structural effect on hydroxyapatite deposition, since it forms a hydroxyapatite layer on its surface in a metastable calcium phosphate solution, and its structure has been reported. Sericin effectively induced hydroxyapatite nucleation when it has high molecular weight and a β sheet structure. This indicates that the specific structure of a protein can effectively induce heterogeneous nucleation of hydroxyapatite in a biomimetic solution, i.e. a metastable calcium phosphate solution. This finding is useful in understanding biomineralization, as well as for the design of organic polymers that can effectively induce hydroxyapatite nucleation. PMID:16849195

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-05

    reviewing instructions, searching existing   data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of...saliva, or urine , and their collection and storage is critical to obtain reliable results. Without proper temperature regulation protein biomarkers in...is demonstrated to be compatible with a number of immunoassays while providing enhanced sample preservation in comparison to traditional air-drying

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, Neety; Pal, Shilpa; Sapru, Sunaina; Kundu, Joydip; Talukdar, Sarmistha; Singh, N. Ibotambi; Yao, Juming

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27517047

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, Neety; Pal, Shilpa; Sapru, Sunaina; Kundu, Joydip; Talukdar, Sarmistha; Singh, N Ibotambi; Yao, Juming; Kundu, Subhas C

    2016-01-01

    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.

  18. Silk-fibronectin protein alloy fibres support cell adhesion and viability as a high strength, matrix fibre analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobsen, Matthew M.; Li, David; Gyune Rim, Nae; Backman, Daniel; Smith, Michael L.; Wong, Joyce Y.

    2017-04-01

    Silk is a natural polymer with broad utility in biomedical applications because it exhibits general biocompatibility and high tensile material properties. While mechanical integrity is important for most biomaterial applications, proper function and integration also requires biomaterial incorporation into complex surrounding tissues for many physiologically relevant processes such as wound healing. In this study, we spin silk fibroin into a protein alloy fibre with whole fibronectin using wet spinning approaches in order to synergize their respective strength and cell interaction capabilities. Results demonstrate that silk fibroin alone is a poor adhesive surface for fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and vascular smooth muscle cells in the absence of serum. However, significantly improved cell attachment is observed to silk-fibronectin alloy fibres without serum present while not compromising the fibres’ mechanical integrity. Additionally, cell viability is improved up to six fold on alloy fibres when serum is present while migration and spreading generally increase as well. These findings demonstrate the utility of composite protein alloys as inexpensive and effective means to create durable, biologically active biomaterials.

  19. 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.

  20. Proteomic Evidence for Components of Spider Silk Synthesis from Black Widow Silk Glands and Fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaw, Ro Crystal; Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Clarke, Thomas H; Ayoub, Nadia A; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2015-10-02

    Spider silk research has largely focused on spidroins, proteins that are the primary components of spider silk fibers. Although a number of spidroins have been characterized, other types of proteins associated with silk synthesis are virtually unknown. Previous analyses of tissue-specific RNA-seq libraries identified 647 predicted genes that were differentially expressed in silk glands of the Western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus. Only ∼5% of these silk-gland specific transcripts (SSTs) encode spidroins; although the remaining predicted genes presumably encode other proteins associated with silk production, this is mostly unverified. Here, we used proteomic analysis of multiple silk glands and dragline silk fiber to investigate the translation of the differentially expressed genes. We find 48 proteins encoded by the differentially expressed transcripts in L. hesperus major ampullate, minor ampullate, and tubuliform silk glands and detect 17 SST encoded proteins in major ampullate silk fibers. The observed proteins include known silk-related proteins, but most are uncharacterized, with no annotation. These unannotated proteins likely include novel silk-associated proteins. Major and minor ampullate glands have the highest overlap of identified proteins, consistent with their shared, distinctive ampullate shape and the overlapping functions of major and minor ampullate silks. Our study substantiates and prioritizes predictions from differential expression analysis of spider silk gland transcriptomes.

  1. Spider Silk-CBD-Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites: Mechanism of Assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirovitch, Sigal; Shtein, Zvi; Ben-Shalom, Tal; Lapidot, Shaul; Tamburu, Carmen; Hu, Xiao; Kluge, Jonathan A; Raviv, Uri; Kaplan, David L; Shoseyov, Oded

    2016-09-18

    The fabrication of cellulose-spider silk bio-nanocomposites comprised of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and recombinant spider silk protein fused to a cellulose binding domain (CBD) is described. Silk-CBD successfully binds cellulose, and unlike recombinant silk alone, silk-CBD self-assembles into microfibrils even in the absence of CNCs. Silk-CBD-CNC composite sponges and films show changes in internal structure and CNC alignment related to the addition of silk-CBD. The silk-CBD sponges exhibit improved thermal and structural characteristics in comparison to control recombinant spider silk sponges. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of the silk-CBD sponge was higher than the control silk sponge and similar to native dragline spider silk fibers. Gel filtration analysis, dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated that silk-CBD, but not the recombinant silk control, formed a nematic liquid crystalline phase similar to that observed in native spider silk during the silk spinning process. Silk-CBD microfibrils spontaneously formed in solution upon ultrasonication. We suggest a model for silk-CBD assembly that implicates CBD in the central role of driving the dimerization of spider silk monomers, a process essential to the molecular assembly of spider-silk nanofibers and silk-CNC composites.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Hypoxia and Amino Acid Supplementation Synergistically Promote the Osteogenesis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Silk Protein Scaffolds

    OpenAIRE

    Sengupta, Sejuti; Park, Sang-Hyug; Patel, Atur; Carn, Julia; Lee, Kyongbum; Kaplan, David L.

    2010-01-01

    Tailoring tissue engineering strategies to match patient- and tissue-specific bone regeneration needs offers to improve clinical outcomes. As a step toward this goal, osteogenic outcomes and metabolic parameters were assessed when varying inputs into the bone formation process. Silk protein scaffolds seeded with human mesenchymal stem cells in osteogenic differentiation media were used to study in vitro osteogenesis under varied conditions of amino acid (lysine and proline) concentration and ...

  5. Characterization of iron oxide nanoparticles in structural silk-elastinlike protein polymer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Jennifer

    The structure of silk elastin-like protein (SELP) block copolymers containing Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles are investigated. These materials have potential applications for hyperthermia cancer therapy. SELPs undergo a gel transition at physiological temperatures, which can be used to localize delivery of nanoparticles at tumor sites. Vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and small angle neutron scattering (SANS) are used to characterize the nanoparticles and the SELP-nanoparticle nanocomposite system. A series of nanoparticles with three different nominal diameters, 30, 50 and 80 nm, were added to 4 and 8 wt.% SELP samples. Different functionalities on the nanoparticle surface affect their interactions with SELP. The 50 nm nanoparticles in SELP exhibit chaining (linear association of the nanoparticles), while the 30 nm nanoparticles are too small and settle out of the polymer mesh and the 80 nm nanoparticles tend to cluster without any regard for SELP structure. The SELP concentration does not have a major affect on nanoparticle behavior in the nanocomposites.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Characterizing the secondary protein structure of black widow dragline silk using solid-state NMR and 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

    2013-10-14

    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) (13)C-(13)C through-space and through-bond solid-state NMR experiments provide chemical shifts that are used to determine detailed information about the 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)), 3(1)-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 3(1)-helical (poly(Gly-Gly-X(aa))) regions, while serine is present in β-sheet (poly(Gly-Ala-Ser)), 3(1)-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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-06

    process of dragline silk and move into studying the dopes spiders use to spin egg cases (tubuliform and aciniform) and wrap prey (aciniform). We... drops dramatically at a pH = 4 leading to rapid fiber formation. When the dope is close to the spinneret, decreasing the pH below 4 can accelerate the...Weber, W.S., Mou, Q., Yarger, J.L., Lewis, R.V., “Mechanical and Physical Properties of Recombinant Spider Silk Films Using Organic and Aqueous

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-23

    ns ity ( 10 4 a .u .) Raman shift (cm-1) Fiber type scaffold gravity bridge healthy 6 (5). Thermal transport in Loxosceles laeta silk and...effect of spinning speed on  The thermal diffusivity of another type of spider ( Loxosceles laeta , Ll) silk was studied in this section. This was the...spectra of Nephila clavipes (a) and Loxosceles laeta (b) major ampullate silks spun at different rates. Their thermal diffusivity ranged from 3.44

  15. 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.

  16. 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 biocompatib......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...

  17. Silk nanofibril self-assembly versus electrospinning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humenik, Martin; Lang, Gregor; Scheibel, Thomas

    2018-02-02

    Natural silk fibers represent one of the most advanced blueprints for (bio)polymer scientists, displaying highly optimized mechanical properties due to their hierarchical structures. Biotechnological production of silk proteins and implementation of advanced processing methods enabled harnessing the potential of these biopolymer not just based on the mechanical properties. In addition to fibers, diverse morphologies can be produced, such as nonwoven meshes, films, hydrogels, foams, capsules and particles. Among them, nanoscale fibrils and fibers are particularly interesting concerning medical and technical applications due to their biocompatibility, environmental and mechanical robustness as well as high surface-to-volume ratio. Therefore, we introduce here self-assembly of silk proteins into hierarchically organized structures such as supramolecular nanofibrils and fabricated materials based thereon. As an alternative to self-assembly, we also present electrospinning a technique to produce nanofibers and nanofibrous mats. Accordingly, we introduce a broad range of silk-based dopes, used in self-assembly and electrospinning: natural silk proteins originating from natural spinning glands, natural silk protein solutions reconstituted from fibers, engineered recombinant silk proteins designed from natural blueprints, genetic fusions of recombinant silk proteins with other structural or functional peptides and moieties, as well as hybrids of recombinant silk proteins chemically conjugated with nonproteinaceous biotic or abiotic molecules. We highlight the advantages but also point out drawbacks of each particular production route. The scope includes studies of the natural self-assembly mechanism during natural silk spinning, production of silk fibrils as new nanostructured non-native scaffolds allowing dynamic morphological switches, as well as studying potential applications. This article is categorized under:  Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials

  18. 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.

  19. Silk from crickets: a new twist on spinning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Andrew A; Weisman, Sarah; Church, Jeffrey S; Merritt, David J; Mudie, Stephen T; Sutherland, Tara D

    2012-01-01

    Raspy crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllacrididae) are unique among the orthopterans in producing silk, which is used to build shelters. This work studied the material composition and the fabrication of cricket silk for the first time. We examined silk-webs produced in captivity, which comprised cylindrical fibers and flat films. Spectra obtained from micro-Raman experiments indicated that the silk is composed of protein, primarily in a beta-sheet conformation, and that fibers and films are almost identical in terms of amino acid composition and secondary structure. The primary sequences of four silk proteins were identified through a mass spectrometry/cDNA library approach. The most abundant silk protein was large in size (300 and 220 kDa variants), rich in alanine, glycine and serine, and contained repetitive sequence motifs; these are features which are shared with several known beta-sheet forming silk proteins. Convergent evolution at the molecular level contrasts with development by crickets of a novel mechanism for silk fabrication. After secretion of cricket silk proteins by the labial glands they are fabricated into mature silk by the labium-hypopharynx, which is modified to allow the controlled formation of either fibers or films. Protein folding into beta-sheet structure during silk fabrication is not driven by shear forces, as is reported for other silks.

  20. Luminescent golden silk and fabric through in situ chemically coating pristine-silk with gold nanoclusters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Pu; Lan, Jing; Wang, Yi; Xiong, Zu Hong; Huang, Cheng Zhi

    2015-01-01

    Silk is an excellent natural material and has been used for a variety of applications. Modification of the pristine silk is usually needed depending on the intended purpose. The technical treatments involved in the modification not only should be easy, rapid, environmentally friendly, and cheap but should also retain the features of the pristine silk. Herein, we demonstrate that luminescent silk and fabric can be produced through nanotechnology. The surface of the natural silk fiber is chemically coated with luminescent gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) composed of tens to hundreds of Au atoms through a redox reaction between the protein-based silk and an Au salt precursor. The luminescent silk coated with AuNCs (called golden silk) possesses good optical properties, including a relatively long wavelength emission, high quantum yields, a long fluorescent lifetime, and photostability. Moreover, golden silk prepared this way has better mechanical properties than pristine silk, is better able to inhibit UV, and has lower toxicity in vitro. This work not only provides an effective strategy for in situ preparation of luminescent metal nanoclusters on a solid substrate but also paves the way for large-scale and industrialized production of novel silk-based materials or fabrics through nanotechnology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Ras1(CA) overexpression in the posterior silk gland improves silk yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Li; Xu, Hanfu; Zhu, Jinqi; Ma, Sanyuan; Liu, Yan; Jiang, Rong-Jing; Xia, Qingyou; Li, Sheng

    2011-06-01

    Sericulture has been greatly advanced by applying hybrid breeding techniques to the domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori, but has reached a plateau during the last decades. For the first time, we report improved silk yield in a GAL4/UAS transgenic silkworm. Overexpression of the Ras1(CA) oncogene specifically in the posterior silk gland improved fibroin production and silk yield by 60%, while increasing food consumption by only 20%. Ras activation by Ras1(CA) overexpression in the posterior silk gland enhanced phosphorylation levels of Ras downstream effector proteins, up-regulated fibroin mRNA levels, increased total DNA content, and stimulated endoreplication. Moreover, Ras1 activation increased cell and nuclei sizes, enriched subcellular organelles related to protein synthesis, and stimulated ribosome biogenesis for mRNA translation. We conclude that Ras1 activation increases cell size and protein synthesis in the posterior silk gland, leading to silk yield improvement.

  2. Microdissection of black widow spider silk-producing glands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery, Felicia; La Mattina, Coby; Tuton-Blasingame, Tiffany; Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Zhao, Liang; Franz, Andreas; Vierra, Craig

    2011-01-11

    Modern spiders spin high-performance silk fibers with a broad range of biological functions, including locomotion, prey capture and protection of developing offspring. Spiders accomplish these tasks by spinning several distinct fiber types that have diverse mechanical properties. Such specialization of fiber types has occurred through the evolution of different silk-producing glands, which function as small biofactories. These biofactories manufacture and store large quantities of silk proteins for fiber production. Through a complex series of biochemical events, these silk proteins are converted from a liquid into a solid material upon extrusion. Mechanical studies have demonstrated that spider silks are stronger than high-tensile steel. Analyses to understand the relationship between the structure and function of spider silk threads have revealed that spider silk consists largely of proteins, or fibroins, that have block repeats within their protein sequences. Common molecular signatures that contribute to the incredible tensile strength and extensibility of spider silks are being unraveled through the analyses of translated silk cDNAs. Given the extraordinary material properties of spider silks, research labs across the globe are racing to understand and mimic the spinning process to produce synthetic silk fibers for commercial, military and industrial applications. One of the main challenges to spinning artificial spider silk in the research lab involves a complete understanding of the biochemical processes that occur during extrusion of the fibers from the silk-producing glands. Here we present a method for the isolation of the seven different silk-producing glands from the cobweaving black widow spider, which includes the major and minor ampullate glands [manufactures dragline and scaffolding silk], tubuliform [synthesizes egg case silk], flagelliform [unknown function in cob-weavers], aggregate [makes glue silk], aciniform [synthesizes prey wrapping and egg

  3. 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.

  4. Hypoxia and amino acid supplementation synergistically promote the osteogenesis of human mesenchymal stem cells on silk protein scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Sejuti; Park, Sang-Hyug; Patel, Atur; Carn, Julia; Lee, Kyongbum; Kaplan, David L

    2010-12-01

    Tailoring tissue engineering strategies to match patient- and tissue-specific bone regeneration needs offers to improve clinical outcomes. As a step toward this goal, osteogenic outcomes and metabolic parameters were assessed when varying inputs into the bone formation process. Silk protein scaffolds seeded with human mesenchymal stem cells in osteogenic differentiation media were used to study in vitro osteogenesis under varied conditions of amino acid (lysine and proline) concentration and oxygen level. The cells were assessed to probe how the microenvironment impacted metabolic pathways and thus osteogenesis. The most favorable osteogenesis outcomes were found in the presence of low (5%) oxygen combined with high lysine and proline concentrations during in vitro cultivation. This same set of culture conditions also showed the highest glucose consumption, lactate synthesis, and certain amino acid consumption rates. On the basis of these results and known pathways, a holistic metabolic model was derived which shows that lysine and proline supplements as well as low (5%) oxygen levels regulate collagen matrix synthesis and thereby rates of osteogenesis. This study establishes early steps toward a foundation for patient- and tissue-specific matches between metabolism, repair site, and tissue engineering approaches toward optimized bone regeneration.

  5. 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

  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 fibroin protein-based nonwoven mats incorporating baicalein Chinese herbal extract: preparation, characterizations, and in vivo evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Wing P; Huang, Kuan-Chen; Bai, Meng-Yi

    2017-02-01

    In this study, we demonstrated a natural silk fibroin protein (SFP) that was blended with a Chinese herbal extract (baicalein, BAI) to obtain an effective combination for producing electrospun nonwoven mats with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial functions. A series of SFP-based electrospun nonwoven mats with additives of varying compositions were produced and investigated. Performance comparisons showed that the SFP/polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)/BAI nonwoven mat is the optimal one. In vitro, SFP/PVP/BAI nonwoven mat is effective in inhibiting the formation of nitrite in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitrite formation in Raw 264.7 macrophages model and the growth of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Especially in the case of SFP/PVP/BAI nonwoven mat, Bai has been proved to reach their maximum amount of releases of approximately 64.8% within 24 h of contact with water-based environment as compared to the SFP/BAI nonwoven mat (only 30.1% of release within 24 h). For in vivo experiments, a 1.2 cm × 1.2 cm wound area was created on the back of mice and seeded with 1 × 10 7 CFU/mL of S. aureus to induce an infected wound model. The experimental results show significant acceleration of the wound closure process in mice treated with SFP/PVP/BAI nonwoven mat (4 days of reduction as compared to the untreated group), reduction in infiltration of neutrophils, nitrite formation, and inhibition of growth of wound bacteria. Histological images of the group treated with SFP/PVP/BAI nonwoven mat showed a compete repair of skin hierarchy, increasing production of collagen fibers, and enhancement of angiogenesis. This may bring a better recovery of skin appearance after treatment. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 105B: 420-430, 2017. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. Growth factor-functionalized silk membranes support wound healing in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bienert, M; Hoss, M; Bartneck, M; Weinandy, S; Böbel, M; Jockenhövel, S; Knüchel, R; Pottbacker, K; Wöltje, M; Jahnen-Dechent, W; Neuss, S

    2017-08-16

    Chronic wounds represent a serious problem in daily medical routine requiring improved wound care. Silk of the domesticated silkworm (Bombyx mori) has been used to form a variety of biomaterials for medical applications. We genetically engineered B. mori to produce silk functionalized with growth factors to promote wound healing in vitro. In this study FGF-, EGF-, KGF-, PDGF- or VEGF-functionalized silk membranes were compared to native B. mori silk membranes without growth factors for their ability to support wound healing in vitro. All silk membranes were cytocompatible and supported macrophage secretion of neutrophil recruiting factor CXCL1 and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1). VEGF-functionalized silk significantly outperformed other growth factor-functionalized silk membranes, but not native silk in angiogenesis assays. In addition, EGF- and VEGF-functionalized silk membranes slightly enhanced macrophage adhesion compared to silk without growth factors. In wound healing assays in vitro (reduction of wound lesion), dermal equivalents showed a higher wound healing capacity when covered with EGF-, FGF- or VEGF-functionalized silk membranes compared to native, KGF- or PDGF-functionalized silk membranes. Keratinocyte migration and growth is overstimulated by KGF- and VEGF-functionalized silk membranes. In conclusion, growth factor-functionalized silk membranes prepared from genetically engineered silk worm glands are promising wound dressings for future wound healing therapies.

  12. 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.

  13. Sensitization to silk allergen among workers of silk filatures in India: a comparative study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowda, Giriyanna; Shivalingaiah, Anwith Huluvadi; Vijayeendra, Anagha Manakari; Sarkar, Nivedita; Nagaraj, Chitra; Masthi, Nugehally Raju Ramesh

    2016-04-01

    Sericulture plays an eminent role in development of rural economy in India. Silk filature is a unit where silk is unwound from the cocoons and the strands are collected into skeins. During the process workers are exposed to the high molecular weight proteins like Sericin and Fibroin which are potent allergens leading to sensitization over a period of time and subsequently occupational related health disorders. To identify and compare the magnitude of silk allergen sensitization in workers of silk filatures. A community based comparative descriptive study was conducted for a period of 1 year at Ramanagara in south India. One hundred twenty subjects working in the silk filatures formed the study group. For comparison, 2 types of controls were selected viz.120 subjects who were not working in the silk filatures but resided in the same geographical area (control A) and 360 subjects who were not working in silk filatures as well not residing in the same geographical area (control B). Skin prick test was used to identify the silk allergen sensitization. Mean age was 34.14 ± 2.84 years in the study group. Mean age was 40.59 ± 14.40 years and 38.54 ± 12.20 years in control A and control B, respectively. There were 35 males (29.16%) and 85 females (70.84%) in the study group. There were 58 (48.34%) males and 62 (51.66%) females and 152 (42.2%) males and 208 females (57.8%) in control A and control B, respectively. Sensitization to silk allergen was 35.83% in the study group and 20.83% in the control group A and 11.11% in control group B. There was difference in the allergen sensitivity between the study group and control groups and it was statistically significant (chi-square = 38.08; p < 0.001). There is high burden of silk allergen sensitization among silk filature workers.

  14. High-resolution NMR characterization of a spider-silk mimetic composed of 15 tandem repeats and a CRGD motif.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLachlan, Glendon D; Slocik, Joseph; Mantz, Robert; Kaplan, David; Cahill, Sean; Girvin, Mark; Greenbaum, Steve

    2009-01-01

    Multidimensional solution NMR spectroscopic techniques have been used to obtain atomic level information about a recombinant spider silk construct in hexafluoro-isopropanol (HFIP). The synthetic 49 kDa silk-like protein mimics authentic silk from Nephila clavipes, with the inclusion of an extracellular matrix recognition motif. 2D (1)H-(15)N HSQC NMR spectroscopy reveals 33 cross peaks, which were assigned to amino acid residues in the semicrystalline repeat units. Signals from the amorphous segments in the primary sequence were weak and broad, suggesting that this region is highly dynamic and undergoing conformational exchange. An analysis of the deviations of the (13)C(alpha), (13)C(beta), and (13)CO chemical shifts relative to the expected random coil values reveals two highly alpha-helical regions from amino acid 12-19 and 26-32, which comprise the polyalanine track and a GGLGSQ sequence. This finding is further supported by phi-value analysis and sequential and medium-range NOE interactions. Pulsed field gradient NMR measurements indicate that the topology of the silk mimetic in HFIP is nonglobular. Moreover, the 3D (15)N-NOESY HSQC spectrum exhibits few long-range NOEs. Similar spectral features have been observed for repeat modules in other polypeptides and are characteristic of an elongated conformation. The results provide a residue-specific description of a silk sequence in nonaqueous solution and may be insightful for understanding the fold and topology of highly concentrated, stable silk before spinning. Additionally, the insights obtained may find application in future design and large-scale production and storage of synthetic silks in organic solvents.

  15. Molecular studies of a novel dragline silk from a nursery web spider, Euprosthenops sp. (Pisauridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pouchkina-Stantcheva, Natalia N; McQueen-Mason, Simon J

    2004-08-01

    Various spider species produce dragline silks with different mechanical properties. The primary structure of silk proteins is thought to contribute to the elasticity and strength of the fibres. Previously published work has demonstrated that the dragline silk of Euprosthenops sp. is stiffer then comparable silk of Nephila edulis, Araneus diadematus and Latrodectus mactans. Our studies of Euprosthenops dragline silk at the molecular level have revealed that nursery web spider fibroin has the highest polyalanine content among previously characterised silks and this is likely to contribute to the superior qualities of pisaurid dragline.

  16. Exploring natural silk protein sericin for regenerative medicine: an injectable, photoluminescent, cell-adhesive 3D hydrogel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zheng; Zhang, Yeshun; Zhang, Jinxiang; Huang, Lei; Liu, Jia; Li, Yongkui; Zhang, Guozheng; Kundu, Subhas C.; Wang, Lin

    2014-11-01

    Sericin, a major component of silk, has a long history of being discarded as a waste during silk processing. The value of sericin for tissue engineering is underestimated and its potential application in regenerative medicine has just begun to be explored. Here we report the successful fabrication and characterization of a covalently-crosslinked 3D pure sericin hydrogel for delivery of cells and drugs. This hydrogel is injectable, permitting its implantation through minimally invasive approaches. Notably, this hydrogel is found to exhibit photoluminescence, enabling bioimaging and in vivo tracking. Moreover, this hydrogel system possesses excellent cell-adhesive capability, effectively promoting cell attachment, proliferation and long-term survival of various types of cells. Further, the sericin hydrogel releases bioactive reagents in a sustained manner. Additionally, this hydrogel demonstrates good elasticity, high porosity, and pH-dependent degradation dynamics, which are advantageous for this sericin hydrogel to serve as a delivery vehicle for cells and therapeutic drugs. With all these unique features, it is expected that this sericin hydrogel will have wide utility in the areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

  17. Comprehensive Proteomic Analysis of Spider Dragline Silk from Black Widows: A Recipe to Build Synthetic Silk Fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larracas, Camille; Hekman, Ryan; Dyrness, Simmone; Arata, Alisa; Williams, Caroline; Crawford, Taylor; Vierra, Craig A

    2016-09-13

    The outstanding material properties of spider dragline silk fibers have been attributed to two spidroins, major ampullate spidroins 1 and 2 (MaSp1 and MaSp2). Although dragline silk fibers have been treated with different chemical solvents to elucidate the relationship between protein structure and fiber mechanics, there has not been a comprehensive proteomic analysis of the major ampullate (MA) gland, its spinning dope, and dragline silk using a wide range of chaotropic agents, inorganic salts, and fluorinated alcohols to elucidate their complete molecular constituents. In these studies, we perform in-solution tryptic digestions of solubilized MA glands, spinning dope and dragline silk fibers using five different solvents, followed by nano liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis with an Orbitrap Fusion™ Tribrid™. To improve protein identification, we employed three different tryptic peptide fragmentation modes, which included collision-induced dissociation (CID), electron transfer dissociation (ETD), and high energy collision dissociation (HCD) to discover proteins involved in the silk assembly pathway and silk fiber. In addition to MaSp1 and MaSp2, we confirmed the presence of a third spidroin, aciniform spidroin 1 (AcSp1), widely recognized as the major constituent of wrapping silk, as a product of dragline silk. Our findings also reveal that MA glands, spinning dope, and dragline silk contain at least seven common proteins: three members of the Cysteine-Rich Protein Family (CRP1, CRP2 and CRP4), cysteine-rich secretory protein 3 (CRISP3), fasciclin and two uncharacterized proteins. In summary, this study provides a proteomic blueprint to construct synthetic silk fibers that most closely mimic natural fibers.

  18. Comprehensive Proteomic Analysis of Spider Dragline Silk from Black Widows: A Recipe to Build Synthetic Silk Fibers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camille Larracas

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The outstanding material properties of spider dragline silk fibers have been attributed to two spidroins, major ampullate spidroins 1 and 2 (MaSp1 and MaSp2. Although dragline silk fibers have been treated with different chemical solvents to elucidate the relationship between protein structure and fiber mechanics, there has not been a comprehensive proteomic analysis of the major ampullate (MA gland, its spinning dope, and dragline silk using a wide range of chaotropic agents, inorganic salts, and fluorinated alcohols to elucidate their complete molecular constituents. In these studies, we perform in-solution tryptic digestions of solubilized MA glands, spinning dope and dragline silk fibers using five different solvents, followed by nano liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS analysis with an Orbitrap Fusion™ Tribrid™. To improve protein identification, we employed three different tryptic peptide fragmentation modes, which included collision-induced dissociation (CID, electron transfer dissociation (ETD, and high energy collision dissociation (HCD to discover proteins involved in the silk assembly pathway and silk fiber. In addition to MaSp1 and MaSp2, we confirmed the presence of a third spidroin, aciniform spidroin 1 (AcSp1, widely recognized as the major constituent of wrapping silk, as a product of dragline silk. Our findings also reveal that MA glands, spinning dope, and dragline silk contain at least seven common proteins: three members of the Cysteine-Rich Protein Family (CRP1, CRP2 and CRP4, cysteine-rich secretory protein 3 (CRISP3, fasciclin and two uncharacterized proteins. In summary, this study provides a proteomic blueprint to construct synthetic silk fibers that most closely mimic natural fibers.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starrett, James; Garb, Jessica E; Kuelbs, Amanda; Azubuike, Ugochi O; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2012-01-01

    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 compositions of

  1. Probing the Impact of Acidification on Spider Silk Assembly Kinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dian; Guo, Chengchen; Holland, Gregory P

    2015-07-13

    Spiders utilize fine adjustment of the physicochemical conditions within its silk spinning system to regulate spidroin assembly into solid silk fibers with outstanding mechanical properties. However, the exact mechanism about which this occurs remains elusive and is still hotly debated. In this study, the effect of acidification on spider silk assembly was investigated on native spidroins from the major ampullate (MA) gland fluid excised from Latrodectus hesperus (Black Widow) spiders. Incubating the protein-rich MA silk gland fluid at acidic pH conditions results in the formation of silk fibers that are 10-100 μm in length and ∼2 μm in diameter as judged by optical and electron microscope methods. The in vitro spider silk assembly kinetics were monitored as a function of pH with a (13)C solid-state MAS NMR approach. The results confirm the importance of acidic pH in the spider silk self-assembly process with observation of a sigmoidal nucleation-elongation kinetic profile. The rates of nucleation and elongation as well as the percentage of β-sheet structure in the grown fibers depend on the pH. These results confirm the importance of an acidic pH gradient along the spinning duct for spider silk formation and provide a powerful spectroscopic approach to probe the kinetics of spider silk formation under various biochemical conditions.

  2. The potential of silk sericin protein as a serum substitute or an additive in cell culture and cryopreservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2017-06-01

    Cell culture and cryopreservation are necessary for clinical therapy and cells storage. The addition of 10% (v/v) foetal bovine serum (FBS) to basal culture media has been common practice and is one of the most widely used methods. FBS media added with 10% DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) have also been used for cryopreservation cells. Ideally, FBS should be avoided because of high cost and bio-safety. Silk sericin has been used as a serum substitute and an additive due to its good hydrophilicity and biological safety. This article summarizes a few details about the processing of sericin and its application as a serum substitute or an additive for cell culture and cryopreservation media. Sericin can be a potential novel serum substitute or an additive for cell culture and cryopreservation media.

  3. Silk fibroin from silk fibrous waste: characterization and electrospinning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaviria, A.; Sanchez-Diaz, S.; Ríos, A.; Peresin, M. S.; Restrepo-Osorio, A.

    2017-10-01

    In this work, the effect of fabrication parameters on silk fibroin (SF) nonwovens obtained by electrospinning were evaluated. Additionally, the relationship between secondary structures and thermal stability of the protein materials, with morphological characteristics of nonwovens obtained were analyzed. Silk fibroin in formic acid solution at 10% w/w was electrospun at 8 cm varying the ratio voltage/distance and flow rate. The nonwovens morphology was observed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and fibers diameter were determined with ImageJ software. The changes in the secondary structure of silk fibroin before and after electrospinning were studied by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) to evaluate the effect of electrospinning process in the molecular structure of SF. Optimum morphology of SF nonwovens were obtained at R = 1 kV/cm and low flow rate, these process parameters were related to higher contents of crystalline structures in the materials. Results showed that SF nonwovens obtained under controlled process parameters hold great potential to be utilized in several applications such as tissue engineering.

  4. Composition and Humidity Response of the Black Widow Spider's Gumfoot Silk and its Implications on Adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Zhang, Ci; Cool, Lydia Rose; Blackledge, Todd. A.; Wesdemiotis, Chrys; Miyoshi, Toshikazu; Dhinojwala, Ali

    Humidity plays an important part in the performance of biomaterials such as pollen, gecko toe, wheat awns, bird feathers and dragline silk. Capture silk produced by web building spiders form an interesting class of humidity responsive biological glues. The adhesive properties of the widely studied `viscid silk' produced by orbweb-weaving spiders is highly humidity sensitive. On the other hand, relatively less is known about the dependence of composition and humidity response towards adhesion for `gumfoot' silk produced by cobweb-weaving spiders. In the present study, we investigate the gumfoot silk produced by Black Widow using adhesion mechanics, microscopy and spectroscopic methods. The results show the presence of hygroscopic salts, glycoproteins and previously known spider coating peptides in silk and their importance in the humidity response and adhesion. The current study elucidates the role of constituents of capture silk in its adhesion mechanism and offers insights to novel ways for fabricating bio-inspired adhesives.

  5. The Silk-protein Sericin Induces Rapid Melanization of Cultured Primary Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells by Activating the NF-κB Pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eidet, J R; Reppe, S; Pasovic, L; Olstad, O K; Lyberg, T; Khan, A Z; Fostad, I G; Chen, D F; Utheim, T P

    2016-03-04

    Restoration of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to prevent further loss of vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration represents a promising novel treatment modality. Development of RPE transplants, however, requires up to 3 months of cell differentiation. We explored whether the silk protein sericin can induce maturation of primary human retinal pigment epithelial (hRPE) cells. Microarray analysis demonstrated that sericin up-regulated RPE-associated transcripts (RPE65 and CRALBP). Upstream analysis identified the NF-κB pathway as one of the top sericin-induced regulators. ELISA confirmed that sericin stimulates the main NF-κB pathway. Increased levels of RPE-associated proteins (RPE65 and the pigment melanin) in the sericin-supplemented cultures were confirmed by western blot, spectrophotometry and transmission electron microscopy. Sericin also increased cell density and reduced cell death following serum starvation in culture. Inclusion of NF-κB agonists and antagonists in the culture medium showed that activation of the NF-κB pathway appears to be necessary, but not sufficient, for sericin-induced RPE pigmentation. We conclude that sericin promotes pigmentation of cultured primary hRPE cells by activating the main NF-κB pathway. Sericin's potential role in culture protocols for rapid differentiation of hRPE cells derived from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells should be investigated.

  6. The development of a novel wound healing material, silk-elastin sponge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawabata, Shingo; Kawai, Katsuya; Somamoto, Satoshi; Noda, Kazuo; Matsuura, Yoshitaka; Nakamura, Yoko; Suzuki, Shigehiko

    2017-12-01

    Silk-elastin is a recombinant protein polymer with repeating units of silk and elastin blocks. This novel wound healing promoting material has the ability to self-assemble from a liquid to a gel. We have already reported that an aqueous solution of silk-elastin has the potential to accelerate wound healing; however, there are several problems in applying silk-elastin in the clinical setting. To solve these problems, we developed a silk-elastin sponge that is easy to use in the clinical setting. In the present study, we examined whether the wound healing effect of the silk-elastin sponge is equal to the aqueous solution of silk-elastin in vivo. The granulation tissue formation promoting effect of the silk-elastin sponge was equal to that of the aqueous solution the silk-elastin, as after application to the wound surface, the sponge was absorbed and dissolved by the exudate. At body temperature the silk-elastin then formed temperature gel. The silk-elastin gel that was obtained contained abundant cytokines from the exudate. We believe that silk-elastin sponge can be applied to various wounds that are difficult to treat with the aqueous solution.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. A three-dimensional multiporous fibrous scaffold fabricated with regenerated spider silk protein/poly(l-lactic acid) for tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qiaozhen; Sun, Chengjun

    2015-02-01

    An axially aligned three-dimensional (3-D) fibrous scaffold was fabricated with regenerated spider silk protein (RSSP)/poly (l-lactic acid) (PLLA) through electrospinning and post treatment. The morphology, mechanical and degradation properties of the scaffold were controlled through the weight ratio of RSSP to PLLA, the thickness of the scaffold and the treatment time. The scaffold with a weight ratio of 2:3 (RSSP:PLLA) had a nanoleaves-on-nanofibers hierarchical nanostructure; the length and thickness of the nanoleaves were about 400 and 30 nm, respectively. The holes of the scaffolds ranged from hundreds of nanometers to several microns. The scaffold showed an ideal mechanical property that it was stiff when dry, but became soft once hydrated in the culture medium. Its degradation rate was very slow in the first 2 months, and then accelerated in the following 2 months. The pH values of the degradation mediums of all the samples remained in the range of 7.40-7.12 during degradation for 6 months. It had good biocompatibility with PC 12 cells. The aligned hierarchical nanostructure could guide the directions of the axon extension. This scaffold has a potential application in Tissue Engineering and controlled release. This study provides a method to produce synthetic or natural biodegradable polymer scaffold with tailored morphology, mechanical, and degradation properties. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Blueprint for a high-performance biomaterial: full-length spider dragline silk genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia A Ayoub

    Full Text Available Spider dragline (major ampullate silk outperforms virtually all other natural and manmade materials in terms of tensile strength and toughness. For this reason, the mass-production of artificial spider silks through transgenic technologies has been a major goal of biomimetics research. Although all known arthropod silk proteins are extremely large (>200 kiloDaltons, recombinant spider silks have been designed from short and incomplete cDNAs, the only available sequences. Here we describe the first full-length spider silk gene sequences and their flanking regions. These genes encode the MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins that compose the black widow's high-performance dragline silk. Each gene includes a single enormous exon (>9000 base pairs that translates into a highly repetitive polypeptide. Patterns of variation among sequence repeats at the amino acid and nucleotide levels indicate that the interaction of selection, intergenic recombination, and intragenic recombination governs the evolution of these highly unusual, modular proteins. Phylogenetic footprinting revealed putative regulatory elements in non-coding flanking sequences. Conservation of both upstream and downstream flanking sequences was especially striking between the two paralogous black widow major ampullate silk genes. Because these genes are co-expressed within the same silk gland, there may have been selection for similarity in regulatory regions. Our new data provide complete templates for synthesis of recombinant silk proteins that significantly improve the degree to which artificial silks mimic natural spider dragline fibers.

  12. Infrared and Raman Study of the Recluse Spider Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, S. L.; Wang, Qijue; Xing, Zhen; Schniepp, H. C.; Qazilbash, M. M.

    Spider silk exhibits remarkable mechanical properties, such as high tensile strength and toughness. We want to gain insight into the composition and structure of spider silk to discover the origin of these properties. We are especially interested in the organization of the crystalline beta sheets that are expected to contribute to the high strength of the silk from the recluse spider, Loxosceles laeta. The recluse spider produces a silk that has a unique geometry amongst arachnids. We measure the silk's optical properties, particularly the infrared-active and Raman-active vibrations. Broadband infrared transmission spectra were collected in the spectral range between 600 cm-1 and 4000 cm-1, with light polarized parallel and perpendicular to the long axis of the silk. Raman micro-spectroscopy was performed in the spectral range 500 cm-1 and 4000 cm- 1 with a 514 nm laser. The infrared and Raman vibrational modes are fit with Lorentzian and pseudo-Voigt functions. The vibrational modes are assigned to specific structures and electronic bonds in the silk. This work was supported by NASA/ Virginia Space Grant Consortium.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Gumfooted lines in black widow cobwebs and the mechanical properties of spider capture silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackledge, Todd A; Summers, Adam P; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2005-01-01

    Orb-weaving spiders produce webs using two types of silk that have radically different mechanical properties. The dragline silk used to construct the supporting frame and radii of the web is stiff and as strong as steel, while the capture spiral is much weaker but more than ten times as extensible. This remarkable divergence in mechanical properties has been attributed to the aqueous glue that coats the capture spiral, which is thought to decrease capture spiral stiffness and increase its extensibility. However, discerning the effect of the aqueous glue on fiber performance is complicated because dragline silk and the capture spiral are assembled from different proteins, which may also affect mechanical performance. Here, we use the sticky gumfooted lines of black widow cobwebs to test the effect of the addition of aqueous glue on the mechanical properties of dragline silk. We also surveyed orb-webs spun by a broad range of species for bundles of looped silk. Such bundles, termed windlasses, have been thought to increase capture spiral extensibility by "paying out" additional lengths of silk. Our results suggest that neither plasticization of silk by aqueous glue nor excess silk in windlasses can by themselves account for the remarkable extensibility of orb-weaver capture silk compared to other spider silks. This argues that the unique amino acid motifs of the flagelliform fibroins that constitute the core of the capture spiral play an essential role in capture silk's extreme extensibility.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Katsuhiko

    2018-04-05

    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, two-dimensional fabrics, and three-dimensional 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. © 2018 IOP

  18. Proteomic Analysis of Silk Viability in Maize Inbred Lines and Their Corresponding Hybrids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhihui Ma

    Full Text Available A long period of silk viability is critical for a good seed setting rate in maize (Zea mays L., especially for inbred lines and hybrids with a long interval between anthesis and silking. To explore the molecular mechanism of silk viability and its heterosis, three inbred lines with different silk viability characteristics (Xun928, Lx9801, and Zong3 and their two hybrids (Xun928×Zong3 and Lx9801×Zong3 were analyzed at different developmental stages by a proteomic method. The differentially accumulated proteins were identified by mass spectrometry and classified into metabolism, protein biosynthesis and folding, signal transduction and hormone homeostasis, stress and defense responses, and cellular processes. Proteins involved in nutrient (methionine and energy (ATP supply, which support the pollen tube growth in the silk, were important for silk viability and its heterosis. The additive and dominant effects at a single locus, as well as complex epistatic interactions at two or more loci in metabolic pathways, were the primary contributors for mid-parent heterosis of silk viability. Additionally, the proteins involved in the metabolism of anthocyanins, which indirectly negatively regulate local hormone accumulation, were also important for the mid-parent heterosis of silk viability. These results also might imply the developmental dependence of heterosis, because many of the differentially accumulated proteins made distinct contributions to the heterosis of silk viability at specific developmental stages.

  19. 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.

  20. Evidence for antimicrobial activity associated with common house spider silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wright Simon

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spider silk is one of the most versatile materials in nature with great strength and flexibility. Native and synthetically produced silk has been used in a wide range of applications including the construction of artificial tendons and as substrates for human cell growth. In the literature there are anecdotal reports that suggest that native spider silk may also have antimicrobial properties. Findings In this study we compared the growth of a Gram positive and a Gram negative bacterium in the presence and absence of silk produced by the common house spider Tegenaria domestica. We demonstrate that native web silk of Tegenaria domestica can inhibit the growth of the Gram positive bacterium, Bacillus subtilis. No significant inhibition of growth was detected against the Gram negative bacterium, Escherichia coli. The antimicrobial effect against B. subtilis appears to be short lived thus the active agent potentially acts in a bacteriostatic rather than bactericidal manner. Treatment of the silk with Proteinase K appears to reduce the ability to inhibit bacterial growth. This is consistent with the active agent including a protein element that is denatured or cleaved by treatment. Tegenaria silk does not appear to inhibit the growth of mammalian cells in vitro thus there is the potential for therapeutic applications.

  1. G protein-coupled receptor accessory proteins and signaling: pharmacogenomic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Miles D; Cole, David E C; Jose, Pedro A; Chidiac, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The identification and characterization of the genes encoding G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and the proteins necessary for the processes of ligand binding, GPCR activation, inactivation, and receptor trafficking to the membrane are discussed in the context of human genetic disease. In addition to functional GPCR variants, the identification of genetic disruptions affecting proteins necessary to GPCR functions have provided insights into the function of these pathways. Gsα and Gβ subunit polymorphisms have been found to result in complex phenotypes. Disruptions in accessory proteins that normally modify or organize heterotrimeric G-protein coupling may also result in disease states. These include the contribution of variants of the regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) protein to hypertension; the role variants of the activator of G protein signaling (AGS) proteins to phenotypes (such as the type III AGS8 variant to hypoxia); the contribution of G protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK) proteins, such as GRK4, in disorders such as hypertension. The role of accessory proteins in GPCR structure and function is discussed in the context of genetic disorders associated with disruption of the genes that encode them. An understanding of the pharmacogenomics of GPCR and accessory protein signaling provides the basis for examining both GPCR pharmacogenetics and the genetics of monogenic disorders that result from disruption of given receptor systems.

  2. 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 (p<0.05) in which the maximum protein concentration (451.78 ± 0.110 µg/ml) was obtained at optimal condition of 70°C, 350 rpm and 1.25 hours. The discovery of spidroin from this study provides a basic platform for engineering spider silk to meet the demand for a variety of silk-based products in the near future.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Effect of Processing on Silk-Based Biomaterials: Reproducibility and Biocompatibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wray, Lindsay S.; Hu, Xiao; Gallego, Jabier; Georgakoudi, Irene; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Schmidt, Daniel; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Silk fibroin has been successfully used as a biomaterial for tissue regeneration. In order to prepare silk fibroin biomaterials for human implantation a series of processing steps are required to purify the protein. Degumming to remove inflammatory sericin is a crucial step related to biocompatibility and variability in the material. Detailed characterization of silk fibroin degumming is reported. The degumming conditions significantly affected cell viability on the silk fibroin material and the ability to form three-dimensional porous scaffolds from the silk fibroin, but did not affect macrophage activation or β-sheet content in the materials formed. Methods are also provided to determine the content of residual sericin in silk fibroin solutions and to assess changes in silk fibroin molecular weight. Amino acid composition analysis was used to detect sericin residuals in silk solutions with a detection limit between 1.0% and 10% wt/wt, while fluorescence spectroscopy was used to reproducibly distinguish between silk samples with different molecular weights. Both methods are simple and require minimal sample volume, providing useful quality control tools for silk fibroin preparation processes. PMID:21695778

  6. Functional silk: colored and luminescent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tansil, Natalia C; Koh, Leng Duei; Han, Ming-Yong

    2012-03-15

    Silkworm silk is among the most widely used natural fibers for textile and biomedical applications due to its extraordinary mechanical properties and superior biocompatibility. A number of physical and chemical processes have also been developed to reconstruct silk into various forms or to artificially produce silk-like materials. In addition to the direct use and the delicate replication of silk's natural structure and properties, there is a growing interest to introduce more new functionalities into silk while maintaining its advantageous intrinsic properties. In this review we assess various methods and their merits to produce functional silk, specifically those with color and luminescence, through post-processing steps as well as biological approaches. There is a highlight on intrinsically colored and luminescent silk produced directly from silkworms for a wide range of applications, and a discussion on the suitable molecular properties for being incorporated effectively into silk while it is being produced in the silk gland. With these understanding, a new generation of silk containing various functional materials (e.g., drugs, antibiotics and stimuli-sensitive dyes) would be produced for novel applications such as cancer therapy with controlled release feature, wound dressing with monitoring/sensing feature, tissue engineering scaffolds with antibacterial, anticoagulant or anti-inflammatory feature, and many others. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. 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...... conditions, yield quantitative information about the spatial density variations in the form of detailed maps of the size, shape, and orientation distributions of the nanopores inside the silk fiber, revealing that the fiber swells anisotropically in humid conditions, with the expansion taking place solely...... 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....

  8. Multi-tissue transcriptomics of the black widow spider reveals expansions, co-options, and functional processes of the silk gland gene toolkit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Thomas H; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Haney, Robert A; Lancaster, Alexander K; Corbett, Susan; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2014-05-23

    Spiders (Order Araneae) are essential predators in every terrestrial ecosystem largely because they have evolved potent arsenals of silk and venom. Spider silks are high performance materials made almost entirely of proteins, and thus represent an ideal system for investigating genome level evolution of novel protein functions. However, genomic level resources remain limited for spiders. We de novo assembled a transcriptome for the Western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus) from deeply sequenced cDNAs of three tissue types. Our multi-tissue assembly contained ~100,000 unique transcripts, of which > 27,000 were annotated by homology. Comparing transcript abundance among the different tissues, we identified 647 silk gland-specific transcripts, including the few known silk fiber components (e.g. six spider fibroins, spidroins). Silk gland specific transcripts are enriched compared to the entire transcriptome in several functions, including protein degradation, inhibition of protein degradation, and oxidation-reduction. Phylogenetic analyses of 37 gene families containing silk gland specific transcripts demonstrated novel gene expansions within silk glands, and multiple co-options of silk specific expression from paralogs expressed in other tissues. We propose a transcriptional program for the silk glands that involves regulating gland specific synthesis of silk fiber and glue components followed by protecting and processing these components into functional fibers and glues. Our black widow silk gland gene repertoire provides extensive expansion of resources for biomimetic applications of silk in industry and medicine. Furthermore, our multi-tissue transcriptome facilitates evolutionary analysis of arachnid genomes and adaptive protein systems.

  9. Evaluation of a series of silk fibroin protein-based nonwoven mats for use as an anti-adhesion patch for wound management in robotic surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yu-Chi; Bai, Meng-Yi; Hsu, Wan-Yuan; Yu, Mu-Hsien

    2018-01-01

    A novel anti-adhesion nonwoven mat mainly composed of silk fibroin protein (SFP) was fabricated via the single-spinneret electrospinning technique. A series of SFP-based electrospun nonwoven mats containing additives of different synthetic polymer ratios, such as pure SFP, SFP/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), SFP/polyethylene glycol (PEG), and SFP/polyethylene oxide (PEO) were produced and compared. All membranes were porous and had diameters of 324.02 ± 113.7, 308.86 ± 74.02, 366.22 ± 115.81, and 341.82 ± 119.42 nm, respectively. The average pore size for each membrane was 1.132 ± 0.99, 0.811 ± 0.424, 0.975 ± 0.741, and 0.784 ± 0.497 μm 2 . No nonwoven mats showed significant cytotoxicity toward fibroblast cells based on the results of MTT assays. Surprisingly, for all groups of SFP-based nonwoven mats, nitrate formation was reduced by up to 94.55 ± 14.50%, 92.16 ± 19.38%, 91.28 ± 28.375%, and 92.00 ± 12.64% in lipopolysaccharide-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages model. Tissue anti-adhesion potential was evaluated in an in vitro fibroblast cell adhesion model and in vivo wounded mice model. In vitro, the mean cell anti-adhesion percentage of fibroblast cells changed over time in the following order: PVA/SFP > SFP > PEG/SFP∼PEO/SFP. In vivo, SFP and PVA/SFP-treated groups both showed superior collagen regeneration and wound closure. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 106A: 221-230, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Aquatic proteins with repetitive motifs provide insights to bioengineering of novel biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yun Jung; Jung, Dooyup; Yang, Byeongseon; Hwang, Byeong Hee; Cha, Hyung Joon

    2014-12-01

    Proteins with repetitive motifs play vital structural and adhesive functions in nature. Some repeat proteins in particular have adapted to harsh aquatic surroundings to support the survival and reproduction of organisms. Significant effort has been made to identify aquatic repeat proteins with attractive properties and functions to be used as novel biomaterials. Examples of such proteins include matrix proteins from pearl oysters, minicollagens from sea anemones, cement proteins from sandcastle worms, and byssal proteins from marine mussels. Here, several repetitive motifs from aquatic proteins are reviewed, and their characteristic properties are linked to practical uses in three aspects of aquatic life: defense, shelter, and attachment. Some repetitive motifs interact with minerals and consequently generate strong outer cover of shells, and some motifs relate with sticky nature, which contribute to organisms' habitation by adhering themselves in harsh aquatic environments. Other motifs, such as silk- or collagen-like motifs, are also involved in structural rigidity as shown in mussel's byssus and egg membrane. Thus, understanding aquatic repetitive motifs will provide clues about biomedical and biotechnological applications of engineered biomaterials in wet environments. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Evaluating Stem Cell Response to a Spider Silk Scaffold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafner, Katherine Lee

    Micropatterning on a surface using fibers, channels, and troughs, can act as an effective means of inducing cell attachment and alignment. These morphological and pattern changes as a response to physical cues can impact the potential that a cell has to differentiate into a different cell line. This thesis evaluated the response of human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), and other cell types, to spider dragline silk fibers, a potential scaffold material for tissue regeneration, and further observed the effects of morphology, orientation, and composition of silk on the adherence of cells. Several cell lines were studied in this thesis, including adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs), osteoblasts (7F2s), and fibroblasts (3T3s), but DPSCs were the main cell type of interest. This is due to the fact that DPSCs are a proposed source of stem cells for nerve regeneration based on their close embryonic origin to neurons and the ease with which DPSCs can be obtained from a donor. The cells' morphologies and spread patterns were characterized after they were plated onto Nephila clavipes dragline fibers in media. The inclusion of 3T3s and 7F2s in this study allowed for both direct comparisons to prior published work and a qualitative comparison to the morphology of the DPSCs. After twelve days, the DPSCs exhibited greater relative alignment and adherence to the spider dragline fibers than the 3T3s and 7F2s when silk was wrapped in an aligned orientation rather than a random orientation. The impact of a common sterilization method (ultraviolet light) on the spider dragline fiber surface and subsequent cell response to this modified surface was also characterized. Exposure of the silk to ultraviolet light did not have a measureable effect on cell alignment, but it did eliminate bacterial growth and changed fiber surface roughness. Spiders' exposure to stressful environments did not have an effect on silk to impair cell alignment or adhesion, and synthetic recombinant protein silk

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacava, M; Camargo, A; Garcia, L F; Benamu, M; Santana, M; Fang, J; Wang, X; Blamires, S J

    2018-04-15

    While 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 co-vary or just vary across environments that the spiders occupy. Since 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 semi-rural ecosystems in Uruguay to test whether the presence of MaSp2-like proteins (indicated by amino acid composition), silk mechanical properties, and silk nanostructures, were 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. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Theoretical insights into catalytic mechanism of protein arginine methyltransferase 1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruihan Zhang

    Full Text Available Protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1, the major arginine asymmetric dimethylation enzyme in mammals, is emerging as a potential drug target for cancer and cardiovascular disease. Understanding the catalytic mechanism of PRMT1 will facilitate inhibitor design. However, detailed mechanisms of the methyl transfer process and substrate deprotonation of PRMT1 remain unclear. In this study, we present a theoretical study on PRMT1 catalyzed arginine dimethylation by employing molecular dynamics (MD simulation and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM calculation. Ternary complex models, composed of PRMT1, peptide substrate, and S-adenosyl-methionine (AdoMet as cofactor, were constructed and verified by 30-ns MD simulation. The snapshots selected from the MD trajectory were applied for the QM/MM calculation. The typical SN2-favored transition states of the first and second methyl transfers were identified from the potential energy profile. Deprotonation of substrate arginine occurs immediately after methyl transfer, and the carboxylate group of E144 acts as proton acceptor. Furthermore, natural bond orbital analysis and electrostatic potential calculation showed that E144 facilitates the charge redistribution during the reaction and reduces the energy barrier. In this study, we propose the detailed mechanism of PRMT1-catalyzed asymmetric dimethylation, which increases insight on the small-molecule effectors design, and enables further investigations into the physiological function of this family.

  14. '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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Sericin Composition in the Silk of Antheraea yamamai.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurovec, Michal; Yonemura, Naoyuki; Kludkiewicz, Barbara; Sehnal, František; Kodrik, Dalibor; Vieira, Ligia Cota; Kucerova, Lucie; Strnad, Hynek; Konik, Peter; Sehadova, Hana

    2016-05-09

    The silks produced by caterpillars consist of fibroin proteins that form two core filaments, and sericin proteins that seal filaments into a fiber and conglutinate fibers in the cocoon. Sericin genes are well-known in Bombyx mori (Bombycidae) but have received little attention in other insects. This paper shows that Antheraea yamamai (Saturniidae) contains five sericin genes very different from the three sericin genes of B. mori. In spite of differences, all known sericins are characterized by short exons 1 and 2 (out of 3-12 exons), expression in the middle silk gland section, presence of repeats with high contents of Ser and charged amino acid residues, and secretion as a sticky silk component soluble in hot water. The B. mori sericins represent tentative phylogenetic lineages (I) BmSer1 and orthologs in Saturniidae, (II) BmSer2, and (III) BmSer3 and related sericins of Saturniidae and of the pyralid Galleria mellonella. The lineage (IV) seems to be limited to Saturniidae. Concerted evolution of the sericin genes was apparently associated with gene amplifications as well as gene loses. Differences in the silk fiber morphology indicate that the cocktail of sericins linking the filaments and coating the fiber is modified during spinning. Silks are composite biomaterials of conserved function in spite of great diversity of their composition.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The optical properties of regenerated silk fibroin films obtained from different sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perotto, Giovanni; Zhang, Yuji; Naskar, Deboki; Patel, Nereus; Kaplan, David L.; Kundu, Subhas C.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2017-09-01

    Silk fibroin possesses unique properties for bio-functional optical interfaces and has been attracting increasing interest as an optical material. Here, we report on the refractive index and absorption coefficient of silk fibroin extracted from Bombyx mori, Antheraea mylitta, Samia ricini, and Antheraea assamensis. The influence of protein molecular weight, residual water content, and crystallinity on refractive index was investigated. The parameters for the Cauchy dispersion law and Urbach absorption were determined for each of the silk fibroins. By exploiting the differences in refractive index between the different fibroins, an all-protein slab waveguide was fabricated.

  1. Sporicidal/bactericidal textiles via the chlorination of silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickerson, Matthew B; Lyon, Wanda; Gruner, William E; Mirau, Peter A; Slocik, Joseph M; Naik, Rajesh R

    2012-03-01

    Bacterial spores, such as those of the Bacillus genus, are extremely resilient, being able to germinate into metabolically active cells after withstanding harsh environmental conditions or aggressive chemical treatments. The toughness of the bacterial spore in combination with the use of spores, such as those of Bacillus anthracis, as a biological warfare agent necessitates the development of new antimicrobial textiles. In this work, a route to the production of fabrics that kill bacterial spores and cells within minutes of exposure is described. Utilizing this facile process, unmodified silk cloth is reacted with a diluted bleach solution, rinsed with water, and dried. The chlorination of silk was explored under basic (pH 11) and slightly acidic (pH 5) conditions. Chloramine-silk textiles prepared in acidified bleach solutions were found to have superior breaking strength and higher oxidative Cl contents than those prepared under caustic conditions. Silk cloth chlorinated for ≥1 h at pH 5 was determined to induce >99.99996% reduction in the colony forming units of Escherichia coli, as well as Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam (B. anthracis simulant) spores and cells within 10 min of contact. The processing conditions presented for silk fabric in this study are highly expeditionary, allowing for the on-site production of protein-based antimicrobial materials from a variety of agriculturally produced feed-stocks. © 2012 American Chemical Society

  2. Controlled Fabrication of Silk Protein Sericin Mediated Hierarchical Hybrid Flowers and Their Excellent Adsorption Capability of Heavy Metal Ions of Pb(II), Cd(II) and Hg(II).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koley, Pradyot; Sakurai, Makoto; Aono, Masakazu

    2016-01-27

    Fabrication of protein-inorganic hybrid materials of innumerable hierarchical patterns plays a major role in the development of multifunctional advanced materials with their improved features in synergistic way. However, effective fabrication and applications of the hybrid structures is limited due to the difficulty in control and production cost. Here, we report the controlled fabrication of complex hybrid flowers with hierarchical porosity through a green and facile coprecipitation method by using industrial waste natural silk protein sericin. The large surface areas and porosity of the microsize hybrid flowers enable water purification through adsorption of different heavy metal ions. The high adsorption capacity depends on their morphology, which is changed largely by sericin concentration in their fabrication. Superior adsorption and greater selectivity of the Pb(II) ions have been confirmed by the characteristic growth of needle-shaped nanowires on the hierarchical surface of the hybrid flowers. These hybrid flowers show excellent thermal stability even after complete evaporation of the protein molecules, significantly increasing the porosity of the flower petals. A simple, cost-effective and environmental friendly fabrication method of the porous flowers will lead to a new solution to water pollution required in the modern industrial society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  10. Simple micromechanical model of protein crystals for their mechanical characterizations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na S.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Proteins have been known to perform the excellent mechanical functions and exhibit the remarkable mechanical properties such as high fracture toughness in spider silk protein [1]. This indicates that the mechanical characterization of protein molecules and/or crystals is very essential to understand such remarkable mechanical function of protein molecules. In this study, for gaining insight into mechanical behavior of protein crystals, we developed the micromechanical model by using the empirical potential field prescribed to alpha carbon atoms of a protein crystal in a unit cell. We consider the simple protein crystals for their mechanical behavior under tensile loading to be compared with full atomic models

  11. Insights on predominant edible bamboo shoot proteins | Sayanika ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Importantly, MS/MS data revealed that abundant peptides in bamboo shoots are histone-like related (H2A, H3 and H4) which generally form the nucleosome core and can participate in defense, stress and development. This study is the first qualitative data on protein components of bamboo shoots which harmonize the ...

  12. In Vivo Coating of Bacterial Magnetic Nanoparticles by Magnetosome Expression of Spider Silk-Inspired Peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickoleit, Frank; Borkner, Christian B; Toro-Nahuelpan, Mauricio; Herold, Heike M; Maier, Denis S; Plitzko, Jürgen M; Scheibel, Thomas; Schüler, Dirk

    2018-02-05

    Magnetosomes are natural magnetic nanoparticles with exceptional properties that are synthesized in magnetotactic bacteria by a highly regulated biomineralization process. Their usability in many applications could be further improved by encapsulation in biocompatible polymers. In this study, we explored the production of spider silk-inspired peptides on magnetosomes of the alphaproteobacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense. Genetic fusion of different silk sequence-like variants to abundant magnetosome membrane proteins enhanced magnetite biomineralization and caused the formation of a proteinaceous capsule, which increased the colloidal stability of isolated particles. Furthermore, we show that spider silk peptides fused to a magnetosome membrane protein can be used as seeds for silk fibril growth on the magnetosome surface. In summary, we demonstrate that the combination of two different biogenic materials generates a genetically encoded hybrid composite with engineerable new properties and enhanced potential for various applications.

  13. The Effect of Some Additives on the Bioproductive Performances of SilkWorm Bombyx mori L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihai Benţea

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Nowdays, worldwide in sericulture domain, researches are aimed to find new efficient alternatives for the feeding of mulberry silk worm through the use of some fodder additives which allow the improvement of bioproductive parameters and silk line quality. The present work represents a review of the use of such substances (mineral and vitamin additives and of the experiments carried out to point out their effects on silkworms (Bombyx mori L.. Research conducted worldwide revealed the fact that the use of mineral and vitamin additives in silkworm Bombyx mori L., improve the growth rate of larvae, protein and mineral content of haemolymph, the protein content, DNA and RNA content of the sericigen glands, and the quality parameters of cocoon and silk line. Researches showed that the use of these additives doesn’t affect the quality of the silk.

  14. Enhanced Cellular Adhesion on Titanium by Silk Functionalized with titanium binding and RGD peptides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Guillaume; Blanchi, Thomas; Mieszawska, Aneta J.; Calabrese, Rossella; Rossi, Claire; Vigneron, Pascale; Duval, Jean-Luc; Kaplan, David L.; Egles, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Soft tissue adhesion on titanium represents a challenge for implantable materials. In order to improve adhesion at the cell/material interface we used a new approach based on the molecular recognition of titanium by specific peptides. Silk fibroin protein was chemically grafted with titanium binding peptide (TiBP) to increase adsorption of these chimeric proteins to the metal surface. Quartz Crystal Microbalance was used to quantify the specific adsorption of TiBP-functionalized silk and an increase in protein deposition by more than 35% was demonstrated due to the presence of the binding peptide. A silk protein grafted with TiBP and fibronectin-derived RGD peptide was then prepared. The adherence of fibroblasts on the titanium surface modified with the multifunctional silk coating demonstrated an increase in the number of adhering cells by 60%. The improved adhesion was demonstrated by Scanning Electron Microscopy and immunocytochemical staining of focal contact points. Chick embryo organotypic culture also revealed strong adhesion of endothelial cells expanding on the multifunctional silk-peptide coating. These results demonstrated that silk functionalized with TiBP and RGD represents a promising approach to modify cell-biomaterial interfaces, opening new perspectives for implantable medical devices, especially when reendothelialization is required. PMID:22975628

  15. Rate-Dependent Behavior of the Amorphous Phase of Spider Dragline Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Sandeep P.; Markert, Bernd; Gräter, Frauke

    2014-01-01

    The time-dependent stress-strain behavior of spider dragline silk was already observed decades ago, and has been attributed to the disordered sequences in silk proteins, which compose the soft amorphous matrix. However, the actual molecular origin and magnitude of internal friction within the amorphous matrix has remained inaccessible, because experimentally decomposing the mechanical response of the amorphous matrix from the embedded crystalline units is challenging. Here, we used atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to obtain friction forces for the relative sliding of peptide chains of Araneus diadematus spider silk within bundles of these chains as a representative unit of the amorphous matrix in silk fibers. We computed the friction coefficient and coefficient of viscosity of the amorphous phase to be in the order of 10−6 Ns/m and 104 Ns/m2, respectively, by extrapolating our simulation data to the viscous limit. Finally, we used a finite element method for the amorphous phase, solely based on parameters derived from molecular dynamics simulations including the newly determined coefficient of viscosity. With this model the time scales of stress relaxation, creep, and hysteresis were assessed, and found to be in line with the macroscopic time-dependent response of silk fibers. Our results suggest the amorphous phase to be the primary source of viscosity in silk and open up the avenue for finite element method studies of silk fiber mechanics including viscous effects. PMID:24896131

  16. 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.

  17. 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,

  18. Insight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesh, Priya; Wei, Annan; Welter, Elisabeth; Bamps, Yvan; Stoll, Shelley; Bukach, Ashley; Sajatovic, Martha; Sahoo, Satya S

    2015-11-01

    Insight is a Semantic Web technology-based platform to support large-scale secondary analysis of healthcare data for neurology clinical research. Insight features the novel use of: (1) provenance metadata, which describes the history or origin of patient data, in clinical research analysis, and (2) support for patient cohort queries across multiple institutions conducting research in epilepsy, which is the one of the most common neurological disorders affecting 50 million persons worldwide. Insight is being developed as a healthcare informatics infrastructure to support a national network of eight epilepsy research centers across the U.S. funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This paper describes the use of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) PROV recommendation for provenance metadata that allows researchers to create patient cohorts based on the provenance of the research studies. In addition, the paper describes the use of descriptive logic-based OWL2 epilepsy ontology for cohort queries with "expansion of query expression" using ontology reasoning. Finally, the evaluation results for the data integration and query performance are described using data from three research studies with 180 epilepsy patients. The experiment results demonstrate that Insight is a scalable approach to use Semantic provenance metadata for context-based data analysis in healthcare informatics.

  19. Formulation of Biologically-Inspired Silk-Based Drug Carriers for Pulmonary Delivery Targeted for Lung Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sally Yunsun; Naskar, Deboki; Kundu, Subhas C; Bishop, David P; Doble, Philip A; Boddy, Alan V; Chan, Hak-Kim; Wall, Ivan B; Chrzanowski, Wojciech

    2015-08-03

    The benefits of using silk fibroin, a major protein in silk, are widely established in many biomedical applications including tissue regeneration, bioactive coating and in vitro tissue models. The properties of silk such as biocompatibility and controlled degradation are utilized in this study to formulate for the first time as carriers for pulmonary drug delivery. Silk fibroin particles are spray dried or spray-freeze-dried to enable the delivery to the airways via dry powder inhalers. The addition of excipients such as mannitol is optimized for both the stabilization of protein during the spray-freezing process as well as for efficient dispersion using an in vitro aerosolisation impactor. Cisplatin is incorporated into the silk-based formulations with or without cross-linking, which show different release profiles. The particles show high aerosolisation performance through the measurement of in vitro lung deposition, which is at the level of commercially available dry powder inhalers. The silk-based particles are shown to be cytocompatible with A549 human lung epithelial cell line. The cytotoxicity of cisplatin is demonstrated to be enhanced when delivered using the cross-linked silk-based particles. These novel inhalable silk-based drug carriers have the potential to be used as anti-cancer drug delivery systems targeted for the lungs.

  20. 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.

  1. Understanding Natural Silks and Their Integration into Composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-01

    arthropod  silk  processing  and  secretion  system  can  provide  not  only  important  insights...F.  Comparing  the  Rheology  of  Wild  and   Domesticated   Silkworm  Dope  Biopolymers  (in  press)   2011  Holland,  C...Vollrath,  F.   Animal  silks:  their  structures,  Chemical  Communications   43,6515-­‐6529  access   2009  Porter

  2. 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.

  3. Effect of γ-irradiation on the crystalline structure of silk fibroin and silk sericin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsukada, Masuhiro; Aoki, Akira

    1985-01-01

    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 γ 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 γ 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. (author)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Structure-function insights of membrane and soluble proteins revealed by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreaden, Tina M; Devarajan, Bharanidharan; Barry, Bridgette A; Schmidt-Krey, Ingeborg

    2013-01-01

    Electron crystallography is emerging as an important method in solving protein structures. While it has found extensive applications in the understanding of membrane protein structure and function at a wide range of resolutions, from revealing oligomeric arrangements to atomic models, electron crystallography has also provided invaluable information on the soluble α/β-tubulin which could not be obtained by any other method to date. Examples of critical insights from selected structures of membrane proteins as well as α/β-tubulin are described here, demonstrating the vast potential of electron crystallography that is first beginning to unfold.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merabet, Samir; Litim-Mecheri, Isma; Karlsson, Daniel; Dixit, Richa; Saadaoui, Mehdi; Monier, Bruno; Brun, Christine; Thor, Stefan; Vijayraghavan, K; Perrin, Laurent; Pradel, Jacques; Graba, Yacine

    2011-10-01

    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.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Li

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

  13. Sericin Promotes Fibroin Silk I Stabilization Across a Phase-Separation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, Hyo Won; Ju, Ji Eun; Shin, Munju; Holland, Chris; Lee, Ki Hoon

    2017-08-14

    Natural silk spinning offers several advantages over the synthetic fiber spinning, although the underlying mechanisms of this process are yet to be fully elucidated. Silkworm silks, specifically B. mori, comprise two main proteins: fibroin, which forms the fiber, and sericin, a coextruded coating that acts as a matrix in the resulting nonwoven composite cocoon. To date, most studies have focused on fibroin's self-assembly and gelation, with the influence of sericin during spinning receiving little to no attention. This study investigates sericin's effects on the self-assembly of fibroin via their natural phase-separation. Through changes in sample opacity, FTIR, and XRD, we report that increasing sericin concentration retards the time to gelation and β-sheet formation of fibroin, causing it to adopt a Silk I conformation. Such findings have important implications for both the natural silk spinning process and any future industrial applications, suggesting that sericin may be able to induce long-range conformational and stability control in silk fibroin, while being in a separate phase, a factor that would facilitate long-term storage or silk feedstocks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Juan; Qin, Sheng; Yu, Huanjun; Zhang, Jing; Liu, Na; Yu, Ye; Hou, Chengxiang; Li, Muwang

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somaye Baghersad

    2016-05-01

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

  16. Pyriform spidroin 1, a novel member of the silk gene family that anchors dragline silk fibers in attachment discs of the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasingame, Eric; Tuton-Blasingame, Tiffany; Larkin, Leah; Falick, Arnold M; Zhao, Liang; Fong, Justine; Vaidyanathan, Veena; Visperas, Anabelle; Geurts, Paul; Hu, Xiaoyi; La Mattina, Coby; Vierra, Craig

    2009-10-16

    Spiders spin high performance threads that have diverse mechanical properties for specific biological applications. To better understand the molecular mechanism by which spiders anchor their threads to a solid support, we solubilized the attachment discs from black widow spiders and performed in-solution tryptic digests followed by MS/MS analysis to identify novel peptides derived from glue silks. Combining matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry and cDNA library screening, we isolated a novel member of the silk gene family called pysp1 and demonstrate that its protein product is assembled into the attachment disc silks. Alignment of the PySp1 amino acid sequence to other fibroins revealed conservation in the non-repetitive C-terminal region of the silk family. MS/MS analysis also confirmed the presence of MaSp1 and MaSp2, two important components of dragline silks, anchored within the attachment disc materials. Characterization of the ultrastructure of attachment discs using scanning electron microscopy studies support the localization of PySp1 to small diameter fibers embedded in a glue-like cement, which network with large diameter dragline silk threads, producing a strong, adhesive material. Consistent with elevated PySp1 mRNA levels detected in the pyriform gland, MS analysis of the luminal contents extracted from the pyriform gland after tryptic digestion support the assertion that PySp1 represents one of the major constituents manufactured in the pyriform gland. Taken together, our data demonstrate that PySp1 is spun into attachment disc silks to help affix dragline fibers to substrates, a critical function during spider web construction for prey capture and locomotion.

  17. Pyriform Spidroin 1, a Novel Member of the Silk Gene Family That Anchors Dragline Silk Fibers in Attachment Discs of the Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus hesperus*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasingame, Eric; Tuton-Blasingame, Tiffany; Larkin, Leah; Falick, Arnold M.; Zhao, Liang; Fong, Justine; Vaidyanathan, Veena; Visperas, Anabelle; Geurts, Paul; Hu, Xiaoyi; La Mattina, Coby; Vierra, Craig

    2009-01-01

    Spiders spin high performance threads that have diverse mechanical properties for specific biological applications. To better understand the molecular mechanism by which spiders anchor their threads to a solid support, we solubilized the attachment discs from black widow spiders and performed in-solution tryptic digests followed by MS/MS analysis to identify novel peptides derived from glue silks. Combining matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry and cDNA library screening, we isolated a novel member of the silk gene family called pysp1 and demonstrate that its protein product is assembled into the attachment disc silks. Alignment of the PySp1 amino acid sequence to other fibroins revealed conservation in the non-repetitive C-terminal region of the silk family. MS/MS analysis also confirmed the presence of MaSp1 and MaSp2, two important components of dragline silks, anchored within the attachment disc materials. Characterization of the ultrastructure of attachment discs using scanning electron microscopy studies support the localization of PySp1 to small diameter fibers embedded in a glue-like cement, which network with large diameter dragline silk threads, producing a strong, adhesive material. Consistent with elevated PySp1 mRNA levels detected in the pyriform gland, MS analysis of the luminal contents extracted from the pyriform gland after tryptic digestion support the assertion that PySp1 represents one of the major constituents manufactured in the pyriform gland. Taken together, our data demonstrate that PySp1 is spun into attachment disc silks to help affix dragline fibers to substrates, a critical function during spider web construction for prey capture and locomotion. PMID:19666476

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AGATHA AGATHA POPESCU

    2013-10-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trang Vu

    2016-09-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Natural Products at Work: Structural Insights into Inhibition of the Bacterial Membrane Protein MraY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppermann, Stefan; Ducho, Christian

    2016-09-19

    Natural(ly) fit: The X-ray crystal structure of the bacterial membrane protein MraY in complex with its natural product inhibitor muraymycin D2 is discussed. MraY catalyzes one of the membrane-associated steps in peptidoglycan biosynthesis and, therefore, represents a promising target for novel antibiotics. Structural insights derived from the protein-inhibitor complex might now pave the way for the development of new antimicrobial drugs. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. PEGylated Silk Nanoparticles for Anticancer Drug Delivery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Uhlmann, Petra; Urquhart, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    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...

  5. Changes of mechanical properties of γ-irradiated silk fiber

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsukada, Masuhiro; Aoki, Akira

    1985-01-01

    Silk fibers were irradiated with gamma rays within the dosage range 0 to 21 Mrad. Changes of the mechanical properties of irradiated silk fibers were discussed from the stress-strain measurement. Strength and elongation of undegummed silk fiber decreased in the early stage of irradiation, while that of degummed silk fiber decreased remarkably with increasing radiation dose above 4 Mrad. (author)

  6. Structural Insights into Protein-Protein Interactions Involved in Bacterial Cell Wall Biogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Laddomada

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The bacterial cell wall is essential for survival, and proteins that participate in its biosynthesis have been the targets of antibiotic development efforts for decades. The biosynthesis of its main component, the peptidoglycan, involves the coordinated action of proteins that are involved in multi-member complexes which are essential for cell division (the “divisome” and/or cell wall elongation (the “elongasome”, in the case of rod-shaped cells. Our knowledge regarding these interactions has greatly benefitted from the visualization of different aspects of the bacterial cell wall and its cytoskeleton by cryoelectron microscopy and tomography, as well as genetic and biochemical screens that have complemented information from high resolution crystal structures of protein complexes involved in divisome or elongasome formation. This review summarizes structural and functional aspects of protein complexes involved in the cytoplasmic and membrane-related steps of peptidoglycan biosynthesis, with a particular focus on protein-protein interactions whereby disruption could lead to the development of novel antibacterial strategies.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Novel insights through the integration of structural and functional genomics data with protein networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Declan; Bhardwaj, Nitin; Gerstein, Mark B

    2012-09-01

    In recent years, major advances in genomics, proteomics, macromolecular structure determination, and the computational resources capable of processing and disseminating the large volumes of data generated by each have played major roles in advancing a more systems-oriented appreciation of biological organization. One product of systems biology has been the delineation of graph models for describing genome-wide protein-protein interaction networks. The network organization and topology which emerges in such models may be used to address fundamental questions in an array of cellular processes, as well as biological features intrinsic to the constituent proteins (or "nodes") themselves. However, graph models alone constitute an abstraction which neglects the underlying biological and physical reality that the network's nodes and edges are highly heterogeneous entities. Here, we explore some of the advantages of introducing a protein structural dimension to such models, as the marriage of conventional network representations with macromolecular structural data helps to place static node and edge constructs in a biologically more meaningful context. We emphasize that 3D protein structures constitute a valuable conceptual and predictive framework by discussing examples of the insights provided, such as enabling in silico predictions of protein-protein interactions, providing rational and compelling classification schemes for network elements, as well as revealing interesting intrinsic differences between distinct node types, such as disorder and evolutionary features, which may then be rationalized in light of their respective functions within networks. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Processing Techniques and Applications of Silk Hydrogels in Bioengineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Floren

    2016-09-01

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

  12. Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xianhua; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Morikawa, Hideaki; Aojima, Kazuki; Zhang, Guangyu; Miura, Mikihiko

    2011-08-01

    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.

  13. Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Xianhua

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Silk sericin (SS/silk fibroin (SF blend nanofibers have been produced by electrospinning in a binary SS/SF trifluoroacetic acid (TFA solution system, which was prepared by mixing 20 wt.% SS TFA solution and 10 wt.% SF TFA solution to give different compositions. The diameters of the SS/SF nanofibers ranged from 33 to 837 nm, and they showed a round cross section. The surface of the SS/SF nanofibers was smooth, and the fibers possessed a bead-free structure. The average diameters of the SS/SF (75/25, 50/50, and 25/75 blend nanofibers were much thicker than that of SS and SF nanofibers. The SS/SF (100/0, 75/25, and 50/50 blend nanofibers were easily dissolved in water, while the SS/SF (25/75 and 0/100 blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in water. The SS/SF blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in methanol. The SS/SF blend nanofibers were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and differential thermal analysis. FTIR showed that the SS/SF blend nanofibers possessed a random coil conformation and ß-sheet structure.

  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. 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.

  16. Defense role of the cocoon in the silk worm Bombyx mori L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandiarajan, Jeyaraj; Cathrin, Britto P; Pratheep, Thangaraj; Krishnan, Muthukalingan

    2011-11-15

    Silk from the domesticated silk worm Bombyx mori procures foreign body response naturally, so it has been utilized as a biomaterial for decades. In India the prime focus of the sericulture industry is to improve silk production with high quality silk. Naturally, the silk worm builds its cocoon not only with silk proteins, but also with antimicrobial proteins to avoid infection since the cocoon is non-motile and non-feeding. The aim of the present study is to elucidate the antimicrobial proteins that persist in the cocoon of the silk worm Bombyx mori. At the pupal stage, the silk worm cocoon shell extract was prepared from the day of pupation (P0) to the day of natural rupture of the cocoon for the eclosion of moth (NR). Using the cocoon shell extract a microbial susceptibility test was performed by the disc diffusion method against the microbes Escherchia coli, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The development of a zone of inhibition against the microbes confirmed the presence of antimicrobial/immunogenic activity of the cocoon shell extract. For further analysis, the cocoon shell extract was subjected to 7-15% sodium dodecyl sulfate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The protein profile of the cocoon extract revealed the coomassie blue stained bands resolved from the 150-15 kDa molecular range. Interestingly, a polypeptide localized at around 29 kDa showed remarkable expressional changes during the development of pupa. To characterize the 29 kDa protein, it was eluted from the gel, digested with trypsin and analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The trypsin-digested peptide peaks were analyzed through MASCOT and peptides were matched with the NCBI nr database. The peptides were very well matched with the 18 wheeler protein, which is reported to be responsible for innate immunity, belonging to the Toll family in insects and responsible for cellular

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Quantitative proteomics and bioinformatic analysis provide new insight into protein function during avian eggshell biomineralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marie, Pauline; Labas, Valérie; Brionne, Aurélien; Harichaux, Grégoire; Hennequet-Antier, Christelle; Nys, Yves; Gautron, Joël

    2015-01-15

    are associated with distinct populations of matrix proteins that are secreted into the acellular uterine fluid as modulators of the process. The recent development of high-throughput methods has led to the identification of many proteins in the shell, but little is known concerning their role in shell formation. In order to determine precisely the importance of particular proteins relative to eggshell mineralization, this project used qualitative and quantitative proteomics of the uterine fluid constituents, coupled with bioinformatic analysis, to predict the functional role of proteins secreted at each of the three main stages of shell calcification. Besides its relevance to food production and to hen reproduction, eggshell calcification is furthermore a relevant model for studying calcium carbonate biomineralization on a two-dimensional membrane support. Better understanding of this process will provide insight into the fabrication of ceramics at ambient pressure and temperature. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. Study On Improving Antioxydant And Antibacterial Activities Of Silk Fibroin By Irradiation Treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibroin at dry state and the solution of 3% were irradiated by Co-60 source at dose ranges 0 - 1000 kGy and 0 - 50 kGy respectively. The results showed that irradiation treatment for fibroin solution have higher effectiveness for improvement of some bio-activities of silk fibroin compared with dry state irradiation treatment due to remarkably reducing of irradiation doses. The antioxidant activity of fibroin was significantly increase by irradiation. The maximum value of DPPH radical scavenging activity was 70.4% when fibroin solution was irradiated at dose of 10 kGy. Irradiated fibroin solution also shown antibacterial activity against tested bacteria strains (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)

  3. 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.

  4. Processing and characterization of silk sericin from Bombyx mori and its application in biomaterials and biomedicines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2016-04-01

    Bombyx mori silk is composed of 60-80% fibroin, 15-35% sericin and 1-5% non-sericin component including wax, pigments, sugars and other impurities. For two decades, the protein-based silk fibroin was extensively used in the research and development of medical biomaterials and biomedicines. Sericin is frequently ignored and abandoned as a byproduct or waste in the processing of traditional silk fabrics, silk floss or modern silk biomaterials. However, similar to fibroin, sericin is not only a highly useful biological material, but also a lot of biological activity. Moreover, the non-sericin component present with sericin in the cocoon shell also has a strong biological activity. In this review, the extraction and recovery methods of sericin and the non-sericin component from the cocoon layer are reported, and their composition, properties and biological activity are described to produce a comprehensive report on biomedical materials and biological drugs. In addition, related problems or concerns present in the research and development of sericin are discussed, and a potential application of sericin in sustainable development is also presented. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Insights into biological information processing: structural and dynamical analysis of a human protein signalling network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fuente, Alberto de la; Fotia, Giorgio; Maggio, Fabio; Mancosu, Gianmaria; Pieroni, Enrico [CRS4 Bioinformatica, Parco Tecnologico POLARIS, Ed.1, Loc Piscinamanna, Pula (Italy)], E-mail: alf@crs4.it

    2008-06-06

    We present an investigation on the structural and dynamical properties of a 'human protein signalling network' (HPSN). This biological network is composed of nodes that correspond to proteins and directed edges that represent signal flows. In order to gain insight into the organization of cell information processing this network is analysed taking into account explicitly the edge directions. We explore the topological properties of the HPSN at the global and the local scale, further applying the generating function formalism to provide a suitable comparative model. The relationship between the node degrees and the distribution of signals through the network is characterized using degree correlation profiles. Finally, we analyse the dynamical properties of small sub-graphs showing high correlation between their occurrence and dynamic stability.

  6. Silver nanoparticle containing silk fibroin bionanotextiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calamak, Semih; Aksoy, Eda Ayse [Hacettepe University, Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy (Turkey); Erdogdu, Ceren; Sagıroglu, Meral [Hacettepe University, Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy (Turkey); Ulubayram, Kezban, E-mail: ukezban@hacettepe.edu.tr [Hacettepe University, Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy (Turkey)

    2015-02-15

    Development of new generation bionanotextiles is an important growing field, and they have found applications as wound dressings, bandages, tissue scaffolds, etc. In this study, silver nanoparticle (AgNP) containing silk-based bionanotextiles were fabricated by electrospinning, and processing parameters were optimized and discussed in detail. AgNPs were in situ synthesized within fibroin nanofibers by UV reduction of silver ions to metallic silver. The influence of post-treatments via methanol treatment and glutaraldehyde (GA) vapor exhibited changes in the secondary structure of silk. Methanol treatment increased the tensile properties of fibers due to supported crystalline silk structure, while GA vapor promoted amorphous secondary structure. AgNP containing silk fibroin bionanotextiles had strong antibacterial activity against gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

  7. 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.

  8. 2D proteome analysis initiates new Insights on the Salmonella Typhimurium LuxS protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    .... Nonalcoholic beverages, § 170.3(n)(3) of this chapter 20 Do. Frozen dairy desserts, § 170.3(n)(20) of this... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section 184.1262 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES...

  12. Increasing the yield of middle silk gland expression system through transgenic knock-down of endogenous sericin-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Sanyuan; Xia, Xiaojuan; Li, Yufeng; Sun, Le; Liu, Yue; Liu, Yuanyuan; Wang, Xiaogang; Shi, Run; Chang, Jiasong; Zhao, Ping; Xia, Qingyou

    2017-08-01

    Various genetically modified bioreactor systems have been developed to meet the increasing demands of recombinant proteins. Silk gland of Bombyx mori holds great potential to be a cost-effective bioreactor for commercial-scale production of recombinant proteins. However, the actual yields of proteins obtained from the current silk gland expression systems are too low for the proteins to be dissolved and purified in a large scale. Here, we proposed a strategy that reducing endogenous sericin proteins would increase the expression yield of foreign proteins. Using transgenic RNA interference, we successfully reduced the expression of BmSer1 to 50%. A total 26 transgenic lines expressing Discosoma sp. red fluorescent protein (DsRed) in the middle silk gland (MSG) under the control of BmSer1 promoter were established to analyze the expression of recombinant. qRT-PCR and western blotting showed that in BmSer1 knock-down lines, the expression of DsRed had significantly increased both at mRNA and protein levels. We did an additional analysis of DsRed/BmSer1 distribution in cocoon and effect of DsRed protein accumulation on the silk fiber formation process. This study describes not only a novel method to enhance recombinant protein expression in MSG bioreactor, but also a strategy to optimize other bioreactor systems.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Spider dragline silk composite films doped with linear and telechelic polyalanine: Effect of polyalanine on the structure and mechanical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchiya, Kousuke; Ishii, Takaoki; Masunaga, Hiroyasu; Numata, Keiji

    2018-02-26

    Spider dragline silks have attracted intensive attention as eco-friendly tough materials because of their excellent mechanical property and biomass-based origin. Composite films based on a recombinant spider dragline silk protein (ADF3) from Araneus diadematus were prepared by doping with linear or telechelic poly(L-alanine) (L- or T-polyA, respectively) as a reinforcing agent. Higher tensile strength and toughness of the composite films were achieved with the addition of polyA compared with the tensile strength and toughness of the silk-only film. The difference in the reinforcing behavior between L- and T-polyA was associated with their primary structures, which were revealed by wide angle X-ray diffraction analysis. L-polyA showed a tendency to aggregate in the composite films and induce crystallization of the inherent silk β-sheet to afford rigid but brittle films. By contrast, T-polyA dispersion in the composite films led to the formation of β-sheet crystal of both T-polyA and the inherent silk, which imparted high strength and toughness to the silk films.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-04-01

    The critical step in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) appears to be a conformational transition of a normal prion protein (PrPC) into a misfolded isoform (PrPSc). 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 agr-helical structure is changed into a highly aggregated bgr-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 Protein Structure and Dynamics by Ultraviolet and Visible Resonance Raman Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Peña, Ignacio; Leigh, Brian S; Schlamadinger, Diana E; Kim, Judy E

    2015-08-11

    Raman spectroscopy is a form of vibrational spectroscopy based on inelastic scattering of light. In resonance Raman spectroscopy, the wavelength of the incident light falls within an absorption band of a chromophore, and this overlap of excitation and absorption energy greatly enhances the Raman scattering efficiency of the absorbing species. The ability to probe vibrational spectra of select chromophores within a complex mixture of molecules makes resonance Raman spectroscopy an excellent tool for studies of biomolecules. In this Current Topic, we discuss the type of molecular insights obtained from steady-state and time-resolved resonance Raman studies of a prototypical photoactive protein, rhodopsin. We also review recent efforts in ultraviolet resonance Raman investigations of soluble and membrane-associated biomolecules, including integral membrane proteins and antimicrobial peptides. These examples illustrate that resonance Raman is a sensitive, selective, and practical method for studying the structures of biological molecules, and the molecular bonding, geometry, and environments of protein cofactors, the backbone, and side chains.

  19. New Evidence for Early Silk in the Indus Civilization

    OpenAIRE

    Good, I. L.; Kenoyer, J. M.; Meadow, Richard Henry

    2009-01-01

    Silk is an important economic fibre, and is generally considered to have been the exclusive cultural heritage of China. Silk weaving is evident from the Shang period c. 1600–1045 bc, though the earliest evidence for silk textiles in ancient China may date to as much as a millennium earlier. Recent microscopic analysis of archaeological thread fragments found inside copper-alloy ornaments from Harappa and steatite beads from Chanhu-daro, two important Indus sites, have yielded silk fibres, dat...

  20. Spider silk: a novel optical fibre for biochemical sensing

    OpenAIRE

    Hey Tow, Kenny; Chow, Desmond; Vollrath, Fritz; Dicaire, Isabelle; Gheysens, Tom; Thévenaz, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Whilst being thoroughly used in the textile industry and biomedical sector, silk has not yet been exploited for fibre optics-based sensing although silk fibres directly obtained from spiders can guide light and have shown early promises to being sensitive to some solvents. In this communication, a pioneering optical fibre sensor based on spider silk is reported, demonstrating for the first time the use of spider silk as an optical fibre sensor to detect polar solvents such as water, ammonia a...

  1. 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.

  2. Discrepancy between mRNA and protein abundance: insight from information retrieval process in computers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Degeng

    2008-12-01

    Discrepancy between the abundance of cognate protein and RNA molecules is frequently observed. A theoretical understanding of this discrepancy remains elusive, and it is frequently described as surprises and/or technical difficulties in the literature. Protein and RNA represent different steps of the multi-stepped cellular genetic information flow process, in which they are dynamically produced and degraded. This paper explores a comparison with a similar process in computers-multi-step information flow from storage level to the execution level. Functional similarities can be found in almost every facet of the retrieval process. Firstly, common architecture is shared, as the ribonome (RNA space) and the proteome (protein space) are functionally similar to the computer primary memory and the computer cache memory, respectively. Secondly, the retrieval process functions, in both systems, to support the operation of dynamic networks-biochemical regulatory networks in cells and, in computers, the virtual networks (of CPU instructions) that the CPU travels through while executing computer programs. Moreover, many regulatory techniques are implemented in computers at each step of the information retrieval process, with a goal of optimizing system performance. Cellular counterparts can be easily identified for these regulatory techniques. In other words, this comparative study attempted to utilize theoretical insight from computer system design principles as catalysis to sketch an integrative view of the gene expression process, that is, how it functions to ensure efficient operation of the overall cellular regulatory network. In context of this bird's-eye view, discrepancy between protein and RNA abundance became a logical observation one would expect. It was suggested that this discrepancy, when interpreted in the context of system operation, serves as a potential source of information to decipher regulatory logics underneath biochemical network operation.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sangkert, Supaporn [Biological Materials for Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla90110 (Thailand); Meesane, Jirut, E-mail: jirutmeesane999@yahoo.co.uk [Biological Materials for Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla90110 (Thailand); Kamonmattayakul, Suttatip [Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla90110 (Thailand); Chai, Wen Lin [Faculty of Dentistry, Department of General Dental Practice and Oral and Maxillofacial Imaging, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

    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

  6. Interactions of SR45, an SR-like protein, with spliceosomal proteins and an intronic sequence: insights into regulated splicing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Irene S; Golovkin, Maxim; Palusa, Saiprasad G; Link, Alicia; Ali, Gul S; Thomas, Julie; Richardson, Dale N; Reddy, Anireddy S N

    2012-09-01

    SR45 is a serine/arginine-rich (SR)-like protein with two arginine/serine-rich (RS) domains. We have previously shown that SR45 regulates alternative splicing (AS) by differential selection of 5' and 3' splice sites. However, it is unknown how SR45 regulates AS. To gain mechanistic insights into the roles of SR45 in splicing, we screened a yeast two-hybrid library with SR45. This screening resulted in the isolation of two spliceosomal proteins, U1-70K and U2AF(35) b that are known to function in 5' and 3' splice site selection, respectively. This screen not only confirmed our prior observation that U1-70K and SR45 interact, but also helped to identify an additional interacting partner (U2AF(35) ). In vitro and in vivo analyses revealed an interaction of SR45 with both paralogs of U2AF(35) . Furthermore, we show that the RS1 and RS2 domains of SR45, and not the RNA recognition motif (RRM) domain, associate independently with both U2AF(35) proteins. Interaction studies among U2AF(35) paralogs and between U2AF(35) and U1-70K revealed that U2AF(35) can form homo- or heterodimers and that U2AF(35) proteins can associate with U1-70K. Using RNA probes from SR30 intron 10, whose splicing is altered in the sr45 mutant, we show that SR45 and U2AF(35) b bind to different parts of the intron, with a binding site for SR45 in the 5' region and two binding regions, each ending with a known 3' splice site, for U2AF(35) b. These results suggest that SR45 recruits U1snRNP and U2AF to 5' and 3' splice sites, respectively, by interacting with pre-mRNA, U1-70K and U2AF(35) and modulates AS. © 2012 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. Grafting of methacryl amide onto γ-irradiated silk fiber and several physical properties of the grafted-silk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsukada, Masuhio; Aoki, Akira

    1985-01-01

    Strength-strain measurement and DSC were carried out in order to analyze the physical properties of Methacryl amide (MAA)-grafted silk fibers, which had been degummed and irradiated with gamma rays (total dose of gamma rays 1.05 Mrad) prior to the MAA graft processing. Strength, elongation, initile tensile resistance and tensile elasticity of MAA-grafted silk fibers were very similar to those of untreated silk fibers. The degree of grafting for MAA-grafted silk was about 40-42 % regardless of gamma irradiation treatment, while the denier of grafted silk was about 30 % greater than that of untreated silk fiber. Water content and humidity absorption power of the silk fiber markedly increased by the MAA grafting. However, strength and elongation of MAA-grafted silk fiber decreased appeciably compared with the untreated silk fiber. Initial tensile resistance and tensile elasticity of MAA-grafted silk fiber remained uncharged even after MAA grafting. Tensile elasticity of MAA-grafted silk fiber which had been irradiated with gamma rays and successively degummed slightly increased with the other MAA-grafted silk fibers. (author)

  8. 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.

  9. Structural and functional insights into small, glutamine-rich, tetratricopeptide repeat protein alpha

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna D Roberts

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available SGTA is a co-chaperone that interacts with molecular chaperones and steroid receptor complexes and plays an important role in various cellular pathways. It consists of three structural domains with individual functions, an N-terminal dimerisation domain (SGTA_NT that assists protein sorting pathways, a central tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR domain that interacts with heat-shock proteins and a C-terminal glutamine rich region that binds hydrophobic substrates. A range of biophysical techniques has been employed to characterize its structure and to investigate its interactions with binding partners. SGTA interacts with the androgen receptor and other steroid receptor complexes and has been shown to be linked to hormonally induced disease states. Therefore, a full structure of SGTA and further investigation of its function as a molecular co-chaperone could provide us with useful insights into the mechanisms of related pathologies. This review describes how some structural features of SGTA have been elucidated, and what this has uncovered about its function as a co-chaperone. A brief background on the structure and function of SGTA is given, highlighting its importance to biomedicine and related fields. The current level of knowledge and what remains to be understood about the structure and function of SGTA is summarised, discussing the potential direction of future research.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Native spider silk as a biological optical fiber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huby, N.; Vié, V.; Renault, A.; Beaufils, S.; Lefèvre, T.; Paquet-Mercier, F.; Pézolet, M.; Bêche, B.

    2013-03-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the use of eco-friendly native spider silk as an efficient optical fiber in air, highly bent fibers, and physiological liquid. We also integrated the silk filament in a photonic chip made of polymer microstructures fabricated by UV lithography. The molding process is non-destructive for silk and leads to an efficient micro-optical coupling between silk and synthetic optical structures. These optical performances combined with the unique biocompatibility, bioresorbability, flexibility, and tensile strength of silk filaments pave the way for new applications in biological media and for original biophotonic purposes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mud and silk in the dark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    specimens of Lusitanipus alternans (Verhoeff, 1893) in the laboratory for one year and studied its moulting process, including the first study of the maturation moult in the order Callipodida. Unlike the typical silk cocoon reported for other callipodidans, this species builds a new type of solid moulting...... 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Knockdown of Broad-Complex Gene Expression of Bombyx mori by Oligopyrrole Carboxamides Enhances Silk Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Asfa; Bovilla, Venugopal Reddy; Mysarla, Danti Kumari; Siripurapu, Prasanthi; Pathak, Rashmi U; Basu, Bhakti; Mamillapalli, Anitha; Bhattacharya, Santanu

    2017-04-11

    Bombyx mori (B. mori) is important due to its major role in the silk production. Though DNA binding ligands often influence gene expression, no attempt has been made to exploit their use in sericulture. The telomeric heterochromatin of B. mori is enriched with 5'-TTAGG-3' sequences. These sequences were also found to be present in several genes in the euchromatic regions. We examined three synthetic oligopyrrole carboxamides that target 5'-TTAGG-3' sequences in controlling the gene expression in B. mori. The ligands did not show any defect or feeding difference in the larval stage, crucial for silk production. The ligands caused silencing of various isoforms of the broad-complex transcription factor and cuticle proteins which resulted in late pupal developmental defects. Furthermore, treatment with such drugs resulted in statistically enhanced cocoon weight, shell weight, and silk yield. This study shows for the first time use of oligopyrrole carboxamide drugs in controlling gene expression in B. mori and their long term use in enhancing silk production.

  20. Mechanical and physical properties of recombinant spider silk films using organic and aqueous solvents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Chauncey L; Jones, Justin A; Bringhurst, Heidi N; Copeland, Cameron G; Addison, J Bennett; Weber, Warner S; Mou, Qiushi; Yarger, Jeffery L; Lewis, Randolph V

    2014-08-11

    Spider silk has exceptional mechanical and biocompatibility properties. The goal of this study was optimization of the mechanical properties of synthetic spider silk thin films made from synthetic forms of MaSp1 and MaSp2, which compose the dragline silk of Nephila clavipes. We increased the mechanical stress of MaSp1 and 2 films solubilized in both HFIP and water by adding glutaraldehyde and then stretching them in an alcohol based stretch bath. This resulted in stresses as high as 206 MPa and elongations up to 35%, which is 4× higher than the as-poured controls. Films were analyzed using NMR, XRD, and Raman, which showed that the secondary structure after solubilization and film formation in as-poured films is mainly a helical conformation. After the post-pour stretch in a methanol/water bath, the MaSp proteins in both the HFIP and water-based films formed aligned β-sheets similar to those in spider silk fibers.

  1. 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.

  2. Structural Insights into Inhibition of Escherichia coli Penicillin-binding Protein 1B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Dustin T; Wasney, Gregory A; Nosella, Michael; Fong, Anita; Strynadka, Natalie C J

    2017-01-20

    In Escherichia coli, the peptidoglycan cell wall is synthesized by bifunctional penicillin-binding proteins such as PBP1b that have both transpeptidase and transglycosylase activities. The PBP1b transpeptidase domain is a major target of β-lactams, and therefore it is important to attain a detailed understanding of its inhibition. The peptidoglycan glycosyltransferase domain of PBP1b is also considered an excellent antibiotic target yet is not exploited by any clinically approved antibacterials. Herein, we adapt a pyrophosphate sensor assay to monitor PBP1b-catalyzed glycosyltransfer and present an improved crystallographic model for inhibition of the PBP1b glycosyltransferase domain by the potent substrate analog moenomycin. We elucidate the structure of a previously disordered region in the glycosyltransferase active site and discuss its implications with regards to peptidoglycan polymerization. Furthermore, we solve the crystal structures of E. coli PBP1b bound to multiple different β-lactams in the transpeptidase active site and complement these data with gel-based competition assays to provide a detailed structural understanding of its inhibition. Taken together, these biochemical and structural data allow us to propose new insights into inhibition of both enzymatic domains in PBP1b. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. Nanorheology of regenerated silk fibroin solution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Wintec

    Abstract. We have investigated the rheological properties of regenerated silk fibroin (RSF), a viscoelastic material at micro and nano length scales, by video microscopy. We describe here the principles and technique of video microscopy as a tool in such investigations. In this work, polystyrene beads were dispersed in the ...

  7. The Ancient Art of Silk Painting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yonker, Kim

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a silk-painting project with a sea-creature theme for eighth-grade students. Other themes can be used such as geometric quilt designs, tropical rain forest, large flowers, Art Nouveau motifs, portraits and more. (Contains 2 resources.)

  8. Silk-Screening a la Andy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathes, Len

    2000-01-01

    Describes a project that was used with advanced 11th and 12th grade art students in which they created silk-screen self-portraits in the style of Andy Warhol. Discusses the process of creating the portraits and the activities that concluded the project. Lists the needed materials. (CMK)

  9. 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

    2018-03-14

    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 [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 reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Elastic, silk-cardiac extracellular matrix hydrogels exhibit time-dependent stiffening that modulates cardiac fibroblast response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoppel, Whitney L; Gao, Albert E; Greaney, Allison M; Partlow, Benjamin P; Bretherton, Ross C; Kaplan, David L; Black, Lauren D

    2016-12-01

    Heart failure is the leading cause of death in the United States and rapidly becoming the leading cause of death worldwide. While pharmacological treatments can reduce progression to heart failure following myocardial infarction, there still exists a need for new therapies that promote better healing postinjury for a more functional cardiac repair and methods to understand how the changes to tissue mechanical properties influence cell phenotype and function following injury. To address this need, we have optimized a silk-based hydrogel platform containing cardiac tissue-derived extracellular matrix (cECM). These silk-cECM hydrogels have tunable mechanical properties, as well as rate-controllable hydrogel stiffening over time. In vitro, silk-cECM scaffolds led to enhanced cardiac fibroblast (CF) cell growth and viability with culture time. cECM incorporation improved expression of integrin an focal adhesion proteins, suggesting that CFs were able to interact with the cECM in the hydrogel. Subcutaneous injection of silk hydrogels in rats demonstrated that addition of the cECM led to endogenous cell infiltration and promoted endothelial cell ingrowth after 4 weeks in vivo. This naturally derived silk fibroin platform is applicable to the development of more physiologically relevant constructs that replicate healthy and diseased tissue in vitro and has the potential to be used as an injectable therapeutic for cardiac repair. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 104A: 3058-3072, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Towards Silk Fiber Optics: Refractive Index Characterization, Fiber Spinning, and Spinneret Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzberg, Joshua David

    Of the many biologically derived materials, whose historical record of use by humans underscores an ex-vivo utility, silk is interesting for it's contemporary repurposing from textile to biocompatible substrate. And while even within this category silk is one of several materials studied for novel repurposing, it has the unique character of being evolutionarily developed specifically for fiber spinning in vivo. The work discussed here is inspired by taking what nature has given, to explore the in vitro spinning of silk towards biocompatible fiber optics applications. A common formulation of silk used in biomedical studies for re-forming it into the various structures begins with the silkworm cocoon, which is degummed and dissolved into an aqueous solution of its miscible protein, fibroin, and post-treated to fabricate solid structures. In the first aim, the optical refractive index (RI) of various post-treatment methods is discussed towards determining RI design techniques. The methods considered in this work for re-forming a solid fiber from the reconstituted silk fibroin (RSF) solution borrow from the industrial techniques of gel spinning, and dry-spinning. In the second aim, methods are applied to RSF and quality of the spun fibers discussed. A feature common to spinning techniques is passing the (silk) material through a spinneret of specific shape. In the third aim, fluid flow through a simplified native silkworm spinneret is modeled towards bio-inspired lessons in design. In chapter 1 the history, reconstitution, are discussed towards understanding the fabrication of several optical device examples. Chapter 2 then prefaces the experiments and measurements in fiber optics by reviewing electromagnetic theory of waveguide function, and loss factors, to be considered in actual device fabrication. Chapter 3 presents results and discussion for the first aim, understanding design principles for the refractive index of RSF. From this point, industrial fiber

  13. Quantitative physical and handling characteristics of novel antibacterial braided silk suture materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaojie; Hou, Dandan; Tang, Xiaoqi; Wang, Lu

    2015-10-01

    Surgical braided silk sutures have been widely used because these materials exhibit good handling characteristics, ease of use, and ideal knot security. However, surgical silk sutures likely cause surgical site infections because these sutures are composed of natural protein materials with a braided structure. As such, antibacterial silk sutures for clinical wound closure should be developed. Braided silk suture could be treated and modified with antibacterial agent, provided that excellent physical and handling characteristics of this material should maximize maintained. This study aimed to quantitatively investigate the effect of antibacterial treatment with different parameters on physical and handling characteristics of novel antibacterial braided silk sutures. Physical and handling characteristics, including appearance, knot-pull tensile strength, pullout friction resistance, tissue drag friction resistance, and bending stiffness, were evaluated. After physical and handling tests were conducted, images showed morphological characteristics were obtained and evaluated to investigate the relationship between antibacterial treatment and physical and handling properties. Results showed that suture diameter increased and reached the nearest thick size specification; knot-pull tensile strength decreased but remained higher than the standard value by at least 40.73%. Fracture asynchronism during knot-pull tensile strength test suggested that the fineness ratio of shell and core strands may enhance knot-pull tensile strength. Static and dynamic frictions of suture-to-suture friction behavior were slightly affected by antibacterial treatment, and changed to less than 16.07% and 32.77%, respectively. Suture-to-tissue friction and bending stiffness increased by approximately 50%; the bending stiffness of the proposed suture remained efficient compared with that of synthetic sutures. Therefore, good physical and handling characteristics can be maintained by selecting

  14. Potential Biomarkers Found by Protein Profiling May Provide Insight for the Macrovascular Pathogenesis of Diabetes Mellitus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William C. S. Cho

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Diabetes mellitus (DM is an alarming threat to health of mankind, yet its pathogenesis is unclear. The purpose of this study was to find potential biomarkers to serve as indicators for the pathogenesis of DM in a time course manner. Based on our previous findings that oxidative stress occurred at week 8, aorta lysate and sera of 102 streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic and 85 control male Sprague-Dawley rats were obtained at the 4th, 8th and 12th week after STZ injection. The protein profiles were studied employing surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry technology in attomole sensitivity range. In the aorta, a multiple biomarker panel was discovered at the 4th week. At the 8th week, 4 biomarkers were found, while at the 12th week, 3 biomarkers were identified. In the sera, a triplet of 3 peaks and 2 biomarkers were all discovered to have 100% classification accuracy rate to differentiate the DM and control groups at all time intervals. Besides, 2 biomarkers were also found to have high classification value at week 12. Comparing the aorta and sera from DM and non-DM rats, a bundle of potential biomarkers with significant changes in peak intensities and high classification values were found. Two of the serum biomarkers matched with islet amyloid polypeptide and resistin in the SWISS-PROT knowledgebase. Validation has been conducted using immunoassay kits. These potential biomarkers may provide valuable insight on the pathogenesis of DM and macrovascular complications.

  15. 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.

  16. Controlling the molecular structure and physical properties of artificial honeybee silk by heating or by immersion in solvents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mickey G Huson

    Full Text Available Honeybee larvae produce silken cocoons that provide mechanical stability to the hive. The silk proteins are small and non-repetitive and therefore can be produced at large scale by fermentation in E. coli. The recombinant proteins can be fabricated into a range of forms; however the resultant material is soluble in water and requires a post production stabilizing treatment. In this study, we describe the structural and mechanical properties of sponges fabricated from artificial honeybee silk proteins that have been stabilized in aqueous methanol baths or by dry heating. Aqueous methanol treatment induces formation of ß-sheets, with the amount of ß-sheet dictated by methanol concentration. Formation of ß-sheets renders sponges insoluble in water and generates a reversibly compressible material. Dry heat treatments at 190°C produce a water insoluble material, that is stiffer than the methanol treated equivalent but without significant secondary structural changes. Honeybee silk proteins are particularly high in Lys, Ser, Thr, Glu and Asp. The properties of the heat treated material are attributed to generation of lysinoalanine, amide (isopeptide and/or ester covalent cross-links. The unique ability to stabilize material by controlling secondary structure rearrangement and covalent cross-linking allows us to design recombinant silk materials with a wide range of properties.

  17. Adhesion modulation using glue droplet spreading in spider capture silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Zhang, Ci; Blackledge, Todd A; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2017-05-01

    Orb web spiders use sticky capture spiral silk to retain prey in webs. Capture spiral silk is composed of an axial fibre of flagelliform silk covered with glue droplets that are arranged in a beads-on-a-string morphology that allows multiple droplets to simultaneously extend and resist pull off. Previous studies showed that the adhesion of capture silk is responsive to environmental humidity, increasing up to an optimum humidity that varied among different spider species. The maximum adhesion was hypothesized to occur when the viscoelasticity of the glue optimized contributions from glue spreading and bulk cohesion. In this study, we show how glue droplet shape during peeling contributes significantly to capture silk adhesion. Both overspreading and underspreading of glue droplets reduces adhesion through changes in crack propagation and failure regime. Understanding the mechanism of stimuli-responsive adhesion of spider capture silk will lead to new designs for smarter adhesives. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Physical and Chemical Aspects of Stabilization of Compounds in Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, Eleanor M.; Dennis, Patrick B.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Naik, Rajesh R.; Kaplan, David L.

    2015-01-01

    The challenge of stabilization of small molecules and proteins has received considerable interest. The biological activity of small molecules can be lost as a consequence of chemical modifications, while protein activity may be lost due to chemical or structural degradation, such as a change in macromolecular conformation or aggregation. In these cases stabilization is required to preserve therapeutic and bioactivity efficacy and safety. In addition to use in therapeutic applications, strategies to stabilize small molecules and proteins also have applications in industrial processes, diagnostics, and consumer products like food and cosmetics. Traditionally, therapeutic drug formulation efforts have focused on maintaining stability during product preparation and storage. However, with growing interest in the fields of encapsulation, tissue engineering and controlled release drug delivery systems, new stabilization challenges are being addressed; the compounds or protein of interest must be stabilized during: (1) fabrication of the protein or small molecule loaded carrier, (2) device storage, and (3) for the duration of intended release needs in vitro or in vivo. We review common mechanisms of compound degradation for small molecules and proteins during biomaterial preparation (including tissue engineering scaffolds and drug delivery systems), storage and in vivo implantation. We also review the physical and chemical aspects of polymer-based stabilization approaches, with a particular focus on the stabilizing properties of silk fibroin biomaterials. PMID:22270942

  19. 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.

  20. Stress/Strain Characteristics and Biochemical Correlates of Spider Silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-10-18

    do aminoacid analysis on silk samples measured and collected from the same spiders. Background to reports 1 and 2: Dr Kaplan left Natick during the...properties (shown by us) as well as measurable effects on silk aminoacid compositions (C Craig pers. comm). Thus after initial samples of silks from a...variability could be the state of nutrition of the spider. Starvation has been shown to have an effect on the web- geometry in orb-weaving spiders 2; and

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Affinity chromatography revealed insights into unique functionality of two 14-3-3 protein species in developing maize kernels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dou, Yao; Liu, Xiangguo; Yin, Yuejia; Han, Siping; Lu, Yang; Liu, Yang; Hao, Dongyun

    2015-01-30

    The 14-3-3 proteins are a group of regulatory proteins of divergent functions in plants. However, little is known about their roles in maize kernel development. Using publically available gene expression profiling data, we found that two 14-3-3 species genes, zmgf14-4 and zmgf14-6, exhibited prominent expression profiles over other 14-3-3 protein genes during maize kernel development. More than 5000 transcripts of these two genes were identified accounting for about 1/10 of the total transcripts of genes correlating to maize kernel development. We constructed a proteomics pipeline based on the affinity chromatography, in combination with 2-DE and LC-MS/MS technologies to identify the specific client proteins of the two proteins for their functional characterization. Consequently, we identified 77 specific client proteins from the developing kernels of the inbred maize B73. More than 60% of the client proteins were commonly affinity-identified by the two 14-3-3 species and are predicted to be implicated in the fundamental functions of metabolism, protein destination and storage. In addition, we found ZmGF14-4 specifically bound to the disease- or defense-relating proteins, whilst ZmGF14-6 tended to interact with the proteins involving metabolism and cell structure. Our findings provide primary insights into the functional roles of 14-3-3 proteins in maize kernel development. Maize kernel development is a complicated physiological process for its importance in both genetics and cereal breeding. 14-3-3 proteins form a multi-gene family participating in regulations of developmental processes in plants. However, the correlation between this protein family and maize kernel development has hardly been studied. We have for the first time found 12 14-3-3 protein genes from maize genome and studied in silico the gene transcription profiling of these genes. Comparative studies revealed that maize kernel development aroused a great number of gene expression, among which 14

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Garbage on, Garbage off: New Insights into Plasma Membrane Protein Quality Control

    OpenAIRE

    MacGurn, Jason A.

    2014-01-01

    Maintenance of cellular protein quality – by restoring misfolded proteins to their native state and by targeting terminally misfolded or damaged proteins for degradation – is a critical function of all cells. To ensure protein quality, cells have evolved various organelle-specific quality control mechanisms responsible recognizing and responding to misfolded proteins at different subcellular locations of the cell. Recently, several publications have begun to elucidate mechanisms of quality co...

  7. Characterization of a novel class II bHLH transcription factor from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus, with silk-gland restricted patterns of expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Kristin; Thayer, William; Le, Trang; Sembhi, Amardeep; Vasanthavada, Keshav; Moore, Anne M F; Vierra, Craig A

    2005-06-01

    Members of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family are required for a number of different developmental pathways, including lymphopoiesis, myogenesis, neurogenesis, and sex determination. Screening a cDNA library prepared from silk-producing glands of the black widow spider, we have identified a new bHLH transcription factor named SGSF. Within the bHLH region, SGSF showed considerable conservation with other HLH proteins, including Drosophila melanogaster achaete and scute, as well as three HLH proteins identified by gene prediction programs. The expression pattern of SGSF was restricted to a subset of silk-producing glands, which include the tubuliform and major ampullate glands. SGSF was capable of binding an E-box element as a heterodimer with the E protein, E47, but was unable to bind this motif as a homodimer. SGSF was demonstrated to be a nuclear transcription factor capable of attenuating the transactivation of E47 homodimers in mammalian cells. SGSF represents the first example of a silk gland-restricted bHLH protein, and its expression pattern suggests that SGSF plays a role in regulating differentiation of cells in the spider that control silk gland formation or egg case silk gene expression.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Silk-Based Injectable Biomaterial as an Alternative to Cervical Cerclage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heard, Asha J.; Socrate, Simona; Burke, Kelly A.; Norwitz, Errol R.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: New therapies to prevent preterm birth are needed. Our objective was to study an injectable biomaterial for human cervical tissue as an alternative to cervical cerclage. Study Design: Human cervical tissue specimens were obtained from premenopausal gynecological hysterectomies for benign indications. A 3-part biomaterial was formulated, consisting of silk protein solution blended with a 2-part polyethylene glycol gelation system. The solutions were injected into cervical tissue and the tissue was evaluated for mechanical properties, swelling, cytocompatibility, and histology. Results: The stiffness of cervical tissue more than doubled after injection (P = .02). Swelling properties of injected tissue were no different than native tissue controls. Cervical fibroblasts remained viable for at least 48 hours when cultured on the biomaterial. Conclusions: We report a silk-based, biocompatible, injectable biomaterial that increased the stiffness of cervical tissue compared to uninjected controls. Animal studies are needed to assess this biomaterial in vivo. PMID:23271162

  13. Silk-based injectable biomaterial as an alternative to cervical cerclage: an in vitro study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heard, Asha J; Socrate, Simona; Burke, Kelly A; Norwitz, Errol R; Kaplan, David L; House, Michael D

    2013-08-01

    New therapies to prevent preterm birth are needed. Our objective was to study an injectable biomaterial for human cervical tissue as an alternative to cervical cerclage. Human cervical tissue specimens were obtained from premenopausal gynecological hysterectomies for benign indications. A 3-part biomaterial was formulated, consisting of silk protein solution blended with a 2-part polyethylene glycol gelation system. The solutions were injected into cervical tissue and the tissue was evaluated for mechanical properties, swelling, cytocompatibility, and histology. The stiffness of cervical tissue more than doubled after injection (P = .02). Swelling properties of injected tissue were no different than native tissue controls. Cervical fibroblasts remained viable for at least 48 hours when cultured on the biomaterial. We report a silk-based, biocompatible, injectable biomaterial that increased the stiffness of cervical tissue compared to uninjected controls. Animal studies are needed to assess this biomaterial in vivo.

  14. Landscape of Pleiotropic Proteins Causing Human Disease: Structural and System Biology Insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ittisoponpisan, Sirawit; Alhuzimi, Eman; Sternberg, Michael J E; David, Alessia

    2017-03-01

    Pleiotropy is the phenomenon by which the same gene can result in multiple phenotypes. Pleiotropic proteins are emerging as important contributors to rare and common disorders. Nevertheless, little is known on the mechanisms underlying pleiotropy and the characteristic of pleiotropic proteins. We analyzed disease-causing proteins reported in UniProt and observed that 12% are pleiotropic (variants in the same protein cause more than one disease). Pleiotropic proteins were enriched in deleterious and rare variants, but not in common variants. Pleiotropic proteins were more likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of neoplasms, neurological, and circulatory diseases and congenital malformations, whereas non-pleiotropic proteins in endocrine and metabolic disorders. Pleiotropic proteins were more essential and had a higher number of interacting partners compared with non-pleiotropic proteins. Significantly more pleiotropic than non-pleiotropic proteins contained at least one intrinsically long disordered region (P human disease. They represent a biologically different class of proteins compared with non-pleiotropic proteins and a better understanding of their characteristics and genetic variants can greatly aid in the interpretation of genetic studies and drug design. © 2016 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

  17. Visual Literacy with Picture Books: The Silk Road

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisland, Beverly Milner Lee

    2007-01-01

    The ancient Silk Routes connecting China to Europe across the rugged mountains and deserts of central Asia are one of the primary examples of transculturation in world history. Traders on these routes dealt not only in goods such as silk and horses but also made possible the spread of art forms as well as two major religions, Buddhism and Islam. …

  18. Silk-Based Biomaterials for Sustained Drug Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yucel, Tuna; Lovett, Michael L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Silk presents a rare combination of desirable properties for sustained drug delivery, including aqueous-based purification and processing options without chemical cross-linkers, compatibility with common sterilization methods, controllable and surface-mediated biodegradation into non-inflammatory by-products, biocompatibility, utility in drug stabilization, and robust mechanical properties. A versatile silk-based toolkit is currently available for sustained drug delivery formulations of small molecule through macromolecular drugs, with a promise to mitigate several drawbacks associated with other degradable sustained delivery technologies in the market. Silk-based formulations utilize silk’s well-defined nano- through microscale structural hierarchy, stimuli-responsive self-assembly pathways and crystal polymorphism, as well as sequence and genetic modification options towards targeted pharmaceutical outcomes. Furthermore, by manipulating the interactions between silk and drug molecules, near-zero order sustained release may be achieved through diffusion- and degradation-based release mechanisms. Because of these desirable properties, there has been increasing industrial interest in silk-based drug delivery systems currently at various stages of the developmental pipeline from pre-clinical to FDA-approved products. Here, we discuss the unique aspects of silk technology as a sustained drug delivery platform and highlight the current state of the art in silk-based drug delivery. We also offer a potential early development pathway for silk-based sustained delivery products. PMID:24910193

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ampullate glands. The silk fibres of the inner cover of the egg case from cylindrical glands appears to be distinct from the silk fibres of the major ampullate glands based on their micro-morphology, mole percent amino acid composition and types, and tensile behaviour and properties. Collectively, our investigations show that ...

  20. 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)

  1. 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 ...

  2. Shedding light on the optical properties of spider silk fiber

    OpenAIRE

    Chow, Desmond M.; Tow, Kenny Hey; Vollrath, Fritz; Dicaire, Isabelle; Gheysens, Tom; Thevenaz, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Optical characterisation of a Nephila edulis spider dragline silk is performed. The silk fiber transmits light up to 1400 nm with a propagation loss of ∼9 dB/cm and birefringence of 8×10−3 measured at 1302 nm.

  3. Re-Opening the Silk Road to Transform Chinese Trade

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Ning (Mao); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractUnder anti-globalization and isolationism, China is seeking to portray itself as a new leader for globalization under the banner of the Silk Road initiative. Meanwhile, China’s traditional and comparatively advantaged industry, silk, has faced dire predicaments and challenges for long

  4. Silk formation mechanisms in the larval salivary glands of Apis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Keywords. Bee; electron microscopy; larval salivary gland; light microscopy; polarized light microscopy; silk gland. Abstract. 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 ...

  5. Garbage on, garbage off: new insights into plasma membrane protein quality control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGurn, Jason A

    2014-08-01

    Maintenance of cellular protein quality - by restoring misfolded proteins to their native state and by targeting terminally misfolded or damaged proteins for degradation - is a critical function of all cells. To ensure protein quality, cells have evolved various organelle-specific quality control mechanisms responsible for recognizing and responding to misfolded proteins at different subcellular locations of the cell. Recently, several publications have begun to elucidate mechanisms of quality control that operate at the plasma membrane (PM), recognizing misfolded PM proteins and targeting their endocytic trafficking and lysosomal degradation. Here, I discuss these recent developments in our understanding of PM quality control mechanisms and how they relate to global protein quality control strategies in the cell. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Protein sequences insight into heavy metal tolerance in Cronobacter sakazakii BAA-894 encoded by plasmid pESA3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaturvedi, Navaneet; Kajsik, Michal; Forsythe, Stephen; Pandey, Paras Nath

    2015-12-01

    The recently annotated genome of the bacterium Cronobacter sakazakii BAA-894 suggests that the organism has the ability to bind heavy metals. This study demonstrates heavy metal tolerance in C. sakazakii, in which proteins with the heavy metal interaction were recognized by computational and experimental study. As the result, approximately one-fourth of proteins encoded on the plasmid pESA3 are proposed to have potential interaction with heavy metals. Interaction between heavy metals and predicted proteins was further corroborated using protein crystal structures from protein data bank database and comparison of metal-binding ligands. In addition, a phylogenetic study was undertaken for the toxic heavy metals, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, which generated relatedness clustering for lead, cadmium and arsenic. Laboratory studies confirmed the organism's tolerance to tellurite, copper and silver. These experimental and computational study data extend our understanding of the genes encoding for proteins of this important neonatal pathogen and provide further insights into the genotypes associated with features that can contribute to its persistence in the environment. The information will be of value for future environmental protection from heavy toxic metals.

  8. Indispensable roles of mammalian Cbl family proteins as negative regulators of protein tyrosine kinase signaling: Insights from in vivo models

    OpenAIRE

    Naramura, Mayumi; Band, Vimla; Band, Hamid

    2011-01-01

    All higher eukaryotes utilize protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) as molecular switches to control a variety of cellular signals. Notably, many PTKs have been identified as proto-oncogenes whose aberrant expression, mutations or co-option by pathogens can lead to human malignancies. Thus, it is obvious that PTK functions must be precisely regulated in order to maintain homeostasis of an organism. Investigations over the past fifteen years have revealed that members of the Cbl family proteins can ...

  9. Fabrication of Silk Nanofibres with Needle and Roller Electrospinning Methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nongnut Sasithorn

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, silk nanofibres were prepared by electrospinning from silk fibroin in a mixture of formic acid and calcium chloride. A needle and a rotating cylinder were used as fibre generators in the spinning process. The influences of the spinning electrode and spinning parameters (silk concentration and applied voltage on the spinning process, morphology of the obtained fibres, and the production rate of the spinning process were examined. The concentration of the spinning solution influenced the diameter of the silk electrospun fibres, with an increase in the concentration increasing the diameters of the fibres in both spinning systems. The diameters of the electrospun fibres produced by roller electrospinning were greater than those produced by needle electrospinning. Moreover, increasing the concentration of the silk solution and the applied voltage in the spinning process improved the production rate in roller electrospinning but had less influence on the production rate in needle electrospinning.

  10. 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)

  11. Biomimetic nucleation of hydroxyapatite crystals mediated by Antheraea pernyi silk sericin promotes osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Mingying; Shuai, Yajun; Zhang, Can; Chen, Yuyin; Zhu, Liangjun; Mao, Chuanbin; OuYang, Hongwei

    2014-04-14

    Biomacromolecules have been used as templates to grow hydroxyapatite crystals (HAps) by biomineralization to fabricate mineralized materials for potential application in bone tissue engineering. Silk sericin is a protein with features desirable as a biomaterial, such as increased hydrophilicity and biodegradation. Mineralization of the silk sericin from Antheraea pernyi (A. pernyi) silkworm has rarely been reported. Here, for the first time, nucleation of HAps on A. pernyi silk sericin (AS) was attempted through a wet precipitation method and consequently the cell viability and osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs on mineralized AS were investigated. It was found that AS mediated the nucleation of HAps in the form of nanoneedles while self-assembling into β-sheet conformation, leading to the formation of a biomineralized protein based biomaterial. The cell viability assay of BMSCs showed that the mineralization of AS stimulated cell adhesion and proliferation, showing that the resultant AS biomaterial is biocompatible. The differentiation assay confirmed that the mineralized AS significantly promoted the osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs when compared to nonmineralized AS as well as other types of sericin (B. mori sericin), suggesting that the resultant mineralized AS biomaterial has potential in promoting bone formation. This result represented the first work proving the osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs directed by silk sericin. Therefore, the biomineralization of A. pernyi silk sericin coupled with seeding BMSCs on the resultant mineralized biomaterials is a useful strategy to develop the potential application of this unexplored silk sericin in the field of bone tissue engineering. This study lays the foundation for the use of A. pernyi silk sericin as a potential scaffold for tissue engineering.

  12. Hierarchical Partitioning of Metazoan Protein Conservation Profiles Provides New Functional Insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witztum, Jonathan; Persi, Erez; Horn, David; Pasmanik-Chor, Metsada; Chor, Benny

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24594619

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Recombinant human activated protein C: current insights into its mechanism of action

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Levi, Marcel; van der Poll, Tom

    2007-01-01

    Impairment of the protein C pathway plays a central role in the pathogenesis of sepsis. Administration of recombinant human activated protein C (rhAPC) may correct the dysregulated anticoagulant mechanism and prevent propagation of thrombin generation and formation of microvascular thrombosis.

  16. Caenorhabditis elegans NONO-1: Insights into DBHS protein structure, architecture, and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knott, Gavin J; Lee, Mihwa; Passon, Daniel M; Fox, Archa H; Bond, Charles S

    2015-12-01

    Members of the Drosophila behavior/human splicing (DBHS) protein family have been characterized in the vertebrates Homo sapiens and Mus musculus, and the invertebrates Drosophila melanogaster and Chironomus tentans. Collectively, both vertebrate and invertebrate DBHS proteins function throughout gene regulation, largely but not always, within the nucleus. In this study, we report a structural and bioinformatic analysis of the DBHS protein family to guide future studies into DBHS protein function. To explore the structural plasticity of the family, we describe the 2.4 Å crystal structure of Caenorhabditis elegans non-POU domain-containing octamer-binding protein 1 (NONO-1). The structure is dimeric, with a domain arrangement consistent with mammalian DBHS proteins. Comparison with the DBHS structures available from H. sapiens reveals that there is inherent domain flexibility within the homologous DBHS region. Mapping amino acid similarity within the family to the NONO-1 dimer highlights the dimer interface, coiled-coil oligomerization motif, and putative RNA binding surfaces. Surprisingly, the interior surface of RNA recognition motif 2 (RRM2) that faces a large internal void is highly variable, but the external β2-β3 loops of RRM2 show remarkable preservation. Overall, the DBHS region is under strong purifying selection, whereas the sequences N- and C-terminal to the DBHS region are less constrained. The findings described in this study provide a molecular basis for further investigation into the mechanistic function of the DBHS protein family in biology. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  17. Insights into Bacteriophage T5 Structure from Analysis of Its Morphogenesis Genes and Protein Components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zivanovic, Yvan; Confalonieri, Fabrice; Ponchon, Luc; Lurz, Rudi; Chami, Mohamed; Flayhan, Ali; Renouard, Madalena; Huet, Alexis; Decottignies, Paulette; Davidson, Alan R.; Breyton, Cécile

    2014-01-01

    Bacteriophage T5 represents a large family of lytic Siphoviridae infecting Gram-negative bacteria. The low-resolution structure of T5 showed the T=13 geometry of the capsid and the unusual trimeric organization of the tail tube, and the assembly pathway of the capsid was established. Although major structural proteins of T5 have been identified in these studies, most of the genes encoding the morphogenesis proteins remained to be identified. Here, we combine a proteomic analysis of T5 particles with a bioinformatic study and electron microscopic immunolocalization to assign function to the genes encoding the structural proteins, the packaging proteins, and other nonstructural components required for T5 assembly. A head maturation protease that likely accounts for the cleavage of the different capsid proteins is identified. Two other proteins involved in capsid maturation add originality to the T5 capsid assembly mechanism: the single head-to-tail joining protein, which closes the T5 capsid after DNA packaging, and the nicking endonuclease responsible for the single-strand interruptions in the T5 genome. We localize most of the tail proteins that were hitherto uncharacterized and provide a detailed description of the tail tip composition. Our findings highlight novel variations of viral assembly strategies and of virion particle architecture. They further recommend T5 for exploring phage structure and assembly and for deciphering conformational rearrangements that accompany DNA transfer from the capsid to the host cytoplasm. PMID:24198424

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Insights into the Immunological Properties of Intrinsically Disordered Malaria Proteins Using Proteome Scale Predictions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Guy

    Full Text Available Malaria remains a significant global health burden. The development of an effective malaria vaccine remains as a major challenge with the potential to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality. While Plasmodium spp. have been shown to contain a large number of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs or disordered protein regions, the relationship of protein structure to subcellular localisation and adaptive immune responses remains unclear. In this study, we employed several computational prediction algorithms to identify IDPs at the proteome level of six Plasmodium spp. and to investigate the potential impact of protein disorder on adaptive immunity against P. falciparum parasites. IDPs were shown to be particularly enriched within nuclear proteins, apical proteins, exported proteins and proteins localised to the parasitophorous vacuole. Furthermore, several leading vaccine candidates, and proteins with known roles in host-cell invasion, have extensive regions of disorder. Presentation of peptides by MHC molecules plays an important role in adaptive immune responses, and we show that IDP regions are predicted to contain relatively few MHC class I and II binding peptides owing to inherent differences in amino acid composition compared to structured domains. In contrast, linear B-cell epitopes were predicted to be enriched in IDPs. Tandem repeat regions and non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms were found to be strongly associated with regions of disorder. In summary, immune responses against IDPs appear to have characteristics distinct from those against structured protein domains, with increased antibody recognition of linear epitopes but some constraints for MHC presentation and issues of polymorphisms. These findings have major implications for vaccine design, and understanding immunity to malaria.

  1. Aciniform spidroin, a constituent of egg case sacs and wrapping silk fibers from the black widow spider Latrodectus hesperus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasanthavada, Keshav; Hu, Xiaoyi; Falick, Arnold M; La Mattina, Coby; Moore, Anne M F; Jones, Patrick R; Yee, Russell; Reza, Ryan; Tuton, Tiffany; Vierra, Craig

    2007-11-30

    Spiders produce high performance fibers with diverse mechanical properties and biological functions. Molecular and biochemical studies of spider egg case silk have revealed that the main constituent of the large diameter fiber contains the fibroin TuSp1. Here we demonstrate by SDS-PAGE and protein silver staining the presence of a distinct approximately 300-kDa polypeptide that is found in solubilized egg case sacs. Combining matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry and reverse genetics, we have isolated a novel gene called AcSp1-like and demonstrate that its protein product is assembled into the small diameter fibers of egg case sacs and wrapping silks from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. BLAST searches of the NCBInr protein data base using the amino acid sequence of AcSp1-like revealed similarity to AcSp1, an inferred protein proposed to be a component of wrapping silk. However, the AcSp1-like protein was found to display more nonuniformity in its internal iterated repeat modules than the putative AcSp1 fibroin. Real time quantitative PCR analysis demonstrates that the AcSp1-like gene displays an aciniform gland-restricted pattern of expression. The amino acid composition of the fibroins extracted from the luminal contents of the aciniform glands was remarkably similar to the predicted amino acid composition of the AcSp1-like protein, which supports the assertion that AcSp1-like protein represents the major constituent stored within the aciniform gland. Collectively, our findings provide the first direct molecular evidence for the involvement of the aciniform gland in the production of a common fibroin that is assembled into the small diameter threads of egg case and wrapping silk of cob weavers.

  2. Tailoring the properties and functions of phosphate/silk/Ag/chitosan scaffolds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abdel-Fattah, Wafa I., E-mail: nrcfifi@yahoo.com [National Research Centre, Biomaterials Department, Elbehoos St. Dokki, Giza (Egypt); Sallam, Abdel Sattar M., E-mail: ab_m_sallam@yahoo.com [Faculty of Science, Physics Department, Ain Shams University, Cairo (Egypt); Diab, A.M., E-mail: amdiabdr55@yahoo.com [High Institute of Engineering, Physics Department, El-Shorouk Academy, Cairo (Egypt); Ali, Ghareib W., E-mail: wafaa_ghareeeb@yahoo.com [National Research Centre, Biomaterials Department, Elbehoos St. Dokki, Giza (Egypt)

    2015-09-01

    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){sub XDR} and (CI){sub 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.

  3. Aqueous-Based Coaxial Electrospinning of Genetically Engineered Silk Elastin Core-Shell Nanofibers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingxin Zhu

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A nanofabrication method for the production of flexible core-shell structured silk elastin nanofibers is presented, based on an all-aqueous coaxial electrospinning process. In this process, silk fibroin (SF and silk-elastin-like protein polymer (SELP, both in aqueous solution, with high and low viscosity, respectively, were used as the inner (core and outer (shell layers of the nanofibers. The electrospinnable SF core solution served as a spinning aid for the nonelectrospinnable SELP shell solution. Uniform nanofibers with average diameter from 301 ± 108 nm to 408 ± 150 nm were obtained through adjusting the processing parameters. The core-shell structures of the nanofibers were confirmed by fluorescence and electron microscopy. In order to modulate the mechanical properties and provide stability in water, the as-spun SF-SELP nanofiber mats were treated with methanol vapor to induce β-sheet physical crosslinks. FTIR confirmed the conversion of the secondary structure from a random coil to β-sheets after the methanol treatment. Tensile tests of SF-SELP core-shell structured nanofibers showed good flexibility with elongation at break of 5.20% ± 0.57%, compared with SF nanofibers with an elongation at break of 1.38% ± 0.22%. The SF-SELP core-shell structured nanofibers should provide useful options to explore in the field of biomaterials due to the improved flexibility of the fibrous mats and the presence of a dynamic SELP layer on the outer surface.

  4. 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.

  5. Retrieving Backbone String Neighbors Provides Insights Into Structural Modeling of Membrane Proteins*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jiang-Ming; Li, Tong-Hua; Cong, Pei-Sheng; Tang, Sheng-Nan; Xiong, Wen-Wei

    2012-01-01

    Identification of protein structural neighbors to a query is fundamental in structure and function prediction. Here we present BS-align, a systematic method to retrieve backbone string neighbors from primary sequences as templates for protein modeling. The backbone conformation of a protein is represented by the backbone string, as defined in Ramachandran space. The backbone string of a query can be accurately predicted by two innovative technologies: a knowledge-driven sequence alignment and encoding of a backbone string element profile. Then, the predicted backbone string is employed to align against a backbone string database and retrieve a set of backbone string neighbors. The backbone string neighbors were shown to be close to native structures of query proteins. BS-align was successfully employed to predict models of 10 membrane proteins with lengths ranging between 229 and 595 residues, and whose high-resolution structural determinations were difficult to elucidate both by experiment and prediction. The obtained TM-scores and root mean square deviations of the models confirmed that the models based on the backbone string neighbors retrieved by the BS-align were very close to the native membrane structures although the query and the neighbor shared a very low sequence identity. The backbone string system represents a new road for the prediction of protein structure from sequence, and suggests that the similarity of the backbone string would be more informative than describing a protein as belonging to a fold. PMID:22415040

  6. Retrieving backbone string neighbors provides insights into structural modeling of membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jiang-Ming; Li, Tong-Hua; Cong, Pei-Sheng; Tang, Sheng-Nan; Xiong, Wen-Wei

    2012-07-01

    Identification of protein structural neighbors to a query is fundamental in structure and function prediction. Here we present BS-align, a systematic method to retrieve backbone string neighbors from primary sequences as templates for protein modeling. The backbone conformation of a protein is represented by the backbone string, as defined in Ramachandran space. The backbone string of a query can be accurately predicted by two innovative technologies: a knowledge-driven sequence alignment and encoding of a backbone string element profile. Then, the predicted backbone string is employed to align against a backbone string database and retrieve a set of backbone string neighbors. The backbone string neighbors were shown to be close to native structures of query proteins. BS-align was successfully employed to predict models of 10 membrane proteins with lengths ranging between 229 and 595 residues, and whose high-resolution structural determinations were difficult to elucidate both by experiment and prediction. The obtained TM-scores and root mean square deviations of the models confirmed that the models based on the backbone string neighbors retrieved by the BS-align were very close to the native membrane structures although the query and the neighbor shared a very low sequence identity. The backbone string system represents a new road for the prediction of protein structure from sequence, and suggests that the similarity of the backbone string would be more informative than describing a protein as belonging to a fold.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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 response (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 to the unmodified ε-amine, favoring Cu(II) binding in biuret-like complexes. The implications for the analysis of biologically methylated samples are discussed. PMID:26342307

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Structural insights for engineering binding proteins based on non-antibody scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbreth, Ryan N; Koide, Shohei

    2012-08-01

    Engineered binding proteins derived from non-antibody scaffolds constitute an increasingly prominent class of reagents in both research and therapeutic applications. The growing number of crystal structures of these 'alternative' scaffold-based binding proteins in complex with their targets illustrate the mechanisms of molecular recognition that are common among these systems and those unique to each. This information is useful for critically assessing and improving/expanding engineering strategies. Furthermore, the structural features of these synthetic proteins produced under tightly controlled, directed evolution deepen our understanding of the underlying principles governing molecular recognition. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Insights in understanding aggregate formation and dissociation in cation exchange chromatography for a structurally unstable Fc-fusion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhiqiang; Huang, Chao; Chennamsetty, Naresh; Xu, Xuankuo; Li, Zheng Jian

    2016-08-19

    surface properties and charged ligand type. Experimental data was correlated semi-quantitatively with theoretical protein charge and hydrophobicity calculations using homology modeling within the BIOVIA Discovery Studio software. Finally, an arginine-sulphopropyl (Arg-SP) agarose resin immobilized with multi-functional ligands was prepared to verify the proposed hypothesis and to eliminate the aggregate formation. The findings of this work provide general insights in understanding aggregate formation and dissociation for structurally unstable proteins in the CEX step. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Araneoid egg case silk: a fibroin with novel ensemble repeat units from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiaoyi; Lawrence, Barbara; Kohler, Kristin; Falick, Arnold M; Moore, Anne M F; McMullen, Erin; Jones, Patrick R; Vierra, Craig

    2005-08-02

    Araneoid spiders use specialized abdominal glands to manufacture up to seven different protein-based silks/glues that have diverse physical properties. The fibroin sequences that encode egg case fibers (cover silk for the egg case sac) and the secondary structure of these threads have not been previously determined. In this study, MALDI tandem TOF mass spectrometry (MS/MS) and reverse genetics were used to isolate the first egg case fibroin, named tubuliform spidroin 1 (TuSp1), from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis demonstrates TuSp1 is selectively expressed in the tubuliform gland. Analysis of the amino acid composition of raw egg case silk closely aligns with the predicted amino acid composition from the primary sequence of TuSp1, which supports the assertion that TuSp1 represents a major component of egg case fibers. TuSp1 is composed of highly homogeneous repeats that are 184 amino acids in length. The long stretches of polyalanine and glycine-alanine subrepeats, which account for the crystalline regions of minor ampullate and major ampullate fibers, are very poorly represented in TuSp1. However, polyserine blocks and short polyalanine stretches were highly iterated within the primary sequence, and (13)C NMR spectroscopy demonstrated that the majority of alanine was found in a beta-sheet structure in post-spun egg case silk. The TuSp1 repeat unit does not display substantial sequence similarity to any previously described fibroin genes or proteins, suggesting that TuSp1 is a highly divergent member of the spider silk gene family.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Structural Insights for Engineering Binding Proteins Based on Non-Antibody Scaffolds

    OpenAIRE

    Gilbreth, Ryan N.; Koide, Shohei

    2012-01-01

    Engineered binding proteins derived from non-antibody scaffolds constitute an increasingly prominent class of reagents in both research and therapeutic applications. The growing number of crystal structures of these “alternative” scaffold-based binding proteins in complex with their targets illustrate the mechanisms of molecular recognition that are common among these systems and those unique to each. This information is useful for critically assessing and improving/expanding engineering stra...

  16. 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.

  17. The processing and heterostructuring of silk with light

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. An insight into fusion technology aiding efficient recombinant protein production for functional proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Dinesh K; Yadav, Neelam; Yadav, Sarika; Haque, Shafiul; Tuteja, Narendra

    2016-12-15

    Advancements in peptide fusion technologies to maximize the protein production has taken a big leap to fulfill the demands of post-genomics era targeting elucidation of structure/function of the proteome and its therapeutic applications, by over-expression in heterologous expression systems. Despite being most preferred protein expression system armed with variety of cardinal fusion tags, expression of the functionally active recombinant protein in E. coli remains plagued. The present review critically analyses the aptness of well-characterized fusion tags utilized for over-expression of recombinant proteins with improved solubility and their compatibility with downstream purification procedures. The combinatorial tandem affinity strategies have shown to provide more versatile options. Solubility decreasing fusion tags have proved to facilitate the overproduction of antimicrobial peptides. Efficient removal of fusion tags prior to final usage is of utmost importance and has been summarized discussing the efficiency of various enzymatic and chemical methods of tag removal. Unfortunately, no single fusion tag works as a magic bullet to completely fulfill the requirements of protein expression and purification in active form. The information provided might help in selection and development of a successful protocol for efficient recombinant protein production for functional proteomics. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Nucleocapsid protein structures from orthobunyaviruses reveal insight into ribonucleoprotein architecture and RNA polymerization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariza, Antonio; Tanner, Sian J; Walter, Cheryl T; Dent, Kyle C; Shepherd, Dale A; Wu, Weining; Matthews, Susan V; Hiscox, Julian A; Green, Todd J; Luo, Ming; Elliott, Richard M; Fooks, Anthony R; Ashcroft, Alison E; Stonehouse, Nicola J; Ranson, Neil A; Barr, John N; Edwards, Thomas A

    2013-06-01

    All orthobunyaviruses possess three genome segments of single-stranded negative sense RNA that are encapsidated with the virus-encoded nucleocapsid (N) protein to form a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex, which is uncharacterized at high resolution. We report the crystal structure of both the Bunyamwera virus (BUNV) N-RNA complex and the unbound Schmallenberg virus (SBV) N protein, at resolutions of 3.20 and 2.75 Å, respectively. Both N proteins crystallized as ring-like tetramers and exhibit a high degree of structural similarity despite classification into different orthobunyavirus serogroups. The structures represent a new RNA-binding protein fold. BUNV N possesses a positively charged groove into which RNA is deeply sequestered, with the bases facing away from the solvent. This location is highly inaccessible, implying that RNA polymerization and other critical base pairing events in the virus life cycle require RNP disassembly. Mutational analysis of N protein supports a correlation between structure and function. Comparison between these crystal structures and electron microscopy images of both soluble tetramers and authentic RNPs suggests the N protein does not bind RNA as a repeating monomer; thus, it represents a newly described architecture for bunyavirus RNP assembly, with implications for many other segmented negative-strand RNA viruses.

  1. Nucleocapsid protein structures from orthobunyaviruses reveal insight into ribonucleoprotein architecture and RNA polymerization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariza, Antonio; Tanner, Sian J.; Walter, Cheryl T.; Dent, Kyle C.; Shepherd, Dale A.; Wu, Weining; Matthews, Susan V.; Hiscox, Julian A.; Green, Todd J.; Luo, Ming; Elliott, Richard M.; Fooks, Anthony R.; Ashcroft, Alison E.; Stonehouse, Nicola J.; Ranson, Neil A.; Barr, John N.; Edwards, Thomas A.

    2013-01-01

    All orthobunyaviruses possess three genome segments of single-stranded negative sense RNA that are encapsidated with the virus-encoded nucleocapsid (N) protein to form a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex, which is uncharacterized at high resolution. We report the crystal structure of both the Bunyamwera virus (BUNV) N–RNA complex and the unbound Schmallenberg virus (SBV) N protein, at resolutions of 3.20 and 2.75 Å, respectively. Both N proteins crystallized as ring-like tetramers and exhibit a high degree of structural similarity despite classification into different orthobunyavirus serogroups. The structures represent a new RNA-binding protein fold. BUNV N possesses a positively charged groove into which RNA is deeply sequestered, with the bases facing away from the solvent. This location is highly inaccessible, implying that RNA polymerization and other critical base pairing events in the virus life cycle require RNP disassembly. Mutational analysis of N protein supports a correlation between structure and function. Comparison between these crystal structures and electron microscopy images of both soluble tetramers and authentic RNPs suggests the N protein does not bind RNA as a repeating monomer; thus, it represents a newly described architecture for bunyavirus RNP assembly, with implications for many other segmented negative-strand RNA viruses. PMID:23595147

  2. 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.

  3. VASP: a volumetric analysis of surface properties yields insights into protein-ligand binding specificity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Y Chen

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Many algorithms that compare protein structures can reveal similarities that suggest related biological functions, even at great evolutionary distances. Proteins with related function often exhibit differences in binding specificity, but few algorithms identify structural variations that effect specificity. To address this problem, we describe the Volumetric Analysis of Surface Properties (VASP, a novel volumetric analysis tool for the comparison of binding sites in aligned protein structures. VASP uses solid volumes to represent protein shape and the shape of surface cavities, clefts and tunnels that are defined with other methods. Our approach, inspired by techniques from constructive solid geometry, enables the isolation of volumetrically conserved and variable regions within three dimensionally superposed volumes. We applied VASP to compute a comparative volumetric analysis of the ligand binding sites formed by members of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR-related lipid transfer (START domains and the serine proteases. Within both families, VASP isolated individual amino acids that create structural differences between ligand binding cavities that are known to influence differences in binding specificity. Also, VASP isolated cavity subregions that differ between ligand binding cavities which are essential for differences in binding specificity. As such, VASP should prove a valuable tool in the study of protein-ligand binding specificity.

  4. Structural Insights into the Yersinia pestis Outer Membrane Protein Ail in Lipid Bilayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Samit Kumar; Yao, Yong; Marassi, Francesca M

    2017-08-17

    Yersinia pestis the causative agent of plague, is highly pathogenic and poses very high risk to public health. The outer membrane protein Ail (Adhesion invasion locus) is one of the most highly expressed proteins on the cell surface of Y. pestis, and a major target for the development of medical countermeasures. Ail is essential for microbial virulence and is critical for promoting the survival of Y. pestis in serum. Structures of Ail have been determined by X-ray diffraction and solution NMR spectroscopy, but the protein's activity is influenced by the detergents in these samples, underscoring the importance of the surrounding environment for structure-activity studies. Here we describe the backbone structure of Ail, determined in lipid bilayer nanodiscs, using solution NMR spectroscopy. We also present solid-state NMR data obtained for Ail in membranes containing lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a major component of the bacterial outer membranes. The protein in lipid bilayers, adopts the same eight-stranded β-barrel fold observed in the crystalline and micellar states. The membrane composition, however, appears to have a marked effect on protein dynamics, with LPS enhancing conformational order and slowing down the 15 N transverse relaxation rate. The results provide information about the way in which an outer membrane protein inserts and functions in the bacterial membrane.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandal, Biman B.; Kundu, S. C.

    2009-09-01

    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.

  9. Early insights into the function of KIAA1199, a markedly overexpressed protein in human colorectal tumors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Tiwari

    Full Text Available We previously reported that the expression of KIAA1199 in human colorectal tumors (benign and malignant is markedly higher than that in the normal colonic mucosa. In this study, we investigated the functions of the protein encoded by this gene, which are thus far unknown. Immunostaining studies were used to reveal its subcellular localization, and proteomic and gene expression experiments were conducted to identify proteins that might interact with KIAA1199 and molecular pathways in which it might play roles. Using colon cancer cell lines, we showed that both endogenous and ectopically expressed KIAA1199 is secreted into the extracellular environment. In the cells, it was found mainly in the perinuclear space (probably the ER and cell membrane. Both cellular compartments were also over-represented in lists of proteins identified by mass spectrometry as putative KIAA1199 interactors and/or proteins encoded by genes whose transcription was significantly changed by KIAA1199 expression. These proteomic and transcriptomic datasets concordantly link KIAA1199 to several genes/proteins and molecular pathways, including ER processes like protein binding, transport, and folding; and Ca(2+, G-protein, ephrin, and Wnt signaling. Immunoprecipitation experiments confirmed KIAA1199's interaction with the cell-membrane receptor ephrin A2 and with the ER receptor ITPR3, a key player in Ca(2+ signaling. By modulating Ca(2+ signaling, KIAA1199 could affect different branches of the Wnt network. Our findings suggest it may negatively regulate the Wnt/CTNNB1 signaling, and its expression is associated with decreased cell proliferation and invasiveness.

  10. Injectable silk foams for soft tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellas, Evangelia; Lo, Tim J; Fournier, Eric P; Brown, Joseph E; Abbott, Rosalyn D; Gil, Eun S; Marra, Kacey G; Rubin, J Peter; Leisk, Gary G; Kaplan, David L

    2015-02-18

    Soft tissue fillers are needed for restoration of a defect or augmentation of existing tissues. Autografts and lipotransfer have been under study for soft tissue reconstruction but yield inconsistent results, often with considerable resorption of the grafted tissue. A minimally invasive procedure would reduce scarring and recovery time as well as allow the implant and/or grafted tissue to be placed closer to existing vasculature. Here, the feasibility of an injectable silk foam for soft tissue regeneration is demonstrated. Adipose-derived stem cells survive and migrate through the foam over a 10-d period in vitro. The silk foams are also successfully injected into the subcutaneous space in a rat and over a 3-month period integrating with the surrounding native tissue. The injected foams are palpable and soft to the touch through the skin and returning to their original dimensions after pressure is applied and then released. The foams readily absorb lipoaspirate making the foams useful as a scaffold or template for existing soft tissue filler technologies, useful either as a biomaterial alone or in combination with the lipoaspirate. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. 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.

  12. Structural insights into the mechanism of phosphoregulation of the retinoblastoma protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina P Lamber

    Full Text Available The retinoblastoma susceptibility protein RB1 is a key regulator of cell proliferation and fate. RB1 operates through nucleating the formation of multi-component protein complexes involved in the regulation of gene transcription, chromatin structure and protein stability. Phosphorylation of RB1 by cyclin-dependent kinases leads to conformational alterations and inactivates the capability of RB1 to bind partner protein. Using small angle X-ray scattering in combination with single particle analysis of transmission electron microscope images of negative-stained material we present the first three-dimensional reconstruction of non-phosphorylated RB1 revealing an extended architecture and deduce the domain arrangement within the molecule. Phosphorylation results in an overt alteration of the molecular shape and dimensions, consistent with the transition to a compact globular architecture. The work presented provides what is to our knowledge the first description of the relative domain arrangement in active RB1 and predicts the molecular movement that leads to RB1 inactivation following protein phosphorylation.

  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. 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.

  15. Biological Insights into Therapeutic Protein Modifications throughout Trafficking and Their Biopharmaceutical Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaotian Zhong

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the lifespan of therapeutic proteins, from the point of biosynthesis to the complete clearance from tested subjects, they undergo various biological modifications. Therapeutic influences and molecular mechanisms of these modifications have been well appreciated for some while remained less understood for many. This paper has classified these modifications into multiple categories, according to their processing locations and enzymatic involvement during the trafficking events. It also focuses on the underlying mechanisms and structural-functional relationship between modifications and therapeutic properties. In addition, recent advances in protein engineering, cell line engineering, and process engineering, by exploring these complex cellular processes, are discussed and summarized, for improving functional characteristics and attributes of protein-based biopharmaceutical products.

  16. 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

    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......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...... 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....

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Structural insights into positive and negative allosteric regulation of a G protein-coupled receptor through protein-lipid interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruzzese, Agustín; Gil, Carles; Dalton, James A R; Giraldo, Jesús

    2018-03-13

    Lipids are becoming known as essential allosteric modulators of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCRs). However, how they exert their effects on GPCR conformation at the atomic level is still unclear. In light of recent experimental data, we have performed several long-timescale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, totalling 24 μs, to rigorously map allosteric modulation and conformational changes in the β 2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) that occur as a result of interactions with three different phospholipids. In particular, we identify different sequential mechanisms behind receptor activation and deactivation, respectively, mediated by specific lipid interactions with key receptor regions. We show that net negatively charged lipids stabilize an active-like state of β2AR that is able to dock G s α protein. Clustering of anionic lipids around the receptor with local distortion of membrane thickness is also apparent. On the other hand, net-neutral zwitterionic lipids inactivate the receptor, generating either fully inactive or intermediate states, with kinetics depending on lipid headgroup charge distribution and hydrophobicity. These chemical differences alter membrane thickness and density, which differentially destabilize the β2AR active state through lateral compression effects.

  20. Axonal and presynaptic protein synthesis: new insights into the biology of the neuron

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giuditta, A.; Kaplan, B.B.; van Minnen, J.; Alvarez, J.; Koenig, E.

    2002-01-01

    The presence of a local mRNA translation system in axons and terminals was proposed almost 40 years ago. Over the ensuing period, an impressive body of evidence has grown to support this proposal - yet the nerve cell body is still considered to be the only source of axonal and presynaptic proteins.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. New Insight into the Water-Soluble Chlorophyll-Binding Protein from Lepidium virginicum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kell, Adam; Bednarczyk, Dominika; Acharya, Khem; Chen, Jinhai; Noy, Dror; Jankowiak, Ryszard

    2016-05-01

    This study describes new recombinant water-soluble chlorophyll (Chl)-binding proteins (WSCP) from Lepidium virginicum (LvWSCP). This complex binds four Chls (i.e. two dimers of Chls) per protein tetramer. We show that absorption, emission, hole-burned (HB) spectra and the shape of the zero-phonon hole (ZPH) action spectrum are consistent with the presence of uncorrelated excitation energy transfer between two Chl dimers. Thus, there is no need to include slow protein relaxation within the lowest excited state (as suggested in a previous analysis of cauliflower WSCP [Schmitt, F.-J. et al. (2008) J. Phys. Chem. B, 112, 13951; Pieper, J. et al. (2011) J. Phys. Chem. B, 115, 4053]) in order to explain the large shift observed between the maxima of the ZPH action and emission spectra. Experimental evidence is provided which shows that electron exchange between lowest energy Chls and the protein may occur, i.e. electrons can be trapped at low temperature by nearby aromatic amino acids. The latter explains the shape of nonresonant HB spectra (i.e. the absence of antihole), demonstrating that the hole-burning process in LvWSCP is largely photochemical in nature, though a small contribution from nonphotochemical hole burning (in resonant holes) is also observed. © 2016 The American Society of Photobiology.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Glycation of Lysozyme by Glycolaldehyde Provides New Mechanistic Insights in Diabetes-Related Protein Aggregation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariño, Laura; Maya-Aguirre, Carlos Andrés; Pauwels, Kris; Vilanova, Bartolomé; Ortega-Castro, Joaquin; Frau, Juan; Donoso, Josefa; Adrover, Miquel

    2017-04-21

    Glycation occurs in vivo as a result of the nonenzymatic reaction of carbohydrates (and/or their autoxidation products) with proteins, DNA, or lipids. Protein glycation causes loss-of-function and, consequently, the development of diabetic-related diseases. Glycation also boosts protein aggregation, which can be directly related with the higher prevalence of aggregating diseases in diabetic people. However, the molecular mechanism connecting glycation with aggregation still remains unclear. Previously we described mechanistically how glycation of hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) with ribose induced its aggregation. Here we address the question of whether the ribose-induced aggregation is a general process or it depends on the chemical nature of the glycating agent. Glycation of HEWL with glycolaldehyde occurs through two different scenarios depending on the HEWL concentration regime (both within the micromolar range). At low HEWL concentration, non-cross-linking fluorescent advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are formed on Lys side chains, which do not change the protein structure but inhibit its enzymatic activity. These AGEs have little impact on HEWL surface hydrophobicity and, therefore, a negligible effect on its aggregation propensity. Upon increasing HEWL concentration, the glycation mechanism shifts toward the formation of intermolecular cross-links, which triggers a polymerization cascade involving the formation of insoluble spherical-like aggregates. These results notably differ with the aggregation-modulation mechanism of ribosylated HEWL directed by hydrophobic interactions. Additionally, their comparison constitutes the first experimental evidence showing that the mechanism underlying the aggregation of a glycated protein depends on the chemical nature of the glycating agent.

  8. Insight into the gastro-duodenal digestion resistance of soybean proteins and potential implications for residual immunogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Angelis, Elisabetta; Pilolli, Rosa; Bavaro, Simona L; Monaci, Linda

    2017-04-19

    Soy is an important component of the human diet thanks to its nutritional value and high protein content; however, it also represents a risk for allergenic consumers due to its potential to trigger adverse reactions in sensitized individuals. The putative correlation between immunoreactivity and resistance to the human gastrointestinal (GI) digestion has drawn attention to investigating soybean proteins digestibility. In this work, we provided further insights into this field by performing in vitro simulated GI digestion experiments directly on ground soybean seeds, to provide more realistic results obtained from the digestion of the whole food matrix. Soybean digestion products were analyzed by SDS-PAGE followed by untargeted HPLC-MS/MS analysis and the final data were software treated to enable protein/peptide identification. The latter allowed monitoring the proteolytic degradation of the main soybean proteins during the gastric and duodenal phases. In particular, β-conglycinin and trypsin inhibitors showed the highest resistance to the combined activity of GI enzymes, showing a partial degradation at the end of the duodenal phase as ascertained by the strong electrophoretic bands displayed at 50 kDa and 20 kDa, respectively. Glycinin subunits also presented, even if to a lower extent, resistance to the complete proteolytic degradation, as demonstrated by polypeptide fragments with molecular weight lower than 20 kDa displayed in the gel at the end of duodenal digestion. In addition, by bioinformatics analysis it was demonstrated that the GI resistant fragments of the allergenic proteins, β-conglycinin and glycinin, retained in their primary structure linear epitopes potentially able to trigger an immunoreaction when exposed to the intestinal mucosa. Moreover, such resistant peptides also presented a structural homology with epitope sequences recognized in other legume species, presenting a potential risk of adverse cross-reaction for a larger category of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liguo Sun

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Fabrication of silk sericin nanofibers from a silk sericin-hope cocoon with electrospinning method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xianhua; Khan, Md Majibur Rahman; Yamamoto, Toshio; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Morikawa, Hideaki

    2012-03-01

    In this study, silk sericin nanofibers from sericin hope-silkworm, whose cocoons consist almost exclusively of sericin were successfully prepared by electrospinning method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe the morphology of the fibers. The effect of spinning conditions, including the concentration of sericin cocoon solution, acceleration voltage, spinning distance and flow rate on the fiber morphologies and the size distribution of sericin nanofibers were examined. The structure and physical properties were also observed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TG). The optimum conditions for producing finely thinner fibrous sericin nanofibers without beads were the concentration of sericin solution above 6-8 wt%, acceleration voltage ranging from 25 to 32 kV, spinning distance above 9 cm, and flow rate above 0.06 cm min(-1). The mean diameter of as spun sericin fibers varied from 114 to 430 nm at the different spinning conditions. In the as-spun fibers, silk sericin was present in a random coil conformation, while after methanol treatment, the molecular structure of silk sericin was transformed into a β-sheet containing structure. Sericin hope nanofiber demonstrated thermal degradation at lower temperature than the sericin hope cocoon, which probably due to the randomly coiled rich structure of the sericin hope nanofiber. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Evaluating adhesion and alignment of dental pulp stem cells to a spider silk substrate for tissue engineering applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafner, Katherine; Montag, Dallas; Maeser, Hannah; Peng, Congyue; Marcotte, William R; Dean, Delphine; Kennedy, Marian S

    2017-12-01

    A proposed source of stem cells for nerve regeneration are dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), based on their close embryonic origin to neurons and the ease with which DPSCs can be obtained from a donor. This study evaluated the response of human DPSCs to spider dragline silk fibers, a potential substrate material for tissue regeneration. The DPSCs' morphology and spread pattern were characterized after these cells were plated onto Nephila clavipes dragline fibers in media. In addition, the responses of two other well established cell lines, osteoblasts (7F2s), and fibroblasts (3T3s), were also studied under identical conditions. The inclusion of 3T3s and 7F2s in this study allowed for both direct comparisons to prior published work and a qualitative comparison to the morphology of the DPSCs. After twelve days, the DPSCs exhibited greater relative alignment and adherence to the spider dragline fibers than the 3T3s and 7F2s. The impact of a common sterilization method (ultraviolet light) on the spider dragline fiber surface and subsequent cell response to this modified surface was also characterized. Exposure of the silk to ultraviolet light did not have a measureable effect on cell alignment, but it did eliminate bacterial growth and changed fiber surface roughness. Spiders' exposure to stressful environments did not have an effect on silk to impair cell alignment or adhesion. Synthetic recombinant protein silk did not act as a substrate for cell adhesion or alignment but hydrogels with similar composition supported cell attachment, growth and proliferation. In all cases, natural drawn spider silk acted as an effective substrate for cellular adhesion and alignment of DPSCs and could be used in neural differentiation applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Functional conservation and structural diversification of silk sericins in two moth species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurovec, Michal; Kludkiewicz, Barbara; Fedic, Robert; Sulitkova, Jitka; Mach, Vaclav; Kucerova, Lucie; Sehnal, Frantisek

    2013-06-10

    Sericins are hydrophilic structural proteins produced by caterpillars in the middle section of silk glands and layered over fibroin proteins secreted in the posterior section. In the process of spinning, fibroins form strong solid filaments, while sericins seal the pair of filaments into a single fiber and glue the fiber into a cocoon. Galleria mellonella and the previously examined Bombyx mori harbor three sericin genes that encode proteins containing long repetitive regions. Galleria sericin genes are similar to each other and the protein repeats are built from short and extremely serine-rich motifs, while Bombyx sericin genes are diversified and encode proteins with long and complex repeats. Developmental changes in sericin properties are controlled at the level of gene expression and splicing. In Galleria , MG-1 sericin is produced throughout larval life until the wandering stage, while the production of MG-2 and MG-3 reaches a peak during cocoon spinning.

  13. 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

  14. A novel insight into the oxidoreductase activity of Helicobacter pylori HP0231 protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Roszczenko

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The formation of a disulfide bond between two cysteine residues stabilizes protein structure. Although we now have a good understanding of the Escherichia coli disulfide formation system, the machineries at work in other bacteria, including pathogens, are poorly characterized. Thus, the objective of this work was to improve our understanding of the disulfide formation machinery of Helicobacter pylori, a leading cause of ulcers and a risk factor for stomach cancer worldwide. METHODS AND RESULTS: The protein HP0231 from H. pylori, a structural counterpart of E. coli DsbG, is the focus of this research. Its function was clarified by using a combination of biochemical, microbiological and genetic approaches. In particular, we determined the biochemical properties of HP0231 as well as its redox state in H. pylori cells. CONCLUSION: Altogether our results show that HP0231 is an oxidoreductase that catalyzes disulfide bond formation in the periplasm. We propose to call it HpDsbA.

  15. 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...

  16. Study on preirradiation grafting of methacrylamide onto natural silk fabrics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiang Zhengyu; Wan Dairong

    1997-09-01

    In order to improve the properties of natural silk fabrics, the mechanism and method of the radiation induced graft copolymerization of monomers onto natural silk fabrics were more studied. Grafting of methacrylamide onto natural silk fabrics by the preirradiation grafting method have been made. The dependencies of the grafting yield on preirradiation dose, dose rates, grafting reaction time, monomers content and moisture in sample were investigated respectively. The mechanism of the preirradiation grafting was discussed. The comparison of the preirradiation grafting method with the radiation-induced solid phase graft copolymerization was made. It is evident that the preirradiation grafting method has many advantages. It can carry out surface layer graft of monomer onto natural silk fabrics. The printing and dyeing performance was improved and so on. (5 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.)

  17. 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,

  18. Dynamic behaviour of silks: Nature’s precision nanocomposites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siviour C.R.

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Silk is often cited as a material worth imitating, due to its high strength and toughness. In order to produce a synthetic analogue, or enhanced natural version, the microstructural basis of these properties must be understood. Current understanding is that silk deforms through the detachment of nano-scale crystallites, in the manner of a damaged composite. This picture forms the basis for constitutive models, but validation data is limited to low strain-rates. Here we present a programme of research in which high-rate behaviour is studied through ballistic impact experiments. These have been applied to the silk of the Bombyx mori moth, as harvested from cocoons, and to the major ampullate thread of the golden orb weaver spider Nephila edulis. Longitudinal wave-speeds, and air drag coefficients, have been calculated for selected cases. Differences between the response of various silks and a similar synthetic fibre, nylon, are discussed, and future plans are presented.

  19. Silk fibroin membrane used for guided bone tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Yurong; Guo, Junmao; Chen, Cen; Yao, Chenxue; Chung, Sung-Min; Yao, Juming; Lee, In-Seop; Kong, Xiangdong

    2017-01-01

    With the aim to develop a novel membrane with an appropriate mechanical property and degradation rate for guided bone tissue regeneration, lyophilized and densified silk fibroin membrane was fabricated and its mechanical behavior as well as biodegradation property were investigated. The osteoconductive potency of the silk fibroin membranes were evaluated in a defect rabbit calvarial model. Silk fibroin membrane showed the modulated biodegradable and mechanical properties via ethanol treatment with different concentration. The membrane could prevent soft tissue invasion from normal tissue healing, and the amounts of new bone and defect closure with silk fibroin membrane were similar to those of commercially available collagen membrane. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Insight into the evolution of the histidine triad protein (HTP) family in Streptococcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Zhu-Qing; Zhang, Yan-Mei; Pan, Xiu-Zhen; Wang, Bin; Chen, Jian-Qun

    2013-01-01

    The Histidine Triad Proteins (HTPs), also known as Pht proteins in Streptococcus pneumoniae, constitute a family of surface-exposed proteins that exist in many pathogenic streptococcal species. Although many studies have revealed the importance of HTPs in streptococcal physiology and pathogenicity, little is known about their origin and evolution. In this study, after identifying all htp homologs from 105 streptococcal genomes representing 38 different species/subspecies, we analyzed their domain structures, positions in genome, and most importantly, their evolutionary histories. By further projecting this information onto the streptococcal phylogeny, we made several major findings. First, htp genes originated earlier than the Streptococcus genus and gene-loss events have occurred among three streptococcal groups, resulting in the absence of the htp gene in the Bovis, Mutans and Salivarius groups. Second, the copy number of htp genes in other groups of Streptococcus is variable, ranging from one to four functional copies. Third, both phylogenetic evidence and domain structure analyses support the division of two htp subfamilies, designated as htp I and htp II. Although present mainly in the pyogenic group and in Streptococcus suis, htp II members are distinct from htp I due to the presence of an additional leucine-rich-repeat domain at the C-terminus. Finally, htp genes exhibit a faster nucleotide substitution rate than do housekeeping genes. Specifically, the regions outside the HTP domains are under strong positive selection. This distinct evolutionary pattern likely helped Streptococcus to easily escape from recognition by host immunity.

  1. Insight into the evolution of the histidine triad protein (HTP family in Streptococcus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu-Qing Shao

    Full Text Available The Histidine Triad Proteins (HTPs, also known as Pht proteins in Streptococcus pneumoniae, constitute a family of surface-exposed proteins that exist in many pathogenic streptococcal species. Although many studies have revealed the importance of HTPs in streptococcal physiology and pathogenicity, little is known about their origin and evolution. In this study, after identifying all htp homologs from 105 streptococcal genomes representing 38 different species/subspecies, we analyzed their domain structures, positions in genome, and most importantly, their evolutionary histories. By further projecting this information onto the streptococcal phylogeny, we made several major findings. First, htp genes originated earlier than the Streptococcus genus and gene-loss events have occurred among three streptococcal groups, resulting in the absence of the htp gene in the Bovis, Mutans and Salivarius groups. Second, the copy number of htp genes in other groups of Streptococcus is variable, ranging from one to four functional copies. Third, both phylogenetic evidence and domain structure analyses support the division of two htp subfamilies, designated as htp I and htp II. Although present mainly in the pyogenic group and in Streptococcus suis, htp II members are distinct from htp I due to the presence of an additional leucine-rich-repeat domain at the C-terminus. Finally, htp genes exhibit a faster nucleotide substitution rate than do housekeeping genes. Specifically, the regions outside the HTP domains are under strong positive selection. This distinct evolutionary pattern likely helped Streptococcus to easily escape from recognition by host immunity.

  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. New insights into the active site structure and catalytic mechanism of tyrosinase and its related proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivares, Concepcion; Solano, Francisco

    2009-12-01

    Tyrosinases are widely distributed in nature. They are copper-containing oxidases belonging to the type 3 copper protein family, together with catechol oxidases and haemocyanins. Tyrosinases are essential enzymes in melanin biosynthesis and therefore responsible for pigmentation of skin and hair in mammals, where two more enzymes, the tyrosinase-related proteins (Tyrps), participate in the pathway. The structure and catalytic mechanism of mammalian tyrosinases have been extensively studied but they are not completely understood because of the lack of information on the tertiary structure. The availability of crystallographic data of one plant catechol oxidase and one bacterial tyrosinase has improved the model of the three-dimensional structure of the active site of the enzyme. Furthermore, sequence comparison of tyrosinase and the Tyrps reveals that the three orthologue proteins share many key structural features, because of their common origin from an ancestral gene, although the specific residues responsible for their different catalytic capabilities have not been identified yet. This review summarizes our current knowledge of tyrosinase and Tyrps structure and function and describes the catalytic mechanism of tyrosinase and Dct/Tyrp2, which are better characterized.

  4. Molecular insight into IgE-mediated reactions to sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) seed proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magni, Chiara; Ballabio, Cinzia; Restani, Patrizia; Fuggetta, Dalia; Alessandri, Claudia; Mari, Adriano; Bernardini, Roberto; Iacono, Iride Dello; Arlorio, Marco; Duranti, Marcello

    2010-12-01

    Food allergy is becoming a major public health concern in recent times. Several sesame seed allergenic proteins have been identified. However, sensitization toward these proteins does not follow a common and unique pattern of clinical reactivity, as shown by the differential geographic recognition of single proteins. To evaluate the sensitization profiles of 18 Italian individuals who experienced clinical symptoms after sesame seed consumption, including 4 anaphylactic reactions. Using an in vitro approach, we adopted a 2-dimensional electrophoretic technique combined with immunoblotting analyses by using sera from 18 Italian sesame-allergic patients. We showed the prevalent and almost exclusive reactivity of the sesame 11S globulin. We shed light on the active role of the basic subunit of this globulin family. The limited accessibility of this polypeptide chain, unless the interchain disulphide bonds are cleaved, may be one of the reasons for its structural/functional stability and, thus, great potential for induction of IgE reactivity. These results confirmed previous findings on the reactivity of the basic subunit of 11S globulin in various legume species. Moreover, this experimental approach proved to be useful for the noninvasive screening of specific reactivities in sensitized patients. Copyright © 2010 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. New insights into respirable protein powder preparation using a nano spray dryer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bürki, K; Jeon, I; Arpagaus, C; Betz, G

    2011-04-15

    In this study the Nano Spray Dryer B-90 (BÜCHI Labortechnik AG, Flawil, Switzerland) was evaluated with regard to the drying of proteins and the preparation of respirable powders in the size range of 1-5 μm. β-galactosidase was chosen as a model protein and trehalose was added as a stabilizer. The influence of inlet temperature, hole size of the spray cap membrane and ethanol concentration in the spray solution was studied using a 3³ full factorial design. The investigated responses were enzyme activity, particle size, span, yield and shelf life. Furthermore, the particle morphology was examined. The inlet temperature as well as the interaction of inlet temperature and spray cap size significantly influenced the enzyme activity. Full activity was retained with the optimized process. The particle size was affected by the hole size of the spray cap membrane and the ethanol content. The smallest cap led to a monodisperse particle size distribution and the greatest yield of particles of respirable size. Higher product recovery was achieved with lower inlet temperatures, higher ethanol contents and smaller cap sizes. Particle morphology differed depending on the cap size. The protein exhibited higher storage stability when spray dried without ethanol and when a larger spray cap size was used. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Spider silk as a blueprint for greener materials : a review

    OpenAIRE

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Auger, Michèle

    2016-01-01

    Spider silk exhibits remarkable properties, especially its well-known tensile performances. They rely on a complex nanostructured hierarchical organisation that studies progressively elucidate. Spider silk encompasses a vast range of fibres that exhibit diverse and captivating physical and biological characteristics. The full understanding of the relation between structure and properties may lead in the future to the design of a variety of high-performance, tailored materials and ...

  7. 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.

  8. Transgenic mouse models in the study of reproduction: insights into GATA protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tevosian, Sergei G

    2014-07-01

    For the past 2 decades, transgenic technology in mice has allowed for an unprecedented insight into the transcriptional control of reproductive development and function. The key factor among the mouse genetic tools that made this rapid advance possible is a conditional transgenic approach, a particularly versatile method of creating gene deletions and substitutions in the mouse genome. A centerpiece of this strategy is an enzyme, Cre recombinase, which is expressed from defined DNA regulatory elements that are active in the tissue of choice. The regulatory DNA element (either genetically engineered or natural) assures Cre expression only in predetermined cell types, leading to the guided deletion of genetically modified (flanked by loxP or 'floxed' by loxP) gene loci. This review summarizes and compares the studies in which genes encoding GATA family transcription factors were targeted either globally or by Cre recombinases active in the somatic cells of ovaries and testes. The conditional gene loss experiments require detailed knowledge of the spatial and temporal expression of Cre activity, and the challenges in interpreting the outcomes are highlighted. These studies also expose the complexity of GATA-dependent regulation of gonadal gene expression and suggest that gene function is highly context dependent. © 2014 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Amorphous Silk Fibroin Membranes for Separation of CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberg, Christopher M.; Patel, Anand K.; Gil, Eun Seok; Spontak, Richard J.; Hagg, May-Britt

    2009-01-01

    Amorphous silk fibroin has shown promise as a polymeric material derivable from natural sources for making membranes for use in removing CO2 from mixed-gas streams. For most applications of silk fibroin, for purposes other than gas separation, this material is used in its highly crystalline, nearly natural form because this form has uncommonly high tensile strength. However, the crystalline phase of silk fibroin is impermeable, making it necessary to convert the material to amorphous form to obtain the high permeability needed for gas separation. Accordingly, one aspect of the present development is a process for generating amorphous silk fibroin by treating native silk fibroin in an aqueous methanol/salt solution. The resulting material remains self-standing and can be prepared as thin film suitable for permeation testing. The permeability of this material by pure CO2 has been found to be highly improved, and its mixed-gas permeability has been found to exceed the mixed-gas permeabilities of several ultrahigh-CO2-permeable synthetic polymers. Only one of the synthetic polymers poly(trimethylsilylpropyne) [PTMSP] may be more highly permeable by CO2. PTMSP becomes unstable with time, whereas amorphous silk should not, although at the time of this reporting this has not been conclusively proven.

  13. Injectable silk foams for the treatment of cervical insufficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Eric P.

    Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality, resulting in over 4,000 deaths each year. A significant risk factor for preterm birth is cervical insufficiency, the weakening and subsequent deformation of cervical tissue. Cervical insufficiency is both detectable and treatable but current treatments are lacking. The most common approach requires multiple invasive procedures. This work investigates the injection of silk foams, a minimally-invasive method for supporting cervical tissue. Silk offers many advantages for use as a biomaterial including strength, versatility, and biocompatibility. Injectable silk foams will minimize patient discomfort while also providing more targeted and personalized treatment. A battery of mechanical testing was undertaken to determine silk foam response under physiologically relevant loading and environmental conditions. Mechanical testing was paired with analysis of foam morphology and structure that illustrated the effects of injection on pore geometry and size. Biological response to silk foams was evaluated using an in vitro degradation study and subcutaneous in vivo implantation in a mouse model. Results showed that foams exceeded the mechanical requirements for stiffening cervical tissue, although the current injection process limits foam size. Injection was shown to cause measurable but localized foam deformation. This work indicates that silk foams are a feasible treatment option for cervical insufficiency but challenges remain with foam delivery.

  14. Crystal Structure of Human Senescence Marker Protein 30: Insights Linking Structural, Enzymatic, and Physiological Functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chakraborti, Subhendu; Bahnson, Brian J. (Delaware)

    2010-05-25

    Human senescence marker protein 30 (SMP30), which functions enzymatically as a lactonase, hydrolyzes various carbohydrate lactones. The penultimate step in vitamin-C biosynthesis is catalyzed by this enzyme in nonprimate mammals. It has also been implicated as an organophosphate hydrolase, with the ability to hydrolyze diisopropyl phosphofluoridate and other nerve agents. SMP30 was originally identified as an aging marker protein, whose expression decreased androgen independently in aging cells. SMP30 is also referred to as regucalcin and has been suggested to have functions in calcium homeostasis. The crystal structure of the human enzyme has been solved from X-ray diffraction data collected to a resolution of 1.4 {angstrom}. The protein has a 6-bladed {beta}-propeller fold, and it contains a single metal ion. Crystal structures have been solved with the metal site bound with either a Ca{sup 2+} or a Zn{sup 2+} atom. The catalytic role of the metal ion has been confirmed by mutagenesis of the metal coordinating residues. Kinetic studies using the substrate gluconolactone showed a k{sub cat} preference of divalent cations in the order Zn{sup 2+} > Mn{sup 2+} > Ca{sup 2+} > Mg{sup 2+}. Notably, the Ca{sup 2+} had a significantly higher value of K{sub d} compared to those of the other metal ions tested (566, 82, 7, and 0.6 {micro}m for Ca{sup 2+}, Mg{sup 2+}, Zn{sup 2+}, and Mn{sup 2+}, respectively), suggesting that the Ca{sup 2+}-bound form may be physiologically relevant for stressed cells with an elevated free calcium level.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. An insight into the molecular basis for convergent evolution in fish antifreeze Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nath, Abhigyan; Chaube, Radha; Subbiah, Karthikeyan

    2013-08-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) prevent the growth of ice-crystals in order to enable certain organisms to survive under sub-zero temperature surroundings. These AFPs have evolved from different types of proteins without having any significant structural and sequence similarities among them. However, all the AFPs perform the same function of anti-freeze activity and are a classical example of convergent evolution. We have analyzed fish AFPs at the sequence level, the residue level and the physicochemical property group composition to discover molecular basis for this convergent evolution. Our study on amino acid distribution does not reveal any distinctive feature among AFPs, but comparative study of the AFPs with their close non-AFP homologs based on the physicochemical property group residues revealed some useful information. In particular (a) there is a similar pattern of avoidance and preference of amino acids in Fish AFP subtypes II, III and IV-Aromatic residues are avoided whereas small residues are preferred, (b) like other psychrophilic proteins, AFPs have a similar pattern of preference/avoidance for most of the residues except for Ile, Leu and Arg, and (c) most of the computed amino acids in preferred list are the key functional residues as obtained in previous predicted model of Doxey et al. For the first time this study revealed common patterns of avoidance/preference in fish AFP subtypes II, III and IV. These avoidance/preference lists can further facilitate the identification of key functional residues and can shed more light into the mechanism of antifreeze function. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Prion versus doppel protein misfolding: new insights from replica-exchange molecular dynamics simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baillod, Pascal; Garrec, Julian; Tavernelli, Ivano; Rothlisberger, Ursula

    2013-11-26

    The doppel (Dpl) and prion (PrP) proteins share a very similar fold (three helices and two short β-strands), while they differ significantly in sequence (only 25% homologous) and in disease-related β-rich conformations that occur for PrP only. In a previous study [Baillod, P., et al. (2012) Biochemistry 51, 9891-9899], we investigated the misfolding and rare, β-rich folds of monomeric PrP with replica-exchange molecular dynamics (REMD) simulations. In the work presented here, we perform analogous simulations for Dpl with the aim of comparing the two systems and characterizing possible specificities of PrP for misfolding and amyloidogenesis. Our extensive simulations, which allow us to overcome high energy barriers via the REMD approach, sample several β-rich folds, some of which are stable at room temperature, for both proteins. Per residue secondary structure propensities reveal that novel β-sheets of Dpl and PrP are formed by amino acids belonging to the helices that are the least stable in the respective native structure, H1 for Dpl and H2 and H3 for PrP, in agreement with experimental data. Using a specific clustering method that allows discrimination against different β-strand arrangements, seven β-rich folds could be characterized for PrP and five for Dpl, which are clearly distinct and share only one single similar fold. A major difference between the two proteins is found in the free energy barriers leading to misfolded structures: they are approximately 3 times higher for Dpl than for PrP. This suggests that the difference in amyloidogenic behavior between PrP and Dpl might be due to kinetic reasons.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Axonal and presynaptic protein synthesis: new insights into the biology of the neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giuditta, Antonio; Kaplan, Barry B; van Minnen, Jan; Alvarez, Jaime; Koenig, Edward

    2002-08-01

    The presence of a local mRNA translation system in axons and terminals was proposed almost 40 years ago. Over the ensuing period, an impressive body of evidence has grown to support this proposal -- yet the nerve cell body is still considered to be the only source of axonal and presynaptic proteins. To dispel this lingering neglect, we now present the wealth of recent observations bearing on this central idea, and consider their impact on our understanding of the biology of the neuron. We demonstrate that extrasomatic translation sites, which are now well recognized in dendrites, are also present in axonal and presynaptic compartments.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    NAc-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....

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. A new insight into electrochemical microRNA detection: a molecular caliper, p19 protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilic, Tugba; Nur Topkaya, Seda; Ozsoz, Mehmet

    2013-10-15

    microRNA (miRNA) has drawn a great attention in biomedical research due to its functions on biological processes. Detection of miRNAs is a big challenge since the amount present in real samples is very low and the length of them is short. In this study, for the first time an electrochemical biosensor for detection of mir21 using the oxidation signal of protein 19 (p19) as a molecular caliper was designed. The proposed method enables detection of mir21 in direct, rapid, sensitive, inexpensive and label-free way. Binding specificity of the p19 to 20-23 base pair length double stranded RNA (dsRNA) and direct/water-mediated intermolecular contacts between the fusion protein and miRNA allows detection of miRNA-antimiRNA hybrid structure. The detection of mir21 was achieved in picomole sensitivity through the changes of intrinsic p19 oxidation signals observed at +0.80 V with Differential Pulse Voltammetry (DPV) and the specifity of the designed sensor was proved by control studies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. Structural insights into binding of STAC proteins to voltage-gated calcium channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong King Yuen, Siobhan M.; Campiglio, Marta; Tung, Ching-Chieh

    2017-01-01

    Excitation–contraction (EC) coupling in skeletal muscle requires functional and mechanical coupling between L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV1.1) and the ryanodine receptor (RyR1). Recently, STAC3 was identified as an essential protein for EC coupling and is part of a group of three proteins that can bind and modulate L-type voltage-gated calcium channels. Here, we report crystal structures of tandem-SH3 domains of different STAC isoforms up to 1.2-Å resolution. These form a rigid interaction through a conserved interdomain interface. We identify the linker connecting transmembrane repeats II and III in two different CaV isoforms as a binding site for the SH3 domains and report a crystal structure of the complex with the STAC2 isoform. The interaction site includes the location for a disease variant in STAC3 that has been linked to Native American myopathy (NAM). Introducing the mutation does not cause misfolding of the SH3 domains, but abolishes the interaction. Disruption of the interaction via mutations in the II–III loop perturbs skeletal muscle EC coupling, but preserves the ability of STAC3 to slow down inactivation of CaV1.2. PMID:29078335

  10. 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.

  11. Abiotic Stresses: Insight into Gene Regulation and Protein Expression in Photosynthetic Pathways of Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouri, Mohammad-Zaman; Moumeni, Ali; Komatsu, Setsuko

    2015-01-01

    Global warming and climate change intensified the occurrence and severity of abiotic stresses that seriously affect the growth and development of plants, especially, plant photosynthesis. The direct impact of abiotic stress on the activity of photosynthesis is disruption of all photosynthesis components such as photosystem I and II, electron transport, carbon fixation, ATP generating system and stomatal conductance. The photosynthetic system of plants reacts to the stress differently, according to the plant type, photosynthetic systems (C3 or C4), type of the stress, time and duration of the occurrence and several other factors. The plant responds to the stresses by a coordinate chloroplast and nuclear gene expression. Chloroplast, thylakoid membrane, and nucleus are the main targets of regulated proteins and metabolites associated with photosynthetic pathways. Rapid responses of plant cell metabolism and adaptation to photosynthetic machinery are key factors for survival of plants in a fluctuating environment. This review gives a comprehensive view of photosynthesis-related alterations at the gene and protein levels for plant adaptation or reaction in response to abiotic stress. PMID:26343644

  12. Plant organellar proteomics in response to dehydration: turning protein repertoire into insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DEEPTI Bhushan GUPTA

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Stress adaptation or tolerance in plants is a complex phenomenon involving changes in physiological and metabolic processes. Plants must develop elaborate networks of defense mechanisms, and adapt to and survive for sustainable agriculture. Water-deficit or dehydration is the most critical environmental factor that plants are exposed to during their life cycle, which influences geographical distribution and productivity of many crop species. The cellular responses to dehydration are orchestrated by a series of multidirectional relays of biochemical events at organelle level. The new challenge is to dissect the underlying mechanisms controlling the perception of stress signals and their transmission to cellular machinery for activation of adaptive responses. The completeness of current descriptions of spatial distribution of proteins, the relevance of subcellular locations in diverse functional processes, and the changes of protein abundance in response to dehydration hold the key to understanding how plants cope with such stress conditions. During past decades, organellar proteomics has proved to be useful not only for deciphering reprograming of plant responses to dehydration, but also to dissect stress-responsive pathways. This review summarizes a range of organellar proteomics investigations under dehydration to gain a holistic view of plant responses to water-deficit conditions, which may facilitate future efforts to develop genetically engineered crops for better adaptation.

  13. Mutational studies of the Aux/IAA proteins in Physcomitrella reveal novel insights into their function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Sibo; Estelle, Mark

    2018-02-20

    The plant hormone auxin regulates many aspects of plant growth and development. Auxin signaling involves hormone perception by the TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESPONSE/AUXIN F-BOX (TIR1/AFB)-Aux/IAA co-receptor system, and the subsequent degradation of the Aux/IAA transcriptional repressors by the ubiquitin proteasome pathway. This leads to the activation of downstream gene expression and diverse physiological responses. Here, we investigate how the structural elements in the Aux/IAAs determine their function in Auxin perception and transcriptional repression. We took advantage of the facile genetics of the moss Physcomitrella patens to determine the activity of wild-type and mutant PpIAA1a proteins in a Δaux/iaa null background. In this way, Aux/IAA function was characterized at the molecular and physiological levels without the interference of genetic redundancy. We identified and characterized degron variants in Aux/IAAs that affect their stability and Auxin response. We also demonstrated that neither the Aux/IAA EAR motif nor Aux/IAA oligomerization is essential for the repressive function of Aux/IAA. Our study demonstrates how key elements within the Aux/IAA proteins fine tune stability and repressor activity, as well as the long-term developmental outcome. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. Mass Spectrometry Based Mechanistic Insights into Formation of Tris Conjugates: Implications on Protein Biopharmaceutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabadi, Pradeep G.; Sankaran, Praveen Kallamvalliillam; Palanivelu, Dinesh V.; Adhikary, Laxmi; Khedkar, Anand; Chatterjee, Amarnath

    2016-10-01

    We present here extensive mass spectrometric studies on the formation of a Tris conjugate with a therapeutic monoclonal antibody. The results not only demonstrate the reactive nature of the Tris molecule but also the sequence and reaction conditions that trigger this reactivity. The results corroborate the fact that proteins are, in general, prone to conjugation and/or adduct formation reactions and any modification due to this essentially leads to formation of impurities in a protein sample. Further, the results demonstrate that the conjugation reaction happens via a succinimide intermediate and has sequence specificity. Additionally, the data presented in this study also shows that the Tris formation is produced in-solution and is not an in-source phenomenon. We believe that the facts given here will open further avenues on exploration of Tris as a conjugating agent as well as ensure that the use of Tris or any ionic buffer in the process of producing a biopharmaceutical drug is monitored closely for the presence of such conjugate formation.

  15. Silla Art and the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwangshik Choe

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Western and Indian features found in Silla art, whether they came from the Western border regions of China or through a connection with China, it is recognized that there was both a direct and indirect a relationship between Silla, the West, and India. Many scholars have been interested in these aspects, conducting various studies as these factors played a large part in defining the origin of ancient culture and the process of harmonization between cultures. Through the Silk Road scholars are able to identify how Western cultures and civilizations were introduced to the Silla Dynasty. As the Korean peninsula has been a nexus for exchange between the East and the West, this paper aims to understand the meaning of the “Silk Road” and examines the actual state of cultural exchange at this historical site. Through artifacts excavated from Hwangnamdae-ch’ong (especially glass products, it has been determined that the Western and Western bordering countries of China culturally influenced the art of Silla. They also clearly prove that Buddhist sculptures from India and the Western bordering countries of China had a great impact on Silla art as well. Through these findings, it can be confirmed that from ancient times the influence of many cultures including China, the West, and the Western bordering countries of China had an impact on Korean culture. Particularly, Indian Buddhism which flowed into China and the Korea peninsula participated in the development of Silla culture and also played a significant role in the formation of traditional Korean culture.

  16. Multifunctional Silk Nerve Guides for Axon Outgrowth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tupaj, Marie C.

    Peripheral nerve regeneration is a critical issue as 2.8% of trauma patients present with this type of injury, estimating a total of 200,000 nerve repair procedures yearly in the United States. While the peripheral nervous system exhibits slow regeneration, at a rate of 0.5 mm -- 9 mm/day following trauma, this regenerative ability is only possible under certain conditions. Clinical repairs have changed slightly in the last 30 years and standard methods of treatment include suturing damaged nerve ends, allografting, and autografting, with the autograft the gold standard of these approaches. Unfortunately, the use of autografts requires a second surgery and there is a shortage of nerves available for grafting. Allografts are a second option however allografts have lower success rates and are accompanied by the need of immunosuppressant drugs. Recently there has been a focus on developing nerve guides as an "off the shelf" approach. Although some natural and synthetic guidance channels have been approved by the FDA, these nerve guides are unfunctionalized and repair only short gaps, less than 3 cm in length. The goal of this project was to identify strategies for functionalizing peripheral nerve conduits for the outgrowth of neuron axons in vitro . To accomplish this, two strategies (bioelectrical and biophysical) were indentified for increasing axon outgrowth and promoting axon guidance. Bioelectrical strategies exploited electrical stimulation for increasing neurite outgrowth. Biophysical strategies tested a range of surface topographies for axon guidance. Novel methods were developed for integrating electrical and biophysical strategies into silk films in 2D. Finally, a functionalized nerve conduit system was developed that integrated all strategies for the purpose of attaching, elongating, and guiding nervous tissue in vitro. Future directions of this work include silk conduit translation into a rat sciatic nerve model in vivo for the purpose of repairing long

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of silk sericin on the proliferation and apoptosis of colon cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaewkorn, Waraporn; Limpeanchob, Nanteetip; Tiyaboonchai, Waree; Pongcharoen, Sutatip; Sutheerawattananonda, Manote

    2012-01-01

    Sericin is a silk protein woven from silkworm cocoons (Bombyx mori). In animal model, sericin has been reported to have anti-tumoral action against colon cancer. The mechanisms underlying the activity of sericin against cancer cells are not fully understood. The present study investigated the effects of sericin on human colorectal cancer SW480 cells compared to normal colonic mucosal FHC cells. Since the size of the sericin protein may be important for its activity, two ranges of molecular weight were tested. Sericin was found to decrease SW480 and FHC cell viability. The small sericin had higher anti-proliferative effects than that of the large sericin in both cell types. Increased apoptosis of SW480 cells is associated with increased caspase-3 activity and decreased Bcl-2 expression. The anti-proliferative effect of sericin was accompanied by cell cycle arrest at the S phase. Thus, sericin reduced SW480 cell viability by inducing cell apoptosis via caspase-3 activation and down-regulation of Bcl-2 expression. The present study provides scientific data that support the protective effect of silk sericin against cancer cells of the colon and suggests that this protein may have significant health benefits and could potentially be developed as a dietary supplement for colon cancer prevention.

  2. One-step synthesis of natural silk sericin-based microcapsules with bionic structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhaogang; Cai, Yurong; Jia, Yaru; Liu, Lin; Kong, Xiangdong; Kundu, Subhas C; Yao, Juming

    2014-10-01

    Different techniques are being developed for fabricating microcapsules; it is still a challenge to fabricate them in an efficient and environment-friendly process. Here, a one-step green route to synthesize silk protein sericin-based microcapsules without any assistance of organic solvents is reported. By carefully changing the concentration of calcium ions accompanied with stirring, the morphology of the microcapsules can easily be regulated to form either discoidal, biconcave, cocoon-like, or tubular structures. The chelation of Ca(2+) and shearing force from agitation may induce the conformational transformation of sericin, which possibly results in the formation of microcapsules through the self-assembly of the protein subsequently. The as-prepared cocoon-like microcapsules exhibit pH-dependent stability. A potential application of microcapsules being fabricated from natural water-soluble silk protein sericin for controlled bioactive molecules loading and release system by a pH-triggered manner is quite feasible. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Tuning molecular weights of Bombyx mori (B. mori) silk sericin to modify its assembly structures and materials formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Mingying; Shuai, Yajun; Zhou, Guanshan; Mandal, Namita; Zhu, Liangjun; Mao, Chuanbin

    2014-08-27

    Bombyx mori (B. mori) silk sericin is a protein with features desirable as a biomaterial, such as increased hydrophilicity and biodegradation, as well as resistance to oxidation, bacteria, and ultraviolet light. In contrast to other widely studied B. mori silk proteins such as fibroin, sericin is still unexplored as a building block for fabricating biomaterial, and thus a facile technique of processing it into a material is needed. Here, electrospinning technology was used to fabricate it into biomaterials from two forms of B. mori silk sericin with different molecular weights, one is a low (12.0 kDa) molecular sericin (LS) form and another is a high (66.0 kDa) molecular weight sericin (HS) form. Circular dichroism (CD) spectra showed that LS in hexafluoroacetone (HFA) solvent adopted a predominantly random coil conformation, whereas HS tended to form a β-sheet structure along with a large content of random coils. In addition, LS and HS in HFA solvent were found to form cylinder-like smaller nanoparticles and larger irregular aggregates before electrospinning, respectively. As a result, biomaterials based on microparticles and nanofibers were successfully fabricated by electrospinning of LS and HS dissolved in HFA, respectively. The cell viability and differentiation assay indicated that nanofibers and microparticles improved cell adhesion, growth, and differentiation, proving that the scaffolds electrospun from sericin are biocompatible regardless of its molecular weight. The microparticles, not common in electrospinning of silk proteins reported previously, were found to promote the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells in comparison to the nanofibers. This study suggested that molecular weight of sericin mediates its secondary structure and assembly structure, which in turn leads to a control of final morphology of the electrospun materials. The microparticles and nanofibers of sericin can be potentially used as building blocks for fabricating

  4. Structural insights into the architecture and allostery of full-length AMP-activated protein kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Li; Chen, Lei; Zhou, Xiao-Ming; Zhang, Yuan-Yuan; Zhang, Yi-Jiong; Zhao, Jing; Ji, Shang-Rong; Wu, Jia-Wei; Wu, Yi

    2011-04-13

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a heterotrimeric complex composed of α catalytic subunit, β scaffolding subunit, and γ regulatory subunit with critical roles in maintaining cellular energy homeostasis. However, the molecular architecture of the intact complex and the allostery associated with the adenosine binding-induced regulation of kinase activity remain unclear. Here, we determine the three-dimensional reconstruction and subunit organization of the full-length rat AMPK (α1β1γ1) through single-particle electron-microscopy. By comparing the structures of AMPK in ATP- and AMP-bound states, we are able to visualize the sequential conformational changes underlying kinase activation that transmits from the adenosine binding sites in the γ subunit to the kinase domain of the α subunit. These results not only make substantial revision to the current model of AMPK assembly, but also highlight a central role of the linker sequence of the α subunit in mediating the allostery of AMPK. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. The evolution of genes encoding for green fluorescent proteins: insights from cephalochordates (amphioxus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Jia-Xing; Holland, Nicholas D.; Holland, Linda Z.; Deheyn, Dimitri D.

    2016-06-01

    Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) was originally found in cnidarians, and later in copepods and cephalochordates (amphioxus) (Branchiostoma spp). Here, we looked for GFP-encoding genes in Asymmetron, an early-diverged cephalochordate lineage, and found two such genes closely related to some of the Branchiostoma GFPs. Dim fluorescence was found throughout the body in adults of Asymmetron lucayanum, and, as in Branchiostoma floridae, was especially intense in the ripe ovaries. Spectra of the fluorescence were similar between Asymmetron and Branchiostoma. Lineage-specific expansion of GFP-encoding genes in the genus Branchiostoma was observed, largely driven by tandem duplications. Despite such expansion, purifying selection has strongly shaped the evolution of GFP-encoding genes in cephalochordates, with apparent relaxation for highly duplicated clades. All cephalochordate GFP-encoding genes are quite different from those of copepods and cnidarians. Thus, the ancestral cephalochordates probably had GFP, but since GFP appears to be lacking in more early-diverged deuterostomes (echinoderms, hemichordates), it is uncertain whether the ancestral cephalochordates (i.e. the common ancestor of Asymmetron and Branchiostoma) acquired GFP by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from copepods or cnidarians or inherited it from the common ancestor of copepods and deuterostomes, i.e. the ancestral bilaterians.

  7. 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.

  8. Natural Silk as a Photonics Component: a Study on Its Light Guiding and Nonlinear Optical Properties

    OpenAIRE

    Kujala, Sami; Mannila, Anna; Karvonen, Lasse; Kieu, Khanh; Sun, Zhipei

    2016-01-01

    Silk fibers are expected to become a pathway to biocompatible and bioresorbable waveguides, which could be used to deliver localized optical power for various applications, e.g., optical therapy or imaging inside living tissue. Here, for the first time, the linear and nonlinear optical properties of natural silk fibers have been studied. The waveguiding properties of silk fibroin of largely unprocessed Bombyx mori silkworm silk are assessed using two complementary methods, and found to be on ...

  9. Multifunctional surface modification of silk fabric via graphene oxide repeatedly coating and chemical reduction method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jiliang; Wang, Chaoxia

    2017-05-01

    Multifunctional silk fabrics with electrical conductive, anti-ultraviolet and water repellent were successfully prepared by surface modification with graphene oxide (GO). The yellow-brown GO deposited on the surface of silk fabric was converted into graphitic black reduced graphene (RGO) by sodium hydrosulfite. The surface properties of silk fabrics were changed by repeatedly RGO coating process, which have been proved by SEM and XPS. The SEM results showed that the RGO sheets were successive form a continuously thin film on the surface of silk fabrics, and the deposition of GO or RGO also can be proved by XPS. The electrical conductivity was tested by electrical surface resistance value of the silk fabric, the surface resistance decreased with increasing of RGO surface modification times, and a low surface resistance value reached to 3.24 KΩ cm-1 after 9 times of modification, indicating the silk obtained excellent conductivity. The UPF value of one time GO modification silk fabric (silk-1RGO) was enhanced significantly to 24.45 in comparison to 10.40 of original silk. The contact angle of RGO coating silk samples was all above of 120°. The durability of RGO coated silk fabrics was tested by laundering. The electrical surface resistance of silk-4RGO (65.74 KΩ cm-1), silk-6RGO (15.54 KΩ cm-1) and silk-8RGO (3.86 KΩ cm-1) fabrics was up to 86.82, 22.30 and 6.57 KΩ cm-1 after 10 times of standard washing, respectively. The UPF value, contact angle and color differences of RGO modified silk fabric slightly changed before and after 10 times of standard washing. Therefore, the washing fastness of electric conduction, anti-ultraviolet and water repellent multifunctional silk fabrics was excellent.

  10. Traveling the Silk Road: A Measurement of a Large Anonymous Online Marketplace

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-28

    Silk Road, an anonymous, international online marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We gather...analysis of Silk Road, an anonymous, international on- line marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We...anonymity, Silk Road needs to also preserve payment anonymity. To that effect, Silk Road only supports Bitcoin (BTC, [30]) as a trading currency

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Silk screen based dual spin-filter module for perfusion culture of adherent and non-adherent mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamthan, Shweta; Gomes, James; Roychoudhury, Pradip K

    2014-08-01

    Spin-filters have been primarily used for producing therapeutic proteins from mammalian cells. However, disposability and/or high filter clogging of the existing spin-filter systems affect the process economy and productivity. Hence, to address these drawbacks a reusable dual spin-filter module for perfusion culture of adherent and non-adherent mammalian cells was designed. Two non-woven Bombyx mori silk layers were used as filter screen; the outer layer was conducive to cell attachment whilst the inner was non-conducive. Adherent cells can be cultured either in suspended mode using its inner single module or as monolayer of cells using its dual concentric module. We achieved 30 % higher urokinase productivity as compared to the stainless-steel spin-filter during perfusion experiments of adherent human kidney cells in suspended mode. This was due to the hydrophobic and negatively-charged silk screen that allows clog-free perfusion culture for prolonged periods.

  15. The effect of thyroxine on silk gland and the effect of two thyroxine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The influence of feeding mulberry leaves treated with thyroxine to the growth of the silk gland, and the effect of two different mulberry species, that is, Morus nigra and Morus multicaulis treated with thyroxine on silk quality in the silkworm were studied. The silk glands from thyroxine treated Bombyx mori larvae weighed ...

  16. Structure and mechanical properties of spider silk films at the air-water interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renault, Anne; Rioux-Dubé, Jean-François; Lefèvre, Thierry; Beaufils, Sylvie; Vié, Véronique; Paquet-Mercier, François; Pézolet, Michel

    2013-06-25

    The kinetics of adsorption of solubilized spider major ampullate (MA) silk fibers at the air-water interface and the molecular structure and mechanical properties of the interfacial films formed have been studied using various physical techniques. The data show that Nephila clavipes MA proteins progressively adsorb at the interface and ultimately form a highly cohesive thin film. In situ infrared spectroscopy shows that as soon as they reach the interface the proteins predominantly form β sheets. The protein secondary structure does not change significantly as the film grows, and the amount of β sheet is the same as that of the natural fiber. This suggests that the final β-sheet content is mainly dictated by the primary structure and not by the underlying formation process. The measure of the shear elastic constant at low strain reveals a very strong, viscous, cohesive assembly. The β sheets seem to form cross-links dispersed within an intermolecular network, thus probably playing a major role in the film strength. More importantly, the molecular weight seems to be a crucial factor because interfacial films made from the natural proteins are ~7 times stronger and ~3 times more viscous than those obtained previously with shorter recombinant proteins. Brewster angle microscopy at the air-water interface and transmission electron microscopy of transferred films have revealed a homogeneous organization on the micrometer scale. The images suggest that the structural assembly at the air-water interface leads to the formation of macroscopically solid and highly cohesive networks. Overall, the results suggest that natural spider silk proteins, although sharing similarities with recombinant proteins, have the particular ability to self-assemble into ordered materials with exceptional mechanical properties.

  17. Serially Transplanted Nonpericytic CD146(-) Adipose Stromal/Stem Cells in Silk Bioscaffolds Regenerate Adipose Tissue In Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frazier, Trivia P; Bowles, Annie; Lee, Stephen; Abbott, Rosalyn; Tucker, Hugh A; Kaplan, David; Wang, Mei; Strong, Amy; Brown, Quincy; He, Jibao; Bunnell, Bruce A; Gimble, Jeffrey M

    2016-04-01

    Progenitors derived from the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of white adipose tissue (WAT) possess the ability to form clonal populations and differentiate along multiple lineage pathways. However, the literature continues to vacillate between defining adipocyte progenitors as "stromal" or "stem" cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that a nonpericytic subpopulation of adipose stromal cells, which possess the phenotype, CD45(-) /CD31(-) /CD146(-) /CD34(+) , are mesenchymal, and suggest this may be an endogenous progenitor subpopulation within adipose tissue. We hypothesized that an adipose progenitor could be sorted based on the expression of CD146, CD34, and/or CD29 and when implanted in vivo these cells can persist, proliferate, and regenerate a functional fat pad over serial transplants. SVF cells and culture expanded adipose stromal/stem cells (ASC) ubiquitously expressing the green fluorescent protein transgene (GFP-Tg) were fractionated by flow cytometry. Both freshly isolated SVF and culture expanded ASC were seeded in three-dimensional silk scaffolds, implanted subcutaneously in wild-type hosts, and serially transplanted. Six-week WAT constructs were removed and evaluated for the presence of GFP-Tg adipocytes and stem cells. Flow cytometry, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and confocal microscopy demonstrated GFP-Tg cell persistence, proliferation, and expansion, respectively. Glycerol secretion and glucose uptake assays revealed GFP-Tg adipose was metabolically functional. Constructs seeded with GFP-Tg SVF cells or GFP-Tg ASC exhibited higher SVF yields from digested tissue, and higher construct weights, compared to nonseeded controls. Constructs derived from CD146(-) CD34(+) -enriched GFP-Tg ASC populations exhibited higher hemoglobin saturation, and higher frequency of GFP-Tg cells than unsorted or CD29(+) GFP-Tg ASC counterparts. These data demonstrated successful serial transplantation of nonpericytic adipose-derived progenitors that can

  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. Adsorption Properties of Lac Dyes on Wool, Silk, and Nylon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Wei

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available There has been growing interest in the dyeing of textiles with natural dyes. The research about the adsorption properties of natural dyes can help to understand their adsorption mechanism and to control their dyeing process. This study is concerned with the kinetics and isotherms of adsorption of lac dyes on wool, silk, and nylon fibers. It was found that the adsorption kinetics of lac dyes on the three fibers followed the pseudosecond-order kinetic model, and the adsorption rate of lac dyes was the fastest for silk and the slowest for wool. The activation energies for the adsorption process on wool, silk, and nylon were found to be 107.15, 87.85, and 45.31 kJ/mol, respectively. The adsorption of lac dyes on the three fibers followed the Langmuir mechanism, indicating that the electrostatic interactions between lac dyes and those fibers occurred. The saturation values for lac adsorption on the three fibers decreased in the order of wool > silk > nylon; the Langmuir affinity constant of lac adsorption on nylon was much higher than those on wool and silk.

  20. Extracted sericin from silk waste for film formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rungsinee Sothornvit

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Sericin is the second main component in cocoons, which are removed in the silk reeling process of the raw silk industry and in the silk waste degumming of the spun silk industry. The main amino acid of sericin, serine, exhibits a skin moisturing and antiwrinkle action, which is interesting to use for film formation in this study. The extraction conditions of sericin from two silk wastes, pieced cocoon and inferior knubbs were studied to find the optimum extraction conditions. Boiling water extraction was considered based on the response surface methodology (RSM in order to identify the important factors for the sericin extraction. The two factors considered were time and temperature. Both factors were needed to be independent parameters in the predicted equation in order to improve the model fit with R2 = 0.84. The components ofextracted sericin were 18.24% serine, 9.83% aspatate, and 5.51% glycine with a molecular weight of 132 kDa. Film formationfrom extracted sericin was carried out to find the optimum conditions. Extracted sericin could not form a stand-alonefilm. Therefore, polysaccharide polymers, such as glucomannan, were incorporated with glycerol to form a flexible film.Sericin-based films were characterized for its properties in terms of solubility and permeability before application. It wasfound that sericin-based films showed a film flexibility and solubility without an increasing film water vapor permeability.

  1. 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.

  2. Alternative biomaterials: natural, non-woven, fibroin-based silk nanofibers of weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siri, Sineenat; Maensiri, Santi

    2010-06-01

    Silks of silkworms and spiders have been widely studied as biomaterials, however, none has been reported on silks produced by weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina). This study is the first to report on some properties of natural silk fibers of weaver ants and their potential application as a cell matrix. Weaver ant fibrous mat contained non-woven mesh of fibers with diameters ranging from 266 to 3056 nm. The average diameter of fibers was 766+/-326 nm. The thickness, mass, and apparent density of the fibrous mats were 39.0+/-9.8 microm, 0.8+/-0.1 mg/cm2, and 0.22+/-0.03 g/cm3, respectively. Freshly made fibrous mats by weaver ants were highly hydrophilic as determined by water contact angle analysis, whereas older ones were quite hydrophobic. TG-DTA analysis revealed a major weight loss peak from 260 up to about 330 degrees C, similar to the decomposition peak of Bombyx mori fibroin. FT-IR spectrum showed amide I, amide II, amide III, C-H and C-O peaks, which were attributed to random coil and beta-sheet conformation in the protein structure of the weaver ant fibers. The fibrous mat was slight toxic to the fibroblast NIH 3T3 cells (37.8% cell death), probably due to some toxic particles deposited on the fibers. Nevertheless, weaver ant fibrous mat served as a good matrix for cell adhesion. Results of this work provided evidence for the properties and a potential application of natural weaver ant fibers as an alternative, natural, fibroin-based matrix. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Insights into Rad3 kinase recruitment from the crystal structure of the DNA damage checkpoint protein Rad26.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Kasper Røjkjær

    2017-05-19

    Metabolic products and environmental factors constantly damage DNA. To protect against these insults and maintain genome integrity, cells have evolved mechanisms to repair DNA lesions. One such mechanism involves Rad3, a master kinase coordinating the DNA damage response. Rad26 is a functional subunit of the Rad3-Rad26 complex and is responsible for bringing the kinase to sites of DNA damage. Here, I present the crystal structure of Rad26 and identify the elements important for recruiting Rad3. The structure suggests that Rad26 is a dimer with a conserved interface in the N-terminal part of the protein. Biochemical data showed that Rad26 uses its C-terminal domain and the flanking kinase-docking motif to bind specific HEAT repeats in Rad3. Analysis of the reconstituted Rad3-Rad26 heterotetrameric complex with electron microscopy enabled me to propose a structural model for its quaternary structure. In conclusion, these results suggest that Rad26 exists as a dimer and provide crucial insight into how Rad3 is recruited and incorporated into the Rad3-Rad26 DNA repair complex. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  5. Anti-inflammatory potential of silk sericin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Towiwat, Pasarapa; Srichana, Teerapol

    2013-04-01

    Silk sericin was found to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are related to the inflammatory reaction. The objectives of this study were to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of sericin in vivo using the carrageenan-induced rat edema model and changes in the histology of tissues. The effects of sericin on the expression of COX-2 and iNOS were also evaluated. Sericin solutions at 0.004-0.080 mg/mL were applied topically to the top of the hind paw and carrageenan (1.0 mg) was injected subcutaneously to the plantar surface of the right hind paw. Our results indicated that sericin significantly reduced the inflammation in rats' paw compared with the negative control (water and acetone) and its effect at 0.080 mg/mL was only slightly lower than that of 1.0% w/v indomethacin. Similar numbers of polymorphonuclear and macrophage cells were found in rats' tissue treated with indomethacin and sericin solution, while the numbers were significantly higher in their absence. The gene expression results by RT-PCR showed that the COX-2 and iNOS genes were down-regulated in samples treated with sericin in a dose dependent manner. These data indicated that the anti-inflammatory properties of sericin may be partly attributable to the suppression of the COX-2 enzyme and nitric oxide production.

  6. Surface Modification and Characterisation of Silk Fibroin Fabric Produced by the Layer-by-Layer Self-Assembly of Multilayer Alginate/Regenerated Silk Fibroin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaotian Shen

    Full Text Available Silk-based medical products have a long history of use as a material for surgical sutures because of their desirable mechanical properties. However, silk fibroin fabric has been reported to be haemolytic when in direct contact with blood. The layer-by-layer self-assembly technique provides a method for surface modification to improve the biocompatibility of silk fibroin fabrics. Regenerated silk fibroin and alginate, which have excellent biocompatibility and low immunogenicity, are outstanding candidates for polyelectrolyte deposition. In this study, silk fabric was degummed and positively charged to create a silk fibroin fabric that could undergo self-assembly. The multilayer self-assembly of the silk fibroin fabric was achieved by alternating the polyelectrolyte deposition of a negatively charged alginate solution (pH = 8 and a positively charged regenerated silk fibroin solution (pH = 2. Finally, the negatively charged regenerated silk fibroin solution (pH = 8 was used to assemble the outermost layer of the fabric so that the surface would be negatively charged. A stable structural transition was induced using 75% ethanol. The thickness and morphology were characterised using atomic force microscopy. The properties of the self-assembled silk fibroin fabric, such as the bursting strength, thermal stability and flushing stability, indicated that the fabric was stable. In addition, the cytocompatibility and haemocompatibility of the self-assembled silk fibroin fabrics were evaluated. The results indicated that the biocompatibility of the self-assembled multilayers was acceptable and that it improved markedly. In particular, after the self-assembly, the fabric was able to prevent platelet adhesion. Furthermore, other non-haemolytic biomaterials can be created through self-assembly of more than 1.5 bilayers, and we propose that self-assembled silk fibroin fabric may be an attractive candidate for anticoagulation applications and for promoting

  7. SilkDB: a knowledgebase for silkworm biology and genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Jing; Xia, Qingyou; He, Ximiao

    2005-01-01

    of the large-scale, genome-wide sequence assembly, cDNAs, clusters of expressed sequence tags (ESTs), transposable elements (TEs), mutants, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and functional annotations of genes with assignments to InterPro domains and Gene Ontology (GO) terms. SilkDB also hosts a set...... by using B.mori genome sequence as a reference framework. Designed as a basic platform, SilkDB strives to provide a comprehensive knowledgebase about the silkworm and present the silkworm genome and related information in systematic and graphical ways for the convenience of in-depth comparative studies...

  8. Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-02

    clear-cut link between a silks quality its internal structure and its consequent properties. Here two specific tracks were followed, namely thermal...In  this  part  of  our  research  we  are  following   two  specific   tracks  namely  thermal  behavior  and  melt...eco-­‐structural   silk-­‐composite-­‐based   bicycle /activity  helmet   that   we  will   be   codeveloping  with  Dr  HA

  9. Electroconductive polymer-coated silk fiber electrodes for neural recording and stimulation in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Satoshi; Takahashi, Hideyuki; Torimitsu, Keiichi

    2017-03-01

    We fabricated a silk-based low-impedance flexible electrode by coating a silk thread with the electroconductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with p-toluenesulfonate (PEDOT:pTS). This electrode had a lower impedance (about 1.8 kΩ/cm) than the silk electrode coated with PEDOT doped with poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) (about 1.3 MΩ/cm) reported previously. Using this electrode, a novel gamma-band oscillatory activity was recorded in the electrocorticogram from the embryonic chick brain with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Electrical stimulation was also possible with the silk electrode. We also fabricated an all-silk electrode array and recorded synchronized gamma oscillations. These results demonstrate that the silk electrode can be used for electrophysiological recording and local stimulation in vivo. The silk electrode has the potential to be used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and as a brain-machine interface.

  10. Modulation of Multiscale 3D Lattices through Conformational Control: Painting Silk Inverse Opals with Water and Light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yu; Aurelio, Daniele; Li, Wenyi; Tseng, Peter; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Li, Meng; Kaplan, David L; Liscidini, Marco; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G

    2017-10-01

    Structural proteins from naturally occurring materials are an inspiring template for material design and synthesis at multiple scales. The ability to control the assembly and conformation of such materials offers the opportunity to define fabrication approaches that recapitulate the dimensional hierarchy and structure-function relationships found in nature. A simple and versatile directed assembly method of silk fibroin, which allows the design of structures across multiple dimensional scales by generating and tuning structural color in large-scale, macro defect-free colloidally assembled 3D nanostructures in the form of silk inverse opals (SIOs) is reported. This approach effectively combines bottom-up and top-down techniques to obtain control on the nanoscale (through silk conformational changes), microscale (through patterning), and macroscale (through colloidal assembly), ultimately resulting in a controllable photonic lattice with predefined spectral behavior, with a resulting palette spanning almost the entire visible range. As a demonstration of the approach, examples of "multispectral" SIOs, paired with theoretical calculations and analysis of their response as a function of changes of lattice constants and refractive index contrast are illustrated. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Carbonic anhydrase generates CO2 and H+ that drive spider silk formation via opposite effects on the terminal domains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlene Andersson

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Spider silk fibers are produced from soluble proteins (spidroins under ambient conditions in a complex but poorly understood process. Spidroins are highly repetitive in sequence but capped by nonrepetitive N- and C-terminal domains (NT and CT that are suggested to regulate fiber conversion in similar manners. By using ion selective microelectrodes we found that the pH gradient in the silk gland is much broader than previously known. Surprisingly, the terminal domains respond in opposite ways when pH is decreased from 7 to 5: Urea denaturation and temperature stability assays show that NT dimers get significantly stabilized and then lock the spidroins into multimers, whereas CT on the other hand is destabilized and unfolds into ThT-positive β-sheet amyloid fibrils, which can trigger fiber formation. There is a high carbon dioxide pressure (pCO2 in distal parts of the gland, and a CO2 analogue interacts with buried regions in CT as determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy. Activity staining of histological sections and inhibition experiments reveal that the pH gradient is created by carbonic anhydrase. Carbonic anhydrase activity emerges in the same region of the gland as the opposite effects on NT and CT stability occur. These synchronous events suggest a novel CO2 and proton-dependent lock and trigger mechanism of spider silk formation.

  12. Effects of β-sheet crystals and a glycine-rich matrix on the thermal conductivity of spider dragline silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jinju; Kim, Duckjong; Lee, Seung-Mo; Choi, Ji-Ung; You, Myungil; So, Hye-Mi; Han, Junkyu; Nah, Junghyo; Seol, Jae Hun

    2017-03-01

    We measured the thermal conductivity of Araneus ventricosus' spider dragline silk using a suspended microdevice. The thermal conductivity of the silk fiber was approximately 0.4Wm -1 K -1 at room temperature and gradually increased with an increasing temperature in a manner similar to that of other disordered crystals or proteins. In order to elucidate the effect of β-sheet crystals in the silk, thermal denaturation was used to reduce the quantity of the β-sheet crystals. A calculation with an effective medium approximation supported this measurement result showing that the thermal conductivity of β-sheet crystals had an insignificant effect on the thermal conductivity of SDS. Additionally, the enhancement of bonding strength in a glycine-rich matrix by atomic layer deposition did not increase the thermal conductivity. Thus, this study suggests that the disordered part of the glycine-rich matrix prevented the peptide chains from being coaxially extended via the cross-linking covalent bonds. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Evidence from Multiple Species that Spider Silk Glue Component ASG2 is a Spidroin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collin, Matthew A; Clarke, Thomas H; Ayoub, Nadia A; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2016-02-15

    Spiders in the superfamily Araneoidea produce viscous glue from aggregate silk glands. Aggregate glue coats prey-capture threads and hampers the escape of prey from webs, thereby increasing the foraging success of spiders. cDNAs for Aggregate Spider Glue 1 (ASG1) and 2 (ASG2) have been previously described from the golden orb-weaver, Nephila clavipes, and Western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus. To further investigate aggregate glues, we assembled ASG1 and ASG2 from genomic target capture libraries constructed from three species of cob-web weavers and three species of orb-web weavers, all araneoids. We show that ASG1 is unlikely to be a glue, but rather is part of a widespread arthropod gene family, the peritrophic matrix proteins. For ASG2, we demonstrate its remarkable architectural and sequence similarities to spider silk fibroins, indicating that ASG2 is a member of the spidroin gene family. Thus, spidroins have diversified into glues in addition to task-specific, high performance fibers.

  14. Robust microcapsules with controlled permeability from silk fibroin reinforced with graphene oxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Chunhong; Combs, Zachary A; Calabrese, Rossella; Dai, Hongqi; Kaplan, David L; Tsukruk, Vladimir V

    2014-12-29

    Robust and stable microcapsules are assembled from poly-amino acid-modified silk fibroin reinforced with graphene oxide flakes using layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly, based on biocompatible natural protein and carbon nanosheets. The composite microcapsules are extremely stable in acidic (pH 2.0) and basic (pH 11.5) conditions, accompanied with pH-triggered permeability, which facilitates the controllable encapsulation and release of macromolecules. Furthermore, the graphene oxide incorporated into ultrathin LbL shells induces greatly reinforced mechanical properties, with an elastic modulus which is two orders of magnitude higher than the typical values of original silk LbL shells and shows a significant, three-fold reduction in pore size. Such strong nanocomposite microcapsules can provide solid protection of encapsulated cargo under harsh conditions, indicating a promising candidate with controllable loading/unloading for drug delivery, reinforcement, and bioengineering applications. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Critical electrolyte concentration of silk gland chromatin of the sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis, induced using agrochemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, S A; Fermino, F; Moreira, B M T; Araujo, K F; Falco, J R P; Ruvolo-Takasusuki, M C C

    2014-09-29

    The sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis is widely known as the main pest of sugarcane crop, causing increased damage to the entire fields. Measures to control this pest involve the use of chemicals and biological control with Cotesia flavipes wasps. In this study, we evaluated the insecticides fipronil (Frontline; 0.0025%), malathion (Malatol Bio Carb; 0.4%), cipermetrina (Galgotrin; 10%), and neem oil (Natuneem; 100%) and the herbicide nicosulfuron (Sanson 40 SC; 100%) in the posterior region silk glands of 3rd- and 5th-instar D. saccharalis by studying the variation in the critical electrolyte concentration (CEC). Observations of 3rd-instar larvae indicated that malathion, cipermetrina, and neem oil induced increased chromatin condensation that may consequently disable genes. Tests with fipronil showed no alteration in chromatin condensation. With the use of nicosulfuron, there was chromatin and probable gene decompaction. In the 5th-instar larvae, the larval CEC values indicated that malathion and neem oil induced increased chromatin condensation. The CEC values for 5th-instar larvae using cipermetrina, fipronil, and nicosulfuron indicated chromatin unpacking. These observations led us to conclude that the quantity of the pesticide does not affect the mortality of these pests, can change the conformation of complexes of DNA, RNA, and protein from the posterior region of silk gland cells of D. saccharalis, activating or repressing the expression of genes related to the defense mechanism of the insect and contributing to the selection and survival of resistant individuals.

  16. Molecular insights on the recognition of a Lactococcus lactis cell wall pellicle by the phage 1358 receptor binding protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farenc, Carine; Spinelli, Silvia; Vinogradov, Evgeny; Tremblay, Denise; Blangy, Stéphanie; Sadovskaya, Irina; Moineau, Sylvain; Cambillau, Christian

    2014-06-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis is used for the production of cheeses and other fermented dairy products. Accidental infection of L. lactis cells by virulent lactococcal tailed phages is one of the major risks of fermentation failures in industrial dairy factories. Lactococcal phage 1358 possesses a host range limited to a few L. lactis strains and strong genomic similarities to Listeria phages. We report here the X-ray structures of phage 1358 receptor binding protein (RBP) in complex with monosaccharides. Each monomer of its trimeric RBP is formed of two domains: a "shoulder" domain linking the RBP to the rest of the phage and a jelly roll fold "head/host recognition" domain. This domain harbors a saccharide binding crevice located in the middle of a monomer. Crystal structures identified two sites at the RBP surface, ∼8 Å from each other, one accommodating a GlcNAc monosaccharide and the other accommodating a GlcNAc or a glucose 1-phosphate (Glc1P) monosaccharide. GlcNAc and GlcNAc1P are components of the polysaccharide pellicle that we identified at the cell surface of L. lactis SMQ-388, the host of phage 1358. We therefore modeled a galactofuranose (Galf) sugar bridging the two GlcNAc saccharides, suggesting that the trisaccharidic motif GlcNAc-Galf-GlcNAc (or Glc1P) might be common to receptors of genetically distinct lactococcal phages p2, TP091-1, and 1358. Strain specificity might therefore be elicited by steric clashes induced by the remaining components of the pellicle hexasaccharide. Taken together, these results provide a first insight into the molecular mechanism of host receptor recognition by lactococcal phages. Siphophages infecting the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis are sources of milk fermentation failures in the dairy industry. We report here the structure of the pellicle polysaccharide from L. lactis SMQ-388, the specific host strain of phage 1358. We determined the X-ray structures of the lytic lactococcal phage

  17. Silk-sericin degummed wastewater solution-derived and nitrogen enriched porous carbon nanosheets for robust biological imaging of stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Chuan-Chung; Prasannan, Adhimoorthy; Hong, Po-Da; Chiang, Ming-Yu

    2018-02-01

    Appreciated raw materials like silk-sericin can be recovered from silk-textile industrial waste for the production of novel functional nanomaterials. In this study, highly fluorescent sericin based carbon nanosheets (SCN) were produced from industrial wastewater containing silk-sericin as a precursor, and was applied as bio-imaging application for oral fat stem cells. A simple one-pot, hydrothermal carbonization method was used to produce SCN at a 180°C. The obtained hydrothermal carbons exhibited strong fluorescence properties due to the presence of strong polar groups, such as carboxyl, amino and amide groups in the surface. Heteroatom functionalization of the SCN leads to the property of fluorescence due to enriched nitrogen and was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The plate-like morphology of SCN about 35nm in size was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy. The carbon 13 nuclear magnetic resonance results revealed that nano-sized fluorescent SCN formed during carbonization and functionalization occurred through dehydration of the sericin protein. Moreover, the prepared SCNs demonstrated low toxicity and their suitability for bio-imaging applications was demonstrated to the oral fat stem cells. Overall, sericin degumming wastewater from the silk textile industry can be utilized for the production of SCNs for stem cells bio-imaging applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  19. Evaluation of silk biomaterials in combination with extracellular matrix coatings for bladder tissue engineering with primary and pluripotent cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Silk-based biomaterials in combination with extracellular matrix (ECM) coatings were assessed as templates for cell-seeded bladder tissue engineering approaches. Two structurally diverse groups of silk scaffolds were produced by a gel spinning process and consisted of either smooth, compact multi-laminates (Group 1) or rough, porous lamellar-like sheets (Group 2). Scaffolds alone or coated with collagen types I or IV or fibronectin were assessed independently for their ability to support attachment, proliferation, and differentiation of primary cell lines including human bladder smooth muscle cells (SMC) and urothelial cells as well as pluripotent cell populations, such as murine embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. AlamarBlue evaluations revealed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest degree of primary SMC and urothelial cell attachment in comparison to uncoated Group 2 controls and all Group 1 scaffold variants. Real time RT-PCR and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses demonstrated that both fibronectin-coated silk groups were permissive for SMC contractile differentiation as determined by significant upregulation of α-actin and SM22α mRNA and protein expression levels following TGFβ1 stimulation. Prominent expression of epithelial differentiation markers, cytokeratins, was observed in urothelial cells cultured on both control and fibronectin-coated groups following IHC analysis. Evaluation of silk matrices for ESC and iPS cell attachment by alamarBlue showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest levels in comparison to all other scaffold formulations. In addition, real time RT-PCR and IHC analyses showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds facilitated ESC and iPS cell differentiation toward both urothelial and smooth muscle lineages in response to all trans retinoic acid as assessed by induction of uroplakin and contractile gene and protein expression. These results

  20. Silk cocoon drying in forced convection type solar dryer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, Panna Lal

    2011-01-01

    The thin layer silk cocoon drying was studied in a forced convection type solar dryer. The drying chamber was provided with several trays on which the cocoons loaded in thin layer. The hot air generated in the solar air heater was forced into drying chamber to avoid the direct exposure of sunlight and UV radiation on cocoons. The drying air temperature varied from 50 to 75 o C. The cocoon was dried from the initial moisture content of about 60-12% (wb). The drying data was fitted to thin layer drying models. Drying behaviour of the silk cocoon was best fitted with the Wang and Singh drying model. Good agreement was obtained between predicted and experimental values. Quality of the cocoons dried in the solar dryer was at par with the cocoons dried in the conventional electrical oven dryer in term of the silk yield and strength of the silk. Saving of electrical energy was about 0.75 kWh/kg cocoons dried. Economic analysis indicated that the NPV of the solar dryer was higher and more stable (against escalation rate of electricity) as compare to the same for electrical oven dryer. Due to simplicity in design and construction and significant saving of operational electrical energy, solar cocoon dryer seems to be a viable option.

  1. Viscous friction between crystalline and amorphous phase of dragline silk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep P Patil

    Full Text Available The hierarchical structure of spider dragline silk is composed of two major constituents, the amorphous phase and crystalline units, and its mechanical response has been attributed to these prime constituents. Silk mechanics, however, might also be influenced by the resistance against sliding of these two phases relative to each other under load. We here used atomistic molecular dynamics (MD simulations to obtain friction forces for the relative sliding of the amorphous phase and crystalline units of Araneus diadematus spider silk. We computed the coefficient of viscosity of this interface to be in the order of 10(2 Ns/m(2 by extrapolating our simulation data to the viscous limit. Interestingly, this value is two orders of magnitude smaller than the coefficient of viscosity within the amorphous phase. This suggests that sliding along a planar and homogeneous surface of straight polyalanine chains is much less hindered than within entangled disordered chains. Finally, in a simple finite element model, which is based on parameters determined from MD simulations including the newly deduced coefficient of viscosity, we assessed the frictional behavior between these two components for the experimental range of relative pulling velocities. We found that a perfectly relative horizontal motion has no significant resistance against sliding, however, slightly inclined loading causes measurable resistance. Our analysis paves the way towards a finite element model of silk fibers in which crystalline units can slide, move and rearrange themselves in the fiber during loading.

  2. Viscous Friction between Crystalline and Amorphous Phase of Dragline Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Sandeep P.; Xiao, Senbo; Gkagkas, Konstantinos; Markert, Bernd; Gräter, Frauke

    2014-01-01

    The hierarchical structure of spider dragline silk is composed of two major constituents, the amorphous phase and crystalline units, and its mechanical response has been attributed to these prime constituents. Silk mechanics, however, might also be influenced by the resistance against sliding of these two phases relative to each other under load. We here used atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to obtain friction forces for the relative sliding of the amorphous phase and crystalline units of Araneus diadematus spider silk. We computed the coefficient of viscosity of this interface to be in the order of 102 Ns/m2 by extrapolating our simulation data to the viscous limit. Interestingly, this value is two orders of magnitude smaller than the coefficient of viscosity within the amorphous phase. This suggests that sliding along a planar and homogeneous surface of straight polyalanine chains is much less hindered than within entangled disordered chains. Finally, in a simple finite element model, which is based on parameters determined from MD simulations including the newly deduced coefficient of viscosity, we assessed the frictional behavior between these two components for the experimental range of relative pulling velocities. We found that a perfectly relative horizontal motion has no significant resistance against sliding, however, slightly inclined loading causes measurable resistance. Our analysis paves the way towards a finite element model of silk fibers in which crystalline units can slide, move and rearrange themselves in the fiber during loading. PMID:25119288

  3. Conservation of silk genes in Trichoptera and Lepidoptera

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Yonemura, N.; Mita, K.; Tamura, T.; Sehnal, František

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 68, č. 6 (2009), s. 641-653 ISSN 0022-2844 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA5007402 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : silk evolution * Trichoptera * Lepidoptera Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.323, year: 2009

  4. Estimation of genetic parameters in three commercial silk-worm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2011-10-10

    0.58 and 0.58, respectively) and the lowest heritability for CW was in line ..... Insect. Biochem. Mol., 28(3): 121-. 130. Bhargava SK, Rajalakshmi E, Thiagarajan V (1994). An evaluation index for silk yield contributing traits in ...

  5. Differential scanning fluorimetry illuminates silk feedstock stability and processability

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dicko, C.; Kasoju, Naresh; Hawkins, N.; Vollrath, F.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 1 (2016), s. 255-262 ISSN 1744-683X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0029 Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : differential scanning fluorimetry * biomaterials * silk fibroin Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.889, year: 2016

  6. Identification and classification of silks using infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulet-Audet, Maxime; Vollrath, Fritz; Holland, Chris

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Lepidopteran silks number in the thousands and display a vast diversity of structures, properties and industrial potential. To map this remarkable biochemical diversity, we present an identification and screening method based on the infrared spectra of native silk feedstock and cocoons. Multivariate analysis of over 1214 infrared spectra obtained from 35 species allowed us to group silks into distinct hierarchies and a classification that agrees well with current phylogenetic data and taxonomies. This approach also provides information on the relative content of sericin, calcium oxalate, phenolic compounds, poly-alanine and poly(alanine-glycine) β-sheets. It emerged that the domesticated mulberry silkmoth Bombyx mori represents an outlier compared with other silkmoth taxa in terms of spectral properties. Interestingly, Epiphora bauhiniae was found to contain the highest amount of β-sheets reported to date for any wild silkmoth. We conclude that our approach provides a new route to determine cocoon chemical composition and in turn a novel, biological as well as material, classification of silks. PMID:26347557

  7. The Political Economics of the New Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sárvári Balázs

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available What has now been coined the term XXI Century Silk Road had evolved from a speech given by Chinese premier Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan in 2013. It was initially a plan aimed at promoting the bilateral relations of China and its neighbors; however, the initiative had since then traversed the region’s borders and become a global project.

  8. Comparative clinical assessment of cotton hair thread and silk ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The gross tissue reactivity, bacterial load counts and clinical parameters were investigated following the use of cotton hair thread (CHT) and silk suture on surgically induced wounds on rabbits. Twelve clinically healthy male rabbits of New Zealand breed were used. They were acclimatized for two weeks and randomly ...

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Collectively, our investigations show that N. clavata uses silk fibres from relatively few glands in varying combinations to achieve different physical and chemical properties (e.g., color, diameter, morphology and amino acid composition) and functional and mechanical properties in the different layers of the egg case.

  10. Silk formation mechanisms in the larval salivary glands of Apis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    the silks produced by Embiidina, larval Symphyta and spiders (Oribiculariae) have 60% of their composition consisting of a combination of two of the amino acids: alanine, glycine and serine plus either proline or glutamine;. (iii) that in Diptera, Trichoptera and Coleoptera larvae, adult Mantoidea, adult Hymenoptera and the ...

  11. Stacking faults and microstructural parameters in non-mulberry silk ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    order method is a reasonably good approach to obtain microstructural parameters [13]. Keijser et al [14] have also suggested a single-order method employing Voigt function and integral breadth of reflections. For silk fibres and for most of the other ...

  12. Bioprospecting finds the toughest biological material: extraordinary silk from a giant riverine orb spider.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingi Agnarsson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Combining high strength and elasticity, spider silks are exceptionally tough, i.e., able to absorb massive kinetic energy before breaking. Spider silk is therefore a model polymer for development of high performance biomimetic fibers. There are over 41,000 described species of spiders, most spinning multiple types of silk. Thus we have available some 200,000+ unique silks that may cover an amazing breadth of material properties. To date, however, silks from only a few tens of species have been characterized, most chosen haphazardly as model organisms (Nephila or simply from researchers' backyards. Are we limited to 'blindly fishing' in efforts to discover extraordinary silks? Or, could scientists use ecology to predict which species are likely to spin silks exhibiting exceptional performance properties? METHODOLOGY: We examined the biomechanical properties of silk produced by the remarkable Malagasy 'Darwin's bark spider' (Caerostris darwini, which we predicted would produce exceptional silk based upon its amazing web. The spider constructs its giant orb web (up to 2.8 m(2 suspended above streams, rivers, and lakes. It attaches the web to substrates on each riverbank by anchor threads as long as 25 meters. Dragline silk from both Caerostris webs and forcibly pulled silk, exhibits an extraordinary combination of high tensile strength and elasticity previously unknown for spider silk. The toughness of forcibly silked fibers averages 350 MJ/m(3, with some samples reaching 520 MJ/m(3. Thus, C. darwini silk is more than twice tougher than any previously described silk, and over 10 times better than Kevlar®. Caerostris capture spiral silk is similarly exceptionally tough. CONCLUSIONS: Caerostris darwini produces the toughest known biomaterial. We hypothesize that this extraordinary toughness coevolved with the unusual ecology and web architecture of these spiders, decreasing the likelihood of bridgelines breaking and collapsing the web

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tribpo

    plates in carbonate-bicarbonate buffer (pH 9·6). Blocking and washing were done with PBS-Tween 20 (0·05%) with and without bovine serum albumin (BSA), respectively. Subsequently, various dilutions (1:400 to 1:6400) of P25 antisera were added to the wells. HRP-conjugated goat anti-rabbit IgG (Bangalore Genei,. India ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Improvement of Physical and Wound Adhesion Properties of Silk Sericin and Polyvinyl Alcohol Dressing Using Glycerin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Ratanavaraporn, Juthamas; Siritientong, Tippawan

    2015-08-01

    This study aimed to use glycerin to improve physical and wound adhesion properties of a wound dressing made of silk sericin and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Glycerin of a natural-derived plasticizer was used to modify the properties of silk sericin/PVA scaffolds. Various concentrations of glycerin were mixed with silk sericin and PVA and then fabricated into the scaffolds by a freeze-drying technique. The control study was performed to examine the properties of the silk sericin/PVA scaffolds with and without glycerin. Physical, mechanical, wound adhesion properties, the release profile of silk sericin, and in vivo safety of the silk sericin/PVA scaffolds with and without glycerin were investigated. The silk sericin/PVA scaffolds with glycerin exhibited more homogenous structure, less compressive modulus, higher Young modulus and elongation percentage, and a higher degree of crosslinking compared with the scaffold without glycerin. The silk sericin/PVA scaffold with 2% wt/vol glycerin showed more controlled release of silk sericin than the other scaffolds. The sustained release of silk sericin from the scaffold with glycerin would be advantageous for long-term healing of wounds. The silk sericin/PVA scaffold with 2% (wt/vol) glycerin was less adhesive to the wound compared with the scaffold without glycerin. Furthermore, the implantation of silk sericin/PVA scaffolds with 2% (wt/vol) glycerin did not cause any irritation to the tissue. The silk sericin/PVA scaffolds with glycerin were introduced as a biocompatible, more flexible, and less adhesive wound dressing than the scaffold without glycerin.

  16. Conductive Polymer Combined Silk Fiber Bundle for Bioelectrical Signal Recording

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukada, Shingo; Nakashima, Hiroshi; Torimitsu, Keiichi

    2012-01-01

    Electrode materials for recording biomedical signals, such as electrocardiography (ECG), electroencephalography (EEG) and evoked potentials data, are expected to be soft, hydrophilic and electroconductive to minimize the stress imposed on living tissue, especially during long-term monitoring. We have developed and characterized string-shaped electrodes made from conductive polymer with silk fiber bundles (thread), which offer a new biocompatible stress free interface with living tissue in both wet and dry conditions. An electroconductive polyelectrolyte, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) -poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT-PSS) was electrochemically combined with silk thread made from natural Bombyx mori. The polymer composite 280 µm thread exhibited a conductivity of 0.00117 S/cm (which corresponds to a DC resistance of 2.62 Mohm/cm). The addition of glycerol to the PEDOT-PSS silk thread improved the conductivity to 0.102 S/cm (20.6 kohm/cm). The wettability of PEDOT-PSS was controlled with glycerol, which improved its durability in water and washing cycles. The glycerol treated PEDOT-PSS silk thread showed a tensile strength of 1000 cN in both wet and dry states. Without using any electrolytes, pastes or solutions, the thread directly collects electrical signals from living tissue and transmits them through metal cables. ECG, EEG, and sensory evoked potential (SEP) signals were recorded from experimental animals by using this thread placed on the skin. PEDOT-PSS silk glycerol composite thread offers a new class of biocompatible electrodes in the field of biomedical and health promotion that does not induce stress in the subjects. PMID:22493670

  17. Conductive polymer combined silk fiber bundle for bioelectrical signal recording.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shingo Tsukada

    Full Text Available Electrode materials for recording biomedical signals, such as electrocardiography (ECG, electroencephalography (EEG and evoked potentials data, are expected to be soft, hydrophilic and electroconductive to minimize the stress imposed on living tissue, especially during long-term monitoring. We have developed and characterized string-shaped electrodes made from conductive polymer with silk fiber bundles (thread, which offer a new biocompatible stress free interface with living tissue in both wet and dry conditions.An electroconductive polyelectrolyte, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene-poly(styrenesulfonate (PEDOT-PSS was electrochemically combined with silk thread made from natural Bombyx mori. The polymer composite 280 µm thread exhibited a conductivity of 0.00117 S/cm (which corresponds to a DC resistance of 2.62 Mohm/cm. The addition of glycerol to the PEDOT-PSS silk thread improved the conductivity to 0.102 S/cm (20.6 kohm/cm. The wettability of PEDOT-PSS was controlled with glycerol, which improved its durability in water and washing cycles. The glycerol treated PEDOT-PSS silk thread showed a tensile strength of 1000 cN in both wet and dry states. Without using any electrolytes, pastes or solutions, the thread directly collects electrical signals from living tissue and transmits them through metal cables. ECG, EEG, and sensory evoked potential (SEP signals were recorded from experimental animals by using this thread placed on the skin. PEDOT-PSS silk glycerol composite thread offers a new class of biocompatible electrodes in the field of biomedical and health promotion that does not induce stress in the subjects.

  18. Prevalence and determinants of low protein intake in very old adults: insights from the Newcastle 85+ Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendonça, Nuno; Granic, Antoneta; Mathers, John C; Hill, Tom R; Siervo, Mario; Adamson, Ashley J; Jagger, Carol

    2017-09-25

    The very old (aged ≥ 85 years), fastest growing age group in most western societies, are at especially high risk of muscle mass and strength loss. The amount, sources and timing of protein intake may play important roles in the aetiology and management of sarcopenia. This study investigated the prevalence and determinants of low protein intake in 722 very old adults participating in the Newcastle 85+ Study. Protein intake was estimated with 2 × 24-h multiple pass recalls (24 h-MPR) and contribution (%) of food groups to protein intake was calculated. Low protein intake was defined as intake intake. Twenty-eight percent (n = 199) of the community-living very old in the Newcastle 85+ Study had low protein intake. Low protein intake was less likely when participants had a higher percent contribution of meat and meat products to total protein intake (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95, 1.00) but more likely with a higher percent contribution of cereal and cereal products and non-alcoholic beverages. Morning eating occasions contributed more to total protein intake in the low than in the adequate protein intake group (p intake (p intake in adjusted models. This study provides novel evidence on the prevalence of low protein intake, diurnal protein intake patterns and food group contributors to protein intake in the very old.

  19. Protective effect of silk lutein on ultraviolet B-irradiated human keratinocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sutatip Pongcharoen

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Carotenoids are efficient antioxidants that are of great importance for human health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotinoids present in high concentrations in the human retina which are involved in the photoprotection of the human eye. Lutein may also protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV-induced damage. The present study investigated the protective effect of lutein extracted from yellow silk cocoons of Bombyx mori on human keratinocytes against UVB irradiation. A human keratinocyte cell line and primary human keratinocytes were used to investigate the UVB protection effects of silk lutein and plant lutein. Silk lutein showed no cytotoxicity to keratinocytes. Treatment with silk lutein prior to UVB irradiation enhanced cell viability and cell proliferation, and reduced cell apoptosis. The protective effects of silk lutein may be superior to those of plant lutein. Silk lutein may have a benefit for protection of keratinocytes against UVB-irradiation.

  20. Effect of residual sericin on the structural characteristics and properties of regenerated silk films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ji Hye; Song, Dae Woong; Park, Young Hwan; Um, In Chul

    2016-08-01

    Regenerated silk film has been increasingly attracting the research community's attention for biomedical applications due to its good biocompatibility and excellent cyto-compatibility. However, some limitations regarding its mechanical properties, such as brittleness, have restricted the use of silk films for industrial biomedical applications. In this study, regenerated silk films with different residual sericin content were prepared applying controlled degumming conditions to evaluate the effect of sericin content on the structure and properties of the films generated. When the residual sericin content increased to 0.6%, crystallinity index and breaking strength of silk films were increased. Above this value, these parameters then decreased. A 1.5 fold increase of silk film elongation properties was obtained when incorporating 16% sericin. Regardless of sericin content, all regenerated silk films showed excellent cyto-compatibility, comparable to the one obtained with tissue culture plates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of silk gland damage caused by phoxim exposure and protection of phoxim-induced damage by cerium chloride in Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bing; Sun, Qingqing; Yu, Xiaohong; Xie, Yi; Hong, Jie; Zhao, Xiaoyang; Sang, Xuezi; Shen, Weide; Hong, Fashui

    2015-09-01

    It is known that exposure to organophosphorus pesticides (OP) including phoxim can produce oxidative stress, neurotoxicity, and greatly attenuate cocooning rate in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Cerium treatment has been demonstrated to relieve phoxim-induced toxicity in B. mori; however, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms of silk gland injury due to OP exposure and protection of gland damage due to cerium pretreatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate silk gland damage and its molecular mechanisms in phoxim-induced silkworm toxicity and the protective mechanisms of cerium following exposure to phoxim. The results showed that phoxim exposure resulted in severe gland damage, reductions in protein synthesis and the cocooning rate of silkworms. Cerium (Ce) attenuated gland damage caused by phoxim, promoted protein synthesis, increased the antioxidant capacity of the gland and increased the cocooning rate of B. mori. Furthermore, digital gene expression data suggested that phoxim exposure led to significant up-regulation of 714 genes and down-regulation of 120 genes. Of these genes, 122 were related to protein metabolism, specifically, the down-regulated Ser2, Ser3, Fib-L, P25, and CYP450. Ce pretreatment resulted in up-regulation of 162 genes, and down-regulation of 141 genes, importantly, Ser2, Ser3, Fib-L, P25, and CYP333B8 were up-regulated. Treatment with CeCl3 + phoxim resulted in higher levels of Fib-L, P25, Ser2, Ser3, CAT, TPx, and CYP333B8 expression in the silk gland of silkworms. These findings indicated that Ce increased cocooning rate via the promotion of silk protein synthesis-related gene expression in the gland under phoxim-induced toxicity. These findings may expand the application of rare earths in sericulture. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. New insights into transcriptional and leukemogenic mechanisms of AML1-ETO and E2A fusion proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jian; Guo, Chun; Steinauer, Nickolas; Zhang, Jinsong

    2016-08-01

    Nearly 15% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cases are caused by aberrant expression of AML1-ETO, a fusion protein generated by the t(8;21) chromosomal translocation. Since its discovery, AML1-ETO has served as a prototype to understand how leukemia fusion proteins deregulate transcription to promote leukemogenesis. Another leukemia fusion protein, E2A-Pbx1, generated by the t(1;19) translocation, is involved in acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALLs). While AML1-ETO and E2A-Pbx1 are structurally unrelated fusion proteins, we have recently shown that a common axis, the ETO/E-protein interaction, is involved in the regulation of both fusion proteins, underscoring the importance of studying protein-protein interactions in elucidating the mechanisms of leukemia fusion proteins. In this review, we aim to summarize these new developments while also providing a historic overview of the related early studies. A total of 218 publications were reviewed in this article, a majority of which were published after 2004.We also downloaded 3D structures of AML1-ETO domains from Protein Data Bank and provided a systematic summary of their structures. By reviewing the literature, we summarized early and recent findings on AML1-ETO, including its protein-protein interactions, transcriptional and leukemogenic mechanisms, as well as the recently reported involvement of ETO family corepressors in regulating the function of E2A-Pbx1. While the recent development in genomic and structural studies has clearly demonstrated that the fusion proteins function by directly regulating transcription, a further understanding of the underlying mechanisms, including crosstalk with other transcription factors and cofactors, and the protein-protein interactions in the context of native proteins, may be necessary for the development of highly targeted drugs for leukemia therapy.

  3. Review physical and chemical aspects of stabilization of compounds in silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, Eleanor M; Dennis, Patrick B; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Naik, Rajesh R; Kaplan, David L

    2012-06-01

    The challenge of stabilization of small molecules and proteins has received considerable interest. The biological activity of small molecules can be lost as a consequence of chemical modifications, while protein activity may be lost due to chemical or structural degradation, such as a change in macromolecular conformation or aggregation. In these cases, stabilization is required to preserve therapeutic and bioactivity efficacy and safety. In addition to use in therapeutic applications, strategies to stabilize small molecules and proteins also have applications in industrial processes, diagnostics, and consumer products like food and cosmetics. Traditionally, therapeutic drug formulation efforts have focused on maintaining stability during product preparation and storage. However, with growing interest in the fields of encapsulation, tissue engineering, and controlled release drug delivery systems, new stabilization challenges are being addressed; the compounds or protein of interest must be stabilized during: (1) fabrication of the protein or small molecule-loaded carrier, (2) device storage, and (3) for the duration of intended release needs in vitro or in vivo. We review common mechanisms of compound degradation for small molecules and proteins during biomaterial preparation (including tissue engineering scaffolds and drug delivery systems), storage, and in vivo implantation. We also review the physical and chemical aspects of polymer-based stabilization approaches, with a particular focus on the stabilizing properties of silk fibroin biomaterials. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Biodegradable Eri silk nanoparticles as a delivery vehicle for bovine lactoferrin against MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy K

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Kislay Roy,1,* Yogesh S Patel,1,* Rupinder K Kanwar,1 Rangam Rajkhowa,2 Xungai Wang,2 Jagat R Kanwar1 1Nanomedicine-Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research (NLIMBR, Centre for Molecular and Medical Research (C-MMR, School of Medicine (SoM, Faculty of Health, 2Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, VIC, Australia *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: This study used the Eri silk nanoparticles (NPs for delivering apo-bovine lactoferrin (Apo-bLf (~2% iron saturated and Fe-bLf (100% iron saturated in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Apo-bLf and Fe-bLf-loaded Eri silk NPs with sizes between 200 and 300 nm (±10 nm showed a significant internalization within 4 hours in MDA-MB-231 cells when compared to MCF-7 cells. The ex vivo loop assay with chitosan-coated Fe-bLf-loaded silk NPs was able to substantiate its future use in oral administration and showed the maximum absorption within 24 hours by ileum. Both Apo-bLf and Fe-bLf induced increase in expression of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 and lactoferrin receptor in epidermal growth factor (EGFR-positive MDA-MB-231 cells, while transferrin receptor (TfR and TfR2 in MCF-7 cells facilitated the receptor-mediated endocytosis of NPs. Controlled and sustained release of both bLf from silk NPs was shown to induce more cancer-specific cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells compared to normal MCF-10A cells. Due to higher degree of internalization, the extent of cytotoxicity and apoptosis was significantly higher in MDA-MB-231 (EGFR+ cells when compared to MCF-7 (EGFR- cells. The expression of a prominent anti-cancer target, survivin, was found to be downregulated at both gene and protein levels. Taken together, all the observations suggest the potential use of Eri silk NPs as a delivery vehicle for an anti-cancer milk protein, and indicate bLf for the treatment of breast cancer. Keywords: breast

  5. Preparation of Antheraea pernyi Silk Fibroin Microparticles through a Facile Electrospinning Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiufang Li

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this study was to fabricate Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin (ASF microparticles using electrospinning under mild processing conditions. To improve processability of the ASF solution, poly(ethylene oxide (PEO was used to regulate viscosity of ASF solution for electrospinning. It was found that the blend of ASF with PEO could form a bead-on-string structure with well spherical particles. Furthermore, aqueous ethanol and ultrasonic treatments could disrupt the nanofibrillar string structure between particles and ultimately produced water-insoluble ASF particles with submicron scale. Cell viability studies indicated that the ASF microparticles were nontoxic to EA926 cells. Moreover, fluorescent images based on FITC labeling showed that the ASF microparticles were easily uptaken by the cells. Aqueous-based electrospinning provides a potentially useful option for the fabrication of ASF microparticles based on this unique fibrous protein.

  6. Supracolloidal Assemblies as Sacrificial Templates for Porous Silk-Based Biomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John G. Hardy

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Tissues in the body are hierarchically structured composite materials with tissue-specific properties. Urea self-assembles via hydrogen bonding interactions into crystalline supracolloidal assemblies that can be used to impart macroscopic pores to polymer-based tissue scaffolds. In this communication, we explain the solvent interactions governing the solubility of urea and thereby the scope of compatible polymers. We also highlight the role of solvent interactions on the morphology of the resulting supracolloidal crystals. We elucidate the role of polymer-urea interactions on the morphology of the pores in the resulting biomaterials. Finally, we demonstrate that it is possible to use our urea templating methodology to prepare Bombyx mori silk protein-based biomaterials with pores that human dermal fibroblasts respond to by aligning with the long axis of the pores. This methodology has potenti