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Sample records for silk sericin protein

  1. Silk protein lithography as a route to fabricate sericin microarchitectures.

    PubMed

    Kurland, Nicholas E; Dey, Tuli; Wang, Congzhou; Kundu, Subhas C; Yadavalli, Vamsi K

    2014-07-01

    Photolithographic fabrication via a "silk sericin photoresist" is used to form precise protein microstructures directly and rapidly on a variety of substrates. High-resolution and fidelity architectures in two and three dimensions with line widths down to 1 μm are formed. Photo-crosslinked protein structures provide structural iridescence and guide cell adhesion with precise spatial control. PMID:24737390

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23357374

  3. Identification of Ser2 proteins as major sericin components in the non-cocoon silk of Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Takasu, Yoko; Hata, Tamako; Uchino, Keiro; Zhang, Qiang

    2010-04-01

    Sericins are glue proteins of Bombyx mori silk fibers. They are produced in the middle silk gland (MSG) cells, stored in the lumen, and pushed out from the spinneret surrounding the fibroin fibers. The Ser2 gene was partly cloned from the anterior region of the MSG more than 20 years ago and is regarded as a sericin-encoding gene; however, Ser2 proteins do not appear to be major components of cocoon proteins. We used northern blotting to analyze the expression of three sericin genes--Ser1, Ser2, and Ser3--in the MSG of third to fifth instar larvae, and measured the corresponding cDNA levels by competitive PCR. The results revealed that Ser2 gene expression dominated until the middle period of the fifth instar, while the expression of the other genes was mainly observed after the middle fifth instar. Protein analysis demonstrated that the two Ser2 proteins produced by alternative splicing were major coating proteins of larval silk threads spun during the growing stages. The molecular components of larval silk sericin were completely different from those of cocoon sericin, and the difference may be related to the functions of the two kinds of silk fibers. PMID:20197092

  4. Sericin Composition in the Silk of Antheraea yamamai.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    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. PMID:27049111

  5. An optimized sericin-1 expression system for mass-producing recombinant proteins in the middle silk glands of transgenic silkworms.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Xu, Hanfu; Yuan, Lin; Ma, Sanyuan; Wang, Yuancheng; Duan, Xiaoli; Duan, Jianping; Xiang, Zhonghuai; Xia, Qingyou

    2013-10-01

    The middle silk gland (MSG) of silkworm is thought to be a potential host for mass-producing valuable recombinant proteins. Transgenic MSG expression systems based on the usage of promoter of sericin1 gene (sericin-1 expression system) have been established to produce various recombinant proteins in MSG. However, further modifying the activity of the sericin-1 expression system to yield higher amounts of recombinant proteins is still necessary. In this study, we provide an alternative modification strategy to construct an efficient sericin-1 expression system by using the hr3 enhancer (hr3 CQ) from a Chongqing strain of the Bombyx mori nuclear polyhedrosis virus (BmNPV) and the 3'UTRs of the fibroin heavy chain (Fib-HPA), the fibroin light chain (Fib-LPA), and Sericin1 (Ser1PA) genes. We first analyzed the effects of these DNA elements on expression of luciferase, and found that the combination of hr3 CQ and Ser1PA was most effective to increase the activity of luciferase. Then, hr3 CQ and Ser1PA were used to modify the sericin1 expression system. Transgenic silkworms bearing these modified sericin1 expression vectors were generated by a piggyBac transposon mediated genetic transformation method. Our results showed that mRNA level of DsRed reporter gene in transgenic silkworms containing hr3 CQ and Ser1PA significantly increased by 9 fold to approximately 83 % of that of endogenous sericin1. As the results of that, the production of recombinant RFP increased by 16 fold to 9.5 % (w/w) of cocoon shell weight. We conclude that this modified sericin-1 expression system is efficient and will contribute to the MSG as host to mass produce valuable recombinant proteins. PMID:23435751

  6. Maturation and fertilisation of sheep oocytes cultured in serum-free medium containing silk protein sericin.

    PubMed

    Yasmin, Cut; Otoi, Takeshige; Setiadi, Mohamad Agus; Karja, Ni Wayan Kurniani

    2015-03-01

    Sericin is a water-soluble component of silk and has been used as a biomaterial due to its antibacterial and ultraviolet radiation-resistant properties. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of sericin supplementation in a maturation medium on the meiotic competence and fertilisability of sheep oocytes. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured in TCM199 supplemented with sericin at various concentrations of 0 (control), 0.1, 0.25 and 0.5%, either with or without bovine serum albumin (BSA). When the COCs were matured without BSA, the supplementation of 0.1% sericin significantly increased the rates of maturation to metaphase II and the total fertilisation of oocytes compared with the other concentrations of sericin. When the COCs were matured with BSA, the beneficial effects of 0.1% sericin supplementation on the maturation and fertilisation of oocytes were not observed. Our findings indicate that supplementation with 0.1% sericin during maturation culture may improve the nuclear maturation and fertilisability of sheep oocytes. Moreover, it may be possible to replace BSA with sericin in chemically defined media without the risk of disease transmission. PMID:25655418

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26940175

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26940175

  9. Antihyperlipidemic and body fat-lowering effects of silk proteins with different fibroin/sericin compositions in mice fed with high fat diet.

    PubMed

    Seo, Chung-Won; Um, In Chul; Rico, Catherine W; Kang, Mi Young

    2011-04-27

    The effect of silk protein with different fibroin/sericin compositions on body weight and lipid metabolism in high fat-fed mice was investigated. The animals were given experimental diets for 6 weeks: normal control (NC), high fat (HF) and high fat diet supplemented with F100 (pure fibroin, HF-F100), F81 (81:19 fibroin/sericin, w/w, HF-F81) or F50 (50:50 fibroin/sericin, w/w, HF-F50). The silk protein-fed mice showed markedly reduced body weight and enhanced lipid profile relative to the HF group. In general, the amount of body fat, triglyceride and total plasma cholesterol levels, atherogenic index and free fatty acid level tended to decrease, while the HDL-cholesterol level increased, with increased amount of sericin in the diet. This hypolipidemic effect was partly due to increased fecal lipid excretion, inhibition of lipogenesis and regulation of adipokine production. These findings illustrate that silk protein, particularly sericin, may be beneficial in the prevention of high fat diet-induced hyperlipidemia and obesity. PMID:21384872

  10. Anti-inflammatory potential of silk sericin.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23738464

  11. Isolation and bioactivities of a non-sericin component from cocoon shell silk sericin of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hai-Yan; Wang, Yuan-Jing; Zhou, Li-Xia; Zhu, Lin; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2012-02-01

    The cocoon shell of the silkworm Bombyx mori consists of silk fibroin fiber (70%) surrounded by a sericin layer made up of sericin (25%) and non-sericin (5%) components. The non-sericin component which consists of carbohydrate, salt, wax, flavonoids and derivatives is often overlooked in applied research into sericin and its hydrolysate. Here, sericin and non-sericin compounds were obtained from the sericin layer of five types of cocoon shell by means of degumming in water followed by extraction and separation in ethanol. These ethanol extracts were found to mainly contain flavonoids and free amino acids possessing scavenging activities of the 2,2-diphenyl -1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical and inhibiting activities of tyrosinase, which were much greater than the corresponding activities of the purified sericin proteins. The extracts also strongly inhibited α-glucosidase while the sericins had no such activity. In particular, the inhibitory activities of the ethanol extract of Daizo cocoons were much greater than those of the other cocoons. The IC(50) values of the Daizo cocoons for DPPH free radicals, tyrosinase, and α-glucosidase were 170, 27, and 110 μg mL(-1), respectively. The bioactivities of the non-sericin component were much higher than the activity of sericin alone. In addition, the in vivo test showed preliminarily that the administration of the non-sericin component had effectively resistant activity against streptozocin (STZ) oxidation and that of the purified sericin could also evidently decrease the induction ratio of diabetic mice induced by STZ. Therefore, ethanol extract protocols of the sericin layer of cocoon shells provide a novel stock which, together with sericin protein, has potential uses in functional food, biotechnological and medical applications. PMID:22101964

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26838924

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25412301

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25412301

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23593923

  17. Preparation of gel film from Bombyx mori silk sericin and its characterization as a wound dressing.

    PubMed

    Teramoto, Hidetoshi; Kameda, Tsunenori; Tamada, Yasushi

    2008-12-01

    Sericin is a highly hydrophilic protein family acting as the glue in Bombyx mori silk. In order to apply sericin as a wound dressing, a novel sericin film named gel film was prepared by a simple process without using any chemical modifications: sericin solution was gelled with ethanol into a sheet shape and then dried. Infrared analysis revealed that the sericin gel film contained water-stable beta-sheet networks formed in the gelation step. This structural feature rendered the gel film morphologically stable against swelling and gave it good handling properties in the wet state. The sericin gel film rapidly absorbed water, equilibrating at a water content of about 80%, and exhibited elastic deformation up to a strain of about 25% in the wet state. A culture of mouse fibroblasts on the gel film indicated that it had low cell adhesion properties and no cytotoxicity. These characteristics of sericin gel film suggest its potential as a wound dressing. PMID:19060395

  18. Effect of the silk protein sericin on the production of adenovirus-based gene-therapy vectors.

    PubMed

    Yanagihara, Kana; Terada, Satoshi; Miki, Masao; Sasaki, Masahiro; Yamada, Hideyuki

    2006-09-01

    Adenoviral vectors are extensively used as gene-delivery vehicles in gene therapy. They are usually produced by HEK-293 cell (human embryonic kidney-293 cell) culture, which requires specially formulated serum-free medium, the cost of which is considerable or by supplementation with FBS (fetal bovine serum). The risk of infectious diseases such as BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) and endogenous retrovirus derived from cattle is a serious concern. The present study reports the use of sericin protein derived from silkworm (Bombyx mori) as an effective supplement instead of FBS. Without FBS, HEK-293 cells significantly proliferated in the presence of 0.025-0.4% sericin, especially at 0.1%, but the effect was inferior to that of FBS. When a lower titre [MOI (multiplicity of infection) 0.03] of adenoviral vector pAxCAiLacZ was used as the inoculum, HEK-293 cells in the presence of 0.1% sericin produced a nearly 3-fold higher vector titre than culture in the presence of 5% (v/v) FBS. However, when a higher vector titre (MOI 3.7) was used as the inoculum, HEK-293 cells in the presence of sericin produced a slightly higher vector titre than in the presence of FBS, which might suggest that HEK-293 cells produce a maximum amount when a higher vector titre is used as the inoculum. These increases in vector production with sericin were confirmed by LacZ (beta-galactosidase reporter gene) activity assay. Supplementation with sericin decreased lactate dehydrogenase activity, an indicator of cell death, suggesting that sericin improved cell survival; hence, prolonging the culture period might be one of the reasons for increased vector production. On the basis of these results, sericin peptide seems to be a potent and effective alternative supplement for production of adenoviral vectors without such risks as BSE and retrovirus. PMID:16674313

  19. Isolation, purification and characterization of silk protein sericin from cocoon peduncles of tropical tasar silkworm, Antheraea mylitta.

    PubMed

    Dash, Rupesh; Mukherjee, Soumen; Kundu, S C

    2006-05-30

    A high molecular weight water-soluble glue protein, sericin was identified in the cocoon peduncle (a strong thread connecting the cocoons to the branches of the tree with a ring) of the tropical tasar silkworm, Antheraea mylitta. The sericin was isolated by 8M urea containing 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate and beta-mercaptoethenol (2%) or by 1% sodium chloride. The protein was purified by gel filtration chromatography. In SDS-PAGE, a single band of approximately 200kDa was detected both in non-reducing and reducing conditions. Amino acid analysis showed that the protein is enriched in glycine and serine. There is a slight difference observed in amino acid composition between the sericin from cocoon peduncle and cocoon of A. mylitta. Secondary structure estimation by circular dichroism spectrometry showed 36.7% beta-sheets, 52.7% random coils, 10.6% turns and no helices. PMID:16620954

  20. Supplemental silk protein, sericin, suppresses colon tumorigenesis in 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-treated mice by reducing oxidative stress and cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Zhaorigetu, S; Sasaki, M; Watanabe, H; Kato, N

    2001-10-01

    This study was done to discover the underlying mechanism of the inhibitory effect of sericin against colon tumorigenesis. Mice were fed a diet with 30 g/kg sericin for 115 d, and given a weekly injection of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (10 mg/kg body weight) for the initial 10 wk. Dietary supplemental sericin caused a 62% reduction in the incidence of colonic adenoma (P<0.05), but did not affect the incidence of colonic adenocarcinoma. Sericin intake significantly reduced the number of colon adenomas. Consumption of sericin significantly reduced the BrdU labeling index of colonic proliferating cells and the expression of colonic c-myc and c-fos. The levels of colonic 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, 4-hydroxynonenal, and inducible nitric oxide synthase protein were significantly suppressed by sericin. The results suggest that dietary sericin suppresses the development of colon tumors by reducing oxidative stress, cell proliferation, and nitric oxide production. PMID:11758907

  1. A silk sericin/silicone nerve guidance conduit promotes regeneration of a transected sciatic nerve.

    PubMed

    Xie, Hongjian; Yang, Wen; Chen, Jianghai; Zhang, Jinxiang; Lu, Xiaochen; Zhao, Xiaobo; Huang, Kun; Li, Huili; Chang, Panpan; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2015-10-28

    Peripheral nerve gap defects lead to significant loss of sensory or motor function. Tissue engineering has become an important alternative to nerve repair. Sericin, a major component of silk, is a natural protein whose value in tissue engineering has just begun to be explored. Here, the first time use of sericin in vivo is reported as a long-term implant for peripheral nerve regeneration. A sericin nerve guidance conduit is designed and fabricated. This conduit is highly porous with mechanical strength matching peripheral nerve tissue. It supports Schwann cell proliferation and is capable of up-regulating the transcription of glial cell derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor in Schwann cells. The sericin conduit wrapped with a silicone conduit (sericin/silicone double conduits) is used for bridging repair of a 5 mm gap in a rat sciatic nerve transection model. The sericin/silicone double conduits achieve functional recovery comparable to that of autologous nerve grafting as evidenced by drastically improved nerve function and morphology. Importantly, this improvement is mainly attributed to the sericin conduit as the silicone conduit alone only produces marginal functional recovery. This sericin/silicone-double-conduit strategy offers an efficient and valuable alternative to autologous nerve grafting for repairing damaged peripheral nerve. PMID:26332703

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25168858

  3. Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21867508

  5. Ca2+-induced self-assembly of Bombyx mori silk sericin into a nanofibrous network-like protein matrix for directing controlled nucleation of hydroxylapatite nano-needles

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Guanshan; Shuai, Yajun; Wang, Jie; Zhu, Liangjun

    2015-01-01

    Bone biomineralization is a well-regulated protein-mediated process where hydroxylapatite (HAP) crystals are nucleated with preferred orientation within self-assembled protein matrix. Mimicking this process is a promising approach to the production of bone-like protein/mineral nanocomposites for bone repair and regeneration. Towards the goal of fabricating such nanocomposites from sericin, a protein spun by Bombyx mori (B.mori) silkworm, and bone mineral HAP, for the first time we investigated the chemical mechanism underpinning the synergistic processes of the conformational change/self-assembly of B.mori sericin (BS) as well as the nucleation of HAP on the resultant self-assembled BS matrix. We found that BS, rich in anionic amino acid residues, could bind Ca2+ ions from the HAP precursor solution through electrostatic attraction. The Ca2+binding drove the conformational change of BS from random coils into β-sheets and its concomitant self-assembly into interconnected nanofibrous network-like protein matrix, which initiated the nucleation and growth of HAP crystals. HAP crystals directed by the resultant self-assembled BS matrix grew preferentially along their crystallographic c-axis, leading to the formation of HAP nano-needles. The HAP nano-needles in the self-assembled BS matrix were subsequently aggregated into globules, probably driven by the hydrogen bonding between C=O groups of BS and O-H groups of HAP nano-needles. The present work sheds light on the chemical mechanisms of BS self-assembly and the controlled mineralization directed by the self-assembled matrix. We also found that the resultant nanocomposites could promote the osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Thus our work also generates a biomimetic approach to bone-like silk protein/mineral nanocomposite scaffolds that can find potential applications in bone repair and regeneration. PMID:26029374

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

    PubMed

    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 the scaffolds for tissue engineering. PMID:25050697

  7. Tuning Molecular Weights of Bombyx mori (B. mori) Silk Sericin to Modify Its Assembly Structures and Materials Formation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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 the scaffolds for tissue engineering. PMID:25050697

  8. Silk sericin loaded alginate nanoparticles: Preparation and anti-inflammatory efficacy.

    PubMed

    Khampieng, Thitikan; Aramwit, Pornanong; Supaphol, Pitt

    2015-09-01

    In this study, silk sericin loaded alginate nanoparticles were prepared by the emulsification method followed by internal crosslinking. The effects of various silk sericin loading concentration on particle size, shape, thermal properties, and release characteristics were investigated. The initial silk sericin loadings of 20, 40, and 80% w/w to polymer were incorporated into these alginate nanoparticles. SEM images showed a spherical shape and small particles of about 71.30-89.50 nm. TGA analysis showed that thermal stability slightly increased with increasing silk sericin loadings. FTIR analysis suggested interactions between alginate and silk sericin in the nanoparticles. The release study was performed in acetate buffer at normal skin conditions (pH 5.5; 32 °C). The release profiles of silk sericin exhibited initial rapid release, consequently with sustained release. These silk sericin loaded alginate nanoparticles were further incorporated into topical hydrogel and their anti-inflammatory properties were studied using carrageenan-induced paw edema assay. The current study confirms the hypothesis that the application of silk sericin loaded alginate nanoparticle gel can inhibit inflammation induced by carrageenan. PMID:26188300

  9. Effect of Sericin on Mechanical Behavior of Composite Material Reinforced by Silk Woven Fabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Teruo; Ino, Haruhiro; Hanada, Koji; Katori, Sigetaka

    Recent, attention has been given to shift from glass fibers and carbon fibers to natural fibers for FRP composites for the goal of protecting the environment. This paper concerned with the application of silk fabric for composite materials. Polypropylene (PP) was used for the matrix material and the silk fabric composites were molded using a compression molding method. Especially, the effect of sericin on mechanical behaviors of composite materials was discussed. Good adhesion between silk and PP was obtained by removing the sericin existing around the fibroin. The tensile modulus of composite decreased with decreasing the sericin because of the flexibility of silk fibers without sericin. In particular, the higher Izod impact value was obtained for the composites containing the silk fibers without sericin.

  10. Biomimetic Nucleation of Hydroxyapatite Crystals Mediated by Antheraea pernyi Silk Sericin Promotes Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:24666022

  11. Effects of Silk Sericin on Incision Wound Healing in a Dorsal Skin Flap Wound Healing Rat Model.

    PubMed

    Ersel, Murat; Uyanikgil, Yigit; Karbek Akarca, Funda; Ozcete, Enver; Altunci, Yusuf Ali; Karabey, Fatih; Cavucoglu, Turker; Meral, Ayfer; Yigitturk, Gurkan; Oyku Cetin, Emel

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND The wound healing process is complex and still poorly understood. Sericin is a silk protein synthesized by silk worms (Bombyx mori). The objective of this study was to evaluate in vivo wound healing effects of a sericin-containing gel formulation in an incision wound model in rats. MATERIAL AND METHODS Twenty-eight Wistar-Albino rats were divided into 4 groups (n=7). No intervention or treatment was applied to the Intact control group. For other groups, a dorsal skin flap (9×3 cm) was drawn and pulled up with sharp dissection. The Sham operated group received no treatment. The Placebo group received placebo gel without sericin applied to the incision area once a day from day 0 to day 9. The Sericin Group 3 received 1% sericin gel applied to the incision area once a day from day 0 to day 9. Hematoxylin and eosin stain was applied for histological analysis and Mallory-Azan staining was applied for histoimmunochemical analysis of antibodies and iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase), and desmin was applied to paraffin sections of skin wound specimens. Parameters of oxidative stress were measured in the wound area. RESULTS Epidermal thickness and vascularization were increased, and hair root degeneration, edema, cellular infiltration, collagen discoloration, and necrosis were decreased in Sericin group in comparison to the Placebo group and the Sham operated group. Malonyldialdehyde (MDA) levels were decreased, but superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were increased in the sericin group. CONCLUSIONS We found that sericin had significant positive effects on wound healing and antioxidant activity. Sericin-based formulations can improve healing of incision wounds. PMID:27032876

  12. Effects of Silk Sericin on Incision Wound Healing in a Dorsal Skin Flap Wound Healing Rat Model

    PubMed Central

    Ersel, Murat; Uyanikgil, Yigit; Akarca, Funda Karbek; Ozcete, Enver; Altunci, Yusuf Ali; Karabey, Fatih; Cavusoglu, Turker; Meral, Ayfer; Yigitturk, Gurkan; Cetin, Emel Oyku

    2016-01-01

    Background The wound healing process is complex and still poorly understood. Sericin is a silk protein synthesized by silk worms (Bombyx mori). The objective of this study was to evaluate in vivo wound healing effects of a sericin-containing gel formulation in an incision wound model in rats. Material/Methods Twenty-eight Wistar-Albino rats were divided into 4 groups (n=7). No intervention or treatment was applied to the Intact control group. For other groups, a dorsal skin flap (9×3 cm) was drawn and pulled up with sharp dissection. The Sham operated group received no treatment. The Placebo group received placebo gel without sericin applied to the incision area once a day from day 0 to day 9. The Sericin Group 3 received 1% sericin gel applied to the incision area once a day from day 0 to day 9. Hematoxylin and eosin stain was applied for histological analysis and Mallory-Azan staining was applied for histoimmunochemical analysis of antibodies and iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase), and desmin was applied to paraffin sections of skin wound specimens. Parameters of oxidative stress were measured in the wound area. Results Epidermal thickness and vascularization were increased, and hair root degeneration, edema, cellular infiltration, collagen discoloration, and necrosis were decreased in Sericin group in comparison to the Placebo group and the Sham operated group. Malonyldialdehyde (MDA) levels were decreased, but superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were increased in the sericin group. Conclusions We found that sericin had significant positive effects on wound healing and antioxidant activity. Sericin-based formulations can improve healing of incision wounds. PMID:27032876

  13. Modification of sericin-free silk fibers for ligament tissue engineering application.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haifeng; Ge, Zigang; Wang, Yue; Toh, Siew Lok; Sutthikhum, Vallaya; Goh, James C H

    2007-07-01

    Biomedical application of silk requires the removal of sericin that is the gumming material of native silk fibers. This is because sericin can elicit an adverse immune response after implantation in the human body. However, the removal of sericin causes the silk fiber to fray and weakens its structural property, making it very difficult to knit or braid them into a scaffold for ligament tissue engineering applications. The aim of this study was to replace sericin with gelatin using NDGA as a cross-linking agent to biomimic the natural structure of native silk fibers. The physical properties and biocompatibility of the modified and native silk fibers were compared by in vitro and in vivo models. The mechanical and swelling properties of sericin-free silk fibers were greatly increased after modification with gelatin. Both modified and native silk fibers were shown to be nontoxic by in vitro cytotoxicity tests. The in vivo study demonstrated that the modified silk fibers, after 4 weeks' subcutaneous implantation in rats, caused little or no inflammatory reaction as compared with native silk fibers. The superior mechanical properties and lower inflammatory potential of modified silk fibers make them a promising candidate for ligament tissue engineering applications. PMID:17318818

  14. Effect of silk sericin on morphology and structure of calcium carbonate crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Rui-Bo; Han, Hua-Feng; Ding, Shao; Li, Ze-Hao; Kong, Xiang-Dong

    2013-06-01

    In this paper, silk sericin was employed to regulate the mineralization of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). CaCO3 composite particles were prepared by the precipitation reaction of sodium carbonate with calcium chloride solution in the presence of silk sericin. The as-prepared samples were collected at different reaction time to study the crystallization process of CaCO3 by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results showed that silk sericin significantly affected the morphology and crystallographic polymorph of CaCO3. With increasing the reaction time, the crystal phase of CaCO3 transferred from calcite dominated to vaterite dominated mixtures, while the morphology of CaCO3 changed from disk-like calcite crystal to spherical vaterite crystal. These studies showed the potential of silk sericin used as a template molecule to control the growth of inorganic crystal.

  15. 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).

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26736132

  16. Sericin removal from raw Bombyx mori silk scaffolds of high hierarchical order.

    PubMed

    Teuschl, Andreas Herbert; van Griensven, Martijn; Redl, Heinz

    2014-05-01

    Silk fibroin has previously been described as a promising candidate for ligament tissue engineering (TE) approaches. For biocompatibility reasons, silkworm silk requires removal of sericin, which can elicit adverse immune responses in the human body. One disadvantage of the required degumming process is the alteration of the silk fiber structural properties, which can hinder textile engineering of high order hierarchical structures. Therefore, the aim of this study was to find a way to remove sericin from a compact and highly ordered raw silk fiber matrix. The wire rope design of the test model scaffold comprises several levels of geometric hierarchy. Commonly used degumming solutions fail in removing sericin in this wire rope design. Weight loss measurements, picric acid and carmine staining as well as scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that the removal of sericin from the model scaffold of a wire rope design can be achieved through a borate buffer-based system. Furthermore, the borate buffer degummed silks were shown to be nontoxic and did not alter cell proliferation behavior. The possibility to remove sericin after the textile engineering process has taken place eases the production of highly ordered scaffold structures and may expand the use of silk as scaffold material in further TE and regenerative medicine applications. PMID:24066942

  17. Silk sericin: A versatile material for tissue engineering and drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Lamboni, Lallepak; Gauthier, Mario; Yang, Guang; Wang, Qun

    2015-12-01

    Sericin is an inexpensive glycoprotein obtained as a by-product in the silk industry. Its variable amino acid composition and diverse functional groups confer upon it attractive bioactive properties, which are particularly interesting for biomedical applications. Because of its antioxidant character, moisturizing ability, and mitogenic effect on mammalian cells, sericin is useful in cell culture and tissue engineering. Its positive effects on keratinocytes and fibroblasts have led to the development of sericin-based biomaterials for skin tissue repair, mainly as wound dressings. Additionally, sericin can be used for bone tissue engineering owing to its ability to induce nucleation of bone-like hydroxyapatite. Stable silk sericin biomaterials, such as films, sponges, and hydrogels, are prepared by cross-linking, ethanol precipitation, or blending with other polymers. Sericin may also be employed for drug delivery because its chemical reactivity and pH-responsiveness facilitate the fabrication of nano- and microparticles, hydrogels, and conjugated molecules, improving the bioactivity of drugs. Here, we summarized the recent advancements in the study of silk sericin for application in tissue engineering and drug delivery. PMID:26523781

  18. pH responsive poly amino-acid hydrogels formed via silk sericin templating.

    PubMed

    Kurland, Nicholas E; Ragland, Robert B; Zhang, Aolin; Moustafa, Mahmoud E; Kundu, Subhas C; Yadavalli, Vamsi K

    2014-09-01

    Poly(amino acid) hydrogels have attracted a great deal of attention as biodegradable biomaterials that can limit products of synthetic polymer degradation. Here we report on a stimuli-responsive, porous, composite biomaterial based on the protein templating of the poly(amino acid) hydrogel from poly(aspartic acid) with the silk protein sericin. This low-cost, biocompatible and biodegradable hydrogel demonstrates a greatly increased porosity and improvement in volumetric swelling over networks formed from pure poly(aspartic acid). The swelling capacity measured over a range of pH values surrounding physiological pH 7.0 demonstrates a linear profile, in which hydrogel volume and mass increase to a maximum, with an increase as a function of higher sericin content. In comparison to pure poly(aspartic acid), this demonstrates a nearly 3-fold increase in retention volume at basic pH. The increase in swelling is also demonstrated by the increase in porosity and internal micro-architecture of the hydrogel networks. The biomaterial is then shown to perform well as a scaffold for cells with high mechanical strength and integrity. This protein- and homo poly(amino acid)-based super-swelling hydrogel has applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering as an economical and environmentally friendly biomaterial, in addition to ensuring the species incorporated maintain their biocompatibility during processing. PMID:25073107

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  20. The effects of Bombyx mori silk strain and extraction time on the molecular and biological characteristics of sericin.

    PubMed

    Siritientong, Tippawan; Bonani, Walter; Motta, Antonella; Migliaresi, Claudio; Aramwit, Pornanong

    2016-01-01

    Sericin was extracted from three strains of Thai Bombyx mori silk cocoons (white shell Chul1/1, greenish shell Chul3/2, and yellow shell Chul4/2) by a high-pressure and high-temperature technique. The characteristics of sericin extracted from different fractions (15, 45, and 60 min extraction process) were compared. No differences in amino acid composition were observed among the three fractions. For all silk strains, sericin extracted from a 15-min process presented the highest molecular weight. The biological potential of the different sericin samples as a bioadditive for 3T3 fibroblast cells was assessed. When comparing sericin extracted from three silk strains, sericin fractions extracted from Chul4/2 improved cell proliferation, while sericin from Chul 1/1 activated Type I collagen production to the highest extent. This study allows the natural variability of sericin obtained from different sources and extraction conditions to be addressed and provides clues for the selection of sericin sources. PMID:26399155

  1. Vibrational spectroscopic study of sulphated silk proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Development of ethyl alcohol-precipitated silk sericin/polyvinyl alcohol scaffolds for accelerated healing of full-thickness wounds.

    PubMed

    Siritienthong, Tippawan; Ratanavaraporn, Juthamas; Aramwit, Pornanong

    2012-12-15

    Silk sericin has been recently reported for its advantageous biological properties to promote wound healing. In this study, we established that the ethyl alcohol (EtOH) could be used to precipitate sericin and form the stable sericin/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) scaffolds without the crosslinking. The sericin/PVA scaffolds were fabricated via freeze-drying and subsequently precipitating in various concentrations of EtOH. The EtOH-precipitated sericin/PVA scaffolds showed denser structure, higher compressive modulus, but lower water swelling ability than the non-precipitated scaffolds. Sericin could be released from the EtOH-precipitated sericin/PVA scaffolds in a sustained manner. After cultured with L929 mouse fibroblasts, the 70 vol% EtOH-precipitated sericin/PVA scaffolds showed the highest potential to promote cell proliferation. After applied to the full-thickness wounds of rats, the 70 vol% EtOH-precipitated sericin/PVA scaffolds showed significantly higher percentage of wound size reduction and higher extent of type III collagen formation and epithelialization, compared with the control scaffolds without sericin. The accelerated wound healing by the 70 vol% EtOH-precipitated sericin/PVA scaffolds was possibly due to (1) the bioactivity of sericin itself to promote wound healing, (2) the sustained release of precipitated sericin from the scaffolds, and (3) the activation and recruitment of wound healing-macrophages by sericin to the wounds. This finding suggested that the EtOH-precipitated sericin/PVA scaffolds were more effective for the wound healing, comparing with the EtOH-precipitated PVA scaffolds without sericin. PMID:23022662

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Comparing the properties of Bombyx mori silk cocoons against sericin-fibroin regummed biocomposite sheets.

    PubMed

    Morin, Alexander; Alam, Parvez

    2016-08-01

    This paper considers the utility of sericin, a degumming waste product, in the regumming of Bombyx mori silk fibroin fibres to form sericin-fibroin biocomposites. Regummed biocomposites have a chemical character that is somewhat closer to fibroin than sericin, though sericin presence is confirmed through FT-IR spectroscopy. Using direct measurements we further find the weight fractions of sericin in the regummed biocomposites and the native cocoons differ by only 5%. Mechanically, B. mori cocoons exhibit brittle stress-strain characteristics, failing at strengths of X̅= 16.6MPa and at strains of X̅= 13%. Contrarily, aligning fibroin fibres to a unidirectional axis in the regummed biocomposites causes them to exhibit characteristics of strain hardening, which is itself a typical characteristic of silk fibre pulled in tension. Though they are half as strong (X̅= 7.2MPa), regummed biocomposites are able to absorb five times more mechanical energy (X̅= 5.6MJm(-3)) than the B. mori cocoons (X̅= 1.1MJm(-3)) and are furthermore able to elongate to more than ten times (X̅= 180%) that of the native cocoons prior to failure. Our research shows that degummed B. mori cocoons can be regummed into sheets that have potential for use as load bearing engineering biocomposites. PMID:27157746

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24971560

  6. The role of glycerol and water in flexible silk sericin film.

    PubMed

    Yun, Haesung; Kim, Moo Kon; Kwak, Hyo Won; Lee, Jeong Yun; Kim, Min Hwa; Lee, Ki Hoon

    2016-01-01

    Silk sericin (SS) can be obtained as a byproduct during the silk fiber process, but its application has been limited due to the brittleness of the SS film. To enhance the flexibility of the SS film, glycerol (Glc) has been added as a plasticizer. The addition of Glc enhanced the elongation property of the SS film when the Glc content was 50-70 wt% of SS. Glc also induced the structural transition of SS from a random coil structure to a β-sheet structure. The inconsistent increase of elongation and β-sheet structure of the SS/Glc film were explained by the content of moisture in the SS/Glc film. The moisture content of the SS/Glc film increased proportionally when the Glc content was higher than 50 wt% of SS, which was the same Glc content range that exhibited the plasticizing effect. Therefore, the plasticizing effect on the SS film may occur not only because of Glc but also because of water. Furthermore, water also contributed to the increase in the β-sheet structure development. Our results suggest that the moisture content in the plasticized protein film may play an important role when the plasticizer has hygroscopic properties. PMID:26562547

  7. Transgenic silkworms that weave recombinant proteins into silk cocoons.

    PubMed

    Tomita, Masahiro

    2011-04-01

    As a result of breeding for more than 4,000 years, the silkworm, Bombyx mori, has acquired the ability to synthesize bulk amounts of silk proteins in its silk glands. To utilize this capacity for mass production of useful proteins, transgenic silkworms were generated that synthesized recombinant proteins in the silk gland and secreted them into the silk cocoon. The silk gland is classified into two main regions: the posterior (PSG) and the middle silk gland (MSG). By controlling the expressed regions of the recombinant protein gene in the silk gland, we were able to control the localization of the synthesized protein in the silk thread. Expression in the PSG or MSG led to localization in the insoluble fibroin core or hydrophilic outer sericin layer, respectively. This review focuses on the expression of recombinant protein in the MSG of transgenic silkworms. The recombinant protein secreted in the sericin layer is extractable from the cocoon with only a small amount of endogenous silk protein contamination by soaking the cocoon in mild aqueous solutions. The possibility of utilizing transgenic silkworms as a valuable tool for the mass production of therapeutic and industrially relevant recombinant proteins is discussed. PMID:21184136

  8. Effect of silk protein surfactant on silk degumming and its properties.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Cao, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2015-10-01

    The silk protein surfactant (SPS) first used as a silk degumming agent in this study is an amino acid-type anionic surfactant that was synthesized using silk fibroin amino acids and lauroyl chloride. We studied it systematically in comparison with the traditional degumming methods such as sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and neutral soap (NS). The experimental results showed that the sericin can be completely removed from the silk fibroin fiber after boiling the fibers three times for 30 min and using a bath ratio of 1:80 (g/mL) and a concentration of 0.2% SPS in an aqueous solution. The results of the tensile properties, thermal analysis, and SEM all show that SPS is similar to the NS, far superior to Na2CO3. In short, SPS may be used as an environmentally friendly silk degumming/refining agent in the silk textile industry and in the manufacture of silk floss quilts. PMID:26117747

  9. Hydrothermal production and characterization of protein and amino acids from silk waste.

    PubMed

    Lamoolphak, Wiwat; De-Eknamkul, Wanchai; Shotipruk, Artiwan

    2008-11-01

    Non-catalytic hydrothermal decomposition of sericin and fibroin from silk waste into useful protein and amino acids was examined in a closed batch reactor at various temperatures, reaction times, and silk to water ratios to examine their effects on protein and amino acid yields. For the decomposition of sericin, the highest protein yield was found to be 0.466 mg protein/mg raw silk, obtained after 10 min hydrothermal reaction of silk waste at 1:100 silk to water ratio at 120 degrees C. The highest amino acid yield was found to be 0.203 mg amino acids/mg raw silk, obtained after 60 min of hydrothermal reaction of silk waste at 1:20 silk to water ratio at 160 degrees C. For the hydrothermal decomposition of fibroin, the highest protein yield was 0.455 mg protein/mg silk fibroin (1:100, 220 degrees C, 10 min) and that of amino acids was 0.755 mg amino acids/mg silk fibroin (1:50, 220 degrees C, 60 min). The rate of silk fibroin decomposition could be described by surface reaction kinetics. The soluble reaction products were freeze-dried to obtain sericin and fibroin particles, whose conformation and crystal structure of the particles were shown to differ from the original silk materials, particularly in the case of fibroin, in which the change from beta-sheet conformation to alpha-helix/random coil was observed. PMID:18321700

  10. Viability and proliferation of L929, tumour and hybridoma cells in the culture media containing sericin protein as a supplement or serum substitute.

    PubMed

    Cao, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2015-09-01

    Cell cultures often require the addition of animal serum and other supplements. In this study, silk sericin, a bioactive protein, recovered from the waste of silk floss production was hydrolysed into three pepsin-degraded sericin peptides with different ranges of molecular mass. Normal animal cells, tumour cells and hybridoma cells were cultured systematically in FBS culture media containing sericin as a supplement or serum substitute. The culture test and microscopic observation of L929 cells showed that the smaller molecular weight of the degraded sericin is most suitable for cell culture. The cell culture results showed that with the degradation of sericin, for normal mouse fibroblast L929 cells, addition of 0.75 % sericin into FBS culture medium yields cell viability that is superior to FBS culture medium alone. When all serum was replaced by sericin, cell viability in the sericin medium could reach about one half of that in FBS medium. When in a medium containing a mixture of FBS: sericin (6:4, v/v), the cell culture effect is about 80 %. For the cultures of four tumour and one hybridoma cells, regardless of the molecular weight range, these degraded sericin peptides could substitute all serum in FBS media. The cell viability and proliferation of these tumour and hybridoma cells are equivalent or superior to that in FBS medium. In other words, cell viability and proliferation of these tumour and hybridoma cells in sericin media are more preferable to serum media. The mechanism of the sericin protein to promote cell growth and proliferation will be further investigated later. PMID:25895088

  11. Bioengineered silk proteins to control cell and tissue functions.

    PubMed

    Preda, Rucsanda C; Leisk, Gary; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2013-01-01

    Silks are defined as protein polymers that are spun into fibers by some lepidoptera larvae such as silkworms, spiders, scorpions, mites, and flies. Silk proteins are usually produced within specialized glands in these animals after biosynthesis in epithelial cells that line the glands, followed by secretion into the lumen of the gland prior to spinning into fibers.The most comprehensively characterized silks are from the domesticated silkworm (Bombyx mori) and from some spiders (Nephila clavipes and Araneus diadematus). Silkworm silk has been used commercially as biomedical sutures for decades and in textile production for centuries. Because of their impressive mechanical properties, silk proteins provide an important set of material options in the fields of controlled drug release, and for biomaterials and scaffolds for tissue engineering. Silkworm silk from B. mori consists primarily of two protein components, fibroin, the structural protein of silk fibers, and sericins, the water-soluble glue-like proteins that bind the fibroin fibers together. Silk fibroin consists of heavy and light chain polypeptides linked by a disulfide bond. Fibroin is the protein of interest for biomedical materials and it has to be purified/extracted from the silkworm cocoon by removal of the sericin. Characteristics of silks, including biodegradability, biocompatibility, controllable degradation rates, and versatility to generate different material formats from gels to fibers and sponges, have attracted interest in the field of biomaterials. Cell culture and tissue formation using silk-based biomaterials have been pursued, where appropriate cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation on or in silk biomaterials support the regeneration of tissues. The relative ease with which silk proteins can be processed into a variety of material morphologies, versatile chemical functionalization options, processing in water or solvent, and the related biological features of biocompatibility and enzymatic degradability make these proteins interesting candidates for biomedical applications. PMID:23504416

  12. Preparation and mechanical properties of layers made of recombinant spider silk proteins and silk from silk worm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Junghans, F.; Morawietz, M.; Conrad, U.; Scheibel, T.; Heilmann, A.; Spohn, U.

    2006-02-01

    Layers of recombinant spider silks and native silks from silk worms were prepared by spin-coating and casting of various solutions. FT-IR spectra were recorded to investigate the influence of the different mechanical stress occurring during the preparation of the silk layers. The solubility of the recombinant spider silk proteins SO1-ELP, C16, AQ24NR3, and of the silk fibroin from Bombyx mori were investigated in hexafluorisopropanol, ionic liquids and concentrated salt solutions. The morphology and thickness of the layers were determined by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) or with a profilometer. The mechanical behaviour was investigated by acoustic impedance analysis by using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCMB) as well as by microindentation. The density of silk layers (d<300 nm) was determined based on AFM and QCMB measurements. At silk layers thicker than 300 nm significant changes of the half-band-half width can be correlated with increasing energy dissipation. Microhardness measurements demonstrate that recombinant spider silk and sericine-free Bombyx mori silk layers achieve higher elastic penetration modules EEP and Martens hardness values HM than those of polyethylenterephthalate (PET) and polyetherimide (PEI) foils.

  13. Silk sericin-alginate-chitosan microcapsules: hepatocytes encapsulation for enhanced cellular functions.

    PubMed

    Nayak, Sunita; Dey, Sanchareeka; Kundu, Subhas C

    2014-04-01

    The encapsulation based technology permits long-term delivery of desired therapeutic products in local regions of body without the need of immunosuppressant drugs. In this study microcapsules composed of sericin and alginate micro bead as inner core and with an outer chitosan shell are prepared. This work is proposed for live cell encapsulation for potential therapeutic applications. The sericin protein is obtained from cocoons of non-mulberry silkworm Antheraea mylitta. The sericin-alginate micro beads are prepared via ionotropic gelation under high applied voltage. The beads further coated with chitosan and crosslinked with genipin. The microcapsules developed are nearly spherical in shape with smooth surface morphology. Alamar blue assay and confocal microscopy indicate high cell viability and uniform encapsulated cell distribution within the sericin-alginate-chitosan microcapsules indicating that the microcapsules maintain favourable microenvironment for the cells. The functional analysis of encapsulated cells demonstrates that the glucose consumption, urea secretion rate and intracellular albumin content increased in the microcapsules. The study suggests that the developed sericin-alginate-chitosan microcapsule contributes towards the development of cell encapsulation model. It also offers to generate enriched population of metabolically and functionally active cells for the future therapeutics especially for hepatocytes transplantation in acute liver failure. PMID:24486492

  14. Biopatterning of Silk Proteins for Soft Micro-optics.

    PubMed

    Pal, Ramendra K; Kurland, Nicholas E; Wang, Congzhou; Kundu, Subhas C; Yadavalli, Vamsi K

    2015-04-29

    Silk proteins from spiders and silkworms have been proposed as outstanding candidates for soft micro-optic and photonic applications because of their optical transparency, unique biological properties, and mechanical robustness. Here, we present a method to form microstructures of the two constituent silk proteins, fibroin and sericin for use as an optical biomaterial. Using photolithography, chemically modified silk protein photoresists are patterned in 2D arrays of periodic patterns and Fresnel zone plates. Angle-dependent iridescent colors are produced in these periodic micropatterns because of the Bragg diffraction. Silk protein photolithography can used to form patterns on different substrates including flexible sheets with features of any shape with high fidelity and resolution over large areas. Finally, we show that these mechanically stable and transparent iridescent architectures are also completely biodegradable. This versatile and scalable technique can therefore be used to develop biocompatible, soft micro-optic devices that can be degraded in a controlled manner. PMID:25853731

  15. Comparative proteomic analysis of the silkworm middle silk gland reveals the importance of ribosome biogenesis in silk protein production.

    PubMed

    Li, Jian-ying; Ye, Lu-peng; Che, Jia-qian; Song, Jia; You, Zheng-ying; Yun, Ki-chan; Wang, Shao-hua; Zhong, Bo-xiong

    2015-08-01

    The silkworm middle silk gland (MSG) is the sericin synthesis and secretion unique sub-organ. The molecular mechanisms of regulating MSG protein synthesis are largely unknown. Here, we performed shotgun proteomic analysis on the three MSG subsections: the anterior (MSG-A), middle (MSG-M), and posterior (MSG-P) regions. The results showed that more strongly expressed proteins in the MSG-A were involved in multiple processes, such as silk gland development and silk protein protection. The proteins that were highly expressed in the MSG-M were enriched in the ribosome pathway. MSG-P proteins with stronger expression were mainly involved in the oxidative phosphorylation and citrate cycle pathways. These results suggest that the MSG-M is the most active region in the sericin synthesis. Furthermore, comparing the proteome of the MSG with the posterior silk gland (PSG) revealed that the specific and highly expressed proteins in the MSG were primarily involved in the ribosome and aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis pathways. These results indicate that silk protein synthesis is much more active as a result of the enhancement of translation-related pathways in the MSG. These results also suggest that enhancing ribosome biogenesis is important to the efficient synthesis of silk proteins. PMID:26051239

  16. Preliminary Characterization of Genipin-Cross-Linked Silk Sericin/Poly(vinyl alcohol) Films as Two-Dimensional Wound Dressings for the Healing of Superficial Wounds

    PubMed Central

    Siritientong, Tippawan; Ratanavaraporn, Juthamas; Srichana, Teerapol; Aramwit, Pornanong

    2013-01-01

    The genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) films were developed aiming to be applied as two-dimensional wound dressings for the treatment of superficial wounds. The effects of genipin cross-linking concentration on the physical and biological properties of the films were investigated. The genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/PVA films showed the increased surface density, tensile strength, and percentage of elongation, but decreased percentage of light transmission, water vapor transmission rate, and water swelling, compared to the non-cross-linked films. This explained that the cross-linking bonds between genipin and silk sericin would reduce the mobility of molecular chains within the films, resulting in the more rigid molecular structure. Silk sericin was released from the genipin-cross-linked films in a sustained manner. In addition, either L929 mouse fibroblast or HaCat keratinocyte cells showed high percentage of viability when cultured on the silk sericin/PVA films cross-linked with 0.075 and 0.1% w/v genipin. The in vivo safety test performed according to ISO 10993-6 confirmed that the genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/PVA films were safe for the medical usages. The efficacy of the films for the treatment of superficial skin wounds will be further investigated in vivo and clinically. The genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/PVA films would be promising choices of two-dimensional wound dressings for the treatment of superficial wounds. PMID:24106722

  17. In vitro development of OPU-derived bovine embryos cultured either individually or in groups with the silk protein sericin and the viability of frozen-thawed embryos after transfer.

    PubMed

    Isobe, Tomohiro; Ikebata, Yoshihisa; Do, Lanh Thi Kim; Tanihara, Fuminori; Taniguchi, Masayasu; Otoi, Takeshige

    2015-07-01

    The optimization of single-embryo culture conditions is very important, particularly in the in vitro production of bovine embryos using the ovum pick-up (OPU) procedure. The purpose of this study was to examine the development of embryos derived from oocytes obtained by OPU that were cultured either individually or in groups in medium supplemented with or without sericin and to investigate the viability of the frozen-thawed embryos after a direct transfer. When two-cell-stage embryos were cultured either individually or in groups for 7 days in CR1aa medium supplemented with or without 0.5% sericin, the rates of development to blastocysts and freezable blastocysts were significantly lower for the embryos cultured individually without sericin than for the embryos cultured in groups with or without sericin. Moreover, the rate of development to freezable blastocysts of the embryos cultured individually with sericin was significantly higher than that of the embryos cultured without sericin. When the frozen-thawed embryos were transferred directly to recipients, the rates of pregnancy, abortion, stillbirth and normal calving in the recipients were similar among the groups, irrespective of the culture conditions and sericin supplementation. Our findings indicate that supplementation with sericin during embryo culture improves the quality of the embryos cultured individually but not the viability of the frozen-thawed embryos after transfer to recipients. PMID:25488699

  18. Effects of solvent on the solution properties, structural characteristics and properties of silk sericin.

    PubMed

    Jo, Yoon Nam; Um, In Chul

    2015-07-01

    Sericin films have attracted much attention from researchers in biomedical and cosmetic fields because of its unique properties, including good cytocompatibility and its promotion of wound healing. However, poor mechanical properties of sericin films have restricted its application in these fields. In this study, a new solvent, formic acid, was used to fabricate sericin solutions and films. The effects of formic acid on the structural characteristics and mechanical properties of the sericin solutions and films were examined and compared with water. The sericin/formic acid solution showed fewer aggregated sericin molecules, resulting in a lower turbidity than that of the sericin/water solution. In addition, the gelation of the sericin solution was retarded in formic acid compared to that of water. Sericin films cast from the formic acid solution exhibited a much higher crystallinity index than that produced from water. The tensile strength and elongation of the sericin films cast from the formic acid solution were more than double that of the sericin films cast from water. It is expected that the more stable sericin solution and high-crystallinity sericin films, which have significantly improved mechanical properties, produced by using formic acid as the solvent could be utilized in biomedical and cosmetic applications. PMID:25869308

  19. Production and properties of electrosprayed sericin nanopowder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hazeri, Najmeh; Tavanai, Hossein; Moradi, Ali Reza

    2012-06-01

    Sericin is a proteinous substrate that envelops fibroin (silk) fiber, and its recovery provides significant economical and social benefits. Sericin is an antibacterial agent that resists oxidation and absorbs moisture and UV light. In powder form, sericin has a wide range of applications in food, cosmetics and drug delivery. Asides from other techniques of producing powder, such as precipitation and spray drying, electrospraying can yield solid nanoparticles, particularly in the submicron range. Here, we report the production of sericin nanopowder by electrospraying. Sericin sponge was recovered from Bombyx mori cocoons through a high-temperature, high-pressure process, followed by centrifugation and freeze drying of the sericin solution. The electrospraying solution was prepared by dissolving the sericin sponge in dimethyl sulfoxide. We demonstrate that electrospraying is capable of producing sericin nanopowder with an average particle size of 25 nm, which is by far smaller than the particles produced by other techniques. The electrosprayed sericin nanopowder consists of small crystallites and exhibits a high moisture absorbance.

  20. Tyrosinase-catalyzed grafting of sericin peptides onto chitosan and production of protein-polysaccharide bioconjugates.

    PubMed

    Anghileri, Anna; Lantto, Raija; Kruus, Kristiina; Arosio, Cristina; Freddi, Giuliano

    2007-01-10

    The capability of Agaricus bisporus tyrosinase to catalyze the oxidation of tyrosine residues of silk sericin was studied under homogeneous reaction conditions, by using sericin peptides purified from industrial wastewater as the substrate. Tyrosinase was able to oxidize about 57% of sericin-bound tyrosine residues. The reaction rate was higher than with silk fibroin, but lower than with other silk-derived model peptides, i.e. tryptic and chymotryptic soluble peptide fractions of silk fibroin, suggesting that the size and the molecular conformation of the substrate influenced the kinetics of the reaction. The concentration of tyrosine in oxidized sericin samples decreased gradually with increasing the enzyme-to-substrate ratio. The average molecular weight of sericin peptides significantly increased by oxidation, indicating that cross-linking occurred via self-condensation of o-quinones and/or coupling with the free amine groups of lysine and, probably, with sulfhydryl groups of cysteine. The high temperature shift of the main thermal transitions observed in the differential scanning calorimetry curves confirmed the formation of peptide species with higher molecular weight and higher thermal stability. Fourier transform-infrared spectra of oxidized sericin samples showed slight changes related to the loss of tyrosine and formation of oxidation products. Oxidized sericin peptides were able to undergo non-enzymatic coupling with chitosan. Infrared spectra provided clear evidence of the formation of sericin-chitosan bioconjugates under homogeneous reaction conditions. Spectral changes in the NH stretching region seem to support the formation of bioconjugates via the Michael addition mechanism. PMID:16934898

  1. The development of non-toxic ionic-crosslinked chitosan-based microspheres as carriers for the controlled release of silk sericin.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Ekasit, Sanong; Yamdech, Rungnapha

    2015-10-01

    Silk sericin is recently shown to possess various biological activities for biomedical applications. While various sericin carriers were developed for drug delivery system, very few researches considered sericin as a bioactive molecule itself. In this study, sericin incorporated in the chitosan-based microspheres was introduced as a bioactive molecule and bioactive carrier at the same time. The chitosan/sericin (CH/SS) microspheres at different composition (80/20, 70/30, 60/40, and 50/50) were successfully fabricated using anhydroustri-polyphosphate (TPP) as a polyanionic crosslinker. The microspheres with an average size of 1-4 μm and narrow size distribution were obtained. From FT-IR spectra, the presence of both chitosan and sericin in the microspheres confirmed the occurrence of ionic interaction that crosslink them within the microspheres. We also found that the CH/SS microspheres prepared at 50/50 could encapsulate sericin at the highest percentage (37.28%) and release sericin in the most sustained behavior, possibly due to the strong ionic interaction of the positively charged chitosan and the negatively charged sericin. On the other hand, the composition of CH/SS had no effect on the degradation rate of microspheres. All microspheres continuously degraded and remained around 20% after 14 days of enzymatic degradation. This explained that the ionic crosslinkings between chitosan and sericin could be demolished by the enzyme and hydrolysis. Furthermore, we have verified that all CH/SS microspheres at any concentrations showed non-toxicity to L929 mouse fibroblast cells. Therefore, we suggested that the non-toxic ionic-crosslinked CH/SS microspheres could be incorporated in wound dressing material to achieve the sustained release of sericin for accelerated wound healing. PMID:26233725

  2. Green synthesis of silk sericin-capped silver nanoparticles and their potent anti-bacterial activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Bang, Nipaporn; Ratanavaraporn, Juthamas; Ekgasit, Sanong

    2014-02-01

    In this study, a `green chemistry' approach was introduced to synthesize silk sericin (SS)-capped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) under an alkaline condition (pH 11) using SS as a reducing and stabilizing agent instead of toxic chemicals. The SS-capped AgNPs were successfully synthesized at various concentrations of SS and AgNO3, but the yields were different. A higher yield of SS-capped AgNPs was obtained when the concentrations of SS and AgNO3 were increased. The SS-capped AgNPs showed a round shape and uniform size with diameter at around 48 to 117 nm. The Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy result proved that the carboxylate groups obtained from alkaline degradation of SS would be a reducing agent for the generation of AgNPs while COO- and NH2 + groups stabilized the AgNPs and prevented their precipitation or aggregation. Furthermore, the SS-capped AgNPs showed potent anti-bacterial activity against various gram-positive bacteria (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) 0.008 mM) and gram-negative bacteria (MIC ranging from 0.001 to 0.004 mM). Therefore, the SS-capped AgNPs would be a safe candidate for anti-bacterial applications.

  3. Green synthesis of silk sericin-capped silver nanoparticles and their potent anti-bacterial activity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a ‘green chemistry’ approach was introduced to synthesize silk sericin (SS)-capped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) under an alkaline condition (pH 11) using SS as a reducing and stabilizing agent instead of toxic chemicals. The SS-capped AgNPs were successfully synthesized at various concentrations of SS and AgNO3, but the yields were different. A higher yield of SS-capped AgNPs was obtained when the concentrations of SS and AgNO3 were increased. The SS-capped AgNPs showed a round shape and uniform size with diameter at around 48 to 117 nm. The Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy result proved that the carboxylate groups obtained from alkaline degradation of SS would be a reducing agent for the generation of AgNPs while COO− and NH2 + groups stabilized the AgNPs and prevented their precipitation or aggregation. Furthermore, the SS-capped AgNPs showed potent anti-bacterial activity against various gram-positive bacteria (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) 0.008 mM) and gram-negative bacteria (MIC ranging from 0.001 to 0.004 mM). Therefore, the SS-capped AgNPs would be a safe candidate for anti-bacterial applications. PMID:24533676

  4. Generation of a transgenic silkworm that secretes recombinant proteins in the sericin layer of cocoon: production of recombinant human serum albumin.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Shingo; Tomita, Masahiro; Shimizu, Katsuhiko; Yoshizato, Katsutoshi

    2007-02-20

    In this study we produced germline transgenic silkworms that spin cocoons containing recombinant human serum albumin (rHSA) in the sericin layer. A piggyBac-based transformation vector was constructed that carried HSA cDNA driven by sericin-1 gene promoter, viral enhancer hr3, and gene encoding viral trans-activator IE1. Isolated silk glands were bombarded with the vector and transplanted into host larvae. Three days later, the transplants were immunohistochemically analyzed, which showed that middle silk gland (MSG) cells expressed rHSA and secreted it into the MSG lumen. Then, silkworm eggs were injected with the vector and developed to larvae. The obtained transgenic silkworms spun silk threads whose sericin layers contained rHSA at 3.0microg/mg of cocoons. Most (83%) of the rHSA in cocoons was extracted with phosphate buffered saline, which was then subjected to ammonium sulfate precipitation and affinity chromatography. Finally, we obtained 2.8mg of 99%-pure rHSA from 2g of cocoons. Measurements of circular dichroism spectra of rHSA, and equilibrium dissociation constants of rHSA to warfarin and naproxen indicated that rHSA was conformationally and functionally identical to natural plasma HSA. Germline transgenic silkworms will be useful for producing various recombinant proteins in the sericin layer of cocoons. PMID:17166611

  5. A novel poly(γ-glutamic acid)/silk-sericin hydrogel for wound dressing: Synthesis, characterization and biological evaluation.

    PubMed

    Shi, Lu; Yang, Ning; Zhang, Hao; Chen, Li; Tao, Lei; Wei, Yen; Liu, Hui; Luo, Ying

    2015-03-01

    A novel multifunctional poly(γ-glutamic acid)/silk sericin (γ-PGA/SS) hydrogel has been developed and used as wound dressing. The physical and chemical properties of the γ-PGA/SS gels were systemically investigated. Furthermore, these γ-PGA/SS gels have been found to promote the L929 fibroblast cells proliferate, and in the in vivo study, significant stimulatory effects were also observed on granulation and capillary formation on day 9 in H-2-treated wounds, indicating that this new complex hydrogel could maintain a moist healing environment, protect the wound from bacterial infection, absorb excess exudates, and promote cell proliferation to reconstruct damaged tissue. Considering the simple preparation process and excellent biological property, this γ-PGA/SS hydrogel might have a wide range of applications in biomedical and clinical areas. PMID:25579954

  6. Antioxidant activities of two sericin proteins extracted from cocoon of silkworm (Bombyx mori) measured by DPPH, chemiluminescence, ORAC and ESR methods.

    PubMed

    Takechi, Tayori; Wada, Ritsuko; Fukuda, Tsubasa; Harada, Kazuki; Takamura, Hitoshi

    2014-05-01

    Recent efforts have focused on the use of sericin proteins extracted from cocoons of silkworm as a healthy food source for human consumption. In this study, we focused on the antioxidative properties of sericin proteins. The antioxidative properties were measured in sericin proteins extracted from the shell of the cocoon, designated hereafter as white sericin protein and yellow-green sericin protein, as well as bread without sericin protein and bread to which white sericin powder had been added using four measurement methods: 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), chemiluminescence, oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and electron spin resonance (ESR). High antioxidative properties of sericin proteins were indicated by all four methods. A comparison of the two types of sericin proteins revealed that yellow-green sericin protein exhibited high antioxidative properties as indicated by the DPPH, chemiluminescence and ORAC methods. By contrast, a higher antioxidative property was determined in white sericin protein by the ESR method. Consequently, our findings confirmed that sericin proteins have antioxidative properties against multiple radicals. In addition, the antioxidative property of bread was enhanced by the addition of sericin powder to the bread. Therefore, findings of this study suggest that sericin proteins may be efficiently used as beneficial food for human health. PMID:24748975

  7. Antioxidant activities of two sericin proteins extracted from cocoon of silkworm (Bombyx mori) measured by DPPH, chemiluminescence, ORAC and ESR methods

    PubMed Central

    TAKECHI, TAYORI; WADA, RITSUKO; FUKUDA, TSUBASA; HARADA, KAZUKI; TAKAMURA, HITOSHI

    2014-01-01

    Recent efforts have focused on the use of sericin proteins extracted from cocoons of silkworm as a healthy food source for human consumption. In this study, we focused on the antioxidative properties of sericin proteins. The antioxidative properties were measured in sericin proteins extracted from the shell of the cocoon, designated hereafter as white sericin protein and yellow-green sericin protein, as well as bread without sericin protein and bread to which white sericin powder had been added using four measurement methods: 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), chemiluminescence, oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and electron spin resonance (ESR). High antioxidative properties of sericin proteins were indicated by all four methods. A comparison of the two types of sericin proteins revealed that yellow-green sericin protein exhibited high antioxidative properties as indicated by the DPPH, chemiluminescence and ORAC methods. By contrast, a higher antioxidative property was determined in white sericin protein by the ESR method. Consequently, our findings confirmed that sericin proteins have antioxidative properties against multiple radicals. In addition, the antioxidative property of bread was enhanced by the addition of sericin powder to the bread. Therefore, findings of this study suggest that sericin proteins may be efficiently used as beneficial food for human health. PMID:24748975

  8. Advanced silk material spun by a transgenic silkworm promotes cell proliferation for biomedical application.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Xu, Hanfu; Wang, Yuancheng; Wang, Riyuan; Yuan, Lin; Ding, Huan; Song, Chunnuan; Ma, Sanyuan; Peng, Zhixin; Peng, Zhangchuan; Zhao, Ping; Xia, Qingyou

    2014-12-01

    Natural silk fiber spun by the silkworm Bombyx mori is widely used not only for textile materials, but also for biofunctional materials. In the present study, we genetically engineered an advanced silk material, named hSFSV, using a transgenic silkworm, in which the recombinant human acidic fibroblast growth factor (hFGF1) protein was specifically synthesized in the middle silk gland and secreted into the sericin layer to surround the silk fiber using our previously optimized sericin1 expression system. The content of the recombinant hFGF1 in the hSFSV silk was estimated to be approximate 0.07% of the cocoon shell weight. The mechanical properties of hSFSV raw silk fiber were enhanced slightly compared to those of the wild-type raw silk fiber, probably due to the presence of the recombinant of hFGF1 in the sericin layer. Remarkably, the hSFSV raw silk significantly stimulated the cell growth and proliferation of NIH/3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cells, suggesting that the mitogenic activity of recombinant hFGF1 was well maintained and functioned in the sericin layer of hSFSV raw silk. These results show that the genetically engineered raw silk hSFSV could be used directly as a fine biomedical material for mass application. In addition, the strategy whereby functional recombinant proteins are expressed in the sericin layer of silk might be used to create more genetically engineered silks with various biofunctions and applications. PMID:24980060

  9. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Spider dragline silk is considered to be the toughest biopolymer on Earth due to an extraordinary combination of strength and elasticity. Moreover, silks are biocompatible and biodegradable protein-based materials. Recent advances in genetic engineering make it possible to produce recombinant silks in heterologous hosts, opening up opportunities for large-scale production of recombinant silks for various biomedical and material science applications. We review the current strategies to produce recombinant spider silks. PMID:24119078

  10. Thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao

    In this thesis, the thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein from Bombyx mori silkworm, was treated as a model for the general study of protein based materials, combining theories from both biophysics and polymer physics fields. A systematic and scientific path way to model the dynamic beta-sheet crystallization process of silk fibroin protein was presented in the following sequence: (1) The crystallinity, fractions of secondary structures, and phase compositions in silk fibroin proteins at any transition stage were determined. Two experimental methods, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with Fourier self-deconvolution, and specific reversing heat capacity, were used together for the first time for modeling the static structures and phases in the silk fibroin proteins. The protein secondary structure fractions during the crystallization were quantitatively determined. The possibility of existence of a "rigid amorphous phase" in silk protein was also discussed. (2) The function of bound water during the crystallization process of silk fibroin was studied using heat capacity, and used to build a silk-water dynamic crystallization model. The fundamental concepts and thermal properties of silk fibroin with/without bound water were discussed. Results show that intermolecular bound water molecules, acting as a plasticizer, will cause silk to display a water-induced glass transition around 80°C. During heating, water is lost, and the change of the microenvironment in the silk fibroin chains induces a mesophase prior to thermal crystallization. Real time FTIR during heating and isothermal holding above Tg show the tyrosine side chain changes only during the former process, while beta sheet crystallization occurs only during the latter process. Analogy is made between the crystallization of synthetic polymers according to the four-state scheme of Strobl, and the crystallization process of silk fibroin, which includes an intermediate precursor stage before crystallization. (3) The beta-sheet crystallization kinetics in silk fibroin protein were measured using X-ray, FTIR and heat flow, and the structure reveals the formation mechanism of the silk crystal network. Avrami kinetics theories, which were established for studies of synthetic polymer crystal growth, were for the first time extended to investigate protein self-assembly in multiblock silk fibroin samples. The Avrami exponent, n, was close to two for all methods, indicating formation of beta sheet crystals in silk proteins is different from the 3-D spherulitic crystal growth found in most synthetic homopolymers. A microphase separation pattern after chymotrypsin enzyme biodegradation was shown in the protein structures using scanning electron microscopy. A model was then used to explain the crystallization of silk fibroin protein by analogy to block copolymers. (4) The effects of metal ions during the crystallization of silk fibroin was investigated using thermal analysis. Advanced thermal analysis methods were used to analyze the thermal protein-metallic ion interactions in silk fibroin proteins. Results show that K+ and Ca2+ metallic salts play different roles in silk fibroin proteins, which either reduce (K+) or increase (Ca2+ ) the glass transition (Tg) of pure silk protein and affect the thermal stability of this structure.

  11. Single Honeybee Silk Protein Mimics Properties of Multi-Protein Silk

    PubMed Central

    Sutherland, Tara D.; Church, Jeffrey S.; Hu, Xiao; Huson, Mickey G.; Kaplan, David L.; Weisman, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    Honeybee silk is composed of four fibrous proteins that, unlike other silks, are readily synthesized at full-length and high yield. The four silk genes have been conserved for over 150 million years in all investigated bee, ant and hornet species, implying a distinct functional role for each protein. However, the amino acid composition and molecular architecture of the proteins are similar, suggesting functional redundancy. In this study we compare materials generated from a single honeybee silk protein to materials containing all four recombinant proteins or to natural honeybee silk. We analyse solution conformation by dynamic light scattering and circular dichroism, solid state structure by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy, and fiber tensile properties by stress-strain analysis. The results demonstrate that fibers artificially generated from a single recombinant silk protein can reproduce the structural and mechanical properties of the natural silk. The importance of the four protein complex found in natural silk may lie in biological silk storage or hierarchical self-assembly. The finding that the functional properties of the mature material can be achieved with a single protein greatly simplifies the route to production for artificial honeybee silk. PMID:21311767

  12. The effect of sericin with variable amino-acid content from different silk strains on the production of collagen and nitric oxide.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Kanokpanont, Sorada; De-Eknamkul, Wanchai; Kamei, Kaeko; Srichana, Teerapol

    2009-01-01

    Although silk sericin (SS) enhances the growth and attachment of fibroblast cells, its toxicity remains questionable. We investigated the effect of SS extracted by heat with variable amino-acid content on in vitro collagen promotion and nitric oxide synthesis. After 24 h of incubation, SS, especially from the Chul 1/1 strain which has the most methionine and cysteine content, enhanced fibroblast growth. The molecular mass of heat-extracted SS from these three strains showed a slightly different range, but within 20-200 kDa, which were all identified as sericin. SS from all strains promoted type-I collagen production in a concentration-dependent manner, while SS from Chul 1/1 strain could induce the highest amount of collagen synthesis when compared to SS from other strains. Nitric oxide was found in the culture medium after activation by SS from the Chul 1/1 strain but reached a level that was not toxic to the cells. We conclude that SS is not toxic to fibroblast cells. Moreover, methionine and cysteine content in SS are important factors to promote cell growth and collagen synthesis. PMID:19520013

  13. Inhibition of the binding of MSG-intermolt-specific complex, MIC, to the sericin-1 gene promoter and sericin-1 gene expression by POU-M1/SGF-3.

    PubMed

    Kimoto, Mai; Kitagawa, Tsuyuki; Kobayashi, Isao; Nakata, Tomohiro; Kuroiwa, Asato; Takiya, Shigeharu

    2012-11-01

    The sericin-1 gene encoding a glue protein is expressed in the middle silk gland (MSG) of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. A member of the class III POU domain transcription factors, POU-M1, was cloned as the factor bound to the SC site of the sericin-1 promoter and has been proposed to be a positive transcription factor. In this study, we analyzed the expression pattern of the POU-M1 gene in fourth and fifth instars in comparison with the pattern of the sericin-1 gene. The POU-M1 gene was expressed strongly in the region anterior to the sericin-1-expressing portion of the silk gland at both feeding stages. As the sericin-1-expressing region expands from the posterior to middle portions of the MSG in the fifth instar, the POU-M1-expressing region retreated from the middle to anterior portion. Introduction of the expression vector of POU-M1 into the silk glands by gene gun technology repressed promoter activity of the sericin-1 gene, suggesting that POU-M1 regulates the sericin-1 gene negatively. An in vitro binding assay showed that POU-M1 bound not only to the SC site but also to other promoter elements newly detected in vivo. Another spatiotemporal specific factor MIC binds to these elements, and POU-M1 competed with MIC to bind at the -70 site essential for promoter activity. These results suggest that POU-M1 is involved in restricting the anterior boundary of the sericin-1-expressing region in the silk gland by inhibiting the binding of the transcriptional activator to the promoter elements. PMID:23070540

  14. Sericin supplementation improves semen freezability of buffalo bulls by minimizing oxidative stress during cryopreservation.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pradeep; Kumar, Dharmendra; Sikka, P; Singh, P

    2015-01-01

    The variety of mammalian cells has been successfully cryopreserved by use of the silk protein sericin due to its strong free-radical-scavenging and potent antioxidant activity. The present study was conducted to examine the protective role of sericin on buffalo spermatozoa during cryopreservation. Semen of four breeding bulls was collected twice a week using artificial vagina technique. The ejaculates of four bulls were pooled, divided into five equal fractions, diluted with the extender supplemented with different concentrations of sericin (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1.5 and 2%) and then cryopreserved. Post-thawed motility was objectively assessed by computer assisted sperm analyzer. Sperm plasma membrane integrity was assessed by hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOST). Malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were determined in frozen-thawed extended seminal plasma by spectrophotometry. The extender supplemented with 0.25, 0.5 and 1% sericin resulted in the higher sperm motility and GPx acivity. Furthermore, plasma membrane integrity and SOD activity were found to be higher (P<0.05) in group supplemented with 0.25 and 0.5% sericin (P<0.05). The MDA concentration was found to be significantly lower (P<0.05) in 0.25 and 0.5% sericin treated groups than control and other treated groups. In conclusion, the supplementation of 0.25-0.5% sericin in semen extender improves frozen-thawed semen quality through protecting sperm from oxidative stress. PMID:25497424

  15. Design and performance of a sericin-alginate interpenetrating network hydrogel for cell and drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yeshun; Liu, Jia; Huang, Lei; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Although alginate hydrogels have been extensively studied for tissue engineering applications, their utilization is limited by poor mechanical strength, rapid drug release, and a lack of cell adhesive ability. Aiming to improve these properties, we employ the interpenetrating hydrogel design rationale. Using alginate and sericin (a natural protein with many unique properties and a major component of silkworm silk), we develop an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogel comprising interwoven sericin and alginate double networks. By adjusting the sericin-to-alginate ratios, IPNs' mechanical strength can be adjusted to meet stiffness requirements for various tissue repairs. The IPNs with high sericin content show increased stability during degradation, avoiding pure alginate's early collapse. These IPNs have high swelling ratios, benefiting various applications such as drug delivery. The IPNs sustain controlled drug release with the adjustable rates. Furthermore, these IPNs are adhesive to cells, supporting cell proliferation, long-term survival and migration. Notably, the IPNs inherit sericin's photoluminescent property, enabling bioimaging in vivo. Together, our study indicates that the sericin-alginate IPN hydrogels may serve as a versatile platform for delivering cells and drugs, and suggests that sericin may be a building block broadly applicable for generating IPN networks with other biomaterials for diverse tissue engineering applications. PMID:26205586

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Silk protein aggregation kinetics revealed by Rheo-IR.

    PubMed

    Boulet-Audet, Maxime; Terry, Ann E; Vollrath, Fritz; Holland, Chris

    2014-02-01

    The remarkable mechanical properties of silk fibres stem from a multi-scale hierarchical structure created when an aqueous protein "melt" is converted to an insoluble solid via flow. To directly relate a silk protein's structure and function in response to flow, we present the first application of a Rheo-IR platform, which couples cone and plate rheology with attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy. This technique provides a new window into silk processing by linking shear thinning to an increase in molecular alignment, with shear thickening affecting changes in the silk protein's secondary structure. Additionally, compared to other static characterization methods for silk, Rheo-IR proved particularly useful at revealing the intrinsic difference between natural (native) and reconstituted silk feedstocks. Hence Rheo-IR offers important novel insights into natural silk processing. This has intrinsic academic merit, but it might also be useful when designing reconstituted silk analogues alongside other polymeric systems, whether natural or synthetic. PMID:24200713

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

    PubMed

    Kuwana, Yoshihiko; Sezutsu, Hideki; Nakajima, Ken-ichi; Tamada, Yasushi; Kojima, Katsura

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25162624

  19. High-Toughness Silk Produced by a Transgenic Silkworm Expressing Spider (Araneus ventricosus) Dragline Silk Protein

    PubMed Central

    Kuwana, Yoshihiko; Sezutsu, Hideki; Nakajima, Ken-ichi; Tamada, Yasushi; Kojima, Katsura

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25162624

  20. Design and performance of a sericin-alginate interpenetrating network hydrogel for cell and drug delivery

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yeshun; Liu, Jia; Huang, Lei; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Although alginate hydrogels have been extensively studied for tissue engineering applications, their utilization is limited by poor mechanical strength, rapid drug release, and a lack of cell adhesive ability. Aiming to improve these properties, we employ the interpenetrating hydrogel design rationale. Using alginate and sericin (a natural protein with many unique properties and a major component of silkworm silk), we develop an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogel comprising interwoven sericin and alginate double networks. By adjusting the sericin-to-alginate ratios, IPNs’ mechanical strength can be adjusted to meet stiffness requirements for various tissue repairs. The IPNs with high sericin content show increased stability during degradation, avoiding pure alginate’s early collapse. These IPNs have high swelling ratios, benefiting various applications such as drug delivery. The IPNs sustain controlled drug release with the adjustable rates. Furthermore, these IPNs are adhesive to cells, supporting cell proliferation, long-term survival and migration. Notably, the IPNs inherit sericin’s photoluminescent property, enabling bioimaging in vivo. Together, our study indicates that the sericin-alginate IPN hydrogels may serve as a versatile platform for delivering cells and drugs, and suggests that sericin may be a building block broadly applicable for generating IPN networks with other biomaterials for diverse tissue engineering applications. PMID:26205586

  1. Design and performance of a sericin-alginate interpenetrating network hydrogel for cell and drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yeshun; Liu, Jia; Huang, Lei; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2015-07-01

    Although alginate hydrogels have been extensively studied for tissue engineering applications, their utilization is limited by poor mechanical strength, rapid drug release, and a lack of cell adhesive ability. Aiming to improve these properties, we employ the interpenetrating hydrogel design rationale. Using alginate and sericin (a natural protein with many unique properties and a major component of silkworm silk), we develop an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogel comprising interwoven sericin and alginate double networks. By adjusting the sericin-to-alginate ratios, IPNs’ mechanical strength can be adjusted to meet stiffness requirements for various tissue repairs. The IPNs with high sericin content show increased stability during degradation, avoiding pure alginate’s early collapse. These IPNs have high swelling ratios, benefiting various applications such as drug delivery. The IPNs sustain controlled drug release with the adjustable rates. Furthermore, these IPNs are adhesive to cells, supporting cell proliferation, long-term survival and migration. Notably, the IPNs inherit sericin’s photoluminescent property, enabling bioimaging in vivo. Together, our study indicates that the sericin-alginate IPN hydrogels may serve as a versatile platform for delivering cells and drugs, and suggests that sericin may be a building block broadly applicable for generating IPN networks with other biomaterials for diverse tissue engineering applications.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Silk Coatings on PLGA and Alginate Microspheres for Protein Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoqin; Wenk, Esther; Hu, Xiao; Castro, Guillermo R.; Meinel, Lorenz; Wang, Xianyan; Li, Chunmei; Merkle, Hans; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin self-assembles on surfaces to form ultrathin nanoscale coatings based on our prior studies using layer-by-layer deposition techniques driven by hydrophobic interactions between silk fibroin protein molecules. In the present study, polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and alginate microspheres were used as substrates and coated with silk fibroin. The coatings were visualized by confocal laser scanning microscopy using fluorescein-labeled silk fibroin. On PLGA microspheres the coating was ~1 μm and discontinuous, reflecting the porous surface of these microspheres determined by SEM. In contrast, on alginate microspheres the coating was ~10 μm thick and continuous. The silk fibroin penetrated into the alginate gel matrix. The silk coating on the PLGA microspheres delayed PLGA degradation. The silk coating on the alginate microspheres survived ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) treatment used to remove the Ca+2-cross-links in the alginate gels to solubilize the alginate. This suggests that alginate microspheres can be used as templates to form silk microcapsules. Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and tetramethylrhodamine-conjugated bovine serum albumin (BSA) as model protein drugs were encapsulated in the PLGA and alginate microspheres with and without the silk fibroin coatings. Drug release was significantly retarded by the silk coatings when compared to uncoated microsphere controls, and was retarded further by methanol-treated silk coating when compared to silk water-based coatings on alginate microspheres. Silk coatings on PLGA and alginate microspheres provide mechanically stable shells as well as a diffusion barrier to the encapsulated protein drugs. This coating technique has potential for biosensor and drug delivery applications due to the aqueous process employed, the ability to control coating thickness and crystalline content, and the biocompatibility of the silk fibroin protein used in the process. PMID:17583788

  4. Silks produced by insect labial glands

    PubMed Central

    Sutherland, Tara

    2008-01-01

    Insect silks are secreted from diverse gland types; this chapter deals with the silks produced by labial glands of Holometabola (insects with pupa in their life cycle). Labial silk glands are composed of a few tens or hundreds of large polyploid cells that secrete polymerizing proteins which are stored in the gland lumen as a semi-liquid gel. Polymerization is based on weak molecular interactions between repetitive amino acid motifs present in one or more silk proteins; cross-linking by disulfide bonds may be important in the silks spun under water. The mechanism of long-term storage of the silk dope inside the glands and its conversion into the silk fiber during spinning is not fully understood. The conversion occurs within seconds at ambient temperature and pressure, under minimal drawing force and in some cases under water. The silk filament is largely built of proteins called fibroins and in Lepidoptera and Trichoptera coated by glue-type proteins known as sericins. Silks often contain small amounts of additional proteins of poorly known function. The silk components controlling dope storage and filament formation seem to be conserved at the level of orders, while the nature of polymerizing motifs in the fibroins, which determine the physical properties of silk, differ at the level of family and even genus. Most silks are based on fibroin ?-sheets interrupted with other structures such as ?-helices but the silk proteins of certain sawflies have predominantly a collagen-like or polyglycine II arrangement and the silks of social Hymenoptera are formed from proteins in a coiled coil arrangement. PMID:19221523

  5. Silks produced by insect labial glands.

    PubMed

    Sehnal, Frantisek; Sutherland, Tara

    2008-01-01

    Insect silks are secreted from diverse gland types; this chapter deals with the silks produced by labial glands of Holometabola (insects with pupa in their life cycle). Labial silk glands are composed of a few tens or hundreds of large polyploid cells that secrete polymerizing proteins which are stored in the gland lumen as a semi-liquid gel. Polymerization is based on weak molecular interactions between repetitive amino acid motifs present in one or more silk proteins; cross-linking by disulfide bonds may be important in the silks spun under water. The mechanism of long-term storage of the silk dope inside the glands and its conversion into the silk fiber during spinning is not fully understood. The conversion occurs within seconds at ambient temperature and pressure, under minimal drawing force and in some cases under water. The silk filament is largely built of proteins called fibroins and in Lepidoptera and Trichoptera coated by glue-type proteins known as sericins. Silks often contain small amounts of additional proteins of poorly known function. The silk components controlling dope storage and filament formation seem to be conserved at the level of orders, while the nature of polymerizing motifs in the fibroins, which determine the physical properties of silk, differ at the level of family and even genus. Most silks are based on fibroin beta-sheets interrupted with other structures such as alpha-helices but the silk proteins of certain sawflies have predominantly a collagen-like or polyglycine II arrangement and the silks of social Hymenoptera are formed from proteins in a coiled coil arrangement. PMID:19221523

  6. Cell proliferation by silk gut incorporating FGF-2 protein microcrystals

    PubMed Central

    Kotani, Eiji; Yamamoto, Naoto; Kobayashi, Isao; Uchino, Keiro; Muto, Sayaka; Ijiri, Hiroshi; Shimabukuro, Junji; Tamura, Toshiki; Sezutsu, Hideki; Mori, Hajime

    2015-01-01

    Silk gut processed from the silk glands of the silkworm could be an ideal biodegradable carrier for cell growth factors. We previously demonstrated that polyhedra, microcrystals of Cypovirus 1 polyhedrin, can serve as versatile carrier proteins. Here, we report the generation of a transgenic silkworm that expresses polyhedrin together with human basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) in its posterior silk glands to utilize silk gut as a proteinaceous carrier to protect and slowly release active cell growth factors. In the posterior silk glands, polyhedrin formed polyhedral microcrystals, and FGF-2 became encapsulated within the polyhedra due to a polyhedron-immobilization signal. Silk gut powder prepared from posterior silk glands containing polyhedron-encapsulated FGF-2 stimulated the phosphorylation of p44/p42 MAP kinase and induced the proliferation of serum-starved NIH3T3 cells by releasing bioactive FGF-2. Even after a one-week incubation at 25 °C, significantly higher biological activity of FGF-2 was observed for silk gut powder incorporating polyhedron-encapsulated FGF-2 relative to silk gut powder with non-encapsulated FGF-2. Our results demonstrate that posterior silk glands incorporating polyhedron-encapsulated FGF-2 are applicable to the preparation of biodegradable silk gut, which can protect and release FGF-2 that is produced in a virus- and serum-free expression system with significant application potential. PMID:26053044

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

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Amanda E.

    2015-01-01

    Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1) deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2) promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3) prolong the drug's local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery. PMID:26636069

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

    PubMed

    Brooks, Amanda E

    2015-01-01

    Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1) deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2) promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3) prolong the drug's local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery. PMID:26636069

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao; Qiu, Yiwei; Carr, Andrew J; Triffitt, James T; Sabokbar, Afsie; Xia, Zhidao

    2011-06-01

    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. PMID:21555843

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-31

    Silk protein is a natural biopolymer with intriguing properties, which are attractive for next generation bio-integrated electronic and photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate the negative photoconductive response of Bombyx mori silk protein fibroin hydrogels, triggered by Au nanoparticles. The room temperature electrical conductivity of Au-silk hydrogels is found to be enhanced with the incorporation of Au nanoparticles over the control sample, due to the increased charge transporting networks within the hydrogel. Au-silk lateral photoconductor devices show a unique negative photoconductive response under an illumination of 325 nm, with excitation energy higher than the characteristic metal plasmon resonance band. The enhanced photoconductance yield in the hydrogels over the silk protein is attributed to the photo-oxidation of amino groups in the β-pleated sheets of the silk around the Au nanoparticles followed by the breaking of charge transport networks. The Au-silk nanocomposite does not show any photoresponse under visible illumination because of the localization of excited charges in Au nanoparticles. The negative photoconductive response of hybrid Au-silk under UV illumination may pave the way towards the utilization of silk for future bio-photonic devices using metal nanoparticle platforms. PMID:26996157

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Haemolymph control of sericin gene expression studied by organ transplantation.

    PubMed

    Hamada, Y; Yamashita, O; Suzuki, Y

    1987-01-01

    A factor that affects synthesis of sericin mRNAs of Bombyx mori was analyzed by organ transplantation and allatectomy. When silk glands of the third instar larvae were transplanted into the abdomen of fifth instar larvae, substantial amounts of sericin mRNAs were induced in the transplant. The induced sericin gene activity was suppressed upon re-transplantation into the abdomen of fourth instar larvae and induced again when the second hosts grew up to fifth instar larvae. An allatectomy performed on fourth instar larvae promoted production of these mRNAs, suggesting that the synthesis of sericin mRNA is regulated by the titer of juvenile hormone. PMID:3815532

  13. Investigation of Natural Bombyx mori Silk Fibroin Proteins Using INS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crain, Christopher; Strange, Nicholas; Larese, J. Z.

    The mechanical properties of many protein comprised biomaterials are a direct reflection of non-covalent (i.e. weak) interacting ions such as F-actin in muscles, tubulin in the cytoskeleton of cells, viral capsids, and silk. Porter and Vollrath underscored the two main factors that are critical for understanding the high mechanical strength of silks: the nanoscale semi-crystalline folding structure, which gives it exceptional toughness and strength, and the degree of hydration of the disordered fraction, which acts to modify these properties. Understanding and controlling these two principal factors are the key to the functionality of protein elastomers, and render silk an ideal model protein for (bio)material design. We will describe our investigation of electrospun silk of the Bombyx mori (silk worm), using Inelastic Neutron Scattering (INS). These techniques were used to investigate the microscopic dynamics of the dry and hydrated protein.

  14. Solution structure of eggcase silk protein and its implications for silk fiber formation

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Zhi; Huang, Weidong; Zhang, Jingfeng; Fan, Jing-Song; Yang, Daiwen

    2009-01-01

    Spider silks are renowned for their excellent mechanical properties and biomimetic and industrial potentials. They are formed from the natural refolding of water-soluble fibroins with α-helical and random coil structures in silk glands into insoluble fibers with mainly β-structures. The structures of the fibroins at atomic resolution and silk formation mechanism remain largely unknown. Here, we report the 3D structures of individual domains of a ≈366-kDa eggcase silk protein that consists of 20 identical type 1 repetitive domains, one type 2 repetitive domain, and conserved nonrepetitive N- and C-terminal domains. The structures of the individual domains in solution were determined by using NMR techniques. The domain interactions were investigated by NMR and dynamic light-scattering techniques. The formation of micelles and macroscopic fibers from the domains was examined by electron microscopy. We find that either of the terminal domains covalently linked with at least one repetitive domain spontaneously forms micelle-like structures and can be further transformed into fibers at ≥37 °C and a protein concentration of >0.1 wt%. Our biophysical and biochemical experiments indicate that the less hydrophilic terminal domains initiate the assembly of the proteins and form the outer layer of the micelles whereas the more hydrophilic repetitive domains are embedded inside to ensure the formation of the micelle-like structures that are the essential intermediates in silk formation. Our results establish the roles of individual silk protein domains in fiber formation and provide the basis for designing miniature fibroins for producing artificial silks. PMID:19458259

  15. Coatings and films made of silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Borkner, Christian B; Elsner, Martina B; Scheibel, Thomas

    2014-09-24

    Silks are a class of proteinaceous materials produced by arthropods for various purposes. Spider dragline silk is known for its outstanding mechanical properties, and it shows high biocompatibility, good biodegradability, and a lack of immunogenicity and allergenicity. The silk produced by the mulberry silkworm B. mori has been used as a textile fiber and in medical devices for a long time. Here, recent progress in the processing of different silk materials into highly tailored isotropic and anisotropic coatings for biomedical applications such as tissue engineering, cell adhesion, and implant coatings as well as for optics and biosensors is reviewed. PMID:25004395

  16. Bioengineered Chimeric Spider Silk-Uranium Binding Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Krishnaji, Sreevidhya Tarakkad; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Heavy metals constitute a source of environmental pollution. Here, novel functional hybrid biomaterials for specific interactions with heavy metals are designed by bioengineering consensus sequence repeats from spider silk of Nephila clavipes with repeats of a uranium peptide recognition motif from a mutated 33-residue of calmodulin protein from Paramecium tetraurelia. The self-assembly features of the silk to control nanoscale organic/inorganic material interfaces provides new biomaterials for uranium recovery. With subsequent enzymatic digestion of the silk to concentrate the sequestered metals, options can be envisaged to use these new chimeric protein systems in environmental engineering, including to remediate environments contaminated by uranium. PMID:23212989

  17. Local tolerance to spider silks and protein polymers in vivo.

    PubMed

    Vollrath, F; Barth, P; Basedow, A; Engström, W; List, H

    2002-01-01

    Spider silks were implanted subcutaneously in pigs for a study of the tolerance against this material. Four types of spider silks of high purity and cleanliness were implanted: (i) major ampullate dragline silk reeled from the golden silk spider Nephila clavipes, (ii) native (unsterilised) silk reeled from a Brachypelma spider, (iii) native silk taken from this spider's web and (iv) its web silk thermally treated at 80 degrees C. For comparison we used fibrous silk analogue protein polymers and four already marketed wound dressings (polyurethane film, collagen dressings, gauze pads). All materials were applied epicutaneously to split skin wounds. The implants were examined macroscopically as well as by light microscopy. Superficially, all sites healed rapidly. There were marked inflammatory reactions in all sites with lympho-plasmacellular infiltrations, evidence of phagocytosis and granuloma formation as indicated by the appearance of giant cells. However there was a marked absence of epitheloid cells indicating that the observed reaction was a foreign body granuloma. Furthermore, the histopathological images recorded after 14 days revealed no marked differences between the dressings. Polyurethane films, however, seemed to be superior with respect to the duration of the wound healing process. PMID:12224131

  18. Spider silks: recombinant synthesis, assembly, spinning, and engineering of synthetic proteins

    PubMed Central

    Scheibel, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    Since thousands of years humans have utilized insect silks for their own benefit and comfort. The most famous example is the use of reeled silkworm silk from Bombyx mori to produce textiles. In contrast, despite the more promising properties of their silk, spiders have not been domesticated for large-scale or even industrial applications, since farming the spiders is not commercially viable due to their highly territorial and cannibalistic nature. Before spider silks can be copied or mimicked, not only the sequence of the underlying proteins but also their functions have to be resolved. Several attempts to recombinantly produce spider silks or spider silk mimics in various expression hosts have been reported previously. A new protein engineering approach, which combines synthetic repetitive silk sequences with authentic silk domains, reveals proteins that closely resemble silk proteins and that can be produced at high yields, which provides a basis for cost-efficient large scale production of spider silk-like proteins. PMID:15546497

  19. Sericin accelerates the production of hyaluronan and decreases the incidence of polyspermy fertilization in bovine oocytes during in vitro maturation.

    PubMed

    Hosoe, Misa; Yoshida, Nao; Hashiyada, Yutaka; Teramoto, Hidetoshi; Takahashi, Toru; Niimura, Sueo

    2014-01-01

    Fetal bovine serum (FBS) has been widely used as a supplement in the maturation medium of bovine oocytes in vitro. However, serum contains many undefined factors and is potentially infectious to humans and animals. As a serum replacement, we evaluated the feasibility of using the silk protein, sericin, derived from the cocoons of silkworm. To examine the rates of oocyte maturation and fertilization, cumulus-oocyte complexes were cultured in TCM-199 supplemented with 0.01%, 0.05%, 0.1% or 0.15% sericin or 5% FBS. The sizes of the perivitelline space that might relate to polyspermy, the expressions of Has2 and CD44 mRNA, the amount of hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid: HA) contained in the oocytes and the rates of blastocyst formation following insemination were then compared between the oocytes cultured with 0.05% sericin and 5% FBS, because the polyspermy rates in oocytes cultured with 0.05% sericin were significantly lower than in those cultured with 5% FBS. After in vitro maturation (IVM), the mean size of the perivitelline space was significantly greater in oocytes cultured with sericin than in those cultured with FBS, although the rates of nuclear maturation, fertilization and blastocyst formation of oocytes under both IVM conditions were not significantly different. The expression of HAS2 and CD44 mRNA and the amount of HA in the denuded oocytes cultured with 0.05% sericin were significantly greater than in those cultured with FBS. These results indicate the feasibility of sericin as an alternative protein supplement for IVM in bovine oocytes. PMID:24748396

  20. Sericin Accelerates the Production of Hyaluronan and Decreases the Incidence of Polyspermy Fertilization in Bovine Oocytes During In Vitro Maturation

    PubMed Central

    HOSOE, Misa; YOSHIDA, Nao; HASHIYADA, Yutaka; TERAMOTO, Hidetoshi; TAKAHASHI, Toru; NIIMURA, Sueo

    2014-01-01

    Fetal bovine serum (FBS) has been widely used as a supplement in the maturation medium of bovine oocytes in vitro. However, serum contains many undefined factors and is potentially infectious to humans and animals. As a serum replacement, we evaluated the feasibility of using the silk protein, sericin, derived from the cocoons of silkworm. To examine the rates of oocyte maturation and fertilization, cumulus-oocyte complexes were cultured in TCM-199 supplemented with 0.01%, 0.05%, 0.1% or 0.15% sericin or 5% FBS. The sizes of the perivitelline space that might relate to polyspermy, the expressions of Has2 and CD44 mRNA, the amount of hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid: HA) contained in the oocytes and the rates of blastocyst formation following insemination were then compared between the oocytes cultured with 0.05% sericin and 5% FBS, because the polyspermy rates in oocytes cultured with 0.05% sericin were significantly lower than in those cultured with 5% FBS. After in vitro maturation (IVM), the mean size of the perivitelline space was significantly greater in oocytes cultured with sericin than in those cultured with FBS, although the rates of nuclear maturation, fertilization and blastocyst formation of oocytes under both IVM conditions were not significantly different. The expression of HAS2 and CD44 mRNA and the amount of HA in the denuded oocytes cultured with 0.05% sericin were significantly greater than in those cultured with FBS. These results indicate the feasibility of sericin as an alternative protein supplement for IVM in bovine oocytes. PMID:24748396

  1. Stem cell-based tissue engineering with silk biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yongzhong; Kim, Hyeon-Joo; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L

    2006-12-01

    Silks are naturally occurring polymers that have been used clinically as sutures for centuries. When naturally extruded from insects or worms, silk is composed of a filament core protein, termed fibroin, and a glue-like coating consisting of sericin proteins. In recent years, silk fibroin has been increasingly studied for new biomedical applications due to the biocompatibility, slow degradability and remarkable mechanical properties of the material. In addition, the ability to now control molecular structure and morphology through versatile processability and surface modification options have expanded the utility for this protein in a range of biomaterial and tissue-engineering applications. Silk fibroin in various formats (films, fibers, nets, meshes, membranes, yarns, and sponges) has been shown to support stem cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation in vitro and promote tissue repair in vivo. In particular, stem cell-based tissue engineering using 3D silk fibroin scaffolds has expanded the use of silk-based biomaterials as promising scaffolds for engineering a range of skeletal tissues like bone, ligament, and cartilage, as well as connective tissues like skin. To date fibroin from Bombyx mori silkworm has been the dominant source for silk-based biomaterials studied. However, silk fibroins from spiders and those formed via genetic engineering or the modification of native silk fibroin sequence chemistries are beginning to provide new options to further expand the utility of silk fibroin-based materials for medical applications. PMID:16890988

  2. Chimeric spider silk proteins mediated by intein result in artificial hybrid silks.

    PubMed

    Lin, Senzhu; Chen, Gefei; Liu, Xiangqin; Meng, Qing

    2016-07-01

    Hybrid silks hold a great potential as specific biomaterials due to its controlled mechanical properties. To produce fibers with tunable properties, here we firstly made chimeric proteins in vitro, called W2C4CT and W2C8CT, with ligation of MaSp repetitive modules (C) with AcSp modules (W) by intein trans splicing technology from smaller precursors without final yield reduction. Intein mediated chimeric proteins form fibers at a low concentration of 0.4 mg/mL in 50 mM K3 PO4 pH 7.5 just drawn by hand. Hybrid fibers show smoother surface, and also have stronger chemical resistance as compared with fibers from W2CT (W fibers) and mixture of W2CT/C8CT (MHF8 fibers). Fibers from chimeric protein W2C4CT (HFH4) have improved mechanical properties than W fibers; however, with more C modules W2C8CT fibers (HFH8) properties decreased, indicates the length proportion of various modules is very important and should be optimized for fibers with specific properties. Generally, hybrid silks generated via chimeric proteins, which can be simplified by intein trans splicing, has greater potential to produce fibers with tunable properties. Our research shows that intein mediated directional protein ligation is a novel way to make large chimeric spider silk proteins and hybrid silks. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 105: 385-392, 2016. PMID:26948769

  3. Sericin/Dextran Injectable Hydrogel as an Optically Trackable Drug Delivery System for Malignant Melanoma Treatment.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jia; Qi, Chao; Tao, Kaixiong; Zhang, Jinxiang; Zhang, Jian; Xu, Luming; Jiang, Xulin; Zhang, Yunti; Huang, Lei; Li, Qilin; Xie, Hongjian; Gao, Jinbo; Shuai, Xiaoming; Wang, Guobin; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2016-03-16

    Severe side effects of cancer chemotherapy prompt developing better drug delivery systems. Injectable hydrogels are an effective site-target system. For most of injectable hydrogels, once delivered in vivo, some properties including drug release and degradation, which are critical to chemotherapeutic effects and safety, are challenging to monitor. Developing a drug delivery system for effective cancer therapy with in vivo real-time noninvasive trackability is highly desired. Although fluorescence dyes are used for imaging hydrogels, the cytotoxicity limits their applications. By using sericin, a natural photoluminescent protein from silk, we successfully synthesized a hydrazone cross-linked sericin/dextran injectable hydrogel. This hydrogel is biodegradable and biocompatible. It achieves efficient drug loading and controlled release of both macromolecular and small molecular drugs. Notably, sericin's photoluminescence from this hydrogel is directly and stably correlated with its degradation, enabling long-term in vivo imaging and real-time monitoring of the remaining drug. The hydrogel loaded with Doxorubicin significantly suppresses tumor growth. Together, the work demonstrates the efficacy of this drug delivery system, and the in vivo effectiveness of this sericin-based optical monitoring strategy, providing a potential approach for improving hydrogel design toward optimal efficiency and safety of chemotherapies, which may be widely applicable to other drug delivery systems. PMID:26900631

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Silk-tropoelastin protein films for nerve guidance

    PubMed Central

    White, James D.; Wang, Siran; Weiss, Anthony S.; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral nerve regeneration may be enhanced through the use of biodegradable thin film biomaterials as highly tuned inner nerve conduit liners. Dorsal root ganglion neuron and Schwann cell responses were studied on protein films comprised of silk fibroin blended with recombinant human tropoelastin protein. Tropoelastin significantly improved neurite extension and enhanced Schwann cell process length and cell area, while the silk provided a robust biomaterial template. Silk-tropoelastin blends afforded a 2.4 fold increase in neurite extension, when compared to silk films coated with poly-d-lysine. When patterned by drying on grooved polydimethylsiloxane (3.5 µm groove width, 0.5 µm groove depth), these protein blends induced both neurite and Schwann cell process alignment. Neurons were functional as assessed using patch-clamping, and displayed action potentials similar to those cultured on poly(lysine)-coated glass. Taken together, silk-tropoelastin films offer useful biomaterial interfacial platforms for nerve cell control which can be considered for neurite guidance, disease models for neuropathies, and surgical peripheral nerve repairs. PMID:25481743

  7. Silk-tropoelastin protein films for nerve guidance.

    PubMed

    White, James D; Wang, Siran; Weiss, Anthony S; Kaplan, David L

    2015-03-01

    Peripheral nerve regeneration may be enhanced through the use of biodegradable thin film biomaterials as highly tuned inner nerve conduit liners. Dorsal root ganglion neuron and Schwann cell responses were studied on protein films comprising silk fibroin blended with recombinant human tropoelastin protein. Tropoelastin significantly improved neurite extension and enhanced Schwann cell process length and cell area, while the silk provided a robust biomaterial template. Silk-tropoelastin blends afforded a 2.4-fold increase in neurite extension, when compared to silk films coated with poly-d-lysine. When patterned by drying on grooved polydimethylsiloxane (3.5 μm groove width, 0.5 μm groove depth), these protein blends induced both neurite and Schwann cell process alignment. Neurons were functional as assessed using patch-clamping, and displayed action potentials similar to those cultured on poly(lysine)-coated glass. Taken together, silk-tropoelastin films offer useful biomaterial interfacial platforms for nerve cell control, which can be considered for neurite guidance, disease models for neuropathies and surgical peripheral nerve repairs. PMID:25481743

  8. Electrospun liquid silk from the gland of Bombyx mori silk/ Green Fluorescent Proteins (GFP)/ poly(ethylene oxide)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putthanarat, Sirina; Jones, Sharon; Farmer, Barry

    2005-03-01

    We have previously demonstrated that Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) molecules can be incorporated into silk films and maintain their nonlinear optical properties as well as resist to damage at fluence of 0.1-0.2 J/cm^2 [1]. In the present study we report the incorporation of GFP into electrsopun fibers of liquid silk from the gland of B. mori. PEO was added to the silk/GFP solution to improve the processability. The silk/GFP/PEO solutions were successfully elctrospun and the morphology of fibers was characterized using optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The resulting fibers exhibit fluorescent under the UV microscope in the reflection mode (epifluorescence) indicating incorporation of the GFP. The fiber diameters are less than 500 nm. Other characterization techniques are being applied. [1]. S. Putthanarat, et.al., ``Nonlinear Optical Transmission of Silk/Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) Films,'' Polymer 2004;45:8451.

  9. Protein families, natural history and biotechnological aspects of spider silk.

    PubMed

    Bittencourt, D; Oliveira, P F; Prosdocimi, F; Rech, E L

    2012-01-01

    Spiders are exceptionally diverse and abundant organisms in terrestrial ecosystems and their evolutionary success is certainly related to their capacity to produce different types of silks during their life cycle, making a specialized use on each of them. Presenting particularly tandemly arranged amino acid repeats, silk proteins (spidroins) have mechanical properties superior to most synthetic or natural high-performance fibers, which makes them very promising for biotechnology industry, with putative applications in the production of new biomaterials. During the evolution of spider species, complex behaviors of web production and usage have been coupled with anatomical specialization of spinning glands. Spiders retaining ancestral characters, such as the ones belonging to the Mygalomorph group, present simpler sorts of webs used mainly to build burrows and egg sacs, and their silks are produced by globular undifferentiated spinning glands. In contrast, Araneomorphae spiders have a complex spinning apparatus, presenting up to seven morphologically distinct glands, capable to produce a more complex set of silk polymers with different degrees of rigidness and elasticity associated with distinct behaviors. Aiming to provide a discussion involving a number of spider silks' biological aspects, in this review we present descriptions of members from each family of spidroin identified from five spider species of the Brazilian biodiversity, and an evolutionary study of them in correlation with the anatomical specialization of glands and spider's spinning behaviors. Due to the biotechnological importance of spider silks for the production of new biomaterials, we also discuss about the new possible technical and biomedical applications of spider silks and the current status of it. PMID:22911606

  10. Novel enhancer and promoter elements indispensable for the tissue-specific expression of the sericin-1 gene of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Takiya, Shigeharu; Inoue, Hiroshige; Kimoto, Mai

    2011-08-01

    Sericins are glue proteins produced specifically in the middle silk gland (MSG) of the silkworm Bombyx mori, while the silk fiber protein, fibroin, is produced in the posterior silk gland (PSG). These silk proteins are expected to be useful biomaterials in medical technology as well as biotechnology. In this study, we analyzed promoter elements of the sericin-1 gene (ser1) in vivo by introducing reporter constructs into silk glands via gene gun technology. The region from -1602 to +47 was sufficient to induce MSG-specific expression. The 5' deletion mutants showed a three-step decrease in promoter activity with the key sequences located between -1362 and -1250, -201 and -116, and -115 and -37. We detected a tissue- and stage-specific factor complex (MSG-intermolt-specific complex: MIC) bound to the sequence elements around the -1350, -320, -180, and -70 regions. A mutation in the -70 region, which inhibits MIC-binding, diminished almost all promoter activity, while another mutation that did not inhibit MIC-binding showed no effect on promoter activity. The results suggest that the binding of MIC to the above elements is intrinsic for the spatiotemporal specificity of ser1 in vivo. PMID:21496486

  11. Characterization of silk gland ribosomes from a bivoltine caddisfly, Stenopsyche marmorata: translational suppression of a silk protein in cold conditions.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Takaomi; Ito, Miho; Kanamori, Mai; Shigeno, Yuta; Uchiumi, Toshio; Arai, Ryoichi; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Hirabayashi, Kimio; Ohkawa, Kousaku

    2016-01-01

    Larval Stenopsyche marmorata constructs food capture nets and fixed retreats underwater using self-produced proteinaceous silk fibers. In the Chikuma River (Nagano Prefecture, Japan) S. marmorata has a bivoltine life cycle; overwintering larvae grow slowly with reduced net spinning activity in winter. We recently reported constant transcript abundance of S. marmorata silk protein 1 (Smsp-1), a core S. marmorata silk fiber component, in all seasons, implying translational suppression in the silk gland during winter. Herein, we prepared and characterized silk gland ribosomes from seasonally collected S. marmorata larvae. Ribosomes from silk glands immediately frozen in liquid nitrogen (LN2) after dissection exhibited comparable translation elongation activity in spring, summer, and autumn. Conversely, silk glands obtained in winter did not contain active ribosomes and Smsp-1. Ribosomes from silk glands immersed in ice-cold physiological saline solution for approximately 4 h were translationally inactive, despite summer collection and Smsp-1 expression. The ribosomal inactivation occurs because of defects in the formation of 80S ribosomes, presumably due to splitting of 60S subunits containing 28S rRNA with central hidden break, in response to cold stress. These results suggest a novel-type ribosome-regulated translation control mechanism. PMID:26646291

  12. Role of pH and charge on silk protein assembly in insects and spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foo, C. Wong Po; Bini, E.; Hensman, J.; Knight, D. P.; Lewis, R. V.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2006-02-01

    Silk fibers possess impressive mechanical properties, dependant, in part, on the crystalline β-sheets silk II conformation. The transition to silk II from soluble silk I-like conformation in silk glands, is thought to originate in the spinning ducts immediately before the silk is drawn down into a fiber. However the assembly process of these silk molecules into fibers, whether in silkworms or spiders, is not well understood. Extensional flow, protein concentration, pH and metal ion concentrations are thought to be most important in in vivo silk processing and in affecting structural conformations. We look at how parameters such as pH, [Ca2+], [K+], and [Cu2+], and water content, interact with the domain structure of silk proteins towards the successful storage and processing of these concentrated hydrophobic silk proteins. Our recent domain mapping studies of all known silk proteins, and 2D Raman spectroscopy, NMR, and DLS studies performed on sections of silkworm gland, suggest that low pH and gradual water removal promote intermolecular over intramolecular hydrogen bonding. This discussion helps to provide the necessary ground rules towards the design of silk protein analogues with specific hydrophobicity and charge profiles to optimize expression, solubility and assembly with implications in structural biology and material science.

  13. The advances and perspectives of recombinant protein production in the silk gland of silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hanfu

    2014-10-01

    The silk gland of silkworm Bombyx mori, is one of the most important organs that has been fully studied and utilized so far. It contributes finest silk fibers to humankind. The silk gland has excellent ability of synthesizing silk proteins and is a kind tool to produce some useful recombinant proteins, which can be widely used in the biological, biotechnical and pharmaceutical application fields. It's a very active area to express recombinant proteins using the silk gland as a bioreactor, and great progress has been achieved recently. This review recapitulates the progress of producing recombinant proteins and silk-based biomaterials in the silk gland of silkworm in addition to the construction of expression systems. Current challenges and future trends in the production of valuable recombinant proteins using transgenic silkworms are also discussed. PMID:25113390

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Multiple gene duplication events in the precursor of the Aculeata (bees, ants, hornets) gave rise to four silk genes. Whilst these homologs encode proteins with similar amino acid composition and coiled coil structure, the retention of all four homologs implies they each are important. In this study we identified, produced and characterized the four silk proteins from Apis dorsata, the giant Asian honeybee. The proteins were readily purified, allowing us to investigate the folding behavior of solutions of individual proteins in comparison to mixtures of all four proteins at concentrations where they assemble into their native coiled coil structure. In contrast to solutions of any one protein type, solutions of a mixture of the four proteins formed coiled coils that were stable against dilution and detergent denaturation. The results are consistent with the formation of a heteromeric coiled coil protein complex. The mechanism of silk protein coiled coil formation and evolution is discussed in light of these results. PMID:25712559

  15. Differential Scanning Fluorimetry provides high throughput data on silk protein transitions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Hawkins, Nick; Porter, David; Holland, Chris; Boulet-Audet, Maxime

    2014-07-01

    Here we present a set of measurements using Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (DSF) as an inexpensive, high throughput screening method to investigate the folding of silk protein molecules as they abandon their first native melt conformation, dehydrate and denature into their final solid filament conformation. Our first data and analyses comparing silks from spiders, mulberry and wild silkworms as well as reconstituted `silk' fibroin show that DSF can provide valuable insights into details of silk denaturation processes that might be active during spinning. We conclude that this technique and technology offers a powerful and novel tool to analyse silk protein transitions in detail by allowing many changes to the silk solutions to be tested rapidly with microliter scale sample sizes. Such transition mechanisms will lead to important generic insights into the folding patterns not only of silks but also of other fibrous protein (bio)polymers.

  16. Differential Scanning Fluorimetry provides high throughput data on silk protein transitions.

    PubMed Central

    Vollrath, Fritz; Hawkins, Nick; Porter, David; Holland, Chris; Boulet-Audet, Maxime

    2014-01-01

    Here we present a set of measurements using Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (DSF) as an inexpensive, high throughput screening method to investigate the folding of silk protein molecules as they abandon their first native melt conformation, dehydrate and denature into their final solid filament conformation. Our first data and analyses comparing silks from spiders, mulberry and wild silkworms as well as reconstituted ‘silk' fibroin show that DSF can provide valuable insights into details of silk denaturation processes that might be active during spinning. We conclude that this technique and technology offers a powerful and novel tool to analyse silk protein transitions in detail by allowing many changes to the silk solutions to be tested rapidly with microliter scale sample sizes. Such transition mechanisms will lead to important generic insights into the folding patterns not only of silks but also of other fibrous protein (bio)polymers. PMID:25004800

  17. Sericin protects against diabetes-induced injuries in sciatic nerve and related nerve cells?

    PubMed Central

    Song, Chengjun; Yang, Zhenjun; Zhong, Meirong; Chen, Zhihong

    2013-01-01

    Sericin from discarded silkworm cocoons of silk reeling has been used in different fields, such as cosmetology, skin care, nutrition, and oncology. The present study established a rat model of type 2 diabetes by consecutive intraperitoneal injections of low-dose (25 mg/kg) streptozotocin. After intragastrical perfusion of sericin for 35 days, blood glucose levels significantly declined, and the expression of neurofilament protein in the sciatic nerve and nerve growth factor in L46 spinal ganglion and anterior horn cells significantly increased. However, the expression of neuropeptide Y in spinal ganglion and anterior horn cells significantly decreased in model rats. These findings indicate that sericin protected the sciatic nerve and related nerve cells against injury in a rat type 2 diabetic model by upregulating the expression of neurofilament protein in the sciatic nerve and nerve growth factor in spinal ganglion and anterior horn cells, and downregulating the expression of neuropeptide Y in spinal ganglion and anterior horn cells. PMID:25206693

  18. Impact of Protein-Metal Ion Interactions on the Crystallization of Silk Fibroin Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao; Lu, Qiang; Kaplan, David; Cebe, Peggy

    2009-03-01

    Proteins can easily form bonds with a variety of metal ions, which provides many unique biological functions for the protein structures, and therefore controls the overall structural transformation of proteins. We use advanced thermal analysis methods such as temperature modulated differential scanning calorimetry and quasi-isothermal TMDSC, combined with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy, to investigate the protein-metallic ion interactions in Bombyx mori silk fibroin proteins. Silk samples were mixed with different metal ions (Ca^2+, K^+, Ma^2+, Na^+, Cu^2+, Mn^2+) with different mass ratios, and compared with the physical conditions in the silkworm gland. Results show that all metallic ions can directly affect the crystallization behavior and glass transition of silk fibroin. However, different ions tend to have different structural impact, including their role as plasticizer or anti-plasticizer. Detailed studies reveal important information allowing us better to understand the natural silk spinning and crystallization process.

  19. A Neuroprotective Sericin Hydrogel As an Effective Neuronal Cell Carrier for the Repair of Ischemic Stroke.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zheng; Wang, Jian; Jin, Yang; Luo, Zhen; Yang, Wen; Xie, Hongjian; Huang, Kai; Wang, Lin

    2015-11-11

    Ischemic stroke causes extensive cellular loss that impairs brain functions, resulting in severe disabilities. No effective treatments are currently available for brain tissue regeneration. The need to develop effective therapeutic approaches for treating stroke is compelling. A tissue engineering approach employing a hydrogel carrying both cells and neurotrophic cytokines to damaged regions is an encouraging alternative for neuronal repair. However, this approach is often challenged by low in vivo cell survival rate, and low encapsulation efficiency and loss of cytokines. To address these limitations, we propose to develop a biomaterial that can form a matrix capable of improving in vivo survival of transplanted cells and reducing in vivo loss of cytokines. Here, we report that using sericin, a natural protein from silk, we have fabricated a genipin-cross-linked sericin hydrogel (GSH) with porous structure and mild swelling ratio. The GSH supports the effective attachment and growth of neurons in vitro. Strikingly, our data reveal that sericin protein is intrinsically neurotrophic and neuroprotective, promoting axon extension and branching as well as preventing primary neurons from hypoxia-induced cell death. Notably, these functions are inherited by the GSH's degradation products, which might spare a need of incorporating costly cytokines. We further demonstrate that this neurotrophic effect is dependent on the Lkb1-Nuak1 pathway, while the neuroprotective effect is realized through regulating the Bcl-2/Bax protein ratio. Importantly, when transplanted in vivo, the GSH gives a high cell survival rate and allows the cells to continuously proliferate. Together, this work unmasks the neurotrophic and neuroprotective functions for sericin and provides strong evidence justifying the GSH's suitability as a potential neuronal cell delivery vehicle for ischemic stroke repair. PMID:26478947

  20. Stability of Silk and Collagen Protein Materials in Space

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiao; Raja, Waseem K.; An, Bo; Tokareva, Olena; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Collagen and silk materials, in neat forms and as silica composites, were flown for 18 months on the International Space Station [Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE)-6] to assess the impact of space radiation on structure and function. As natural biomaterials, the impact of the space environment on films of these proteins was investigated to understand fundamental changes in structure and function related to the future utility in materials and medicine in space environments. About 15% of the film surfaces were etched by heavy ionizing particles such as atomic oxygen, the major component of the low-Earth orbit space environment. Unexpectedly, more than 80% of the silk and collagen materials were chemically crosslinked by space radiation. These findings are critical for designing next-generation biocompatible materials for contact with living systems in space environments, where the effects of heavy ionizing particles and other cosmic radiation need to be considered. PMID:24305951

  1. Bombyx mori silk protein films microprocessing with a nanosecond ultraviolet laser and a femtosecond laser workstation: theory and experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Silk: A Potential Medium for Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    Objective: Human skin is a complex bilayered organ that serves as a protective barrier against the environment. The loss of integrity of skin by traumatic experiences such as burns and ulcers may result in considerable disability or ultimately death. Therefore, in skin injuries, adequate dermal substitutes are among primary care targets, aimed at replacing the structural and functional properties of native skin. To date, there are very few single application tissue-engineered dermal constructs fulfilling this criterion. Silk produced by the domestic silkworm, Bombyx mori, has a long history of use in medicine. It has recently been increasingly investigated as a promising biomaterial for dermal constructs. Silk contains 2 fibrous proteins, sericin and fibroin. Each one exhibits unique mechanical and biological properties. Methods: Comprehensive review of randomized-controlled trials investigating current dermal constructs and the structures and properties of silk-based constructs on wound healing. Results: This review revealed that silk-fibroin is regarded as the most promising biomaterial, providing options for the construction of tissue-engineered skin. Conclusion: The research available indicates that silk fibroin is a suitable biomaterial scaffold for the provision of adequate dermal constructs. PMID:18997857

  3. Silk structure and degradation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bin; Song, Yu-wei; Jin, Li; Wang, Zhi-jian; Pu, De-yong; Lin, Shao-qiang; Zhou, Chan; You, Hua-jian; Ma, Yan; Li, Jin-min; Yang, Li; Sung, K L Paul; Zhang, Yao-guang

    2015-07-01

    To investigate the structure of silk and its degradation properties, we have monitored the structure of silk using scanning electron microscopy and frozen sections. Raw silk and degummed raw silk were immersed in four types of degradation solutions for 156 d to observe their degradation properties. The subcutaneous implants in rats were removed after 7, 14, 56, 84, 129, and 145 d for frozen sectioning and subsequent staining with hematoxylin and eosin (H.E.), DAPI, Beta-actin and Collagen I immunofluorescence staining. The in vitro weight loss ratio of raw silk and degummed raw silk in water, PBS, DMEM and DMEM containing 10% FBS (F-DMEM) were, respectively, 14%/11%, 12.5%/12.9%, 11.1%/14.3%, 8.8%/11.6%. Silk began to degrade after 7 d subcutaneous implantation and after 145 d non-degraded silk was still observed. These findings suggest the immunogenicity of fibroin and sericin had no essential difference. In the process of in vitro degradation of silk, the role of the enzyme is not significant. The in vivo degradation of silk is related to phagocytotic activity and fibroblasts may be involved in this process to secrete collagen. This study also shows the developing process of cocoons and raw silk. PMID:25982316

  4. Molecular Architecture and Evolution of a Modular Spider Silk Protein Gene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2000-02-01

    Spider flagelliform silk is one of the most elastic natural materials known. Extensive sequencing of spider silk genes has shown that the exons and introns of the flagelliform gene underwent intragenic concerted evolution. The intron sequences are more homogenized within a species than are the exons. This pattern can be explained by extreme mutation and recombination pressures on the internally repetitive exons. The iterated sequences within exons encode protein structures that are critical to the function of silks. Therefore, attributes that make silks exceptional biomaterials may also hinder the fixation of optimally adapted protein sequences.

  5. Structural Model for the Spider Silk Protein Spidroin-1.

    PubMed

    dos Santos-Pinto, José Roberto Aparecido; Arcuri, Helen Andrade; Priewalder, Helga; Salles, Heliana Clara; Palma, Mario Sergio; Lubec, Gert

    2015-09-01

    Most reports about the 3-D structure of spidroin-1 have been proposed for the protein in solid state or for individual domains of these proteins. A gel-based mass spectrometry strategy using collision-induced dissociation (CID) and electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) fragmentation methods was used to completely sequence spidroins-1A and -1B and to assign a series of post-translational modifications (PTMs) on to the spidroin sequences. A total of 15 and 16 phosphorylation sites were detected on spidroin-1A and -1B, respectively. In this work, we present the nearly complete amino acid sequence of spidroin-1A and -1B, including the nonrepetitive N- and C-terminal domains and a highly repetitive central core. We also described a fatty acid layer surrounding the protein fibers and PTMs in the sequences of spidroin-1A and -1B, including phosphorylation. Thus, molecular models for phosphorylated spidroins were proposed in the presence of a mixture fatty acids/water (1:1) and submitted to molecular dynamics simulation. The resulting models presented high content of coils, a higher percentage of α-helix, and an almost neglected content of 310-helix than the previous models. Knowledge of the complete structure of spidroins-1A and -1B would help to explain the mechanical features of silk fibers. The results of the current investigation provide a foundation for biophysical studies of the mechanoelastic properties of web-silk proteins. PMID:26211688

  6. An improvement in the attaching capability of cryopreserved human hepatocytes by a proteinaceous high molecule, sericin, in the serum-free solution.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Yoshitaka; Teramoto, Naozumi; Hayashi, Shuji; Enosawa, Shin

    2010-01-01

    The methodology of cryopreservation of human hepatocytes remains unsatisfactory. Even when the viability of thawed cells is tolerable, the cells often lose the attaching capability to a culture dish, resulting in the cells' inability to survive. Previously, we described the effectiveness of maltose on the attachment of hepatocytes. This article demonstrates that a silk-derived high molecular protein, sericin, improves the cell-attaching capability in the serum-free freezing medium. When human hepatocytes [initial viability: 60.9 ± 3.1% (mean ± SD, n = 3)] were frozen with serum-free Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium (DMEM) containing 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), the viability was 29.4 ± 3.2% and the cell-attaching capability 20.4 ± 4.1%. On the other hand, DMEM containing 10% DMSO and 1% sericin increased the values to 45.0 ± 0.8% and 26.2 ± 3.2%. Moreover, the addition of 0.1 mol/L maltose to the sericin-containing medium improved to 42.2 ± 3.2% and 51.1 ± 1.0%, as we demonstrated in a previous report. The present results indicated that sericin combined with maltose is a novel additive in the serum-free freezing medium for human hepatocytes. PMID:20525438

  7. Hierarchical structures made of proteins. The complex architecture of spider webs and their constituent silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Heim, Markus; Römer, Lin; Scheibel, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Biopolymers fulfil a variety of different functions in nature. They conduct various processes inside and outside cells and organisms, with a functionality ranging from storage of information to stabilization, protection, shaping, transport, cellular division, or movement of whole organisms. Within the plethora of biopolymers, the most sophisticated group is of proteinaceous origin: the cytoskeleton of a cell is made of protein filaments that aid in pivotal processes like intracellular transport, movement, and cell division; geckos use a distinct arrangement of keratin-like filaments on their toes which enable them to walk up smooth surfaces, such as walls, and even upside down across ceilings; and spiders spin silks that are extra-corporally used for protection of offspring and construction of complex prey traps. The following tutorial review describes the hierarchical organization of protein fibers, using spider dragline silk as an example. The properties of a dragline silk thread originate from the strictly controlled assembly of the underlying protein chains. The assembly procedure leads to protein fibers showing a complex hierarchical organization comprising three different structural phases. This structural organization is responsible for the outstanding mechanical properties of individual fibers, which out-compete even those of high-performance artificial fibers like Kevlar. Web-weaving spiders produce, in addition to dragline silk, other silks with distinct properties, based on slightly variant constituent proteins--a feature that allows construction of highly sophisticated spider webs with well designed architectures and with optimal mechanical properties for catching prey. PMID:20023846

  8. Genome editing of BmFib-H gene provides an empty Bombyx mori silk gland for a highly efficient bioreactor.

    PubMed

    Ma, Sanyuan; Shi, Run; Wang, Xiaogang; Liu, Yuanyuan; Chang, Jiasong; Gao, Jie; Lu, Wei; Zhang, Jianduo; Zhao, Ping; Xia, Qingyou

    2014-01-01

    Evolution has produced some remarkable creatures, of which silk gland is a fascinating organ that exists in a variety of insects and almost half of the 34,000 spider species. The impressive ability to secrete huge amount of pure silk protein, and to store proteins at an extremely high concentration (up to 25%) make the silk gland of Bombyx mori hold great promise to be a cost-effective platform for production of recombinant proteins. However, the extremely low production yields of the numerous reported expression systems greatly hindered the exploration and application of silk gland bioreactors. Using customized zinc finger nucleases (ZFN), we successfully performed genome editing of Bmfib-H gene, which encodes the largest and most abundant silk protein, in B. mori with efficiency higher than any previously reported. The resulted Bmfib-H knocked-out B. mori showed a smaller and empty silk gland, abnormally developed posterior silk gland cells, an extremely thin cocoon that contain only sericin proteins, and a slightly heavier pupae. We also showed that removal of endogenous Bmfib-H protein could significantly increase the expression level of exogenous protein. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the bioreactor is suitable for large scale production of protein-based materials. PMID:25359576

  9. Genome editing of BmFib-H gene provides an empty Bombyx mori silk gland for a highly efficient bioreactor

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Sanyuan; Shi, Run; Wang, Xiaogang; Liu, Yuanyuan; Chang, Jiasong; Gao, Jie; Lu, Wei; Zhang, Jianduo; Zhao, Ping; Xia, Qingyou

    2014-01-01

    Evolution has produced some remarkable creatures, of which silk gland is a fascinating organ that exists in a variety of insects and almost half of the 34,000 spider species. The impressive ability to secrete huge amount of pure silk protein, and to store proteins at an extremely high concentration (up to 25%) make the silk gland of Bombyx mori hold great promise to be a cost-effective platform for production of recombinant proteins. However, the extremely low production yields of the numerous reported expression systems greatly hindered the exploration and application of silk gland bioreactors. Using customized zinc finger nucleases (ZFN), we successfully performed genome editing of Bmfib-H gene, which encodes the largest and most abundant silk protein, in B. mori with efficiency higher than any previously reported. The resulted Bmfib-H knocked-out B. mori showed a smaller and empty silk gland, abnormally developed posterior silk gland cells, an extremely thin cocoon that contain only sericin proteins, and a slightly heavier pupae. We also showed that removal of endogenous Bmfib-H protein could significantly increase the expression level of exogenous protein. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the bioreactor is suitable for large scale production of protein-based materials. PMID:25359576

  10. Dragline silk: a fiber assembled with low-molecular-weight cysteine-rich proteins.

    PubMed

    Pham, Thanh; Chuang, Tyler; Lin, Albert; Joo, Hyun; Tsai, Jerry; Crawford, Taylor; Zhao, Liang; Williams, Caroline; Hsia, Yang; Vierra, Craig

    2014-11-10

    Dragline silk has been proposed to contain two main protein constituents, MaSp1 and MaSp2. However, the mechanical properties of synthetic spider silks spun from recombinant MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins have yet to approach natural fibers, implying the natural spinning dope is missing critical factors. Here we report the discovery of novel molecular constituents within the spinning dope that are extruded into dragline silk. Protein studies of the liquid spinning dope from the major ampullate gland, coupled with the analysis of dragline silk fibers using mass spectrometry, demonstrate the presence of a new family of low-molecular-weight cysteine-rich proteins (CRPs) that colocalize with the MA fibroins. Expression of the CRP family members is linked to dragline silk production, specifically MaSp1 and MaSp2 mRNA synthesis. Biochemical data support that CRP molecules are secreted into the spinning dope and assembled into macromolecular complexes via disulfide bond linkages. Sequence analysis supports that CRP molecules share similarities to members that belong to the cystine slipknot superfamily, suggesting that these factors may have evolved to increase fiber toughness by serving as molecular hubs that dissipate large amounts of energy under stress. Collectively, our findings provide molecular details about the components of dragline silk, providing new insight that will advance materials development of synthetic spider silk for industrial applications. PMID:25259849

  11. Review the role of terminal domains during storage and assembly of spider silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Eisoldt, Lukas; Thamm, Christopher; Scheibel, Thomas

    2012-06-01

    Fibrous proteins in nature fulfill a wide variety of functions in different structures ranging from cellular scaffolds to very resilient structures like tendons and even extra-corporal fibers such as silks in spider webs or silkworm cocoons. Despite their different origins and sequence varieties many of these fibrous proteins share a common building principle: they consist of a large repetitive core domain flanked by relatively small non-repetitive terminal domains. Amongst protein fibers, spider dragline silk shows prominent mechanical properties that exceed those of man-made fibers like Kevlar. Spider silk fibers assemble in a spinning process allowing the transformation from an aqueous solution into a solid fiber within milliseconds. Here, we highlight the role of the non-repetitive terminal domains of spider dragline silk proteins during storage in the gland and initiation of the fiber assembly process. PMID:22057429

  12. Design and Fabrication of Multifunctional Sericin Nanoparticles for Tumor Targeting and pH-Responsive Subcellular Delivery of Cancer Chemotherapy Drugs.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lei; Tao, Kaixiong; Liu, Jia; Qi, Chao; Xu, Luming; Chang, Panpan; Gao, Jinbo; Shuai, Xiaoming; Wang, Guobin; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2016-03-16

    The severe cytotoxicity of cancer chemotherapy drugs limits their clinical applications. Various protein-based nanoparticles with good biocompatibility have been developed for chemotherapy drug delivery in hope of reducing drugs' side effects. Sericin, a natural protein from silk, has no immunogenicity and possesses diverse bioactivities that have prompted sericin's application studies. However, the potential of sericin as a multifunctional nanoscale vehicle for cancer therapy have not been fully explored. Here we report the successful fabrication and characterization of folate-conjugated sericin nanoparticles with cancer-targeting capability for pH-responsive release of doxorubicin (these nanoparticles are termed "FA-SND"). DOX is covalently linked to sericin through pH-sensitive hydrazone bonds that render a pH-triggered release property. The hydrophobicity of DOX and the hydrophilicity of sericin promote the self-assembly of sericin-DOX (SND) nanoconjugates. Folate (FA) is then covalently grafted to SND nanoconjugates as a binding unit for actively targeting cancer cells that overexpress folate receptors. Our characterization study shows that FA-SND nanoparticles exhibit negative surface charges that would reduce nonspecific clearance by circulation. These nanoparticles possess good cytotoxicity and hemocompatibiliy. Acidic environment (pH 5.0) triggers effective DOX release from FA-SND, 5-fold higher than does a neutral condition (pH 7.4). Further, FA-SND nanoparticles specifically target folate-receptor-rich KB cells, and endocytosed into lysosomes, an acidic organelle. The acidic microenvironment of lysosomes promotes a rapid release of DOX to nuclei, producing cancer specific chemo-cytotoxicity. Thus, FA-mediated cancer targeting and lysosomal-acidity promoting DOX release, two sequentially-occurring cellular events triggered by the designed components of FA-SND, form the basis for FA-SND to achieve its localized and intracellular chemo-cytotoxicity. Together, this study suggests that these FA-SND nanoparticles may be a potentially effective carrier particularly useful for delivering hydrophobic chemotherapeutic agents for treating cancers with high-level expression of folate receptors. PMID:26855027

  13. Properties and antityrosinase activity of sericin from various extraction methods.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Damrongsakkul, Siriporn; Kanokpanont, Sorada; Srichana, Teerapol

    2010-02-01

    The present study investigated the chemical properties and antityrosinase activities of SS (silk sericin) extracted from different Thai silk strains via various extraction methods. Different silk strains contain distinct SS with various amino acid compositions, which are significantly influenced by the extraction method used. Urea extraction of SS was the only method that provided clearly distinguishable bands and had the most significant impact on SS conformation as illustrated by FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared) spectra. The use of urea or either acidic or alkaline chemicals in the extraction process also influenced SS thermal behaviour. With regard to biological activity, SS extracted using urea exhibited the highest antityrosinase activity, whereas alkali-degraded SS showed no inhibition of mushroom tyrosinase. Pigments, primarily flavonoids and carotenoids from silk cocoons, were also found to enhance tyrosinase inhibition of SS. PMID:20055756

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Background 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. Objective To identify and compare the magnitude of silk allergen sensitization in workers of silk filatures. Methods 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. Results 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). Conclusion There is high burden of silk allergen sensitization among silk filature workers. PMID:27141481

  15. Processing of recombinant spider silk proteins into tailor-made materials for biomaterials applications.

    PubMed

    Schacht, Kristin; Scheibel, Thomas

    2014-10-01

    Spider silk has extraordinary mechanical properties, is biocompatible and biodegradable, and therefore an ideal material for biomedical applications. However, a drawback for any application is the inhomogeneity of spider silk, as seen for other natural materials, as well as the low availability due to the cannibalism of most spiders. Recently, developed recombinant spider silk proteins ensure constant material properties, as well as scalable production, and further the processing into morphologies other than fibres. Biotechnology enables genetic modification, broadening the range of applications, such as implant coatings, scaffolds for tissue engineering, wound dressing devices as well as drug delivery systems. PMID:24657706

  16. Brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus) major ampullate silk protein and its material properties.

    PubMed

    Motriuk-Smith, Dagmara; Lewis, Randolph V

    2004-01-01

    Major ampullate (dragline) silk is the main web component as well as the silk that spiders use for a lifeline when they fall. This silk has a breaking stress of 4.6 GPa, which is similar to that of Kevlar. The majority of the previous mechanical testing studies involved the major ampullate silk from orb-weaving spiders. To date, there have been no reports on dragline silk mechanical properties from a cob-weaver, brown widow Latrodectus geometricus. L. geometricus dragline was found to be composed of MaSp1, MaSp2, and MaSp-like proteins all of which have highly conserved amino acid motifs, especially the GGX, GA and poly A for MaSp1 and GPGGX and poly A for MaSp2. These sequences are the same as those found in the silks of orb-weaving spiders. To determine if protein sequences influence the material properties of the silk, mechanical testing was performed on single strands of silk fibers from adult female L. geometricus spiders. The 3 cm long silk fibers were tested for breaking stress and strain with a MTS Synergie 100 mechanical testing system using a 50 g load cell with the cross-head speed set at 10 mm/min. The breaking stress and strain were measured for 20 replicate samples and averaged. The values of 0.83 +/- 0.19 GPa for stress and 0.14 +/- 0.06 for strain shows that brown widow dragline is weaker than the orb-weaving spiders. PMID:15133936

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26674175

  18. Synthesis and study of sericin-g-PLA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saetae, S.; Magaraphan, R.

    2015-05-01

    In this paper we present an experiment for bulk synthesis of the sericin-g-PLA by using Sn(Oct)2 as catalyst and study the effect of Thai silk cocoon species (Dok Bua, Luang Pirote, Nang Noi and Nang Lai) on properties of the sericin-g-PLA. We investigated the chemical structure of the grafted copolymers by using FTIR and GPC. Moreover, the grafting percentage was determined by soxhlet extaction. The IR spectra of extracted sample showed peaks at 1188 and 1215 cm-1 that assigned to the symmetric C-O-C stretching modes of the ester group. The methyl rocking stretching and C-CH3 vibration of polylactide appeared at 1130 and 1045 cm-1, respectively. The peak positioned 3440 cm-1 belonged to the hydroxyl group and the amino group of sericin which became less after polymerized with lactide. These evidences suggested that the lactide was reacted with sericin. Also, the molecular weight of the grafted copolymers were in range from 5.2 to 6.1 kg/mole. And Nang Lai-g-PLA showed the highest grafting percentage of the grafted copolymers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  20. Bio-inspired Silicification of Silica-binding Peptide-Silk Protein Chimeras: Comparison of Chemically and Genetically Produced Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Canabady-Rochelle, Laetitia L.S.; Belton, David J.; Deschaume, Olivier; Currie, Heather A.; Kaplan, David L.; Perry, Carole C.

    2012-01-01

    Novel protein chimeras constituted of ‘silk’ and a silica-binding peptide (KSLSRHDHIHHH) were synthesized by genetic or chemical approaches and their influence on silica-silk based chimera composite formation evaluated. Genetic chimeras were constructed from 6 or 15 repeats of the 32 amino acid consensus sequence of Nephila clavipes spider silk ([SGRGGLGGQG AGAAAAAGGA GQGGYGGLGSQG]n) to which one silica binding peptide was fused at the N terminus. For the chemical chimera, 25 equivalents of the silica binding peptide were chemically coupled to natural Bombyx mori silk after modification of tyrosine groups by diazonium coupling and EDC/NHS activation of all acid groups. After silica formation under mild, biomaterial compatible conditions the effect of peptide addition on the properties of the silk and chimeric silk-silica composite materials was explored. The composite biomaterial properties could be related to the extent of silica condensation and to the higher number of silica binding sites in the chemical chimera as compared to the genetically derived variants. In all cases, the structure of the protein / chimera in solution dictated the type of composite structure that formed with the silica deposition process having little effect on the secondary structural composition of the silk based materials. Similarly to our study of genetic silk based chimeras containing the R5 peptide (SSKKSGSYSGSKGSKRRIL), the role of the chimeras (genetic and chemical) used in the present study resided more in aggregation and scaffolding than in the catalysis of condensation. The variables of peptide identity, silk construct (number of consensus repeats or silk source) and approach to synthesis (genetic or chemical) can be used to ‘tune’ the properties of the composite materials formed and is a general approach which can be used to prepare a range of materials for biomedical and sensor based applications. PMID:22229696

  1. Functional Material Features of Bombyx mori Silk Light vs. Heavy Chain Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Zafar, Muhammad S.; Belton, David J.; Hanby, Benjamin; Kaplan, David L.; Perry, Carole C.

    2016-01-01

    Bombyx mori (BM) silk fibroin is composed of two different subunits; heavy chain and light chain fibroin linked by a covalent disulphide bond. Current methods of separating the two silk fractions is complicated and produces inadequate quantities of the isolated components for the study of the individual light and heavy chain silks with respect to new materials. We report a simple method of separating silk fractions using formic acid. The formic acid treatment partially releases predominately the light chain fragment (soluble fraction) and then the soluble fraction and insoluble fractions can be converted into new materials. The regenerated original (total) silk fibroin and the separated fractions (soluble vs. insoluble) had different molecular weights and showed distinctive pH stabilities against aggregation/precipitation based on particle charging. All silk fractions could be electrospun to give fibre mats with viscosity of the regenerated fractions being the controlling factor for successful electrospinning. The silk fractions could be mixed to give blends with different proportions of the two fractions to modify the diameter and uniformity of the electrospun fibres formed. The soluble fraction containing the light chain was able to modify the viscosity by thinning the insoluble fraction containing heavy chain fragments, perhaps analogous to its role in natural fibre formation where the light chain provides increased mobility and the heavy chain producing shear thickening effects. The simplicity of this new separation method should enable access to these different silk protein fractions and accelerate the identification of methods, modifications and potential applications of these materials in biomedical and industrial applications. PMID:25565556

  2. Functional material features of Bombyx mori silk light versus heavy chain proteins.

    PubMed

    Zafar, Muhammad S; Belton, David J; Hanby, Benjamin; Kaplan, David L; Perry, Carole C

    2015-02-01

    Bombyx mori (BM) silk fibroin is composed of two different subunits: heavy chain and light chain fibroin linked by a covalent disulfide bond. Current methods of separating the two silk fractions is complicated and produces inadequate quantities of the isolated components for the study of the individual light and heavy chain silks with respect to new materials. We report a simple method of separating silk fractions using formic acid. The formic acid treatment partially releases predominately the light chain fragment (soluble fraction) and then the soluble fraction and insoluble fractions can be converted into new materials. The regenerated original (total) silk fibroin and the separated fractions (soluble vs insoluble) had different molecular weights and showed distinctive pH stabilities against aggregation/precipitation based on particle charging. All silk fractions could be electrospun to give fiber mats with viscosity of the regenerated fractions being the controlling factor for successful electrospinning. The silk fractions could be mixed to give blends with different proportions of the two fractions to modify the diameter and uniformity of the electrospun fibers formed. The soluble fraction containing the light chain was able to modify the viscosity by thinning the insoluble fraction containing heavy chain fragments, perhaps analogous to its role in natural fiber formation where the light chain provides increased mobility and the heavy chain producing shear thickening effects. The simplicity of this new separation method should enable access to these different silk protein fractions and accelerate the identification of methods, modifications, and potential applications of these materials in biomedical and industrial applications. PMID:25565556

  3. Influence of silk-silica fusion protein design on silica condensation in vitro and cellular calcification

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Biomaterial design via genetic engineering can be utilized for the rational functionalization of proteins to promote biomaterial integration and tissue regeneration. Spider silk has been extensively studied for its biocompatibility, biodegradability and extraordinary material properties. As a protein-based biomaterial, recombinant DNA derived derivatives of spider silks have been modified with biomineralization domains which lead to silica deposition and potentially accelerated bone regeneration. However, the influence of the location of the R5 (SSKKSGSYSGSKGSKRRIL) silicifying domain fused with the spider silk protein sequence on the biosilicification process remains to be determined. Here we designed two silk-R5 fusion proteins that differed in the location of the R5 peptide, C- vs. N-terminus, where the spider silk domain consisted of a 15mer repeat of a 33 amino acid consensus sequence of the major ampullate dragline Spidroin 1 from Nephila clavipes (SGRGGLGGQG AGAAAAAGGA GQGGYGGLGSQGT). The chemical, physical and silica deposition properties of these recombinant proteins were assessed and compared to a silk 15mer control without the R5 present. The location of the R5 peptide did not have a significant effect on wettability and surface energies, while the C-terminal location of the R5 promoted more controlled silica precipitation, suggesting differences in protein folding and possibly different access to charged amino acids that drive the silicification process. Further, cell compatibility in vitro, as well as the ability to promote human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) differentiation were demonstrated for both variants of the fusion proteins. PMID:26989487

  4. A protocol for the production of recombinant spider silk-like proteins for artificial fiber spinning

    PubMed Central

    Teulé, Florence; Cooper, Alyssa R; Furin, William A; Bittencourt, Daniela; Rech, Elibio L; Brooks, Amanda; Lewis, Randolph V

    2009-01-01

    The extreme strength and elasticity of spider silks originate from the modular nature of their repetitive proteins. To exploit such materials and mimic spider silks, comprehensive strategies to produce and spin recombinant fibrous proteins are necessary. This protocol describes silk gene design and cloning, protein expression in bacteria, recombinant protein purification and fiber formation. With an improved gene construction and cloning scheme, this technique is adaptable for the production of any repetitive fibrous proteins, and ensures the exact reproduction of native repeat sequences, analogs or chimeric versions. The proteins are solubilized in 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP) at 25–30% (wt/vol) for extrusion into fibers. This protocol, routinely used to spin single micrometer-size fibers from several recombinant silk-like proteins from different spider species, is a powerful tool to generate protein libraries with corresponding fibers for structure–function relationship investigations in protein-based biomaterials. This protocol may be completed in 40 d. PMID:19229199

  5. Rheology of reconstituted silk fibroin protein gels: the epitome of extreme mechanics.

    PubMed

    Tabatabai, A Pasha; Kaplan, David L; Blair, Daniel L

    2015-01-28

    In nature, silk fibroin proteins assemble into hierarchical structures with dramatic mechanical properties. With the hope of creating new classes of on demand silk-based biomaterials, Bombyx mori silk is reconstituted back into stable aqueous solutions that can be reassembled into functionalized materials; one strategy for reassembly is electrogelation. Electrogels (e-gels) are particularly versatile and can be produced using electrolysis with small DC electric fields. We characterize the linear and nonlinear rheological behavior of e-gels to provide fundamental insights into these distinct protein-based materials. We observe that e-gels form robust biopolymer networks that exhibit distinctive strain hardening and are recoverable from strains as large as γ=27, i.e. 2700%. We propose a simple microscopic model that is consistent with local restructuring of single proteins within the e-gel network. PMID:25489795

  6. Construction of a binary transgenic gene expression system for recombinant protein production in the middle silk gland of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Tatematsu, Ken-ichiro; Kobayashi, Isao; Uchino, Keiro; Sezutsu, Hideki; Iizuka, Tetsuya; Yonemura, Naoyuki; Tamura, Toshiki

    2010-06-01

    To construct an efficient system for the production of recombinant proteins in silkworm (Bombyx mori), we investigated the promoter activity of the silkworm sericin 1, 2, and 3 genes (Ser1, Ser2, and Ser3) using a GAL4/UAS binary gene expression system in transgenic silkworm. The promoter activity of the upstream region of Ser1 was strong, yielding high expression of an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgene in the middle and posterior regions of the middle silk gland (MSG) after day 2 of the fifth instar. The Ser3 upstream region exhibited moderate promoter activity in the anterior MSG, but the Ser2 upstream region did not exhibit any promoter activity. Since the strongest promoter activity was observed for Ser1, we devised a system for the production of recombinant proteins using a GAL4-Ser1 promoter construct (Ser1-GAL4). Transgenic silkworms harboring both the Ser1-GAL4 construct and the previously reported upstream activating sequence (UAS)-EGFP construct, which contains the TATA box region of the Drosophila hsp70 gene, yielded approximately 100 microg EGFP per larva. When we then analyzed the TATA box region, signal peptide, and intron sequences for their effects on production from the UAS-EGFP construct, we found that the optimization of these sequences effectively increased production to an average of 500 microg EGFP protein per transgenic larva. We conclude that this binary system is a useful tool for the mass production of recombinant proteins of biomedical and pharmaceutical interest in silkworm. PMID:19789990

  7. Charge-Tunable Silk-Tropoelastin Protein Alloys That Control Neuron Cell Responses

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiao; Tang-Schomer, Min D.; Huang, Wenwen; Xia, Xiao-Xia; Weiss, Anthony S.

    2014-01-01

    Tunable protein composites are important for constructing extracellular matrix mimics of human tissues with control of biochemical, structural, and mechanical properties. Molecular interaction mechanisms between silk fibroin protein and recombinant human tropoelastin, based on charge, are utilized to generate a new group of multifunctional protein alloys (mixtures of silk and tropoelastin) with different net charges. These new biomaterials are then utilized as a biomaterial platform to control neuron cell response. With a +38 net charge in water, tropoelastin molecules provide extraordinary elasticity and selective interactions with cell surface integrins. In contrast, negatively charged silk fibroin protein (net charge ?36) provides remarkable toughness and stiffness with morphologic stability in material formats via autoclaving-induced beta-sheet crystal physical crosslinks. The combination of these properties in alloy format extends the versatility of both structural proteins, providing a new biomaterial platform. The alloys with weak positive charges (silk/tropoelastin mass ratio 75/25, net charge around +16) significantly improved the formation of neuronal networks and maintained cell viability of rat cortical neurons after 10 days in vitro. The data point to these protein alloys as an alternative to commonly used poly-L-lysine (PLL) coatings or other charged synthetic polymers, particularly with regard to the versatility of material formats (e.g., gels, sponges, films, fibers). The results also provide a practical example of physically designed protein materials with control of net charge to direct biological outcomes, in this case for neuronal tissue engineering. PMID:25093018

  8. Microphase Separation Controlled Beta Sheet Crystallization Kinetics in Silk Fibroin Protein.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao; Lu, Qiang; Kaplan, David; Cebe, Peggy

    2009-03-01

    We investigate the mechanism of isothermal crystallization kinetics of beta-sheet crystals in silk multiblock fibrous proteins. The Avrami analysis kinetic theory, for studies of synthetic polymer crystal growth, is for the first time extended to investigate protein self-assembly in beta-sheet rich Bombyx mori silk fibroin samples, using time-resolved Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and synchrotron real-time wide-angle X-ray scattering. Results indicate formation of beta sheet crystals in silk proteins is different from the 3-D spherulitic crystal growth found in synthetic homopolymers. Observations by scanning electron microscopy support the view that the protein structures vary during the different stages of crystal growth, and show a microphase separation pattern after chymotrypsin enzyme biodegradation. We present a model to explain the crystallization of the multiblock silk fibroin protein, by analogy to synthetic block copolymers. This model could be widely applicable in other proteins with multiblock (i.e., crystallizable and non-crystallizable) domains.

  9. Reducing blood glucose levels in TIDM mice with an orally administered extract of sericin from hIGF-I-transgenic silkworm cocoons.

    PubMed

    Song, Zuowei; Zhang, Mengyao; Xue, Renyu; Cao, Guangli; Gong, Chengliang

    2014-05-01

    In previous studies, we reported that the blood glucose levels of mice with type I diabetes mellitus (TIDM) was reduced with orally administered silk gland powder from silkworms transgenic for human insulin-like growth factor-I (hIGF-I). However, potential safety hazards could not be eliminated because the transgenic silk gland powder contained heterologous DNA, including the green fluorescent protein (gfp) and neomycin resistance (neo) genes. These shortcomings might be overcome if the recombinant hIGF-I were secreted into the sericin layer of the cocoon. In this study, silkworm eggs were transfected with a novel piggyBac transposon vector, pigA3GFP-serHS-hIGF-I-neo, containing the neo, gfp, and hIGF-I genes controlled by the sericin-1 (ser-1) promoter with the signal peptide DNA sequence of the fibrin heavy chain (Fib-H) and a helper plasmid containing the piggyBac transposase sequence under the control of the Bombyx mori actin 3 (A3) promoter, using sperm-mediated gene transfer to generate the transformed silkworms. The hIGF-I content estimated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was approximately 162.7 ng/g. To estimate the biological activity of the expressed hIGF-I, streptozotocin-induced TIDM mice were orally administered sericin from the transgenic silkworm. The blood glucose levels of the mice were significantly reduced, suggesting that the extract from the transgenic hIGF-I silkworm cocoons can be used as an orally administered drug. PMID:24632065

  10. Protein composition of silk filaments spun under water by caddisfly larvae.

    PubMed

    Yonemura, Naoyuki; Sehnal, Frantisek; Mita, Kazuei; Tamura, Toshiki

    2006-12-01

    Silk fiber produced by the larvae of Trichoptera (caddisflies) and Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) is composed of two filaments embedded in a layer of glue proteins. In an aerial environment Lepidoptera spin silk filaments assembled from heavy chain fibroin (H-fibroin), light chain fibroin (L-fibroin), and the glycoprotein P25. The silk filament of caddisflies, which is produced and persists in water, contained homologues of H-fibroin (>500 kDa) and L-fibroin (25 kDa) but not of P25. The amphiphilic nature of H-fibroin and its high content of charged amino acids probably facilitate the secretion and storage of a covalently linked L-fibroin/H-fibroin dimer in the absence of P25. Several types of short amino acid motifs were arranged in orderly fashion in the regularly reiterated repeats that made up more than 95% of the length of H-fibroin. The H-fibroins of Hydropsyche angustipennis and Limnephilus decipiens from different caddisfly suborders contained GPXGX, SXSXSXSX, and GGX motifs such as the lepidopteran and spider silks but differed from them by a lack of poly(A) and poly(GA) motifs. H-fibroins of both caddisfly species harbored a conserved repeat of 31 residues but were distinguished by a few species-specific motifs and their organization in higher order repeats. Structural differences may be related to the silk function as a catching net in H. angustipennis and a stitching fiber in L. decipiens. PMID:17154465

  11. Functionalized silk assembled from a recombinant spider silk fusion protein (Z-4RepCT) produced in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Jansson, Ronnie; Lau, Cheuk H; Ishida, Takuya; Ramström, Margareta; Sandgren, Mats; Hedhammar, My

    2016-05-01

    Functional biological materials are a growing research area with potential applicability in medicine and biotechnology. Using genetic engineering, the possibility to introduce additional functions into spider silk-based materials has been realized. Recently, a recombinant spider silk fusion protein, Z-4RepCT, was produced intracellularly in Escherichia coli and could after purification self-assemble into silk-like fibers with ability to bind antibodies via the IgG-binding Z domain. In this study, the use of the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris for production of Z-4RepCT has been investigated. Temperature, pH and production time were influencing the amount of soluble Z-4RepCT retrieved from the extracellular fraction. Purification of secreted Z-4RepCT resulted in a mixture of full-length and degraded silk proteins that failed to self-assemble into fibers. A position in the C-terminal domain of 4RepCT was identified as being subjected to proteolytic cleavage by proteases in the Pichia culture supernatant. Moreover, the C-terminal domain was subjected to glycosylation during production in P. pastoris. These observed alterations of the CT domain are suggested to contribute to the failure in fiber assembly. As alternative approach, Z-4RepCT retrieved from the intracellular fraction, which was less degraded, was used and shown to retain ability to assemble into silk-like fibers after enzymatic deglycosylation. PMID:26814048

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. Reinforcing Silk Scaffolds with Silk Particles

    PubMed Central

    Rajkhowa, Rangam; Gil, Eun Seok; Kluge, Jonathan; Numata, Keiji; Wang, Lijing; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibroin is a useful protein polymer for biomaterials and tissue engineering. In this work, porogen leached scaffolds prepared from aqueous and HFIP silk solutions were reinforced through the addition of silk particles. This led to about 40 times increase in the specific compressive modulus and the yield strength of HFIP-based scaffolds. This increase in mechanical properties resulted from the high interfacial cohesion between the silk matrix and the reinforcing silk particles, due to partial solubility of the silk particles in HFIP. The porosity of scaffolds was reduced from ≈90% (control) to ≈75% for the HFIP systems containing 200% particle reinforcement, while maintaining pore interconnectivity. The presence of the particles slowed the enzymatic degradation of silk scaffolds. PMID:20166230

  14. A new estimation of the total flavonoids in silkworm cocoon sericin layer through aglycone determination by hydrolysis-assisted extraction and HPLC-DAD analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jin-Ge; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2016-01-01

    Background Silk sericin and a few non-protein components isolated from the cocoon layer including two silk proteins in silkworm Bombyx mori has many bioactivities. The dietary sericin possess antinatural oxidation, anticancer, antihyperlipidemic, and antidiabetic activities. The non-protein components surrounding the sericin layer involve in wax, pigments mainly meaning flavonoids, sugars, and other impurities. However, very few investigations have reported the estimation of the total flavonoids derived from the cocoon layer. The flavonoids are commonly present in their glycosylated forms and mostly exist as quercetin glycosides in the sericin layers of silkworm cocoons. Objective The aim of this study was to find a more accurate method to estimate the level of the total flavonoids in silkworm cocoons. Design An efficient procedure of hydrolysis-assisted extraction (HAE) was first established to estimate the level of the total flavonoids through the determination of their aglycones, quercetin, and kaempferol. Then, a comparison was made between traditional colorimetric method and our method. In addition, the antioxidant activities of hydrolysis-assisted extract sample were determined. Results The average contents of quercetin and kaempferol were 1.98 and 0.42 mg/g in Daizo cocoon. Their recoveries were 99.56 and 99.17%. The total sum of quercetin and kaempferol was detected to be 2.40±0.07 mg/g by HAE-HPLC, while the total flavonoids (2.59±0.48 mg/g) estimated by the traditional colorimetric method were only equivalent to 1.28±0.04 mg/g of quercetin. The HAE sample also exhibits that IC50 values of scavenging ability of diphenyl picryl hydrazinyl (DPPH) radical and hydroxyl radical (HO·) are 243.63 µg/mL and 4.89 mg/mL, respectively. Conclusions These results show that the HAE-HPLC method is specificity of cocoon and far superior to the colorimetric method. Therefore, this study has profound significance for the comprehensive utilization of silkworm cocoon and also may be applied to the estimation of total flavonoids in other functional foods. PMID:26979318

  15. Protein unfolding versus ?-sheet separation in spider silk nanocrystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alam, Parvez

    2014-03-01

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

  16. Potential mode of protection of silkworm pupae from environmental stress by harboring the bacterial biofilm on the surfaces of silk cocoons.

    PubMed

    Halder, Pranab K; Naskar, Deboki; Kumar, Akash; Yao, Juming; Kundu, Subhas C; Ghosh, Anindya S

    2015-02-01

    The silkworm forms cocoon to protect its pupa that survives for months inside the cocoon without being affected by various environmental stresses. To understand the possible mode of pupal survival within the cocoon encasement, we investigate the cause that protects the cocoon. During the end of the spinning process, we have isolated different bacterial species from the cocoon surface. These are identified using molecular techniques and checked for their abilities to form biofilm in vitro. The bacteria are able to form biofilm either individually or in consortia. Of which, Bacillus and Erwinia species are prominent biofilm formers. Interestingly, these bacteria have the ability to form biofilm on the cocoon mimetic surface of the silk protein Sericin Hope that contains only sericin. The origin and the behavior of the bacteria lead us to hypothesize the possible role of biofilm layer on the cocoon surface, which provides protection from adverse environmental conditions. PMID:25292249

  17. Carbonization of a stable β-sheet-rich silk protein into a pseudographitic pyroprotein

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Se Youn; Yun, Young Soo; Lee, Sungho; Jang, Dawon; Park, Kyu-Young; Kim, Jae Kyung; Kim, Byung Hoon; Kang, Kisuk; Kaplan, David L.; Jin, Hyoung-Joon

    2015-01-01

    Silk proteins are of great interest to the scientific community owing to their unique mechanical properties and interesting biological functionality. In addition, the silk proteins are not burned out following heating, rather they are transformed into a carbonaceous solid, pyroprotein; several studies have identified potential carbon precursors for state-of-the-art technologies. However, no mechanism for the carbonization of proteins has yet been reported. Here we examine the structural and chemical changes of silk proteins systematically at temperatures above the onset of thermal degradation. We find that the β-sheet structure is transformed into an sp2-hybridized carbon hexagonal structure by simple heating to 350 °C. The pseudographitic crystalline layers grew to form highly ordered graphitic structures following further heating to 2,800 °C. Our results provide a mechanism for the thermal transition of the protein and demonstrate a potential strategy for designing pyroproteins using a clean system with a catalyst-free aqueous wet process for in vivo applications. PMID:25990218

  18. Carbonization of a stable β-sheet-rich silk protein into a pseudographitic pyroprotein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Se Youn; Yun, Young Soo; Lee, Sungho; Jang, Dawon; Park, Kyu-Young; Kim, Jae Kyung; Kim, Byung Hoon; Kang, Kisuk; Kaplan, David L.; Jin, Hyoung-Joon

    2015-05-01

    Silk proteins are of great interest to the scientific community owing to their unique mechanical properties and interesting biological functionality. In addition, the silk proteins are not burned out following heating, rather they are transformed into a carbonaceous solid, pyroprotein; several studies have identified potential carbon precursors for state-of-the-art technologies. However, no mechanism for the carbonization of proteins has yet been reported. Here we examine the structural and chemical changes of silk proteins systematically at temperatures above the onset of thermal degradation. We find that the β-sheet structure is transformed into an sp2-hybridized carbon hexagonal structure by simple heating to 350 °C. The pseudographitic crystalline layers grew to form highly ordered graphitic structures following further heating to 2,800 °C. Our results provide a mechanism for the thermal transition of the protein and demonstrate a potential strategy for designing pyroproteins using a clean system with a catalyst-free aqueous wet process for in vivo applications.

  19. Carbonization of a stable β-sheet-rich silk protein into a pseudographitic pyroprotein.

    PubMed

    Cho, Se Youn; Yun, Young Soo; Lee, Sungho; Jang, Dawon; Park, Kyu-Young; Kim, Jae Kyung; Kim, Byung Hoon; Kang, Kisuk; Kaplan, David L; Jin, Hyoung-Joon

    2015-01-01

    Silk proteins are of great interest to the scientific community owing to their unique mechanical properties and interesting biological functionality. In addition, the silk proteins are not burned out following heating, rather they are transformed into a carbonaceous solid, pyroprotein; several studies have identified potential carbon precursors for state-of-the-art technologies. However, no mechanism for the carbonization of proteins has yet been reported. Here we examine the structural and chemical changes of silk proteins systematically at temperatures above the onset of thermal degradation. We find that the β-sheet structure is transformed into an sp(2)-hybridized carbon hexagonal structure by simple heating to 350 °C. The pseudographitic crystalline layers grew to form highly ordered graphitic structures following further heating to 2,800 °C. Our results provide a mechanism for the thermal transition of the protein and demonstrate a potential strategy for designing pyroproteins using a clean system with a catalyst-free aqueous wet process for in vivo applications. PMID:25990218

  20. Harnessing disorder: onychophorans use highly unstructured proteins, not silks, for prey capture.

    PubMed

    Haritos, Victoria S; Niranjane, Ajay; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Sutherland, Tara D

    2010-11-01

    Onychophora are ancient, carnivorous soft-bodied invertebrates which capture their prey in slime that originates from dedicated glands located on either side of the head. While the biochemical composition of the slime is known, its unusual nature and the mechanism of ensnaring thread formation have remained elusive. We have examined gene expression in the slime gland from an Australian onychophoran, Euperipatoides rowelli, and matched expressed sequence tags to separated proteins from the slime. The analysis revealed three categories of protein present: unique high-molecular-weight proline-rich proteins, and smaller concentrations of lectins and small peptides, the latter two likely to act as protease inhibitors and antimicrobial agents. The predominant proline-rich proteins (200 kDa+) are composed of tandem repeated motifs and distinguished by an unusually high proline and charged residue content. Unlike the highly structured proteins such as silks used for prey capture by spiders and insects, these proteins lack ordered secondary structure over their entire length. We propose that on expulsion of slime from the gland onto prey, evaporative water loss triggers a glass transition change in the protein solution, resulting in adhesive and enmeshing thread formation, assisted by cross-linking of complementary charged and hydrophobic regions of the protein. Euperipatoides rowelli has developed an entirely new method of capturing prey by harnessing disordered proteins rather than structured, silk-like proteins. PMID:20519222

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-25

    Hoxgenes play a pivotal role in the determination of anteroposterior axis specificity during bilaterian animal development. They do so by acting as a master control and regulating the expression of genes important for development. Recently, however, we showed thatHoxgenes can also function in terminally differentiated tissue of the lepidopteranBombyx mori In this species,Antennapedia(Antp) regulates expression ofsericin-1, a major silk protein gene, in the silk gland. Here, we investigated whetherAntpcan regulate expression of multiple genes in this tissue. By means of proteomic, RT-PCR, andin situhybridization analyses, we demonstrate that misexpression ofAntpin the posterior silk gland induced ectopic expression of major silk protein genes such assericin-3,fhxh4, andfhxh5 These genes are normally expressed specifically in the middle silk gland as isAntp Therefore, the evidence strongly suggests thatAntpactivates these silk protein genes in the middle silk gland. The putativesericin-1activator complex (middle silk gland-intermolt-specific complex) can bind to the upstream regions of these genes, suggesting thatAntpdirectly activates their expression. We also found that the pattern of gene expression was well conserved betweenB. moriand the wild speciesBombyx mandarina, indicating that the gene regulation mechanism identified here is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism and not an artifact of the domestication ofB. mori We suggest thatHoxgenes 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

  2. In vivo evaluation of matrix metalloproteinase responsive silk-elastinlike protein polymers for cancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Price, Robert; Poursaid, Azadeh; Cappello, Joseph; Ghandehari, Hamidreza

    2015-09-10

    Silk-elastinlike protein polymers (SELPs) have been effectively used as controlled release matrices for the delivery of viruses for cancer gene therapy in preclinical models. However, the degradability of these polymers needs to be tuned for improved localized intratumoral gene delivery. Using recombinant techniques, systematic modifications in distinct regions of the polymer backbone, namely, within the elastin blocks, silk blocks, and adjacent to silk and elastin blocks, have been made to impart sensitivity to specific matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) known to be overexpressed in the tumor environment. In this report we investigated the structure-function relationship of MMP-responsive SELPs for viral mediated gene therapy of head and neck cancer. These polymers showed significant degradation in vitro in the presence of MMPs. Their degradation rate was a function of the location of the MMP-responsive sequence in the polymer backbone when in hydrogel form. Treatment efficacy of the adenoviral vectors released from the MMP responsive SELP analogs in a xenograft mouse model of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) was shown to be polymer structure dependent. These results demonstrate the tunable nature of MMP-responsive SELPs for localized matrix-mediated gene delivery. PMID:26095079

  3. Activation of the ubiquitin proteasome pathway by silk fibroin modified chitosan nanoparticles in hepatic cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ming-Hui; Chung, Tze-Wen; Lu, Yi-Shan; Chen, Yi-Ling; Tsai, Wan-Chi; Jong, Shiang-Bin; Yuan, Shyng-Shiou; Liao, Pao-Chi; Lin, Po-Chiao; Tyan, Yu-Chang

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25588218

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

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ming-Hui; Chung, Tze-Wen; Lu, Yi-Shan; Chen, Yi-Ling; Tsai, Wan-Chi; Jong, Shiang-Bin; Yuan, Shyng-Shiou; Liao, Pao-Chi; Lin, Po-Chiao; Tyan, Yu-Chang

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25588218

  5. Silk as a Biomaterial

    PubMed Central

    Vepari, Charu

    2009-01-01

    Silks are fibrous proteins with remarkable mechanical properties produced in fiber form by silkworms and spiders. Silk fibers in the form of sutures have been used for centuries. Recently regenerated silk solutions have been used to form a variety of biomaterials, such as gels, sponges and films, for medical applications. Silks can be chemically modified through amino acid side chains to alter surface properties or to immobilize cellular growth factors. Molecular engineering of silk sequences has been used to modify silks with specific features, such as cell recognition or mineralization. The degradability of silk biomaterials can be related to the mode of processing and the corresponding content of beta sheet crystallinity. Several primary cells and cell lines have been successfully grown on different silk biomaterials to demonstrate a range of biological outcomes. Silk biomaterials are biocompatible when studied in vitro and in vivo. Silk scaffolds have been successfully used in wound healing and in tissue engineering of bone, cartilage, tendon and ligament tissues. PMID:19543442

  6. Autoclaving as a chemical-free process to stabilize recombinant silk-elastinlike protein polymer nanofibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Weiguo; Cappello, Joseph; Wu, Xiaoyi

    2011-06-01

    We report here that autoclaving is a chemical-free, physical crosslinking strategy capable of stabilizing electrospun recombinant silk-elastinlike protein (SELP) polymer nanofibers. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed that the autoclaving of SELP nanofibers induced a conformational conversion of β-turns and unordered structures to ordered β-sheets. Tensile stress-strain analysis of the autoclaved SELP nanofibrous scaffolds in phosphate buffered saline at 37 °C revealed a Young's modulus of 1.02 ± 0.28 MPa, an ultimate tensile strength of 0.34 ± 0.04 MPa, and a strain at failure of 29% ± 3%.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Sericin-carboxymethyl cellulose porous matrices as cellular wound dressing material.

    PubMed

    Nayak, Sunita; Kundu, S C

    2014-06-01

    In this study, porous three-dimensional (3D) hydrogel matrices are fabricated composed of silk cocoon protein sericin of non-mulberry silkworm Antheraea mylitta and carboxymethyl cellulose. The matrices are prepared via freeze-drying technique followed by dual cross-linking with glutaraldehyde and aluminum chloride. The microstructure of the hydrogel matrices is assessed using scanning electron microscopy and biophysical characterization are carried out using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The transforming growth factor β1 release from the cross-linked matrices as a growth factor is evaluated by immunosorbent assay. Live dead assay and 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay show no cytotoxicity of blended matrices toward human keratinocytes. The matrices support the cell attachment and proliferation of human keratinocytes as observed through scanning electron microscope and confocal images. Gelatin zymography demonstrates the low levels of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and insignificant amount of MMP-9 in the culture media of cell seeded matrices. Low inflammatory response of the matrices is indicated through tumor necrosis factor alpha release assay. The results indicate that the fabricated matrices constitute 3D cell-interactive environment for tissue engineering applications and its potential use as a future cellular biological wound dressing material. PMID:23853114

  9. A novel marine silk.

    PubMed

    Kronenberger, Katrin; Dicko, Cedric; Vollrath, Fritz

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of a novel silk production system in a marine amphipod provides insights into the wider potential of natural silks. The tube-building corophioid amphipod Crassicorophium bonellii produces from its legs fibrous, adhesive underwater threads that combine barnacle cement biology with aspects of spider silk thread extrusion spinning. We characterised the filamentous silk as a mixture of mucopolysaccharides and protein deriving from glands representing two distinct types. The carbohydrate and protein silk secretion is dominated by complex β-sheet structures and a high content of charged amino acid residues. The filamentous secretion product exits the gland through a pore near the tip of the secretory leg after having moved through a duct, which subdivides into several small ductules all terminating in a spindle-shaped chamber. This chamber communicates with the exterior and may be considered the silk reservoir and processing/mixing space, in which the silk is mechanically and potentially chemically altered and becomes fibrous. We assert that further study of this probably independently evolved, marine arthropod silk processing and secretion system can provide not only important insights into the more complex arachnid and insect silks but also into crustacean adhesion cements. PMID:22057952

  10. A novel marine silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronenberger, Katrin; Dicko, Cedric; Vollrath, Fritz

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of a novel silk production system in a marine amphipod provides insights into the wider potential of natural silks. The tube-building corophioid amphipod Crassicorophium bonellii produces from its legs fibrous, adhesive underwater threads that combine barnacle cement biology with aspects of spider silk thread extrusion spinning. We characterised the filamentous silk as a mixture of mucopolysaccharides and protein deriving from glands representing two distinct types. The carbohydrate and protein silk secretion is dominated by complex β-sheet structures and a high content of charged amino acid residues. The filamentous secretion product exits the gland through a pore near the tip of the secretory leg after having moved through a duct, which subdivides into several small ductules all terminating in a spindle-shaped chamber. This chamber communicates with the exterior and may be considered the silk reservoir and processing/mixing space, in which the silk is mechanically and potentially chemically altered and becomes fibrous. We assert that further study of this probably independently evolved, marine arthropod silk processing and secretion system can provide not only important insights into the more complex arachnid and insect silks but also into crustacean adhesion cements.

  11. Fabrication of Highly Uniform Nanoparticles from Recombinant Silk-Elastinlike Protein Polymers for Therapeutic Agent Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Anumolu, Rajasekhar; Gustafson, Joshua A.; Magda, Jules J.; Cappello, Joseph; Ghandehari, Hamidreza; Pease, Leonard F.

    2011-01-01

    Here we generate silk-elastinlike protein (SELP) polymeric nanoparticles and demonstrate precise control over their dimensions using an electrospray differential mobility analyzer (ES-DMA). Electrospray produces droplets encompassing several polymer strands. Evaporation ensues, leading polymer strands to accumulate at the droplet interface forming a hollow nanoparticle. The resulting nanoparticle size distributions which govern particle yield, depend on buffer concentration to the −1/3 power, polymer concentration to the 1/3 power, and ratio of silk to elastin blocks. Three recombinantly tuned ratios of silk to elastin blocks, 8:16, 4:8, and 4:16, respectively named SELP-815K, SELP-47K, and SELP-415K, are employed with the latter ratio resulting in a thinner shell and larger diameter for the nanoparticles than the former. The DMA narrows the size distribution by electrostatically classifying the aerosolized nanoparticles. These highly uniform nanoparticles have variations of 1.2 nm and 1.4 nm for 24.0 nm and 36.0 nm particles, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy reveals the nanoparticles to be faceted, as a buckling instability releases compression energy arising from evaporation after the shell has formed by bending it. A thermodynamic equilibrium exists between compression and bending energies, where the facet length is 1/2 the particle diameter, in agreement with experiments. Rod-like particles also formed from polymer stabilized filaments when the viscous length exceeds the jet radius at higher solution viscosities. The unusual uniformity in composition and dimension indicates the potential of these nanoparticles to deliver bioactive and imaging agents. PMID:21696150

  12. E-spun composite fibers of collagen and dragline silk protein: fiber mechanics, biocompatibility, and application in stem cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bofan; Li, Wen; Lewis, Randolph V; Segre, Carlo U; Wang, Rong

    2015-01-12

    Biocomposite matrices with high mechanical strength, high stability, and the ability to direct matrix-specific stem cell differentiation are essential for the reconstruction of lesioned tissues in tissue engineering and cell therapeutics. Toward this end, we used the electrospinning technique to fabricate well-aligned composite fibers from collagen and spider dragline silk protein, obtained from the milk of transgenic goats, mimicking the native extracellular matrix (ECM) on a similar scale. Collagen and the dragline silk proteins were found to mix homogeneously at all ratios in the electrospun (E-spun) fibers. As a result, the ultimate tensile strength and elasticity of the fibers increased monotonically with silk percentage, whereas the stretchability was slightly reduced. Strikingly, we found that the incorporation of silk proteins to collagen dramatically increased the matrix stability against excessive fiber swelling and shape deformation in cell culture medium. When human decidua parietalis placental stem cells (hdpPSCs) were seeded on the collagen-silk matrices, the matrices were found to support cell proliferation at a similar rate as that of the pure collagen matrix, but they provided cell adhesion with reduced strengths and induced cell polarization at varied levels. Matrices containing 15 and 30 wt % silk in collagen (CS15, CS30) were found to induce a level of neural differentiation comparable to that of pure collagen. In particular, CS15 matrix induced the highest extent of cell polarization and promoted the development of extended 1D neural filaments strictly in-line with the aligned fibers. Taking the increased mechanical strength and fiber stability into consideration, CS15 and CS30 E-spun fibers offer better alternatives to pure collagen fibers as scaffolds that can be potentially utilized in neural tissue repair and the development of future nanobiodevices. PMID:25405355

  13. Analysis of tissue-specific region in sericin 1 gene promoter of Bombyx mori

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Yan; Yu Lian; Guo Xiuyang; Guo Tingqing; Wang Shengpeng; Lu Changde . E-mail: cdlu@sibs.ac.cn

    2006-03-31

    The gene encoding sericin 1 (Ser1) of silkworm (Bombyx mori) is specifically expressed in the middle silk gland cells. To identify element involved in this transcription-dependent spatial restriction, truncation of the 5' terminal from the sericin 1 (Ser1) promoter is studied in vivo. A 209 bp DNA sequence upstream of the transcriptional start site (-586 to -378) is found to be responsible for promoting tissue-specific transcription. Analysis of this 209 bp region by overlapping deletion studies showed that a 25 bp region (-500 to -476) suppresses the ectopic expression of the Ser1 promoter. An unknown factor abundant in fat body nuclear extracts is shown to bind to this 25 bp fragment. These results suggest that this 25 bp region and the unknown factor are necessary for determining the tissue-specificity of the Ser1 promoter.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 scaffolds' biochemical input and matrix stiffness. It is reported herein that in the hybrid scaffolds, collagen provides essential biochemical cues needed to promote cell attachment and function while SELP imparts matrix stiffness tunability. To obtain tissue-specificity in matrix stiffness that spans over several orders of magnitude covering from soft brain to stiff cartilage, the hybrid SELP-Collagen scaffolds were crosslinked by transglutaminase at physiological conditions compatible for simultaneous cell encapsulation. The effect of the increase in matrix stiffness induced by such enzymatic crosslinking on cellular viability and proliferation was also evaluated using in vitro cell assays.

  15. Structure and applications of a temperature responsive recombinant protein hydrogel based on silk- and elastin-like amino acid motifs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drummy, Lawrence; Tomczak, Melanie; Macauliffe, Joseph; Vaia, Richard; Naik, Rajesh

    2008-03-01

    Proteins form the main components of many natural materials, and they can be designed to offer tailored functionality and material properties. Silk elastin-like proteins (SELP)s come from a family of repeat sequence protein polymers based on Bombyx mori silk and mammalian elastin that are recombinantly expressed in E. coli. SELP gels are formed by heating the protein solutions in order to induce physical crosslinking of the silk β-sheet regions, they contain approximately 80-90% water by weight and they can be used for encapsulation of enzymes or nanoparticles. For example, horseradish peroxidase demonstrates added resistance to drying and heat treatment when encapsulated in the gel matrix. During gel formation, small angle X-ray scattering shows intensity increases in two distinct regions of reciprocal space, one reversible with temperature and one irreversible. By fitting the scattering data to a unified power-law/Gunier model, morphological parameters are extracted. The thermally reversible intensity changes are attributed to a hydrophilic/hydrophobic transition in the elastin segments, while the irreversible intensity change is due to the crystalline regions formed by the silk blocks.

  16. Microsecond folding and domain motions of a spider silk protein structural switch.

    PubMed

    Ries, Julia; Schwarze, Simone; Johnson, Christopher M; Neuweiler, Hannes

    2014-12-10

    Web spiders rapidly assemble protein monomers, so-called spidroins, into extraordinarily tough silk fibers. The process involves the pH-triggered self-association of the spidroin N-terminal domain (NTD), which contains a structural switch connecting spidroins to supermolecules. Single-molecule spectroscopy can detect conformational heterogeneity that is hidden to conventional methods, but motions of the NTD are beyond the resolution limit. Here, we engineered probes for 1 nm conformational changes based on the phenomenon of fluorescence quenching by photoinduced electron transfer into the isolated NTD of a spidroin from the nursery web spider Euprosthenops australis. Correlation analysis of single-molecule fluorescence fluctuations uncovered site-dependent nanosecond-to-microsecond movement of secondary and tertiary structure. Kinetic amplitudes were most pronounced for helices that are part of the association interface and where structural studies show large displacements between monomeric and dimeric conformations. A single tryptophan at the center of the five-helix bundle toggled conformations in ∼100 μs and in a pH-dependent manner. Equilibrium denaturation and temperature-jump relaxation experiments revealed cooperative and ultrafast folding in only 60 μs. We deduced a free-energy surface that exhibits native-state ruggedness with apparently similar barrier heights to folding and native motions. Observed equilibrium dynamics within the domain suggest a conformational selection mechanism in the rapid association of spidroins through their NTDs during silk synthesis by web spiders. PMID:25382060

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-21

    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. PMID:24811747

  18. High yield exogenous protein HPL production in the Bombyx mori silk gland provides novel insight into recombinant expression systems.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huan; Wang, Lu; Wang, Yulong; Tao, Hui; Yin, Weimin; SiMa, Yanghu; Wang, Yujun; Xu, Shiqing

    2015-01-01

    The silk gland of Bombyx mori (BmSG) has gained significant attention by dint of superior synthesis and secretion of proteins. However, the application of BmSG bioreactor is still a controversial issue because of low yields of recombinant proteins. Here, a 3057 bp full-length coding sequence of Hpl was designed and transformed into the silkworm genome, and then the mutant (Hpl/Hpl) with specific expression of Hpl in posterior BmSG (BmPSG) was obtained. In the mutants, the transcription level of Fib-L and P25, and corresponding encoding proteins, did not decrease. However, the mRNA level of Fib-H was reduced by 71.1%, and Fib-H protein in the secreted fibroin was decreased from 91.86% to 71.01%. The mRNA level of Hpl was 0.73% and 0.74% of Fib-H and Fib-L, respectively, while HPL protein accounted for 18.85% of fibroin and 15.46% of the total amount of secreted silk protein. The exogenous protein was therefore very efficiently translated and secreted. Further analysis of differentially expressed gene (DEG) was carried out in the BmPSG cells and 891 DEGs were detected, of which 208 genes were related to protein metabolism. Reduced expression of endogenous silk proteins in the BmPSG could effectively improve the production efficiency of recombinant exogenous proteins. PMID:26370318

  19. High yield exogenous protein HPL production in the Bombyx mori silk gland provides novel insight into recombinant expression systems

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Huan; Wang, Lu; Wang, Yulong; Tao, Hui; Yin, Weimin; SiMa, Yanghu; Wang, Yujun; Xu, Shiqing

    2015-01-01

    The silk gland of Bombyx mori (BmSG) has gained significant attention by dint of superior synthesis and secretion of proteins. However, the application of BmSG bioreactor is still a controversial issue because of low yields of recombinant proteins. Here, a 3057 bp full-length coding sequence of Hpl was designed and transformed into the silkworm genome, and then the mutant (Hpl/Hpl) with specific expression of Hpl in posterior BmSG (BmPSG) was obtained. In the mutants, the transcription level of Fib-L and P25, and corresponding encoding proteins, did not decrease. However, the mRNA level of Fib-H was reduced by 71.1%, and Fib-H protein in the secreted fibroin was decreased from 91.86% to 71.01%. The mRNA level of Hpl was 0.73% and 0.74% of Fib-H and Fib-L, respectively, while HPL protein accounted for 18.85% of fibroin and 15.46% of the total amount of secreted silk protein. The exogenous protein was therefore very efficiently translated and secreted. Further analysis of differentially expressed gene (DEG) was carried out in the BmPSG cells and 891 DEGs were detected, of which 208 genes were related to protein metabolism. Reduced expression of endogenous silk proteins in the BmPSG could effectively improve the production efficiency of recombinant exogenous proteins. PMID:26370318

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  1. Ancient properties of spider silks revealed by the complete gene sequence of the prey-wrapping silk protein (AcSp1).

    PubMed

    Ayoub, Nadia A; Garb, Jessica E; Kuelbs, Amanda; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2013-03-01

    Spider silk fibers have impressive mechanical properties and are primarily composed of highly repetitive structural proteins (termed spidroins) encoded by a single gene family. Most characterized spidroin genes are incompletely known because of their extreme size (typically >9 kb) and repetitiveness, limiting understanding of the evolutionary processes that gave rise to their unusual gene architectures. The only complete spidroin genes characterized thus far form the dragline in the Western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus. Here, we describe the first complete gene sequence encoding the aciniform spidroin AcSp1, the primary component of spider prey-wrapping fibers. L. hesperus AcSp1 contains a single enormous (∼19 kb) exon. The AcSp1 repeat sequence is exceptionally conserved between two widow species (∼94% identity) and between widows and distantly related orb-weavers (∼30% identity), consistent with a history of strong purifying selection on its amino acid sequence. Furthermore, the 16 repeats (each 371-375 amino acids long) found in black widow AcSp1 are, on average, >99% identical at the nucleotide level. A combination of stabilizing selection on amino acid sequence, selection on silent sites, and intragenic recombination likely explains the extreme homogenization of AcSp1 repeats. In addition, phylogenetic analyses of spidroin paralogs support a gene duplication event occurring concomitantly with specialization of the aciniform glands and the tubuliform glands, which synthesize egg-case silk. With repeats that are dramatically different in length and amino acid composition from dragline spidroins, our L. hesperus AcSp1 expands the knowledge base for developing silk-based biomimetic technologies. PMID:23155003

  2. LIM-homeodomain transcription factor Awh is a key component activating all three fibroin genes, fibH, fibL and fhx, in the silk gland of the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Kimoto, Mai; Tsubota, Takuya; Uchino, Keiro; Sezutsu, Hideki; Takiya, Shigeharu

    2015-01-01

    In the silkworm Bombyx mori, three fibroin genes, fibroin-heavy-chain (fibH), fibroin-light-chain (fibL) and fibrohexamerin (fhx), are coexpressed only in the posterior silk gland (PSG) cells, while the sericin genes encoding silk glue proteins are expressed in the middle silk gland (MSG) cells. Silk gland factor-2 (SGF-2) is a PSG-specific activator complex of fibH, composed of a LIM-homeodomain protein, Awh, and its cofactors, Ldb and Lcaf. We investigated whether SGF-2 can activate other fibroin genes using transgenic silkworms. The genes for Ldb and Lcaf were expressed ubiquitously in various tissues, while the gene for Awh was expressed strictly specific in PSG of the wild type silkworms. Misexpression of Awh in transgenic silkworms induced ectopic expression of fibL and fhx as well as fibH in MSG. Coincidently with the induction of fibL and fhx by Awh, binding of SGF-2 to the promoter of fibL and fhx was detected in vitro, and SGF-2 binds directly to the fhx core promoter. Ectopic expression of the fibroin genes was observed at high levels in the middle part of MSG. Moreover, fibL and fhx were induced in the anterior silk gland (ASG) of the transgenic silkworms, but fibH was not. These results indicate that Awh is a key activator of all three fibroin genes, and the activity is probably regulated in conjunction with additional factors. PMID:25449130

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Free standing films of a genetically engineered silk-elastin-like protein (SELP) were prepared using water and formic acid as solvents. Exposure to methanol-saturated air promoted the formation of aggregated β-strands rendering aqueous insolubility and improved the mechanical properties leading to a 10-fold increase in strain-to-failure. The films were optically clear with resistivity values similar to natural rubber and thermally stable up to 180 °C. Addition of glycerol showed to enhance the flexibility of SELP/glycerol films by interacting with SELP molecules through hydrogen bonding, interpenetrating between the polymer chains and granting more conformational freedom. This detailed characterization provides cues for future and unique applications using SELP based biopolymers. PMID:26214274

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26302244

  5. Immobilization of sericin molecules via amorphous carbon plasma modified-polystyrene dish for serum-free culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tunma, Somruthai; Song, Doo-Hoon; Kim, Si-Eun; Kim, Kyoung-Nam; Han, Jeon-Geon; Boonyawan, Dheerawan

    2013-10-01

    In this study, we focused on sericin hydrolysates, originating from silkworm used in serum-free human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) culture. We reported the effect of a covalent linkage between a bioactive protein molecule and polystyrene dish surface via a carbon intermediate layer which can slow down the release rate of protein compounds into the phosphate buffer saline (PBS) solution. Films of amorphous carbon (a-C) and functionalized-carbon were deposited on PS culture dish surfaces by using a DC magnetron sputtering system and RF PECVD system. We found that a-C based-films can increase the hydrophilicity and biocompatibility of polystyrene (PS) dishes, especially a-C films and a-C:N2 films showed good attachment of hBM-MSCs at 24 h. However, in the case of silica surface (a-C:SiOx films), the cells showed a ragged and unattached boundary resulting from the presence of surface silanol groups. For the UV-vis absorbance, all carbon modified-PS dishes showed a lower release rate of sericin molecules into PBS solution than PS control. This revealed that the functionalized carbon could be enhanced by specific binding properties with given molecules. The carbon-coated PS dishes grafting with sericin protein were used in a serum-free condition. We also found that hBM-MSCs have higher percentage of proliferated cells at day 7 for the modified dishes with carbon films and coated with sericin than the PS control coated with sericin. The physical film properties were measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and contact angle measurement. The presence of sbnd NH2 groups of sericin compounds on the PS dish was revealed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The stability of covalent bonds of sericin molecules after washing out ungrafted sericin was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).

  6. Molecular cloning, gene expression analysis, and recombinant protein expression of novel silk proteins from larvae of a retreat-maker caddisfly, Stenopsyche marmorata.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xue; Sakaguchi, Mayo; Yamaguchi, Yuko; Ishihara, Shiori; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Hirabayashi, Kimio; Ohkawa, Kousaku; Nomura, Takaomi; Arai, Ryoichi

    2015-08-28

    Retreat-maker larvae of Stenopsyche marmorata, one of the major caddisfly species in Japan, produce silk threads and adhesives to build food capture nets and protective nests in water. Research on these underwater adhesive silk proteins potentially leads to the development of new functional biofiber materials. Recently, we identified four major S. marmorata silk proteins (Smsps), Smsp-1, Smsp-2, Smsp-3, and Smsp-4 from silk glands of S. marmorata larvae. In this study, we cloned full-length cDNAs of Smsp-2, Smsp-3, and Smsp-4 from the cDNA library of the S. marmorata silk glands to reveal the primary sequences of Smsps. Homology search results of the deduced amino acid sequences indicate that Smsp-2 and Smsp-4 are novel proteins. The Smsp-2 sequence [167 amino acids (aa)] has an array of GYD-rich repeat motifs and two (SX)4E motifs. The Smsp-4 sequence (132 aa) contains a number of GW-rich repeat motifs and three (SX)4E motifs. The Smsp-3 sequence (248 aa) exhibits high homology with fibroin light chain of other caddisflies. Gene expression analysis of Smsps by real-time PCR suggested that the gene expression of Smsp-1 and Smsp-3 was relatively stable throughout the year, whereas that of Smsp-2 and Smsp-4 varied seasonally. Furthermore, Smsps recombinant protein expression was successfully performed in Escherichia coli. The study provides new molecular insights into caddisfly aquatic silk and its potential for future applications. PMID:26168724

  7. Clinical Application of a Silk Fibroin Protein Biologic Scaffold for Abdominal Wall Fascial Reinforcement

    PubMed Central

    Downey, Susan; Agullo, Frank; Lehfeldt, Max R.; Kind, Gabriel M.; Palladino, Humberto; Marshall, Deirdre; Jewell, Mark L.; Mathur, Anshu B.; Bengtson, Bradley P.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Preclinical studies have demonstrated that macroporous silk fibroin protein scaffolds are capable of promoting physiologically durable supportive tissue, which favors application of these engineered tissues for clinical implantation. The safety and effectiveness of a long-lasting, transitory, 510(k)-cleared purified silk fibroin biologic scaffold (SBS) are investigated for soft-tissue support and repair of the abdominal wall. Methods: We conducted a multicenter retrospective review of all consecutive patients who underwent abdominal wall soft-tissue reinforcement with an SBS device between 2011 and 2013. Indications, comorbid conditions, surgical technique, complications, and outcomes were evaluated. Results: We reviewed the records of 172 consecutive patients who received an SBS for soft-tissue support. Of those, 77 patients underwent abdominal wall fascial repair, with a mean follow-up of 18.4 ± 7.5 months. Procedures using an SBS included reinforcement of an abdominal-based flap donor site (31.2%), ventral hernia repair (53.2%), and abdominoplasty (15.6%). The overall complication rate was 6.5%, consisting of 2 wound dehiscences, 1 with device exposure, 1 seroma, 1 infection with explantation, and a perioperative bulge requiring reoperation. There were no reports of hernia. Conclusions: Postoperative complication rates after 18 months were low, and most surgical complications were managed nonoperatively on an outpatient basis without mesh removal. To our knowledge, this is the only series to report on a long-lasting, transitory SBS for abdominal wall repair and reinforcement. Procedure-specific outcome studies are warranted to delineate optimal patient selection and define potential device characteristic advantages. PMID:25506529

  8. Analysis of aqueous glue coating proteins on the silk fibers of the cob weaver, Latrodectus hesperus.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiaoyi; Yuan, Jing; Wang, Xiaodong; Vasanthavada, Keshav; Falick, Arnold M; Jones, Patrick R; La Mattina, Coby; Vierra, Craig A

    2007-03-20

    Elucidation of the molecular composition and physical properties of spider glue is necessary to understand its function in the mechanics of the web and prey capture. Previous reports have indicated that components of the adhesive coating contain inorganic molecules, phosphorylated glycoproteins, lipids, and organic low-molecular mass (LMM) compounds. Using a proteomic strategy, we have investigated the viscid, aqueous components that coat different silk fiber types from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. After in-solution tryptic digestion of the aqueous protein material extracted from egg case sacs, gumfooted lines, and the web scaffolding connection joints, followed by peptide analysis using MALDI tandem TOF mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that these fibers are coated with common peptides. Utilizing a reverse genetics approach, we have isolated the cDNAs encoding two distinct fiber coating products, which we have named spider coating peptide 1 and 2 (SCP-1 and SCP-2). Secreted forms of SCP-1 and SCP-2 contain 36 and 19 amino acids, respectively, and their primary sequences display no significant similarities to ensemble repeat units from traditional fibroins. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR analyses show that these mRNAs are chiefly produced by the aggregate gland. Biochemical studies also demonstrate that the SCP-1 peptide has intrinsic metal binding properties, suggesting a role of peptide-metal ion interactions with the fiber constituents to enhance thread performance. Collectively, these investigations are the first to reveal a novel role for the aggregate gland in the production of peptides that coat spider silk threads. PMID:17311422

  9. Ubiquitous distribution of salts and proteins in spider glue enhances spider silk adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Chaurasia, Vishal; Jain, Dharamdeep; Blackledge, Todd A.; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-03-01

    Modern orb-weaving spiders use micron-sized glue droplets on their viscid silk to retain prey in webs. A combination of low molecular weight salts and proteins makes the glue viscoelastic and humidity responsive in a way not easily achieved by synthetic adhesives. Optically, the glue droplet shows a heterogeneous structure, but the spatial arrangement of its chemical components is poorly understood. Here, we use optical and confocal Raman microscopy to show that salts and proteins are present ubiquitously throughout the droplet. The distribution of adhesive proteins in the peripheral region explains the superior prey capture performance of orb webs as it enables the entire surface area of the glue droplet to act as a site for prey capture. The presence of salts throughout the droplet explains the recent Solid-State NMR results that show salts directly facilitate protein mobility. Understanding the function of individual glue components and the role of the droplet's macro-structure can help in designing better synthetic adhesives for humid environments.

  10. Effects of degumming conditions on electro-spinning rate of regenerated silk.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Kyunghwan; Lee, Ha Ni; Ki, Chang Seok; Fang, Dufei; Hsiao, Benjamin S; Chu, Benjamin; Um, In Chul

    2013-10-01

    Electro-spun silk webs are potentially good candidates as tissue engineering scaffolds owing to their good bio- and cyto-compatibility. However, the low fabrication rate of electro-spun silk mats has been one of the obstacles in the mass production of such nanofibrous silk mats in applications to the biomedical field. In this study, the effects of degumming ratio and silk concentration on the electro-spinning process were investigated by using regenerated silk with different residual sericin contents and different silk concentrations in terms of the morphology and structure of the electro-spun silk web. The rate of production of electro-spun silk mats could be increased by approximately 5 fold at a degumming ratio of 19.5%. The electro-spinning rate of silk was affected by two main factors: (1) dope solution viscosity and (2) degumming ratio of silk. The conductivity of the silk dope solution, however, had little effects on the electro-spinning of regenerated silk. A constant spun fiber morphology was observed within the electro-spinning rate range (0.3-1.4 ml/h). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed that partial β-sheet crystallization occurred during electro-spinning. The molecular conformation was relatively unaffected by the electro-spinning rate of silk. PMID:23817099

  11. Histochemical and ultrastructural evidence of lipid secretion by the silk gland of the sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae).

    PubMed

    Victoriano, Eliane; Pinheiro, Daniela O; Gregório, Elisa A

    2007-01-01

    The silk gland in Lepidoptera larvae is responsible for the silk production used for shelter or cocoon construction. The secretion of fibroin and sericin by the different silk gland regions are well established. There are few attempts to detect lipid components in the insect silk secretion, although the presence of such element may contribute to the resistance of the shelter to wet environment. This study characterizes the glandular region and detects the presence of lipid components in the secretion of the silk gland of Diatraea saccharalis(Fabricius). The silk gland was submitted to histochemical procedure for lipid detection or conventionally prepared for ultrastructural analyses. Lipid droplets were histochemically detected in both the apical cytoplasm of cell of the anterior region and in the lumen among the microvilli. Ultrastructural analyses of the anterior region showed lipid material, visualized as myelin-like structures within the vesicular Golgi complex and in the apical secretory globules, mixed up with the sericin; similar material was observed into the lumen, adjacent to the microvilli. Lipids were not detected in the cells neither in the lumen of the posterior region. Our results suggest that the silk produced by D. saccharalis has a minor lipid content that is secreted by the anterior region together with the sericin. PMID:18060296

  12. More than just fibers: an aqueous method for the production of innovative recombinant spider silk protein materials.

    PubMed

    Jones, Justin A; Harris, Thomas I; Tucker, Chauncey L; Berg, Kyle R; Christy, Stacia Y; Day, Breton A; Gaztambide, Danielle A; Needham, Nate J C; Ruben, Ashley L; Oliveira, Paula F; Decker, Richard E; Lewis, Randolph V

    2015-04-13

    Spider silk is a striking and robust natural material that has an unrivaled combination of strength and elasticity. There are two major problems in creating materials from recombinant spider silk proteins (rSSps): expressing sufficient quantities of the large, highly repetitive proteins and solvating the naturally self-assembling proteins once produced. To address the second problem, we have developed a method to rapidly dissolve rSSps in water in lieu of traditional organic solvents and accomplish nearly 100% solvation and recovery of the protein. Our method involves generating pressure and temperature in a sealed vial by using short, repetitive bursts from a conventional microwave. The method is scalable and has been successful with all rSSps used to date. From these easily generated aqueous solutions of rSSps, a wide variety of materials have been produced. Production of fibers, films, hydrogels, lyogels, sponges, and adhesives and studies of their mechanical and structural properties are reported. To our knowledge, ours is the only method that is cost-effective and scalable for mass production. This solvation method allows a choice of the physical form of product to take advantage of spider silks' mechanical properties without using costly and problematic organic solvents. PMID:25789668

  13. A silk hydrogel-based delivery system of bone morphogenic protein for the treatment of large bone defects

    PubMed Central

    Diab, Tamim; Pritchard, Eleanor M.; Uhrig, Brent A.; Boerckel, Joel D.; Kaplan, David L.; Guldberg, Robert E.

    2011-01-01

    The use of tissue grafting for the repair of large bone defects has numerous limitations including donor site morbidity and the risk of disease transmission. These limitations have prompted research efforts to investigate the effects of combining biomaterial scaffolds with biochemical cues to augment bone repair. The goal of this study was to use a critically-sized rat femoral segmental defect model to investigate the efficacy of a delivery system consisting of an electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofiber mesh tube with a silk fibroin hydrogel for local recombinant bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) delivery. Bilateral 8 mm segmental femoral defects were formed in 13-week-old Sprague Dawley rats. Perforated electrospun PCL nanofiber mesh tubes were fitted into the adjacent native bone such that the lumen of the tubes contained the defect (Kolambkar et al., 2011b). Silk hydrogels with or without BMP-2 were injected into the defect. Bone regeneration was longitudinally assessed using 2D X-ray radiography and 3D microcomputed topography (µCT). Following sacrifice at 12 weeks after surgery, the extracted femurs were either subjected to biomechanical testing or assigned for histology. The results demonstrated that silk was an effective carrier for BMP-2. Compared to the delivery system without BMP-2, the delivery system that contained BMP-2 resulted in more bone formation (p < 0.05) at 4, 8, 12 weeks after surgery. Biomechanical properties were also significantly improved in the presence of BMP-2 (p < 0.05) and were comparable to age-matched intact femurs. Histological evaluation of the defect region indicated that the silk hydrogel have completely been degraded by the end of the study. Based on these results, we conclude that a BMP-2 delivery system consisting of an electrospun PCL nanofiber mesh tube with a silk hydrogel presents an effective strategy for functional repair of large bone defects. PMID:22658161

  14. Seed-Specific Expression of Spider Silk Protein Multimers Causes Long-Term Stability

    PubMed Central

    Weichert, Nicola; Hauptmann, Valeska; Helmold, Christine; Conrad, Udo

    2016-01-01

    Seeds enable plants to germinate and to grow in situations of limited availability of nutrients. The stable storage of different seed proteins is a remarkable presumption for successful germination and growth. These strategies have been adapted and used in several molecular farming projects. In this study, we explore the benefits of seed-based expression to produce the high molecular weight spider silk protein FLAG using intein-based trans-splicing. Multimers larger than 460 kDa in size are routinely produced, which is above the native size of the FLAG protein. The storage of seeds for 8 weeks and 1 year at an ambient temperature of 15°C does not influence the accumulation level. Even the extended storage time does not influence the typical pattern of multimerized bands. These results show that seeds are the method of choice for stable accumulation of products of complex transgenes and have the capability for long-term storage at moderate conditions, an important feature for the development of suitable downstream processes. PMID:26858734

  15. Seed-Specific Expression of Spider Silk Protein Multimers Causes Long-Term Stability.

    PubMed

    Weichert, Nicola; Hauptmann, Valeska; Helmold, Christine; Conrad, Udo

    2016-01-01

    Seeds enable plants to germinate and to grow in situations of limited availability of nutrients. The stable storage of different seed proteins is a remarkable presumption for successful germination and growth. These strategies have been adapted and used in several molecular farming projects. In this study, we explore the benefits of seed-based expression to produce the high molecular weight spider silk protein FLAG using intein-based trans-splicing. Multimers larger than 460 kDa in size are routinely produced, which is above the native size of the FLAG protein. The storage of seeds for 8 weeks and 1 year at an ambient temperature of 15°C does not influence the accumulation level. Even the extended storage time does not influence the typical pattern of multimerized bands. These results show that seeds are the method of choice for stable accumulation of products of complex transgenes and have the capability for long-term storage at moderate conditions, an important feature for the development of suitable downstream processes. PMID:26858734

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. TNF-α blocker effect of naringenin-loaded sericin microparticles that are potentially useful in the treatment of psoriasis.

    PubMed

    Chlapanidas, Theodora; Perteghella, Sara; Leoni, Flavio; Faragò, Silvio; Marazzi, Mario; Rossi, Daniela; Martino, Emanuela; Gaggeri, Raffaella; Collina, Simona

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to evaluate the effect of combined use of the racemic flavanone Naringenin (NRG) and the protein sericin as TNF-α blockers. Sericin (SMs) and (R/S) NRG-loaded Sericin (SNRGMs) microparticles were prepared by spray-drying, characterized in terms of morphology and particle size distribution, and encapsulation efficiency was determined. Concerning morphology and particle size distribution of microparticles, results indicated that they were not affected by the presence of NRG. The encapsulation efficiency was almost quantitative (93%), thus proving that sericin can be advantageously loaded with (R/S) NRG. Biological evaluation of (R/S) NRG, SMs and SNRGMs was then performed in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMC). SNRGMs resulted cytotoxic at the higher dose used (200 μg/mL) and the effect was greater than (R/S) NRG alone. Moreover, even if sericin alone was not effective in suppressing LPS-induced serum TNF-α levels, SNRGMs loaded with 9.3% of (R/S) NRG were significantly more potent than (R/S) NRG alone. In summary, this study provides the proof of concept that sericin-based microspheres loaded with TNF-α-blockers could contribute to the down regulation of the cytokine and represents the starting point for the development of new topical formulations for the treatment of middle-stage psoriasis. PMID:25101847

  19. TNF-α Blocker Effect of Naringenin-Loaded Sericin Microparticles that Are Potentially Useful in the Treatment of Psoriasis

    PubMed Central

    Chlapanidas, Theodora; Perteghella, Sara; Leoni, Flavio; Faragò, Silvio; Marazzi, Mario; Rossi, Daniela; Martino, Emanuela; Gaggeri, Raffaella; Collina, Simona

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to evaluate the effect of combined use of the racemic flavanone Naringenin (NRG) and the protein sericin as TNF-α blockers. Sericin (SMs) and (R/S) NRG-loaded Sericin (SNRGMs) microparticles were prepared by spray-drying, characterized in terms of morphology and particle size distribution, and encapsulation efficiency was determined. Concerning morphology and particle size distribution of microparticles, results indicated that they were not affected by the presence of NRG. The encapsulation efficiency was almost quantitative (93%), thus proving that sericin can be advantageously loaded with (R/S) NRG. Biological evaluation of (R/S) NRG, SMs and SNRGMs was then performed in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMC). SNRGMs resulted cytotoxic at the higher dose used (200 μg/mL) and the effect was greater than (R/S) NRG alone. Moreover, even if sericin alone was not effective in suppressing LPS-induced serum TNF-α levels, SNRGMs loaded with 9.3% of (R/S) NRG were significantly more potent than (R/S) NRG alone. In summary, this study provides the proof of concept that sericin-based microspheres loaded with TNF-α-blockers could contribute to the down regulation of the cytokine and represents the starting point for the development of new topical formulations for the treatment of middle-stage psoriasis. PMID:25101847

  20. A juvenile hormone transcription factor Bmdimm-fibroin H chain pathway is involved in the synthesis of silk protein in silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Chun; Jiang, Li-Jun; Li, Qiong-Yan; Zhou, Meng-Ting; Cheng, Ting-Cai; Mita, Kazuei; Xia, Qing-You

    2015-01-01

    The genes responsible for silk biosynthesis are switched on and off at particular times in the silk glands of Bombyx mori. This switch appears to be under the control of endogenous and exogenous hormones. However, the molecular mechanisms by which silk protein synthesis is regulated by the juvenile hormone (JH) are largely unknown. Here, we report a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Bmdimm, its silk gland-specific expression, and its direct involvement in the regulation of fibroin H-chain (fib-H) by binding to an E-box (CAAATG) element of the fib-H gene promoter. Far-Western blots, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and co-immunoprecipitation assays revealed that Bmdimm protein interacted with another basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Bmsage. Immunostaining revealed that Bmdimm and Bmsage proteins are co-localized in nuclei. Bmdimm expression was induced in larval silk glands in vivo, in silk glands cultured in vitro, and in B. mori cell lines after treatment with a JH analog. The JH effect on Bmdimm was mediated by the JH-Met-Kr-h1 signaling pathway, and Bmdimm expression did not respond to JH by RNA interference with double-stranded BmKr-h1 RNA. These data suggest that the JH regulatory pathway, the transcription factor Bmdimm, and the targeted fib-H gene contribute to the synthesis of fibroin H-chain protein in B. mori. PMID:25371208

  1. A Juvenile Hormone Transcription Factor Bmdimm-Fibroin H Chain Pathway Is Involved in the Synthesis of Silk Protein in Silkworm, Bombyx mori*

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Chun; Jiang, Li-Jun; Li, Qiong-Yan; Zhou, Meng-Ting; Cheng, Ting-Cai; Mita, Kazuei; Xia, Qing-You

    2015-01-01

    The genes responsible for silk biosynthesis are switched on and off at particular times in the silk glands of Bombyx mori. This switch appears to be under the control of endogenous and exogenous hormones. However, the molecular mechanisms by which silk protein synthesis is regulated by the juvenile hormone (JH) are largely unknown. Here, we report a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Bmdimm, its silk gland-specific expression, and its direct involvement in the regulation of fibroin H-chain (fib-H) by binding to an E-box (CAAATG) element of the fib-H gene promoter. Far-Western blots, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and co-immunoprecipitation assays revealed that Bmdimm protein interacted with another basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Bmsage. Immunostaining revealed that Bmdimm and Bmsage proteins are co-localized in nuclei. Bmdimm expression was induced in larval silk glands in vivo, in silk glands cultured in vitro, and in B. mori cell lines after treatment with a JH analog. The JH effect on Bmdimm was mediated by the JH-Met-Kr-h1 signaling pathway, and Bmdimm expression did not respond to JH by RNA interference with double-stranded BmKr-h1 RNA. These data suggest that the JH regulatory pathway, the transcription factor Bmdimm, and the targeted fib-H gene contribute to the synthesis of fibroin H-chain protein in B. mori. PMID:25371208

  2. Tip-induced micropatterning of silk fibroin protein using in situ solution atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Jian; Ma, Mengjia; Zhou, Juan; Wei, Daixu; Yan, Zhiqiang; He, Dannong

    2013-02-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a promising candidate for a variety of application in the fields of tissue engineering, drug delivery, and biomedical optics. Recent research has already begun to explore the construction of nano- and micropatterned SF films under ambient environment. The structure and biocompatibility of SF are dependent on SF state (solution or solid) and the method of drying the SF solution to prepare various biomaterials such as films, sponges, and fibers. Therefore, it is important to explore the construction of SF nano- and micropatterns under aqueous solution. This paper reports a novel application of atomic force microscopy (AFM) under liquid for direct deposition of the relatively hydrophobic protein SF onto hydrophilic mica. We demonstrate that the AFM tip, in either the contact or the tapping mode, can fabricate SF micropatterns on mica with controlled surface topography. We show that the deposition process requires a mechanical force-induced SF sol-gel transition followed by a transfer to the mica surface at the tip-surface contact, and the efficiency of this process depends on not only AFM operation mode but also the SF bulk concentration, the SF amount on mica, and the AFM tip spring constant. PMID:23276203

  3. High level biosynthesis of a silk-elastin-like protein in E. coli.

    PubMed

    Collins, Tony; Barroca, Mrio; Branca, Fernando; Padro, Jorge; Machado, Raul; Casal, Margarida

    2014-07-14

    Silk-elastin-like proteins (SELPs) have enormous potential for use as customizable biomaterials in numerous biomedical and materials applications, yet success in harnessing this potential has been limited by the lack of a commercially viable industrially relevant production process. We have developed a scalable fed-batch production approach which enables a SELP volumetric productivity of 4.3 g L(-1) with E. coli BL21(DE3). This is the highest SELP productivity reported to date and is 50-fold higher than that reported by other groups. As compared to typical fed-batch processes, high preinduction growth rates and low inducer and oxygen concentrations are allowed whereas reduced postinduction feeding rates are preferred. Limiting factors were identified and productivity was found to be strongly influenced by a trade-off between the rate of production and plasmid stability. The process developed is robust, reproducible, and applicable to scale up to the industrial level and moves these biopolymers a step closer to the marketplace. PMID:24884240

  4. Characterizing the secondary protein structure of black widow dragline silk using solid-state NMR and X-ray diffraction.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24024617

  5. Recent progress in development of transgenic silkworms overexpressing recombinant human proteins with therapeutic potential in silk glands.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Kohji; Kobayashi, Isao; Nishioka, So-Ichiro; Sezutsu, Hideki; Machii, Hiroaki; Tamura, Toshiki

    2016-01-01

    Since 2000, transgenic silkworms have been developed to produce recombinant proteins with therapeutic potential for future clinical use, including antibody preparations. Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) are inherited metabolic disorders caused by mutations of lysosomal enzymes associated with excessive accumulation of natural substrates and neurovisceral symptoms. Over the past few years, enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with human lysosomal enzymes produced by genetically engineered mammalian cell lines has been used clinically to treat several patients with an LSD involving multi-organ symptoms. ERT is based on the incorporation of recombinant glycoenzymes by their binding to glycan receptors on the surface of target cells and their subsequent delivery to lysosomes. However, ERT has several disadvantages, including difficulty mass producing human enzymes, dangers of pathogen contamination, and high costs. Recently, the current authors have succeeded in producing transgenic silkworms overexpressing human lysosomal enzymes in the silk glands and the authors have purified catalytically active enzymes from the middle silk glands. Silk gland-derived human enzymes carrying high-mannose and pauci-mannose N-glycans were endocytosed by monocytes via the mannose receptor pathway and were then delivered to lysosomes. Conjugates with cell-penetrating peptides were also taken up by cultured fibroblasts derived from patients with enzyme deficiencies to restore intracellular catalytic activity and reduce the excessive accumulation of substrates in patient fibroblasts. Transgenic silkworms overexpressing human lysosomal enzymes in the silk glands could serve as future bioresources that provide safe therapeutic enzymes for the treatment of LSDs. Combining recent developments in transglycosylation technology with microbial endoglycosidases will promote the development of therapeutic glycoproteins as bio-medicines. PMID:26971553

  6. Effect of degumming time on silkworm silk fibre for biodegradable polymer composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Mei-po; Wang, Hao; Lau, Kin-tak

    2012-02-01

    Recently, many studies have been conducted on exploitation of natural materials for modern product development and bioengineering applications. Apart from plant-based materials (such as sisal, hemp, jute, bamboo and palm fibre), animal-based fibre is a kind of sustainable natural materials for making novel composites. Silkworm silk fibre extracted from cocoon has been well recognized as a promising material for bio-medical engineering applications because of its superior mechanical and bioresorbable properties. However, when producing silk fibre reinforced biodegradable/bioresorbable polymer composites, hydrophilic sericin has been found to cause poor interfacial bonding with most polymers and thus, it results in affecting the resultant properties of the composites. Besides, sericin layers on fibroin surface may also cause an adverse effect towards biocompatibility and hypersensitivity to silk for implant applications. Therefore, a proper pre-treatment should be done for sericin removal. Degumming is a surface modification process which allows a wide control of the silk fibre's properties, making the silk fibre possible to be used for the development and production of novel bio-composites with unique/specific mechanical and biodegradable properties. In this paper, a cleaner and environmentally friendly surface modification technique for tussah silk in polymer based composites is proposed. The effectiveness of different degumming parameters including degumming time and temperature on tussah silk is discussed through the analyses of their mechanical and morphological properties. Based on results obtained, it was found that the mechanical properties of tussah silk are affected by the degumming time due to the change of the fibre structure and fibroin alignment.

  7. Mechanical Improvements to Reinforced Porous Silk Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Gil, Eun Seok; Kluge, Jonathan A.; Rockwood, Danielle N.; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Wang, Lijing; Wang, Xungai; Kaplan, David L

    2012-01-01

    Load bearing porous biodegradable scaffolds are required to engineer functional tissues such as bone. Mechanical improvements to porogen leached scaffolds prepared from silk proteins were systematically studied through the addition of silk particles in combination with silk solution concentration, exploiting interfacial compatibility between the two components. Solvent solutions of silk up to 32 w/v% were successfully prepared in hexafluoroisopropanaol (HFIP) for the study. The mechanical properties of the reinforced silk scaffolds correlated to the material density and matched by a power law relationship, independent of the ratio of silk particles to matrix. These results were similar to the relationships previously shown for cancellous bone. The mechanism behind the increased mechanical properties was a densification effect, and not the effect of including stiffer silk particles into the softer silk continuous matrix. A continuous interface between the silk matrix and the silk particles, as well as homogeneous distribution of the silk particles within the matrix were observed. Furthermore, we note that the roughness of the pore walls was controllable by varying the ratio of particles matrix, providing a route to control topography. The rate of proteolytic hydrolysis of the scaffolds decreased with increase in mass of silk used in the matrix and with increasing silk particle content. PMID:21793193

  8. Modifying the Mechanical Properties of Silk Fiber by Genetically Disrupting the Ionic Environment for Silk Formation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Zhao, Ping; Li, Yi; Yi, Qiying; Ma, Sanyuan; Xie, Kang; Chen, Huifang; Xia, Qingyou

    2015-10-12

    Silks are widely used biomaterials, but there are still weaknesses in their mechanical properties. Here we report a method for improving the silk fiber mechanical properties by genetic disruption of the ionic environment for silk fiber formation. An anterior silk gland (ASG) specific promoter was identified and used for overexpressing ion-transporting protein in the ASG of silkworm. After isolation of the transgenic silkworms, we found that the metal ion content, conformation and mechanical properties of transgenic silk fibers changed accordingly. Notably, overexpressing endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase in ASG decreased the calcium content of silks. As a consequence, silk fibers had more α-helix and β-sheet conformations, and their tenacity and extension increased significantly. These findings represent the in vivo demonstration of a correlation between metal ion content in the spinning duct and the mechanical properties of silk fibers, thus providing a novel method for modifying silk fiber properties. PMID:26302212

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Silk Electrogel Rheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  11. Spider wrapping silk fibre architecture arising from its modular soluble protein precursor

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Marie-Laurence; Xu, Lingling; Lefèvre, Thierry; Sarker, Muzaddid; Orrell, Kathleen E.; Leclerc, Jérémie; Meng, Qing; Pézolet, Michel; Auger, Michèle; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K.

    2015-01-01

    Spiders store spidroins in their silk glands as high concentration aqueous solutions, spinning these dopes into fibres with outstanding mechanical properties. Aciniform (or wrapping) silk is the toughest spider silk and is devoid of the short amino acid sequence motifs characteristic of the other spidroins. Using solution-state NMR spectroscopy, we demonstrate that the 200 amino acid Argiope trifasciata AcSp1 repeat unit contrasts with previously characterized spidroins, adopting a globular 5-helix bundle flanked by intrinsically disordered N- and C-terminal tails. Split-intein-mediated segmental NMR-active isotope-enrichment allowed unambiguous demonstration of modular and malleable “beads-on-a-string” concatemeric behaviour. Concatemers form fibres upon manual drawing with silk-like morphology and mechanical properties, alongside secondary structuring and orientation consistent with native AcSp1 fibres. AcSp1 structural stability varies locally, with the fifth helix denaturing most readily. The structural transition of aciniform spidroin from a mostly α-helical dope to a mixed α-helix/β-sheet-containing fibre can be directly related to spidroin architecture and stability. PMID:26112753

  12. Spider wrapping silk fibre architecture arising from its modular soluble protein precursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, Marie-Laurence; Xu, Lingling; Lefèvre, Thierry; Sarker, Muzaddid; Orrell, Kathleen E.; Leclerc, Jérémie; Meng, Qing; Pézolet, Michel; Auger, Michèle; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K.

    2015-06-01

    Spiders store spidroins in their silk glands as high concentration aqueous solutions, spinning these dopes into fibres with outstanding mechanical properties. Aciniform (or wrapping) silk is the toughest spider silk and is devoid of the short amino acid sequence motifs characteristic of the other spidroins. Using solution-state NMR spectroscopy, we demonstrate that the 200 amino acid Argiope trifasciata AcSp1 repeat unit contrasts with previously characterized spidroins, adopting a globular 5-helix bundle flanked by intrinsically disordered N- and C-terminal tails. Split-intein-mediated segmental NMR-active isotope-enrichment allowed unambiguous demonstration of modular and malleable “beads-on-a-string” concatemeric behaviour. Concatemers form fibres upon manual drawing with silk-like morphology and mechanical properties, alongside secondary structuring and orientation consistent with native AcSp1 fibres. AcSp1 structural stability varies locally, with the fifth helix denaturing most readily. The structural transition of aciniform spidroin from a mostly α-helical dope to a mixed α-helix/β-sheet-containing fibre can be directly related to spidroin architecture and stability.

  13. Insect silk contains both a Kunitz-type and a unique Kazal-type proteinase inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Nirmala, X; Kodrík, D; Zurovec, M; Sehnal, F

    2001-04-01

    Insect silk is made up of structural fibrous (fibroins) and sticky (sericins) proteins, and contains a few small peptides of hitherto unknown functions. We demonstrate that two of these peptides inhibit bacterial and fungal proteinases (subtilisin, proteinase K and pronase). These 'silk proteinase inhibitors' 1 and 2 (SPI 1 and 2) are produced in the middle section of the silk-secreting glands prior to cocoon spinning and their production is controlled at transcription level. The full length cDNA of pre-SPI 1 contains 443 nucleotides and encodes a peptide of 76 amino-acid residues, of which 20 make up a signal sequence. The mature SPI 1 (6056.7 Da, 56 residues) is a typical thermostable Kunitz-type proteinase inhibitor with Arg in P1 position. The cDNA of pre-SPI 2 consists of 260 nucleotides and yields a putative secretory peptide of 58 amino-acid residues. The functional SPI 2 (3993 Da, 36 residues) is a single-domain Kazal-type proteinase inhibitor with unique structural features: free segment of the N-terminus is reduced to a single amino-acid residue, lack of CysI and CysV precludes formation of the A-ring and provides increased flexibility to the C-ring, and absence of several residues around the normal position of CysV shortens and changes the alpha helix segment of the protein. The structure reveals that the length and arrangement of the B-ring, including exposure of the P1 residue, and the position of the C-terminus relative to the B-loop, are essential for the activity of the Kazal-type inhibitors. PMID:11277929

  14. Silk-I is a Hydrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohn, Sungkyun; Strey, Helmut H.; Gido, Samuel P.

    2004-03-01

    In order to study the thermodynamics of supramolecular self-assembly phenomena in crystallizable segments of Bombyx mori silkworm silk fibroin, the osmotic stress method was applied. Precise control of the protein and LiBr concentration enables us to manipulate the phases of the silk fibroin, thus the method provided a means for the direct investigation of microscopic and thermodynamic details of these intermolecular interactions in aqueous media. Under the experimental osmotic pressure range of 0.2-7.6MPa applied by poly(ethylene glycol), it is apparent that as osmotic pressure increases, silk fibroin molecules are crowded together to form a water-soluble crystalline mesophase (silk-I), and then with further increase in osmotic pressure become anti-parallel beta-sheet structure (silk-II). A partial ternary phase diagram of water-silk fibroin-LiBr was constructed based on X-ray results. The microscopic data clearly indicate that silk-I is a hydrated structure since water of hydration is found to be lost in the conversion to silk-II. A rough estimate of the number of water molecules lost by the structure upon converting from silk-I to silk-II has been made, and found to be about 2.2 per [GAGAGS] hexapeptide. The phase diagram suggests that processes, such as natural, regenerated or biomimetic silk fibroin spinning, that convert random coil fibroin to silk-II are likely to require a silk-I intermediate structure. This intermediate is necessary for the pre-alignment of the fibroin molecules and to shed water. We tried to utilize hydrated silk-I mesophase to pre-structure the silk fibroin by applying osmotic pressure, for the wet-spinning of silk fibroin.

  15. Sericin enhances the bioperformance of collagen-based matrices preseeded with human-adipose derived stem cells (hADSCs).

    PubMed

    Dinescu, Sorina; Galateanu, Bianca; Albu, Madalina; Cimpean, Anisoara; Dinischiotu, Anca; Costache, Marieta

    2013-01-01

    Current clinical strategies for adipose tissue engineering (ATE), including autologous fat implants or the use of synthetic surrogates, not only are failing in the long term, but also can't face the latest requirements regarding the aesthetic restoration of the resulted imperfections. In this context, modern strategies in current ATE applications are based on the implantation of 3D cell-scaffold bioconstructs, designed for prospective achievement of in situ functional de novo tissue. Thus, in this paper, we reported for the first time the evaluation of a spongious 60% collagen and 40% sericin scaffold preseeded with human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) in terms of biocompatibility and adipogenic potential in vitro. We showed that the addition of the sticky protein sericin in the composition of a classical collagen sponge enhanced the adhesion and also the proliferation rate of the seeded cells, thus improving the biocompatibility of the novel scaffold. In addition, sericin stimulated PPARγ2 overexpression, triggering a subsequent upregulated expression profile of FAS, aP2 and perilipin adipogenic markers. These features, together with the already known sericin stimulatory potential on cellular collagen production, promote collagen-sericin biomatrix as a good candidate for soft tissue reconstruction and wound healing applications. PMID:23325052

  16. Sericin Enhances the Bioperformance of Collagen-Based Matrices Preseeded with Human-Adipose Derived Stem Cells (hADSCs)

    PubMed Central

    Dinescu, Sorina; Galateanu, Bianca; Albu, Madalina; Cimpean, Anisoara; Dinischiotu, Anca; Costache, Marieta

    2013-01-01

    Current clinical strategies for adipose tissue engineering (ATE), including autologous fat implants or the use of synthetic surrogates, not only are failing in the long term, but also can’t face the latest requirements regarding the aesthetic restoration of the resulted imperfections. In this context, modern strategies in current ATE applications are based on the implantation of 3D cell-scaffold bioconstructs, designed for prospective achievement of in situ functional de novo tissue. Thus, in this paper, we reported for the first time the evaluation of a spongious 60% collagen and 40% sericin scaffold preseeded with human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) in terms of biocompatibility and adipogenic potential in vitro. We showed that the addition of the sticky protein sericin in the composition of a classical collagen sponge enhanced the adhesion and also the proliferation rate of the seeded cells, thus improving the biocompatibility of the novel scaffold. In addition, sericin stimulated PPARγ2 overexpression, triggering a subsequent upregulated expression profile of FAS, aP2 and perilipin adipogenic markers. These features, together with the already known sericin stimulatory potential on cellular collagen production, promote collagen-sericin biomatrix as a good candidate for soft tissue reconstruction and wound healing applications. PMID:23325052

  17. Protein secondary structure of Green Lynx spider dragline silk investigated by solid-state NMR and X-ray diffraction.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dian; Shi, Xiangyan; Thompson, Forrest; Weber, Warner S; Mou, Qiushi; Yarger, Jeffery L

    2015-11-01

    In this study, the secondary structure of the major ampullate silk from Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx) spiders is characterized by X-ray diffraction and solid-state NMR spectroscopy. From X-ray diffraction measurement, β-sheet nanocrystallites were observed and found to be highly oriented along the fiber axis, with an orientational order, fc≈0.98. The size of the nanocrystallites was determined to be on average 2.5nm×3.3nm×3.8nm. Besides a prominent nanocrystalline region, a partially oriented amorphous region was also observed with an fa≈0.89. Two-dimensional (13)C-(13)C through-space and through-bond solid-state NMR experiments were employed to elucidate structure details of P. viridans silk proteins. It reveals that β-sheet nanocrystallites constitutes 40.0±1.2% of the protein and are dominated by alanine-rich repetitive motifs. Furthermore, based upon the NMR data, 18±1% of alanine, 60±2% glycine and 54±2% serine are incorporated into helical conformations. PMID:26226457

  18. Biomimetic magnetic silk scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Samal, Sangram K; Dash, Mamoni; Shelyakova, Tatiana; Declercq, Heidi A; Uhlarz, Marc; Bañobre-López, Manuel; Dubruel, Peter; Cornelissen, Maria; Herrmannsdörfer, Thomas; Rivas, Jose; Padeletti, Giuseppina; De Smedt, Stefaan; Braeckmans, Kevin; Kaplan, David L; Dediu, V Alek

    2015-03-25

    Magnetic silk fibroin protein (SFP) scaffolds integrating magnetic materials and featuring magnetic gradients were prepared for potential utility in magnetic-field assisted tissue engineering. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were introduced into SFP scaffolds via dip-coating methods, resulting in magnetic SFP scaffolds with different strengths of magnetization. Magnetic SFP scaffolds showed excellent hyperthermia properties achieving temperature increases up to 8 °C in about 100 s. The scaffolds were not toxic to osteogenic cells and improved cell adhesion and proliferation. These findings suggest that tailored magnetized silk-based biomaterials can be engineered with interesting features for biomaterials and tissue-engineering applications. PMID:25734962

  19. Developmental switches of sericin mRNA splicing in individual cells of Bombyx mori silkgland.

    PubMed

    Couble, P; Michaille, J J; Garel, A; Couble, M L; Prudhomme, J C

    1987-12-01

    Four mRNA of 10.5, 9.0, 4.0, and 2.8 kb are made from the sericin Ser1 gene by alternative maturation of a unique mRNA precursor. By means of RNA blots and in situ hybridization, we investigated variations in the distribution of these mRNA during the last larval instar in different territories of the middle silkgland. Taken together, the results from these two techniques show that 150 out of the 266 cells of this region of the organ express the Ser1 gene, but accumulate distinct mature mRNA species. Of these 150 cells 42 are specialized in a processing pathway resulting in the production of the 2.8-kb Ser1 mRNA throughout the larval instar. The 108 others perform successively three distinct splicing pathways leading to a development-dependent accumulation of, respectively, the 4.0-, the 10.5-, and the 9.0-kb mRNA. This suggests the occurrence of two switches in the splicing capacities of these cells during the fifth instar. The middle silkgland cells also express another sericin gene (Ser2) which encodes two mRNA of 5.4 and 3.1 kb, also arising by differential splicing. At the beginning of development, all the middle silkgland cells express this gene but, as development proceeds, expression becomes restricted to only the anterior cells. The biological consequence of this topological and temporal regulation of the mode of expression of these two genes is the sequential secretion and layering of the different sericins around the silk thread. PMID:3678608

  20. Topical Anti-Nuclear Factor-Kappa B Small Interfering RNA with Functional Peptides Containing Sericin-Based Hydrogel for Atopic Dermatitis.

    PubMed

    Kanazawa, Takanori; Shizawa, Yuki; Takeuchi, Mayu; Tamano, Kuniko; Ibaraki, Hisako; Seta, Yasuo; Takashima, Yuki; Okada, Hiroaki

    2015-01-01

    The small interfering RNA (siRNA) is suggested to offer a novel means of treating atopic dermatitis (AD) because it allows the specific silencing of genes related to AD pathogenesis. In our previous study, we found that siRNA targeted against RelA, an important nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) subdomain, with functional peptides, showed therapeutic effects in a mouse model of AD. In the present study, to develop a topical skin application against AD, we prepared a hydrogel containing anti-RelA siRNA and functional peptides and determined the intradermal permeation and the anti-AD effects in an AD mouse model. We selected the silk protein, sericin (SC), which is a versatile biocompatible biomaterial to prepare hydrogel as an aqueous gel base. We found that the siRNA was more widely delivered to the site of application in AD-induced ear skin of mice after topical application via the hydrogel containing functional peptides than via the preparation without functional peptides. In addition, the ear thickness and clinical skin severity of the AD-induced mice treated with hydrogel containing anti-RelA siRNA with functional peptides improved more than that of mice treated with the preparation formulated with negative siRNA. PMID:26371030

  1. Topical Anti-Nuclear Factor-Kappa B Small Interfering RNA with Functional Peptides Containing Sericin-Based Hydrogel for Atopic Dermatitis

    PubMed Central

    Kanazawa, Takanori; Shizawa, Yuki; Takeuchi, Mayu; Tamano, Kuniko; Ibaraki, Hisako; Seta, Yasuo; Takashima, Yuuki; Okada, Hiroaki

    2015-01-01

    The small interfering RNA (siRNA) is suggested to offer a novel means of treating atopic dermatitis (AD) because it allows the specific silencing of genes related to AD pathogenesis. In our previous study, we found that siRNA targeted against RelA, an important nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) subdomain, with functional peptides, showed therapeutic effects in a mouse model of AD. In the present study, to develop a topical skin application against AD, we prepared a hydrogel containing anti-RelA siRNA and functional peptides and determined the intradermal permeation and the anti-AD effects in an AD mouse model. We selected the silk protein, sericin (SC), which is a versatile biocompatible biomaterial to prepare hydrogel as an aqueous gel base. We found that the siRNA was more widely delivered to the site of application in AD-induced ear skin of mice after topical application via the hydrogel containing functional peptides than via the preparation without functional peptides. In addition, the ear thickness and clinical skin severity of the AD-induced mice treated with hydrogel containing anti-RelA siRNA with functional peptides improved more than that of mice treated with the preparation formulated with negative siRNA. PMID:26371030

  2. Skin equivalent tissue-engineered construct: co-cultured fibroblasts/ keratinocytes on 3D matrices of sericin hope cocoons.

    PubMed

    Nayak, Sunita; Dey, Sancharika; Kundu, Subhas C

    2013-01-01

    The development of effective and alternative tissue-engineered skin replacements to autografts, allografts and xenografts has became a clinical requirement due to the problems related to source of donor tissue and the perceived risk of disease transmission. In the present study 3D tissue engineered construct of sericin is developed using co-culture of keratinocytes on the upper surface of the fabricated matrices and with fibroblasts on lower surface. Sericin is obtained from "Sericin Hope" silkworm of Bombyx mori mutant and is extracted from cocoons by autoclave. Porous sericin matrices are prepared by freeze dried method using genipin as crosslinker. The matrices are characterized biochemically and biophysically. The cell proliferation and viability of co-cultured fibroblasts and keratinocytes on matrices for at least 28 days are observed by live/dead assay, Alamar blue assay, and by dual fluorescent staining. The growth of the fibroblasts and keratinocytes in co-culture is correlated with the expression level of TGF-β, b-FGF and IL-8 in the cultured supernatants by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The histological analysis further demonstrates a multi-layered stratified epidermal layer of uninhibited keratinocytes in co-cultured constructs. Presence of involucrin, collagen IV and the fibroblast surface protein in immuno-histochemical stained sections of co-cultured matrices indicates the significance of paracrine signaling between keratinocytes and fibroblasts in the expression of extracellular matrix protein for dermal repair. No significant amount of pro inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and nitric oxide) production are evidenced when macrophages grown on the sericin matrices. The results all together depict the potentiality of sericin 3D matrices as skin equivalent tissue engineered construct in wound repair. PMID:24058626

  3. Skin Equivalent Tissue-Engineered Construct: Co-Cultured Fibroblasts/ Keratinocytes on 3D Matrices of Sericin Hope Cocoons

    PubMed Central

    Nayak, Sunita; Dey, Sancharika; Kundu, Subhas C.

    2013-01-01

    The development of effective and alternative tissue-engineered skin replacements to autografts, allografts and xenografts has became a clinical requirement due to the problems related to source of donor tissue and the perceived risk of disease transmission. In the present study 3D tissue engineered construct of sericin is developed using co-culture of keratinocytes on the upper surface of the fabricated matrices and with fibroblasts on lower surface. Sericin is obtained from “Sericin Hope” silkworm of Bombyx mori mutant and is extracted from cocoons by autoclave. Porous sericin matrices are prepared by freeze dried method using genipin as crosslinker. The matrices are characterized biochemically and biophysically. The cell proliferation and viability of co-cultured fibroblasts and keratinocytes on matrices for at least 28 days are observed by live/dead assay, Alamar blue assay, and by dual fluorescent staining. The growth of the fibroblasts and keratinocytes in co-culture is correlated with the expression level of TGF-β, b-FGF and IL-8 in the cultured supernatants by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The histological analysis further demonstrates a multi-layered stratified epidermal layer of uninhibited keratinocytes in co-cultured constructs. Presence of involucrin, collagen IV and the fibroblast surface protein in immuno-histochemical stained sections of co-cultured matrices indicates the significance of paracrine signaling between keratinocytes and fibroblasts in the expression of extracellular matrix protein for dermal repair. No significant amount of pro inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and nitric oxide) production are evidenced when macrophages grown on the sericin matrices. The results all together depict the potentiality of sericin 3D matrices as skin equivalent tissue engineered construct in wound repair. PMID:24058626

  4. Transmission Electron Microscopy of Bombyx Mori Silk Fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. The effect of sericin from various extraction methods on cell viability and collagen production.

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Aramwit P; Kanokpanont S; Nakpheng T; Srichana T

    2010-01-01

    Silk sericin (SS) can accelerate cell proliferation and attachment; however, SS can be extracted by various methods, which result in SS exhibiting different physical and biological properties. We found that SS produced from various extraction methods has different molecular weights, zeta potential, particle size and amino acid content. The MTT assay indicated that SS from all extraction methods had no toxicity to mouse fibroblast cells at concentrations up to 40 mug/mL after 24 h incubation, but SS obtained from some extraction methods can be toxic at higher concentrations. Heat-degraded SS was the least toxic to cells and activated the highest collagen production, while urea-extracted SS showed the lowest cell viability and collagen production. SS from urea extraction was severely harmful to cells at concentrations higher than 100 mug/mL. SS from all extraction methods could still promote collagen production in a concentration-dependent manner, even at high concentrations that are toxic to cells.

  6. Ionotropic Cross-linked Carbo-protein Micro Matrix System: An Approach for Improvement of Drug Release, Compaction and Tableting behavior of Losartan Potassium.

    PubMed

    Khandai, Madhusmruti; Chakraborty, Santanu; Ghosh, Ashoke Kumar

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present research work is to develop carbo-protein polymeric complex based sustain release microspheres of losartan potassium and investigate the ability of this dosage form to improve the flowability, compressibility and tableting properties of losartan potassium. The influence of silk sericin, alginate and its blend on various physicochemical parameters and in vitro drug release pattern were studied to optimize the concentration of polymeric blend required for 12 h. sustain release. Optimized batch was subjected to different flowability, compressibility and tableting properties studies to observe the effects of carbo-protein microspheres on flow properties. Results indicated that the concentration of sericin was found to be the main influential factor for prolonged drug release. Different micromeritic studies revealed that the poor flowability and compressibility properties of pure losartan potassium were significantly improved by this algino-sericin microspheric dosage form. Research findings also revealed that plasticity, die filling behavior and tableting properties of the pure drug were significantly improved by this microsphere formulation. So these prospective results concluded that carbo-protein polymeric microspheres helps to sustain the drug release for prolong hours as well as improve the flowability, compressibility and tableting properties of losartan potassium. PMID:25760869

  7. Diverse formulas for spider dragline fibers demonstrated by molecular and mechanical characterization of spitting spider silk.

    PubMed

    Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-12-01

    Spider silks have outstanding mechanical properties. Most research has focused on dragline silk proteins (major ampullate spidroins, MaSps) from orb-weaving spiders. Using silk gland expression libraries from the haplogyne spider Scytodes thoracica, we discovered two novel spidroins (S. thoracica fibroin 1 and 2). The amino acid composition of S. thoracica silk glands and dragline fibers suggest that fibroin 1 is the major component of S. thoracica dragline silk. Fibroin 1 is dominated by glycine-alanine motifs, and lacks sequence motifs associated with orb-weaver MaSps. We hypothesize fibroin 2 is a piriform or aciniform silk protein, based on amino acid composition, spigot morphology, and phylogenetic analyses. S. thoracica's dragline silk is less tough than previously reported, but is still comparable to other dragline silks. Our analyses suggest that dragline silk proteins evolved multiple times. This demonstrates that spider dragline silk is more diverse than previously understood, providing alternative high performance silk designs. PMID:25340514

  8. Reproducing Natural Spider Silks' Copolymer Behavior in Synthetic Silk Mimics

    SciTech Connect

    An, Bo; Jenkins, Janelle E; Sampath, Sujatha; Holland, Gregory P; Hinman, Mike; Yarger, Jeffery L; Lewis, Randolph

    2012-10-30

    Dragline silk from orb-weaving spiders is a copolymer of two large proteins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and 2 (MaSp2). The ratio of these proteins is known to have a large variation across different species of orb-weaving spiders. NMR results from gland material of two different species of spiders, N. clavipes and A. aurantia, indicates that MaSp1 proteins are more easily formed into β-sheet nanostructures, while MaSp2 proteins form random coil and helical structures. To test if this behavior of natural silk proteins could be reproduced by recombinantly produced spider silk mimic protein, recombinant MaSp1/MaSp2 mixed fibers as well as chimeric silk fibers from MaSp1 and MaSp2 sequences in a single protein were produced based on the variable ratio and conserved motifs of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in native silk fiber. Mechanical properties, solid-state NMR, and XRD results of tested synthetic fibers indicate the differing roles of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in the fiber and verify the importance of postspin stretching treatment in helping the fiber to form the proper spatial structure.

  9. Composition and Hierarchical Organisation of a Spider Silk

    PubMed Central

    Sponner, Alexander; Vater, Wolfram; Monajembashi, Shamci; Unger, Eberhard; Grosse, Frank; Weisshart, Klaus

    2007-01-01

    Albeit silks are fairly well understood on a molecular level, their hierarchical organisation and the full complexity of constituents in the spun fibre remain poorly defined. Here we link morphological defined structural elements in dragline silk of Nephila clavipes to their biochemical composition and physicochemical properties. Five layers of different make-ups could be distinguished. Of these only the two core layers contained the known silk proteins, but all can vitally contribute to the mechanical performance or properties of the silk fibre. Understanding the composite nature of silk and its supra-molecular organisation will open avenues in the production of high performance fibres based on artificially spun silk material. PMID:17912375

  10. Silk from Crickets: A New Twist on Spinning

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22355311

  11. Silk as an innovative biomaterial for cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Jastrzebska, Katarzyna; Kucharczyk, Kamil; Florczak, Anna; Dondajewska, Ewelina; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Dams-Kozlowska, Hanna

    2014-01-01

    Silk has been used for centuries in the textile industry and as surgical sutures. In addition to its unique mechanical properties, silk possesses other properties, such as biocompatibility, biodegradability and ability to self-assemble, which make it an interesting material for biomedical applications. Although silk forms only fibers in nature, synthetic techniques can be used to control the processing of silk into different morphologies, such as scaffolds, films, hydrogels, microcapsules, and micro- and nanospheres. Moreover, the biotechnological production of silk proteins broadens the potential applications of silk. Synthetic silk genes have been designed. Genetic engineering enables modification of silk properties or the construction of a hybrid silk. Bioengineered hybrid silks consist of a silk sequence that self-assembles into the desired morphological structure and the sequence of a polypeptide that confers a function to the silk biomaterial. The functional domains can comprise binding sites for receptors, enzymes, drugs, metals or sugars, among others. Here, we review the current status of potential applications of silk biomaterials in the field of oncology with a focus on the generation of implantable, injectable and targeted drug delivery systems and the three-dimensional cancer models based on silk scaffolds for cancer research. However, the systems described could be applied in many biomedical fields. PMID:25859397

  12. The elaborate structure of spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Römer, Lin

    2008-01-01

    Biomaterials, having evolved over millions of years, often exceed man-made materials in their properties. Spider silk is one outstanding fibrous biomaterial which consists almost entirely of large proteins. Silk fibers have tensile strengths comparable to steel and some silks are nearly as elastic as rubber on a weight to weight basis. In combining these two properties, silks reveal a toughness that is two to three times that of synthetic fibers like Nylon or Kevlar. Spider silk is also antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and completely biodegradable. This article focuses on the structure-function relationship of the characterized highly repetitive spider silk spidroins and their conformational conversion from solution into fibers. Such knowedge is of crucial importance to understanding the intrinsic properties of spider silk and to get insight into the sophisticated assembly processes of silk proteins. This review further outlines recent progress in recombinant production of spider silk proteins and their assembly into distinct polymer materials as a basis for novel products. PMID:19221522

  13. Proteins in the Cocoon of Silkworm Inhibit the Growth of Beauveria bassiana.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaomeng; Dong, Zhaoming; Zhang, Yan; Li, Youshan; Liu, Huawei; Xia, Qingyou; Zhao, Ping

    2016-01-01

    Silk cocoons are composed of fiber proteins (fibroins) and adhesive glue proteins (sericins), which provide a physical barrier to protect the inside pupa. Moreover, other proteins were identified in the cocoon silk, many of which are immune related proteins. In this study, we extracted proteins from the silkworm cocoon by Tris-HCl buffer (pH7.5), and found that they had a strong inhibitory activity against fungal proteases and they had higher abundance in the outer cocoon layers than in the inner cocoon layers. Moreover, we found that extracted cocoon proteins can inhibit the germination of Beauveria bassiana spores. Consistent with the distribution of protease inhibitors, we found that proteins from the outer cocoon layers showed better inhibitory effects against B. bassiana spores than proteins from the inner layers. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to reveal the extracted components in the scaffold silk, the outermost cocoon layer. A total of 129 proteins were identified, 30 of which were annotated as protease inhibitors. Protease inhibitors accounted for 89.1% in abundance among extracted proteins. These protease inhibitors have many intramolecular disulfide bonds to maintain their stable structure, and remained active after being boiled. This study added a new understanding to the antimicrobial function of the cocoon. PMID:27032085

  14. Proteins in the Cocoon of Silkworm Inhibit the Growth of Beauveria bassiana

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yan; Li, Youshan; Liu, Huawei; Xia, Qingyou; Zhao, Ping

    2016-01-01

    Silk cocoons are composed of fiber proteins (fibroins) and adhesive glue proteins (sericins), which provide a physical barrier to protect the inside pupa. Moreover, other proteins were identified in the cocoon silk, many of which are immune related proteins. In this study, we extracted proteins from the silkworm cocoon by Tris-HCl buffer (pH7.5), and found that they had a strong inhibitory activity against fungal proteases and they had higher abundance in the outer cocoon layers than in the inner cocoon layers. Moreover, we found that extracted cocoon proteins can inhibit the germination of Beauveria bassiana spores. Consistent with the distribution of protease inhibitors, we found that proteins from the outer cocoon layers showed better inhibitory effects against B. bassiana spores than proteins from the inner layers. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to reveal the extracted components in the scaffold silk, the outermost cocoon layer. A total of 129 proteins were identified, 30 of which were annotated as protease inhibitors. Protease inhibitors accounted for 89.1% in abundance among extracted proteins. These protease inhibitors have many intramolecular disulfide bonds to maintain their stable structure, and remained active after being boiled. This study added a new understanding to the antimicrobial function of the cocoon. PMID:27032085

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-21

    Recent experiments have discovered very different thermal conductivities between the spider silk and the silkworm silk. Decoding the molecular mechanisms underpinning the distinct thermal properties may guide the rational design of synthetic silk materials and other biomaterials for multifunctionality and tunable properties. However, such an understanding is lacking, mainly due to the complex structure and phonon physics associated with the silk materials. Here, using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics, we demonstrate that the amino acid sequence plays a key role in the thermal conduction process through β-sheets, essential building blocks of natural silks and a variety of other biomaterials. Three representative β-sheet types, i.e. poly-A, poly-(GA), and poly-G, are shown to have distinct structural features and phonon dynamics leading to different thermal conductivities. A fundamental understanding of the sequence effects may stimulate the design and engineering of polymers and biopolymers for desired thermal properties. PMID:26455593

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25308521

  17. Antheraea pernyi Silk Fiber: A Potential Resource for Artificially Biospinning Spider Dragline Silk

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yaopeng; Yang, Hongxia; Shao, Huili; Hu, Xuechao

    2010-01-01

    The outstanding properties of spider dragline silk are likely to be determined by a combination of the primary sequences and the secondary structure of the silk proteins. Antheraea pernyi silk has more similar sequences to spider dragline silk than the silk from its domestic counterpart, Bombyx mori. This makes it much potential as a resource for biospinning spider dragline silk. This paper further verified its possibility as the resource from the mechanical properties and the structures of the A. pernyi silks prepared by forcible reeling. It is surprising that the stress-strain curves of the A. pernyi fibers show similar sigmoidal shape to those of spider dragline silk. Under a controlled reeling speed of 95 mm/s, the breaking energy was 1.04 × 105 J/kg, the tensile strength was 639 MPa and the initial modulus was 9.9 GPa. It should be noted that this breaking energy of the A. pernyi silk approaches that of spider dragline silk. The tensile properties, the optical orientation and the β-sheet structure contents of the silk fibers are remarkably increased by raising the spinning speeds up to 95 mm/s. PMID:20454537

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    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 case threads] and pyriform [produces attachment disc silk]. This approach is based upon anesthetizing the spider with carbon dioxide gas, subsequent separation of the cephalothorax from the abdomen, and microdissection of the abdomen to obtain the silk-producing glands. Following the separation of the different silk-producing glands, these tissues can be used to retrieve different macromolecules for distinct biochemical analyses, including quantitative real-time PCR, northern- and western blotting, mass spectrometry (MS or MS/MS) analyses to identify new silk protein sequences, search for proteins that participate in the silk assembly pathway, or use the intact tissue for cell culture or histological experiments. PMID:21248709

  19. Pulsed laser deposition of silk protein: Effect of photosensitized-ablation on the secondary structure in thin deposited films

    SciTech Connect

    Tsuboi, Yasuyuki; Goto, Masaharu; Itaya, Akira

    2001-06-15

    Silk fibroin is a simple protein expected to have functional applications in medicine and bioelectronics. The primary structure of this protein is quite simple, and the main secondary structures are {beta}-sheet crystals and amorphous random coils. In the present study, we investigated pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of fibroin with the {beta}-sheet structures as targets. The primary and secondary structures in films deposited were analyzed using infrared spectroscopy. Normal laser deposition at 351 nm using neat fibroin targets produced thin films of fibroin with a random coiled structure. Ablation was triggered by two-photonic excitation of the peptide chains, which resulted in the destruction of {beta}-sheet structure in PLD. In order to avoid the two-photonic excitation, we adopted a PLD method utilizing anthracene (5{endash}0.1 wt%) in a photosensitized reaction involving doped fibroin targets. Laser light (351 or 355 nm) was absorbed only by anthracene, which plays an important role converting photon energy to thermal energy with great ablation efficiency. Thin fibroin films deposited by this method had both random coil and {beta}-sheet structures. As the dopant concentration and laser fluence decreased, the ratio of {beta}-sheet domain to random coil increased in thin deposited films. {copyright} 2001 American Institute of Physics.

  20. An innovative bi-layered wound dressing made of silk and gelatin for accelerated wound healing.

    PubMed

    Kanokpanont, Sorada; Damrongsakkul, Siriporn; Ratanavaraporn, Juthamas; Aramwit, Pornanong

    2012-10-15

    In this study, the novel silk fibroin-based bi-layered wound dressing was developed. Wax-coated silk fibroin woven fabric was introduced as a non-adhesive layer while the sponge made of sericin and glutaraldehyde-crosslinked silk fibroin/gelatin was fabricated as a bioactive layer. Wax-coated silk fibroin fabrics showed improved mechanical properties compared with the non-coated fabrics, but less adhesive than the commercial wound dressing mesh. This confirmed by results of peel test on both the partial- and full-thickness wounds. The sericin-silk fibroin/gelatin spongy bioactive layers showed homogeneous porous structure and controllable biodegradation depending on the degree of crosslinking. The bi-layered wound dressings supported the attachment and proliferation of L929 mouse fibroblasts, particularly for the silk fibroin/gelatin ratio of 20/80 and 0.02% GA crosslinked. Furthermore, we proved that the bi-layered wound dressings promoted wound healing in full-thickness wounds, comparing with the clinically used wound dressing. The wounds treated with the bi-layered wound dressings showed the greater extent of wound size reduction, epithelialization, and collagen formation. The superior properties of the silk fibroin-based bi-layered wound dressings compared with those of the clinically used wound dressings were less adhesive and had improved biological functions to promote cell activities and wound healing. This novel bi-layered wound dressing should be a good candidate for the healing of full-thickness wounds. PMID:22771972

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  2. 13C NMR of Nephila clavipes major ampullate silk gland.

    PubMed Central

    Hijirida, D H; Do, K G; Michal, C; Wong, S; Zax, D; Jelinski, L W

    1996-01-01

    The major ampullate glands of the spider Nephila clavipes contain approximately 0.2 microliter each of a highly concentrated (approximately 50%) solution of silk fibroin. Therefore, the reservoir of silk in these glands presents an ideal opportunity to observe prefolded conformations of a protein in its native state. To this end, the structure and conformation of major ampullate gland silk fibroin within the glands of the spider N. clavipes were examined by 13C NMR spectroscopy. These results were compared to those from silk protein first drawn from the spinneret and then denatured. The 13C NMR chemical shifts, along with infrared and circular dichroism data, suggest that the silk fibroin in the glands exists in dynamically averaged helical conformations. Furthermore, there is no evidence of proline residues in U-(13)C-D-glucose-labeled silk. This transient prefolded "molten fibril" state may correspond to the silk I form found in Bombyx mori silk. There is no evidence of the final beta-sheet structure in the ampullate gland silk fibroin before final silk processing. However, the conformation of silk in the glands appears to be in a highly metastable state, as plasticization with water produces the beta-sheet structure. Therefore, the ducts connecting the ampullate glands to the spinnerets play a larger role in silk processing than previously thought. PMID:8968613

  3. Spider Webs and Silks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vollrath, Fritz

    1992-01-01

    Compares the attributes of the silk from spiders with those of the commercially harvested silk from silkworms. Discusses the evolution, design, and effectiveness of spider webs; the functional mechanics of the varieties of silk that can be produced by the same spider; and the composite, as well as molecular, structure of spider silk thread. (JJK)

  4. Insoluble and flexible silk films containing glycerol.

    PubMed

    Lu, Shenzhou; Wang, Xiaoqin; Lu, Qiang; Zhang, Xiaohui; Kluge, Jonathan A; Uppal, Neha; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2010-01-11

    We directly prepared insoluble silk films by blending with glycerol and avoiding the use of organic solvents. The ability to blend a plasticizer like glycerol with a hydrophobic protein like silk and achieve stable material systems above a critical threshold of glycerol is an important new finding with importance for green chemistry approaches to new and more flexible silk-based biomaterials. The aqueous solubility, biocompatibility, and well-documented use of glycerol as a plasticizer with other biopolymers prompted its inclusion in silk fibroin solutions to assess impact on silk film behavior. Processing was performed in water rather than organic solvents to enhance the potential biocompatibility of these biomaterials. The films exhibited modified morphologies that could be controlled on the basis of the blend composition and also exhibited altered mechanical properties, such as improved elongation at break, when compared with pure silk fibroin films. Mechanistically, glycerol appears to replace water in silk fibroin chain hydration, resulting in the initial stabilization of helical structures in the films, as opposed to random coil or beta-sheet structures. The use of glycerol in combination with silk fibroin in materials processing expands the functional features attainable with this fibrous protein, and in particular, in the formation of more flexible films with potential utility in a range of biomaterial and device applications. PMID:19919091

  5. Identification and classification of silks using infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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

  6. Identification and classification of silks using infrared spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    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. Silk film biomaterials for ocular surface repair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, Brian David

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

  8. Phosphorylated silk fibroin matrix for methotrexate release.

    PubMed

    Volkov, Vadim; Sárria, Marisa P; Gomes, Andreia C; Cavaco-Paulo, Artur

    2015-01-01

    Silk-based matrix was produced for delivery of a model anticancer drug, methotrexate (MTX). The calculation of net charge of silk fibroin and MTX was performed to better understand the electrostatic interactions during matrix formation upon casting. Silk fibroin films were cast at pH 7.2 and pH 3.5. Protein kinase A was used to prepare phosphorylated silk fibroin. The phosphorylation content of matrix was controlled by mixing at specific ratios the phosphorylated and unphosphorylated solutions. In vitro release profiling data suggest that the observed interactions are mainly structural and not electrostatical. The release of MTX is facilitated by use of proteolytic enzymes and higher pHs. The elevated β-sheet content and crystallinity of the acidified-cast fibroin solution seem not to favor drug retention. All the acquired data underline the prevalence of structural interactions over electrostatical interactions between methotrexate and silk fibroin. PMID:25435334

  9. Silk Fibroin: Photocrosslinking of Silk Fibroin Using Riboflavin for Ocular Prostheses (Adv. Mater. 12/2016).

    PubMed

    Applegate, Matthew B; Partlow, Benjamin P; Coburn, Jeannine; Marelli, Benedetto; Pirie, Christopher; Pineda, Roberto; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G

    2016-03-01

    Dissolved silk protein mixed with riboflavin can be crosslinked to form an elastic hydrogel in the presence of blue/violet light. Here, a photomask is used by F. G. Omenetto and co-workers, as described on page 2417, to illuminate the solution, and the unpolymerized silk is rinsed away. These gels have tremendous potential to be used as corneal prostheses. PMID:27001701

  10. Functionalized Silk Biomaterials for Wound Healing

    PubMed Central

    Gil, Eun Seok; Panilaitis, Bruce; Bellas, Evangelia

    2013-01-01

    Silk protein-biomaterial wound dressings with epidermal growth factor (EGF) and silver sulfadiazine were studied with a cutaneous excisional mouse wound model. Three different material designs (silk films, lamellar porous silk films, electrospun silk nanofibers) and two different drug functionalization techniques (drug coatings or drug loading into the materials) were studied to compare wound healing responses. Changes in wound size and histological assessments of wound tissues over time confirmed that functionalized silk biomaterial wound dressings increased wound healing rate, including reepithelialization, dermis proliferation, collagen synthesis, epidermal differentiation into hair follicles and sebaceous glands, and reduced scar formation, when compared to air-permeable Tegaderm™ tape (3M) (− control) and a commercially sold wound dressing (Tegaderm™ Hydrocolloid dressing) (+ control). All silk biomaterials studied were effective for wound healing, while the porous features of the silk biomaterials (lamellar porous films and electrospun nanofibers) and the incorporation of EGF/silver sulfadiazine, via drug loading or coating, provided the most rapid wound healing responses. This systematic approach to evaluate functionalized silk biomaterial wound dressings demonstrates a useful strategy to select formulations for further study towards new treatment options for chronic wounds. PMID:23184644

  11. Adaptation of caddisfly larval silks to aquatic habitats by phosphorylation of h-fibroin serines.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Russell J; Wang, Ching Shuen

    2010-04-12

    Aquatic caddisflies diverged from a silk-spinning ancestor shared with terrestrial moths and butterflies. Caddisfly larva spin adhesive silk underwater to construct protective shelters with adventitiously gathered materials. A repeating (SX)(n) motif conserved in the H-fibroin of several caddisfly species is densely phosphorylated. In total, more than half of the serines in caddisfly silk may be phosphorylated. Major molecular adaptations allowing underwater spinning of an ancestral dry silk appear to have been phosphorylation of serines and the accumulation of basic residues in the silk proteins. The amphoteric nature of the silk proteins could contribute to silk fiber assembly through electrostatic association of phosphorylated blocks with arginine-rich blocks. The presence of Ca(2+) in the caddisfly larval silk proteins suggest phosphorylated serines could contribute to silk fiber periodic substructure through Ca(2+) crossbridging. PMID:20196534

  12. Structural characterization of nanofiber silk produced by embiopterans (webspinners).

    PubMed

    Addison, J Bennett; Popp, Thomas M Osborn; Weber, Warner S; Edgerly, Janice S; Holland, Gregory P; Yarger, Jeffery L

    2014-01-01

    Embiopterans produce silken galleries and sheets using exceptionally fine silk fibers in which they live and breed. In this study, we use electron microscopy (EM), Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) techniques to elucidate the molecular level protein structure of webspinner (embiid) silks. Silks from two species Antipaluria urichi and Aposthonia ceylonica are studied in this work. Electron microscopy images show that the fibers are about 90-100 nm in diameter, making webspinner silks among the finest of all known animal silks. Structural studies reveal that the silk protein core is dominated by β-sheet structures, and that the protein core is coated with a hydrophobic alkane-rich surface coating. FTIR spectra of native embiid silk shows characteristic alkane CH2 stretchings near 2800-2900 cm(-1), which decrease approximately 50% after washing the silk with 2 : 1 CHCl3 : MeOH. Furthermore, (13)C ssNMR data shows a significant CH2 resonance that is strongly affected by the presence of water, supporting the idea that the silk fibers are coated with a hydrocarbon-rich layer. Such a layer is likely used to protect the colonies from rain. FTIR data also suggests that embiid silks are dominated by β-sheet secondary structures similar to spider and silkworm silk fibers. NMR data confirms the presence of β-sheet nanostructures dominated by serine-rich repetitive regions. A deconvolution of the serine Cβ NMR resonance reveals that approximately 70% of all seryl residues exist in a β-sheet structure. This is consistent with WAXD results that suggest webspinner silks are 70% crystalline, which is the highest crystalline fraction reported for any animal silks. The work presented here provides a molecular level structural picture of silk fibers produced by webspinners. PMID:25383190

  13. Continuous production of flexible fibers from transgenically produced honeybee silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Poole, Jacinta; Church, Jeffrey S; Woodhead, Andrea L; Huson, Mickey G; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Kyratzis, Ilias L; Sutherland, Tara D

    2013-10-01

    Flexible and solvent stable fibers are produced after concentrated recombinant honeybee protein solutions are extruded into a methanol bath, dried, drawn in aqueous methanol, then covalently cross-linked using dry heat. Proteins in solution are predominantly coiled coil. Significant levels of non-orientated ß-sheets form during drying or after coagulation in aqueous methanol. Drawing generally aligns the coiled coil component parallel with the fibre axis and ß-sheet component perpendicular to the fiber axis. The fibres are readily handled, stable in the strong protein denaturants, urea and guanidinium, and suitable for a range of applications such as weaving and knitting. PMID:23881528

  14. Stylized Silk Painting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skophammer, Karen

    1998-01-01

    Presents an art activity inspired by a workshop "Surrounded by Silk" given by Susan Skvoe in which the students create silk paintings. Explains that the students first sketch their floral design on paper, trace the design on the silk's surface, and apply liquid dye for color. Provides an easier activity for younger students. (CMK)

  15. Characteristics of platelet gels combined with silk

    PubMed Central

    Pallotta, Isabella; Kluge, Jonathan A.; Moreau, Jodie; Calabrese, Rossella

    2014-01-01

    Platelet gel, a fibrin network containing activated platelets, is widely used in regenerative medicine due the capacity of platelet-derived growth factors to accelerate and direct healing processes. However, limitations to this approach include poor mechanical properties, relatively rapid degradation, and the lack of control of release of growth factors at the site of injection. These issues compromise the ability of platelet gels for sustained function in regenerative medicine. In the present study, a combination of platelet gels with silk fibroin gel was studied to address the above limitations. Mixing sonicated silk gels with platelet gels extended the release of growth factors without inhibiting gel forming ability. The released growth factors were biologically active and their delivery was modified further by manipulation of the charge of the silk protein. Moreover, the silk gel augmented both the rheological properties and compressive stiffness of the platelet gel, tuned by the silk concentration and/or silk/platelet gel ratio. Silk-platelet gel injections in nude rats supported enhanced cell infiltration and blood vessel formation representing a step towards new platelet gel formulations with enhanced therapeutic impact. PMID:24480538

  16. The effect of sericin from various extraction methods on cell viability and collagen production.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Kanokpanont, Sorada; Nakpheng, Titpawan; Srichana, Teerapol

    2010-01-01

    Silk sericin (SS) can accelerate cell proliferation and attachment; however, SS can be extracted by various methods, which result in SS exhibiting different physical and biological properties. We found that SS produced from various extraction methods has different molecular weights, zeta potential, particle size and amino acid content. The MTT assay indicated that SS from all extraction methods had no toxicity to mouse fibroblast cells at concentrations up to 40 mug/mL after 24 h incubation, but SS obtained from some extraction methods can be toxic at higher concentrations. Heat-degraded SS was the least toxic to cells and activated the highest collagen production, while urea-extracted SS showed the lowest cell viability and collagen production. SS from urea extraction was severely harmful to cells at concentrations higher than 100 mug/mL. SS from all extraction methods could still promote collagen production in a concentration-dependent manner, even at high concentrations that are toxic to cells. PMID:20559510

  17. Evaluation of sericin as a fetal bovine serum-replacing cryoprotectant during freezing of human mesenchymal stromal cells and human osteoblast-like cells.

    PubMed

    Verdanova, Martina; Pytlik, Robert; Kalbacova, Marie Hubalek

    2014-04-01

    A reliable, cryoprotective, xeno-free medium suitable for different cell types is highly desirable in regenerative medicine. There is danger of infection or allergic reaction with the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS), making it problematic for medical applications. The aim of the present study was to develop an FBS-free cryoprotective medium for human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs; primary cells) and immortalized human osteoblasts (SAOS-2 cell line). Furthermore, we endeavored to eliminate or reduce the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in the medium. Sericin, a sticky protein derived from the silkworm cocoon, was investigated as a substitute for FBS and DMSO in the freezing medium. Cell viability (24 hours after thawing, both hMSC and SAOS-2) and colony-forming ability (2 weeks after thawing, only for hMSCs) were both determined. The FBS-free medium with 1% sericin in 10% DMSO was found to be a suitable freezing medium for primary hMSCs, in contrast to immortalized human osteoblasts. Surprisingly, the storage of hMSCs in a cultivation medium with only 10% DMSO also provided satisfactory results. Any drop in DMSO concentration led to significantly worse survival of cells, with little improvement in hMSC survival in the presence of sericin. Thus, sericin may substitute for FBS in the freezing medium for primary hMSCs, but cannot substitute for DMSO. PMID:24749876

  18. Evaluation of Sericin as a Fetal Bovine Serum-Replacing Cryoprotectant During Freezing of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Human Osteoblast-Like Cells

    PubMed Central

    Verdanova, Martina; Pytlik, Robert

    2014-01-01

    A reliable, cryoprotective, xeno-free medium suitable for different cell types is highly desirable in regenerative medicine. There is danger of infection or allergic reaction with the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS), making it problematic for medical applications. The aim of the present study was to develop an FBS-free cryoprotective medium for human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs; primary cells) and immortalized human osteoblasts (SAOS-2 cell line). Furthermore, we endeavored to eliminate or reduce the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in the medium. Sericin, a sticky protein derived from the silkworm cocoon, was investigated as a substitute for FBS and DMSO in the freezing medium. Cell viability (24 hours after thawing, both hMSC and SAOS-2) and colony-forming ability (2 weeks after thawing, only for hMSCs) were both determined. The FBS-free medium with 1% sericin in 10% DMSO was found to be a suitable freezing medium for primary hMSCs, in contrast to immortalized human osteoblasts. Surprisingly, the storage of hMSCs in a cultivation medium with only 10% DMSO also provided satisfactory results. Any drop in DMSO concentration led to significantly worse survival of cells, with little improvement in hMSC survival in the presence of sericin. Thus, sericin may substitute for FBS in the freezing medium for primary hMSCs, but cannot substitute for DMSO. PMID:24749876

  19. Comparative Study of Silk-Silk Alloy Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  20. Materials Fabrication from Bombyx mori Silk Fibroin

    PubMed Central

    Rockwood, Danielle N.; Preda, Rucsanda C.; Yücel, Tuna; Wang, Xiaoqin; Lovett, Michael L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Silk fibroin, derived from Bombyx mori cocoons, is a widely used and studied protein polymer for biomaterial applications. Silk fibroin has remarkable mechanical properties when formed into different materials, demonstrates biocompatibility, has controllable degradation rates from hours to years, and it can be chemically modified to alter surface properties or to immobilize growth factors. A variety of aqueous or organic solvent processing methods can be used to generate silk biomaterials for a range of applications. In this protocol we include methods to extract silk from B. mori cocoons in order to fabricate hydrogels, tubes, sponges, composites, fibers, microspheres and thin films. These materials can be used directly as biomaterials for implants, as scaffolding in tissue engineering and in vitro disease models, and for drug delivery. PMID:21959241

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    The unique properties of spider silk such as strength, extensibility, toughness, biocompatibility and biodegradability are the reasons for the recent development in silk biomaterial technology. For a long time scientific progress was impeded by limited access to spider silk. However, the development of the molecular biology strategy was a breaking point in synthetic spider silk protein design. The sequences of engineered spider silk are based on the consensus motives of the corresponding natural equivalents. Moreover, the engineered silk proteins may be modified in order to gain a new function. The strategy of the hybrid proteins constructed on the DNA level combines the sequence of engineered silk, which is responsible for the biomaterial structure, with the sequence of polypeptide which allows functionalization of the silk biomaterial. The functional domains may comprise receptor binding sites, enzymes, metal or sugar binding sites and others. Currently, advanced research is being conducted, which on the one hand focuses on establishing the particular silk structure and understanding the process of silk thread formation in nature. On the other hand, there are attempts to improve methods of engineered spider silk protein production. Due to acquired knowledge and recent progress in synthetic protein technology, the engineered silk will turn into intelligent biomaterial of the future, while its industrial production scale will trigger a biotechnological revolution. PMID:21734322

  2. Production of Bombyx mori silk fibroin incorporated with unnatural amino acids.

    PubMed

    Teramoto, Hidetoshi; Kojima, Katsura

    2014-07-14

    Silk fibroin incorporated with unnatural amino acids was produced by in vivo feeding of p-chloro-, p-bromo-, and p-azido-substituted analogues of L-phenylalanine (Phe) to transgenic silkworms (Bombyx mori) that expressed a mutant of phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase with expanded substrate recognition capabilities in silk glands. Cutting down the content of Phe in the diet was effective for increasing the incorporation of Phe analogues but simultaneously caused a decrease of fibroin production. The azide groups incorporated in fibroin were active as chemical handles for click chemistry in both the solubilized and the solid (fibrous) states. The azides survived degumming in the boiling alkaline solution that is required for complete removal of the sericin layer, demonstrating that AzPhe-incorporated silk fibroin could be a versatile platform to produce "clickable" silk materials in various forms. This study indicates the huge potential of UAA mutagenesis as a novel methodology to alter the characteristics of B. mori silk. PMID:24884258

  3. Silks as scaffolds for skin reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Reimers, Kerstin; Liebsch, Christina; Radtke, Christine; Kuhbier, Jörn W; Vogt, Peter M

    2015-11-01

    In this short review, we describe the use of high molecular weight proteins produced in the glands of several arthropods-commonly called silks-for the purpose to enhance human skin wound healing. To this end an extensive literature search has been performed, the publications have been categorized concerning silk preparation and application and summarized accordingly: Scaffolds to promote wound healing were prepared by processing the silks in different ways including solubilization of the protein fibers followed by casting or electrospinning. The silk scaffolds were additionally modified by coating or blending with the intention of further functionalization. In several approaches, the scaffolds were also vitalized with skin cells or stem cells. In vitro and in vivo models were implied to test for safety and efficiency. We conclude that silk scaffolds are characterized by an advantageous biocompatibility as well as an impressive versatility rendering them ideally suited for application in wounds. Nevertheless, further investigation is needed to exploit the full capacity of silk in different wound models and to achieve clinical transfer in time. PMID:25995140

  4. Silk-based delivery systems of bioactive molecules

    PubMed Central

    Numata, Keiji; Kaplan, David L

    2010-01-01

    Silks are biodegradable, biocompatible, self-assemblying proteins that can also be tailored via genetic engineering to contain specific chemical features, offering utility for drug and gene delivery. Silkworm silk has been used in biomedical sutures for decades and has recently achieved Food and Drug Administration approval for expanded biomaterials device utility. With the diversity and control of size, structure and chemistry, modified or recombinant silk proteins can be designed and utilized in various biomedical application, such as for the delivery of bioactive molecules. This review focuses on the biosynthesis and applications of silk-based multi-block copolymer systems and related silk protein drug delivery systems. The utility of these systems for the delivery of small molecule drugs, proteins and genes are reviewed. PMID:20298729

  5. Structure-Function-Property-Design Interplay in Biopolymers: Spider Silk

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures, and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. PMID:23962644

  6. Microfibrillar Structure of Silks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putthanarat, Sirina; Eby, Ronald K.; Adams, W. W.; Liu, G. F.

    1998-03-01

    We have previously observed the dragline silk of Nephila clavipes and the silk of Bombyx mori exhibit a range of morphological feature including microfibers (S. Putthanarat; R.K. Eby; W.W. Adams; G.F. Liu J.M.S.-Pure Appl. Chem. 1996, A33(7), 899) and a layered structure. In successive layers the microfibers appeared to be oriented at different small angles to the fiber axis. Further work with the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) on the silk of B. mori has confirmed these observations and shown other features. One of the latter is a series of raised "steps" spaced somewhat regularly along the fiber. Investigation of peeled three-molted B. mori and Antheraea yamamai (Japanese Tussah) and other silks has shown features very similar to all those in the silk of B. mori. AFM images, characterization, and analyses will be shown for all the silks and their features

  7. More than one way to spin a crystallite: multiple trajectories through liquid crystallinity to solid silk

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Andrew A.; Holland, Chris; Sutherland, Tara D.

    2015-01-01

    Arthropods face several key challenges in processing concentrated feedstocks of proteins (silk dope) into solid, semi-crystalline silk fibres. Strikingly, independently evolved lineages of silk-producing organisms have converged on the use of liquid crystal intermediates (mesophases) to reduce the viscosity of silk dope and assist the formation of supramolecular structure. However, the exact nature of the liquid-crystal-forming-units (mesogens) in silk dope, and the relationship between liquid crystallinity, protein structure and silk processing is yet to be fully elucidated. In this review, we focus on emerging differences in this area between the canonical silks containing extended-β-sheets made by silkworms and spiders, and ‘non-canonical’ silks made by other insect taxa in which the final crystallites are coiled-coils, collagen helices or cross-β-sheets. We compared the amino acid sequences and processing of natural, regenerated and recombinant silk proteins, finding that canonical and non-canonical silk proteins show marked differences in length, architecture, amino acid content and protein folding. Canonical silk proteins are long, flexible in solution and amphipathic; these features allow them both to form large, micelle-like mesogens in solution, and to transition to a crystallite-containing form due to mechanical deformation near the liquid–solid transition. By contrast, non-canonical silk proteins are short and have rod or lath-like structures that are well suited to act both as mesogens and as crystallites without a major intervening phase transition. Given many non-canonical silk proteins can be produced at high yield in E. coli, and that mesophase formation is a versatile way to direct numerous kinds of supramolecular structure, further elucidation of the natural processing of non-canonical silk proteins may to lead to new developments in the production of advanced protein materials. PMID:26041350

  8. Effect of storage and drying temperature on the gelation behavior and structural characteristics of sericin.

    PubMed

    Jo, Yoon Nam; Park, Byung-Dae; Um, In Chul

    2015-11-01

    Owing to unique properties, including the wound healing effect, sericin gel and films have attracted significant attention in the biomedical and cosmetic fields. The structural characteristics and properties of sericin gels and films are especially important owing to their effect on the performance of sericin in biomedical and cosmetic applications. In the present study, the effect of temperature on the gelation behavior, gel disruption, and sol-gel transition of sericin was examined using rheometry. In addition, the effect of the drying temperature on the structural characteristics of the sericin film was determined via Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The strength of the sericin gel increased and the gelation process was prolonged with decreasing storage temperatures. FTIR and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results also revealed that the crystallinity and the thermal decomposition temperature of the sericin film increased with decreasing drying temperature. The sericin gels were disrupted at a storage time of 40min when they were stored at temperatures higher than 50°C, and the corresponding gel strength decreased with increasing temperature. Furthermore, the thermo-reversible nature of gel-sol transition of sericin was confirmed by rheological and FTIR measurements. PMID:26407900

  9. Photocrosslinking of Silk Fibroin Using Riboflavin for Ocular Prostheses.

    PubMed

    Applegate, Matthew B; Partlow, Benjamin P; Coburn, Jeannine; Marelli, Benedetto; Pirie, Christopher; Pineda, Roberto; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G

    2016-03-01

    A novel method to photocrosslink silk fibroin protein is reported, using riboflavin (vitamin B2) as a photoinitiator and the mechanism of crosslinking is determined. Exposure of riboflavin-doped liquid silk solution to light results in the formation of a transparent, elastic hydrogel. Several applications for this new material are investigated including corneal reshaping to restore visual acuity and photolithography. PMID:26821561

  10. Electrodeposited silk coatings for bone implants.

    PubMed

    Elia, Roberto; Michelson, Courtney D; Perera, Austin L; Brunner, Teresa F; Harsono, Masly; Leisk, Gray G; Kugel, Gerard; Kaplan, David L

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the mechanical properties and drug elution features of silk protein-based electrodeposited dental implant coatings. Silk processing conditions were modified to obtain coatings with a range of mechanical properties on titanium studs. These coatings were assessed for adhesive strength and dissolution, with properties tuned using water vapor annealing or glycerol incorporation to modulate crystalline content. Coating reproducibility was demonstrated over a range of silk concentrations from 1% to 10%. Surface roughness of titanium substrates was altered using industry relevant acid etching and grit blasting, and the effect of surface topography on silk coating adhesion was assessed. Florescent compounds were incorporated into the silk coatings, which were modulated for crystalline content, to achieve four days of sustained release of the compounds. This silk electrogelation technique offers a safe and relatively simple approach to generate mechanically robust, biocompatible, and degradable implant coatings that can also be functionalized with bioactive compounds to modulate the local regenerative tissue environment. PMID:25545462

  11. Sequential origin in the high performance properties of orb spider dragline silk

    PubMed Central

    Blackledge, Todd A.; Pérez-Rigueiro, José; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Perea, Belén; Navarro, Andrés; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    Major ampullate (MA) dragline silk supports spider orb webs, combining strength and extensibility in the toughest biomaterial. MA silk evolved ~376 MYA and identifying how evolutionary changes in proteins influenced silk mechanics is crucial for biomimetics, but is hindered by high spinning plasticity. We use supercontraction to remove that variation and characterize MA silk across the spider phylogeny. We show that mechanical performance is conserved within, but divergent among, major lineages, evolving in correlation with discrete changes in proteins. Early MA silk tensile strength improved rapidly with the origin of GGX amino acid motifs and increased repetitiveness. Tensile strength then maximized in basal entelegyne spiders, ~230 MYA. Toughness subsequently improved through increased extensibility within orb spiders, coupled with the origin of a novel protein (MaSp2). Key changes in MA silk proteins therefore correlate with the sequential evolution high performance orb spider silk and could aid design of biomimetic fibers. PMID:23110251

  12. Sequential origin in the high performance properties of orb spider dragline silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackledge, Todd A.; Pérez-Rigueiro, José; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Perea, Belén; Navarro, Andrés; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel

    2012-10-01

    Major ampullate (MA) dragline silk supports spider orb webs, combining strength and extensibility in the toughest biomaterial. MA silk evolved ~376 MYA and identifying how evolutionary changes in proteins influenced silk mechanics is crucial for biomimetics, but is hindered by high spinning plasticity. We use supercontraction to remove that variation and characterize MA silk across the spider phylogeny. We show that mechanical performance is conserved within, but divergent among, major lineages, evolving in correlation with discrete changes in proteins. Early MA silk tensile strength improved rapidly with the origin of GGX amino acid motifs and increased repetitiveness. Tensile strength then maximized in basal entelegyne spiders, ~230 MYA. Toughness subsequently improved through increased extensibility within orb spiders, coupled with the origin of a novel protein (MaSp2). Key changes in MA silk proteins therefore correlate with the sequential evolution high performance orb spider silk and could aid design of biomimetic fibers.

  13. Water-insoluble Silk Films with Silk I Structure

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Water-Insoluble Silk Films with Silk I Structure

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Qiang; Hu, Xiao; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kluge, Jonathan A.; Lu, Shenzhou; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Water-insoluble regenerated silk materials are normally achieved by increasing β-sheet content (silk II). In the present study, water-insoluble silk films were prepared by controlling very slow drying of B. mori silk solutions, resulting in the formation of stable films with dominating silk I instead of silk II structure. Wide angle x-ray scattering (WAXS) indicated that the silk films stabilized by slow drying were mainly composed of silk I rather than silk II, while water- and methanol-annealed silk films had a higher silk II content. The silk films prepared through slow drying had a globule-like structure in the core with nano-filaments. The core region was composed of silk I and silk II, and these regions are surrounded by hydrophilic nano-filaments containing random, turns, and α-helix secondary structures. The insoluble silk films prepared by slow drying had unique thermal, mechanical and degradative properties. DSC results revealed that silk I crystals had stable thermal properties up to 250°C, without crystallization above the Tg, but degraded in lower temperature than silk II structure. Compared with water- and methanol-annealed films, the films prepared through slow drying achieved better mechanical ductility and more rapid enzymatic degradation, reflective of the differences in secondary structure achieved via differences in post processing of the cast silk films. Importantly, the silk I structure, a key intermediate secondary structure for the formation of mechanically robust natural silk fibers, was successfully generated in the present approach of very slow drying, mimicking the natural process. The results also point to a new mode to generate new types of silk biomaterials, where mechanical properties can be enhanced, and degradation rates increased, yet water insolubility is maintained along with low beta sheet content. PMID:19874919

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

    PubMed

    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 spidroins that perform different ecological functions. PMID:22761664

  16. Antimicrobial functionalized genetically engineered spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Sílvia; Leonor, Isabel B.; Mano, João F.; Reis, Rui L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Genetically engineered fusion proteins offer potential as multifunctional biomaterials for medical use. Fusion or chimeric proteins can be formed using recombinant DNA technology by combining nucleotide sequences encoding different peptides or proteins that are otherwise not found together in nature. In the present study, three new fusion proteins were designed, cloned and expressed and assessed for function, by combining the consensus sequence of dragline spider silk with three different antimicrobial peptides. The human antimicrobial peptides human neutrophil defensin 2 (HNP-2), human neutrophil defensins 4 (HNP-4) and hepcidin were fused to spider silk through bioengineering. The spider silk domain maintained its self-assembly features, a key aspect of these new polymeric protein biomaterials, allowing the formation of β-sheets to lock in structures via physical interactions without the need for chemical cross-linking. These new functional silk proteins were assessed for antimicrobial activity against Gram - Escherichia coli and Gram + Staphylococcus aureus and microbicidal activity was demonstrated. Dynamic light scattering was used to assess protein aggregation to clarify the antimicrobial patterns observed. Attenuated-total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and circular dichroism (CD) were used to assess the secondary structure of the new recombinant proteins. In vitro cell studies with a human osteosarcoma cell line (SaOs-2) demonstrated the compatibility of these new proteins with mammalian cells. PMID:21458065

  17. Hierarchical biomineralization of calcium carbonate regulated by silk microspheres.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiuli; Fan, Zhihai; Lu, Qiang; Huang, Yongli; Kaplan, David L; Zhu, Hesun

    2013-06-01

    As an analog of the main protein contained in nacre regenerated Bombyx mori silk fibroin has a significant influence on the morphology and polymorphic nature of CaCO3 in the biomineralization process. A number of studies have implied that the self-assembling aggregate structure of silk fibroin is a key factor in controlling CaCO3 aggregation. Further insight into this role is necessary with a particular need to prepare silk fibroin aggregates with homogeneous structures to serve as templates for the mineralization process. Here we have prepared homogeneous silk microspheres to serve as templates for CaCO3 mineralization in order to provide an experimental insight into silk-regulated crystallization processes. CaCO3 particles with different nano- and microstructures, and their polymorphs, were successfully formed by controlling the mineralization process. The key function of silk aggregation in controlling the morphology and polymorphic nature of CaCO3 particles was confirmed. A regulating effect of silk on the spatial features was also observed. A two-step process for silk fibroin-regulated biomineralization was found, with different levels of heterogeneous nucleation and aggregation. A full understanding of silk fibroin-regulated biomineralization mechanisms would help in understanding the function of organic polymers in natural biomineralization, and provide a way forward in the design and synthesis of new materials in which organic-inorganic interfaces are the keys to function, biological interfaces and many related material features. PMID:23518477

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26030517

  19. Multifunctional silk-tropoelastin biomaterial systems

    PubMed Central

    Ghezzi, Chiara E.; Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Weiss, Anthony S.; Kaplan, David L.

    2015-01-01

    New multifunctional, degradable, polymeric biomaterial systems would provide versatile platforms to address cell and tissue needs in both in vitro and in vivo environments. While protein-based composites or alloys are the building blocks of biological organisms, similar systems have not been largely exploited to dates to generate ad hoc biomaterials able to control and direct biological functions, by recapitulating their inherent structural and mechanical complexities. Therefore, we have recently proposed silk-tropoelastin material platforms able to conjugate a mechanically robust and durable protein, silk, to a highly flexible and biologically active protein, tropoelastin. This review focuses on the elucidation of the interactions between silk and tropoelastin in order to control material structure, properties, and ultimately functions. In addition, an approach is provided for novel material designs to provide tools to control biological outcomes via surface roughness, elasticity, and net charge for neuronal and mesenchymal stem cell-based tissue engineering. PMID:26005219

  20. Silkomics: Insight into the Silk Spinning Process of Spiders.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos-Pinto, José Roberto Aparecido; Garcia, Ana Maria Caviquioli; Arcuri, Helen Andrade; Esteves, Franciele Grego; Salles, Heliana Clara; Lubec, Gert; Palma, Mario Sergio

    2016-04-01

    The proteins from the silk-producing glands were identified using both a bottom-up gel-based proteomic approach as well as from a shotgun proteomic approach. Additionally, the relationship between the functions of identified proteins and the spinning process was studied. A total of 125 proteins were identified in the major ampullate, 101 in the flagelliform, 77 in the aggregate, 75 in the tubuliform, 68 in the minor ampullate, and 23 in aciniform glands. On the basis of the functional classification using Gene Ontology, these proteins were organized into seven different groups according to their general function: (i) web silk proteins-spidroins, (ii) proteins related to the folding/conformation of spidroins, (iii) proteins that protect silk proteins from oxidative stress, (iv) proteins involved in fibrillar preservation of silks in the web, (v) proteins related to ion transport into and out of the glands during silk fiber spinning, (vi) proteins involved in prey capture and pre-digestion, and (vii) housekeeping proteins from all of the glands. Thus, a general mechanism of action for the identified proteins in the silk-producing glands from the Nephila clavipes spider was proposed; the current results also indicate that the webs play an active role in prey capture. PMID:26923066

  1. Bone Tissue Engineering with Premineralized Silk Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyeon Joo; Kim, Ung-Jin; Kim, Hyun Suk; Li, Chunmei; Wada, Masahisa; Leisk, Gary G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Silks fibroin biomaterials are being explored as novel protein-based systems for cell and tissue culture. In the present study, biomimetic growth of calcium phosphate on porous silk fibroin polymeric scaffolds was explored to generate organic/inorganic composites as scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Aqueous-derived silk fibroin scaffolds were prepared with the addition of polyaspartic acid during processing, followed by the controlled deposition of calcium phosphate by exposure to CaCl2 and Na2HPO4. These mineralized protein-composite scaffolds were subsequently seeded with human bone marrow stem cells (hMSC) and cultured in vitro for 6 weeks under osteogenic conditions with or without BMP-2. The extent of osteoconductivity was assessed by cell numbers, alkaline phosphatase and calcium deposition, along with immunohistochemistry for bone related outcomes. The results suggest increased osteoconductive outcomes with an increase in initial content of apatite and BMP-2 in the silk fibroin porous scaffolds. The premineralization of these highly porous silk fibroin protein scaffolds provided enhanced outcomes for the bone tissue engineering. PMID:18387349

  2. Art on Silk Hoops

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Padrick, Deborah

    2012-01-01

    Painting on silk has a magic all its own. Versions of painting on silk can be found throughout the world from Japan and Europe to the United States. Themes for the paintings can be most any type of design or imagery. Applying the liquid dyes is exciting, as the vivid liquid colors flow and blend into the fabric. The process captures students'…

  3. Art on Silk Hoops

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Padrick, Deborah

    2012-01-01

    Painting on silk has a magic all its own. Versions of painting on silk can be found throughout the world from Japan and Europe to the United States. Themes for the paintings can be most any type of design or imagery. Applying the liquid dyes is exciting, as the vivid liquid colors flow and blend into the fabric. The process captures students'

  4. Silk Batik using Cochineal Dye

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The history of silk, including sericulture (the production of raw silk, which requires the raising of silkworms on their natural diet, mulberry leaves) and silk manufacturing, is rich and extensive. It encompasses several famous “silk roads” (trade routes), various cultures and technologies, ideas,...

  5. Rapid communication: Computational simulation and analysis of a candidate for the design of a novel silk-based biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Golas, Ewa I; Czaplewski, Cezary

    2014-09-01

    This work theoretically investigates the mechanical properties of a novel silk-derived biopolymer as polymerized in silico from sericin and elastin-like monomers. Molecular Dynamics simulations and Steered Molecular Dynamics were the principal computational methods used, the latter of which applies an external force onto the system and thereby enables an observation of its response to stress. The models explored herein are single-molecule approximations, and primarily serve as tools in a rational design process for the preliminary assessment of properties in a new material candidate. PMID:24723330

  6. Silk material modification and microfabrication strategies for applications in biosensors and drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsioris, Konstantinos

    Silk has proven to be a promising biomaterial for the development of a novel generation of biomedical devices due to the material's intrinsic properties of biocompatibility and biodegradability. To further the development of silk-based devices, augmented functionality can be provided to silk by means of microfabrication and material functionalization. In this dissertation, we set out to explore possibilities of silk-based biomedical device development with particular attention to different fabrication strategies that can be leveraged for this purpose, taking inspiration from conventional lithography, contact imprinting and chemical modification of the silk biomaterial. In particular, we have produced a novel silk-based drug delivery device, in the form of microneedles. For this purpose we have developed micromolding strategies which allow the fabrication of high aspect ratio silk structures. Furthermore, we have produced a THz split ring resonator based sensor device on silk films. To realize this device, we have developed a convenient fabrication method, allowing transfer of previously microfabricated metal and oxide microstructures to the silk film surface. This method has proven useful for hard masking and patterning silk films with reactive ion etching. Moreover, we have explored patterning semiconductor and glass substrates with silk films. For this purpose we have modified a standard microfabrication method -lift off- to be amendable to silk. Furthermore, combining silk based fabrication and material functionalization has lead to microfluidics pH sensing applications. Finally we have explored the possibility of utilizing silk for injectable and biodegradable glucose sensors. For this purpose, we have doped silk hydrogels with a fluorescence based protein biosensor. The advanced silk fabrication and material synthesis strategies and the resulting novel devices presented here could potentially lead to a new class of biomedical applications.

  7. An Unlikely Silk: The Composite Material of Green Lacewing Cocoons

    SciTech Connect

    Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E.; Mudie, Stephen T.; Church, Jeffrey S.; Sutherland, Tara D.; Haritos, Victoria S.

    2009-01-15

    Spiders routinely produce multiple types of silk; however, common wisdom has held that insect species produce one type of silk each. This work reports that the green lacewing (Mallada signata, Neuroptera) produces two distinct classes of silk. We identified and sequenced the gene that encodes the major protein component of the larval lacewing cocoon silk and demonstrated that it is unrelated to the adult lacewing egg-stalk silk. The cocoon silk protein is 49 kDa in size and is alanine rich (>40%), and it contains an {alpha}-helical secondary structure. The final instar lacewing larvae spin protein fibers of {approx}2 {mu}m diameter to construct a loosely woven cocoon. In a second stage of cocoon construction, the insects lay down an inner wall of lipids that uses the fibers as a scaffold. We propose that the silk protein fibers provide the mechanical strength of the composite lacewing cocoon whereas the lipid layer provides a barrier to water loss during pupation.

  8. Increased molecular mobility in humid silk fibers under tensile stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seydel, Tilo; Knoll, Wiebke; Greving, Imke; Dicko, Cedric; Koza, Michael M.; Krasnov, Igor; Müller, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Silk fibers are semicrystalline nanocomposite protein fibers with an extraordinary mechanical toughness that changes with humidity. Diffusive or overdamped motion on a molecular level is absent in dry silkworm silk, but present in humid silk at ambient temperature. This microscopic diffusion distinctly depends on the externally applied macroscopic tensile force. Quasielastic and inelastic neutron-scattering data as a function of humidity and of tensile strain on humid silk fibers support the model that both the adsorbed water and parts of the amorphous polymers participate in diffusive motion and are affected by the tensile force. It is notable that the quasielastic linewidth of humid silk at 100% relative humidity increases significantly with the applied force. The effect of the tensile force is discussed in terms of an increasing alignment of the polymer chains in the amorphous fraction with increasing tensile stress which changes the geometrical restrictions of the diffusive motions.

  9. Bio-functionalized silk hydrogel microfluidic systems.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Siwei; Chen, Ying; Partlow, Benjamin P; Golding, Anne S; Tseng, Peter; Coburn, Jeannine; Applegate, Matthew B; Moreau, Jodie E; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Kaplan, David L

    2016-07-01

    Bio-functionalized microfluidic systems were developed based on a silk protein hydrogel elastomeric materials. A facile multilayer fabrication method using gelatin sacrificial molding and layer-by-layer assembly was implemented to construct interconnected, three dimensional (3D) microchannel networks in silk hydrogels at 100 μm minimum feature resolution. Mechanically activated valves were implemented to demonstrate pneumatic control of microflow. The silk hydrogel microfluidics exhibit controllable mechanical properties, long-term stability in various environmental conditions, tunable in vitro and in vivo degradability in addition to optical transparency, providing unique features for cell/tissue-related applications than conventional polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and existing hydrogel-based microfluidic options. As demonstrated in the work here, the all aqueous-based fabrication process at ambient conditions enabled the incorporation of active biological substances in the bulk phase of these new silk microfluidic systems during device fabrication, including enzymes and living cells, which are able to interact with the fluid flow in the microchannels. These silk hydrogel-based microfluidic systems offer new opportunities in engineering active diagnostic devices, tissues and organs that could be integrated in vivo, and for on-chip cell sensing systems. PMID:27077566

  10. Unraveled mechanism in silk engineering: Fast reeling induced silk toughening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiang; Liu, Xiang-Yang; Du, Ning; Xu, Gangqin; Li, Baowen

    2009-08-01

    We theoretically and experimentally study the mechanical response of silkworm and spider silks against stretching and the relationship with the underlying structural factors. It is found that the typical stress-strain profiles are predicted in good agreement with experimental measurements by implementing the "β-sheet splitting" mechanism we discovered and verified, primarily varying the secondary structure of protein macromolecules. The functions of experimentally observed structural factors responding to the external stress have been clearly addressed, and optimization of the microscopic structures to enhance the mechanical strength will be pointed out, beneficial to their biomedical and textile applications.

  11. Lyophilized Silk Fibroin Hydrogels for the Sustained Local Delivery of Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Guziewicz, Nicholas; Best, Annie; Perez-Ramirez, Bernardo; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The development of sustained delivery systems compatible with protein therapeutics continues to be a significant unmet need. A lyophilized silk fibroin hydrogel matrix (lyogel) for the sustained release of pharmaceutically relevant monoclonal antibodies is described. Sonication of silk fibroin prior to antibody incorporation avoids exposing the antibody to the sol-gel transition inducing shear stress. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis showed no change in silk structural composition between hydrogel and lyogel or with increasing silk fibroin concentration. Antibody release from hydrogels occurred rapidly over 10 days regardless of silk concentration. Upon lyophilization, sustained antibody release was observed over 38 days from lyogels containing 6.2% (w/w) silk fibroin and above. In 3.2% (w/w) silk lyogels, antibody release was comparable to hydrogels. Swelling properties of lyogels followed a similar threshold behavior. Lyogels at 3.2% (w/w) silk recovered approximately 90% of their fluid mass upon rehydration, while approximately 50% fluid recovery was observed at 6.2% (w/w) silk and above. Antibody release was primarily governed by hydrophobic/hydrophilic silk-antibody interactions and secondarily altered by the hydration resistance of the lyogel. Hydration resistance was controlled by altering ?-sheet (crystalline) density of the matrix. The antibody released from lyogels maintained biological activity. Silk lyogels offer an advantage as a delivery matrix over other hydrogel materials for the slow release of the loaded protein, making lyogels suitable for long-term sustained release applications. PMID:21216004

  12. Lyophilized silk fibroin hydrogels for the sustained local delivery of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

    PubMed

    Guziewicz, Nicholas; Best, Annie; Perez-Ramirez, Bernardo; Kaplan, David L

    2011-04-01

    The development of sustained delivery systems compatible with protein therapeutics continues to be a significant unmet need. A lyophilized silk fibroin hydrogel matrix (lyogel) for the sustained release of pharmaceutically relevant monoclonal antibodies is described. Sonication of silk fibroin prior to antibody incorporation avoids exposing the antibody to the sol-gel transition inducing shear stress. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis showed no change in silk structural composition between hydrogel and lyogel or with increasing silk fibroin concentration. Antibody release from hydrogels occurred rapidly over 10 days regardless of silk concentration. Upon lyophilization, sustained antibody release was observed over 38 days from lyogels containing 6.2% (w/w) silk fibroin and above. In 3.2% (w/w) silk lyogels, antibody release was comparable to hydrogels. Swelling properties of lyogels followed a similar threshold behavior. Lyogels at 3.2% (w/w) silk recovered approximately 90% of their fluid mass upon rehydration, while approximately 50% fluid recovery was observed at 6.2% (w/w) silk and above. Antibody release was primarily governed by hydrophobic/hydrophilic silk-antibody interactions and secondarily altered by the hydration resistance of the lyogel. Hydration resistance was controlled by altering β-sheet (crystalline) density of the matrix. The antibody released from lyogels maintained biological activity. Silk lyogels offer an advantage as a delivery matrix over other hydrogel materials for the slow release of the loaded protein, making lyogels suitable for long-term sustained release applications. PMID:21216004

  13. Co-cultivation of keratinocyte-human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) on sericin loaded electrospun nanofibrous composite scaffold (cationic gelatin/hyaluronan/chondroitin sulfate) stimulates epithelial differentiation in hMSCs: In vitro study.

    PubMed

    Bhowmick, Sirsendu; Scharnweber, Dieter; Koul, Veena

    2016-05-01

    Fortifying the scaffold with bioactive molecules and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), is an efficient way to design new generation tissue engineered biomaterials. In this study, we evaluated the synergistic effect of electrospun nanofibrous composite scaffold (cationic gelatin/hyaluronan/chondroitin sulfate) loaded with sericin and, contact co-culture of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs)-keratinocytes on hMSCs' differentiation towards epithelial lineage. Cationic gelatin is prepared with one step novel synthesis process by grafting quaternary ammonium salts to the backbone of gelatin. Release kinetics studies showed that Fickian diffusion is the major release mechanism for both GAGs and sericin/gelatin. In vitro biocompatibility of the electrospun scaffold was evaluated in terms of LDH and DNA quantification assay on human foreskin fibroblast, human keratinocyte and hMSC. Significant proliferation (∼4-6 fold) was detected after culturing all three cell on the electrospun scaffold containing sericin. After 5 days of contact co-culture, results revealed that electrospun scaffold containing sericin promote epithelial differentiation of hMSC in terms of several protein markers (keratin 14, ΔNp63α and Pan-cytokeratin) and gene expression of some dermal proteins (keratin 14, ΔNp63α). Findings of this study will foster the progress of current skin tissue engineering scaffolds by understanding the skin regeneration and wound healing process. PMID:26946262

  14. Nonionic and zwitterionic forms of glycylglycylarginine as a part of spider silk protein: Spectroscopic and theoretical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arı, Hatice; Özpozan, Talat

    2016-01-01

    Glycylglycylarginine as a part of GGX motif of spider silk spidroin in nonionic (non-GGR) and zwitterionic (zwt-GGR) forms have been examined from theoretical and spectroscopic aspects. The most stable conformational isomers of non-GGR and zwt-GGR were obtained through relaxed scan using the DFT/B3LYP with 6-31G(d) basis set. Nonionic and zwitterionic forms of 310-helix structures of GGR have also been calculated and compared with the most stable conformers obtained as a result of conformer analysis of isolated three peptide structures. This comparison should give an idea about the stability contribution of intermolecular interactions between the 310-helix structured peptide chains. O3LYP and B3PW91 hybrid functionals beside B3LYP have also been used for further calculations of geometry optimization, vibrational analysis, Natural Bond Orbital (NBO) analysis, HOMO-LUMO analysis and hydrogen bonding analysis. Normal Mode Analysis was carried through Potential Energy Distribution (PED) calculations by means of VEDA4 program package. IR and Raman spectra of GGR have also been used to relate the spectroscopic data obtained to electronic and structural features.

  15. Nonionic and zwitterionic forms of glycylglycylarginine as a part of spider silk protein: Spectroscopic and theoretical study.

    PubMed

    Ar?, Hatice; zpozan, Talat

    2016-01-01

    Glycylglycylarginine as a part of GGX motif of spider silk spidroin in nonionic (non-GGR) and zwitterionic (zwt-GGR) forms have been examined from theoretical and spectroscopic aspects. The most stable conformational isomers of non-GGR and zwt-GGR were obtained through relaxed scan using the DFT/B3LYP with 6-31G(d) basis set. Nonionic and zwitterionic forms of 310-helix structures of GGR have also been calculated and compared with the most stable conformers obtained as a result of conformer analysis of isolated three peptide structures. This comparison should give an idea about the stability contribution of intermolecular interactions between the 310-helix structured peptide chains. O3LYP and B3PW91 hybrid functionals beside B3LYP have also been used for further calculations of geometry optimization, vibrational analysis, Natural Bond Orbital (NBO) analysis, HOMO-LUMO analysis and hydrogen bonding analysis. Normal Mode Analysis was carried through Potential Energy Distribution (PED) calculations by means of VEDA4 program package. IR and Raman spectra of GGR have also been used to relate the spectroscopic data obtained to electronic and structural features. PMID:25677985

  16. Solid-state NMR comparison of various spiders' dragline silk fiber.

    PubMed

    Creager, Melinda S; Jenkins, Janelle E; Thagard-Yeaman, Leigh A; Brooks, Amanda E; Jones, Justin A; Lewis, Randolph V; Holland, Gregory P; Yarger, Jeffery L

    2010-08-01

    Major ampullate (dragline) spider silk is a coveted biopolymer due to its combination of strength and extensibility. The dragline silk of different spiders have distinct mechanical properties that can be qualitatively correlated to the protein sequence. This study uses amino acid analysis and carbon-13 solid-state NMR to compare the molecular composition, structure, and dynamics of major ampullate dragline silk of four orb-web spider species ( Nephila clavipes , Araneus gemmoides , Argiope aurantia , and Argiope argentata ) and one cobweb species ( Latrodectus hesperus ). The mobility of the protein backbone and amino acid side chains in water exposed silk fibers is shown to correlate to the proline content. This implies that regions of major ampullate spidroin 2 protein, which is the only dragline silk protein with any significant proline content, become significantly hydrated in dragline spider silk. PMID:20593757

  17. Effectiveness of inflammatory cytokines induced by sericin compared to sericin in combination with silver sulfadiazine cream on wound healing.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Kanokpanont, Sorada; Punyarit, Phaibul; Srichana, Teerapol

    2009-08-01

     Silk sericin (SS) has been shown to promote collagen synthesis during wound healing, but it lacks antimicrobial activity. We investigated the effectiveness and the induction of the inflammatory mediators IL-1bβ and TNF-aα by SS, silver sulfadiazine (SSD) cream, and SS in combination with SSD cream on wound healing in rats. The results show that SS at 8% w/w partially inhibits SSD antibacterial activity. Treating wounds with a combination of SS and SSD did not induce significant wound size reduction when compared to other treatments. However, SS can promote collagen production in wounds even in the presence of SSD. Wounds treated with the combination of SS and SSD cream showed higher levels of IL-1β and TNF-α when compared to wounds treated by SS alone, but the differences were not significant. Although SS may decrease the antimicrobial effect of SSD, SS in combination with SSD cream has the benefit of promoting collagen production without generating significant levels of inflammatory cytokines.. PMID:25903672

  18. Enzymatic mineralization of silk scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Samal, Sangram K; Dash, Mamoni; Declercq, Heidi A; Gheysens, Tom; Dendooven, Jolien; Van Der Voort, Pascal; Cornelissen, Ria; Dubruel, Peter; Kaplan, David L

    2014-07-01

    The present study focuses on the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) mediated formation of apatitic minerals on porous silk fibroin protein (SFP) scaffolds. Porous SFP scaffolds impregnated with different concentrations of ALP are homogeneously mineralized under physiological conditions. The mineral structure is apatite while the structures differ as a function of the ALP concentration. Cellular adhesion, proliferation, and colonization of osteogenic MC3T3 cells improve on the mineralized SFP scaffolds. These findings suggest a simple process to generate mineralized scaffolds that can be used to enhanced bone tissue engineering-related utility. PMID:24610728

  19. Segmented nanofibers of spider dragline silk: Atomic force microscopy and single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Oroudjev, E.; Soares, J.; Arcidiacono, S.; Thompson, J. B.; Fossey, S. A.; Hansma, H. G.

    2002-01-01

    Despite its remarkable materials properties, the structure of spider dragline silk has remained unsolved. Results from two probe microscopy techniques provide new insights into the structure of spider dragline silk. A soluble synthetic protein from dragline silk spontaneously forms nanofibers, as observed by atomic force microscopy. These nanofibers have a segmented substructure. The segment length and amino acid sequence are consistent with a slab-like shape for individual silk protein molecules. The height and width of nanofiber segments suggest a stacking pattern of slab-like molecules in each nanofiber segment. This stacking pattern produces nano-crystals in an amorphous matrix, as observed previously by NMR and x-ray diffraction of spider dragline silk. The possible importance of nanofiber formation to native silk production is discussed. Force spectra for single molecules of the silk protein demonstrate that this protein unfolds through a number of rupture events, indicating a modular substructure within single silk protein molecules. A minimal unfolding module size is estimated to be around 14 nm, which corresponds to the extended length of a single repeated module, 38 amino acids long. The structure of this spider silk protein is distinctly different from the structures of other proteins that have been analyzed by single-molecule force spectroscopy, and the force spectra show correspondingly novel features. PMID:11959907

  20. Effect of Sequence Features on Assembly of Spider Silk Block Copolymers

    PubMed Central

    Tokareva, Olena S.; Lin, Shangchao; Jacobsen, Matthew M.; Huang, Wenwen; Rizzo, Daniel; Li, David; Simon, Marc; Staii, Cristian; Cebe, Peggy; Wong, Joyce Y.; Buehler, Markus J.; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Bioengineered spider silk block copolymers were studied to understand the effect of protein chain length and sequence chemistry on the formation of secondary structure and materials assembly. Using a combination of in vitro protein design and assembly studies, we demonstrate that silk block copolymers possessing multiple repetitive units self-assemble into lamellar microstructures. Additionally, the study provides insights into the assembly behavior of spider silk block copolymers in concentrated salt solutions. PMID:24613991

  1. Unravelling the biodiversity of nanoscale signatures of spider silk fibres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Luciano P.; Rech, Elibio L.

    2013-12-01

    Living organisms are masters at designing outstanding self-assembled nanostructures through a hierarchical organization of modular proteins. Protein-based biopolymers improved and selected by the driving forces of molecular evolution are among the most impressive archetypes of nanomaterials. One of these biomacromolecules is the myriad of compound fibroins of spider silks, which combine surprisingly high tensile strength with great elasticity. However, no consensus on the nano-organization of spider silk fibres has been reached. Here we explore the biodiversity of spider silk fibres, focusing on nanoscale characterization with high-resolution atomic force microscopy. Our results reveal an evolution of the nanoroughness, nanostiffness, nanoviscoelastic, nanotribological and nanoelectric organization of microfibres, even when they share similar sizes and shapes. These features are related to unique aspects of their molecular structures. The results show that combined nanoscale analyses of spider silks may enable the screening of appropriate motifs for bioengineering synthetic fibres from recombinant proteins.

  2. Unravelling the biodiversity of nanoscale signatures of spider silk fibres.

    PubMed

    Silva, Luciano P; Rech, Elibio L

    2013-01-01

    Living organisms are masters at designing outstanding self-assembled nanostructures through a hierarchical organization of modular proteins. Protein-based biopolymers improved and selected by the driving forces of molecular evolution are among the most impressive archetypes of nanomaterials. One of these biomacromolecules is the myriad of compound fibroins of spider silks, which combine surprisingly high tensile strength with great elasticity. However, no consensus on the nano-organization of spider silk fibres has been reached. Here we explore the biodiversity of spider silk fibres, focusing on nanoscale characterization with high-resolution atomic force microscopy. Our results reveal an evolution of the nanoroughness, nanostiffness, nanoviscoelastic, nanotribological and nanoelectric organization of microfibres, even when they share similar sizes and shapes. These features are related to unique aspects of their molecular structures. The results show that combined nanoscale analyses of spider silks may enable the screening of appropriate motifs for bioengineering synthetic fibres from recombinant proteins. PMID:24345771

  3. Highly tunable elastomeric silk biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Partlow, Benjamin P.; Hanna, Craig W.; Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Moreau, Jodie E.; Applegate, Matthew B.; Burke, Kelly A.; Marelli, Benedetto; Mitropoulos, Alexander N.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2014-01-01

    Elastomeric, fully degradable and biocompatible biomaterials are rare, with current options presenting significant limitations in terms of ease of functionalization and tunable mechanical and degradation properties. We report a new method for covalently crosslinking tyrosine residues in silk proteins, via horseradish peroxidase and hydrogen peroxide, to generate highly elastic hydrogels with tunable properties. The tunable mechanical properties, gelation kinetics and swelling properties of these new protein polymers, in addition to their ability to withstand shear strains on the order of 100%, compressive strains greater than 70% and display stiffness between 200 – 10,000 Pa, covering a significant portion of the properties of native soft tissues. Molecular weight and solvent composition allowed control of material mechanical properties over several orders of magnitude while maintaining high resilience and resistance to fatigue. Encapsulation of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) showed long term survival and exhibited cell-matrix interactions reflective of both silk concentration and gelation conditions. Further biocompatibility of these materials were demonstrated with in vivo evaluation. These new protein-based elastomeric and degradable hydrogels represent an exciting new biomaterials option, with a unique combination of properties, for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. PMID:25395921

  4. Array-Based High-Throughput Analysis of Silk-Elastinlike Protein Polymer Degradation and C-Peptide Release by Proteases.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hye-Yoon; Jung, Se-Hui; Jung, Young Mee; Kim, Young-Myeong; Ghandehari, Hamidreza; Ha, Kwon-Soo

    2016-05-17

    The objective of this study was to utilize an on-chip degradation assay to evaluate polymer depots and the predicted drug release from the depots. We conjugated four silk-elastinlike protein (SELP) polymers including SELP-815K, SELP-815K-RS1, SELP-815K-RS2, and SELP-815K-RS5 with a Cy5-NHS ester and fabricated SELP arrays by immobilizing the conjugated polymers onto well-type amine arrays. SELP polymer degradation rates were investigated by calculating the half-maximal effective concentration (EC50). Eight cleavage enzymes were applied, all of which exhibited distinctive EC50 values for SELP-815K and its three analogues. We successfully utilized this assay to study the in vitro release of the Cy5-conjugated C-peptide from SELP-815K hydrogel arrays. Additionally, cumulative C-peptide release from the SELP-815K depots was also demonstrated using repetitive elastase treatments. Therefore, this array-based on-chip degradation assay could potentially be used for evaluating depot degradation and controlled drug release from polymer depots at the molecular level. PMID:27109435

  5. Porous nitrogen-doped carbon derived from silk fibroin protein encapsulating sulfur as a superior cathode material for high-performance lithium-sulfur batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jiawei; Cai, Yurong; Zhong, Qiwei; Lai, Dongzhi; Yao, Juming

    2015-10-01

    The features of a carbon substrate are crucial for the electrochemical performance of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries. Nitrogen doping of carbon materials is assumed to play an important role in sulfur immobilisation. In this study, natural silk fibroin protein is used as a precursor of nitrogen-rich carbon to fabricate a novel, porous, nitrogen-doped carbon material through facile carbonisation and activation. Porous carbon, with a reversible capacity of 815 mA h g-1 at 0.2 C after 60 cycles, serves as the cathode material in Li-S batteries. Porous carbon retains a reversible capacity of 567 mA h g-1, which corresponds to a capacity retention of 98% at 1 C after 200 cycles. The promising electrochemical performance of porous carbon is attributed to its mesoporous structure, high specific surface area and nitrogen doping into the carbon skeleton. This study provides a general strategy to synthesise nitrogen-doped carbons with a high specific surface area, which is crucial to improve the energy density and electrochemical performance of Li-S batteries.

  6. Porous nitrogen-doped carbon derived from silk fibroin protein encapsulating sulfur as a superior cathode material for high-performance lithium-sulfur batteries.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiawei; Cai, Yurong; Zhong, Qiwei; Lai, Dongzhi; Yao, Juming

    2015-11-14

    The features of a carbon substrate are crucial for the electrochemical performance of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries. Nitrogen doping of carbon materials is assumed to play an important role in sulfur immobilisation. In this study, natural silk fibroin protein is used as a precursor of nitrogen-rich carbon to fabricate a novel, porous, nitrogen-doped carbon material through facile carbonisation and activation. Porous carbon, with a reversible capacity of 815 mA h g(-1) at 0.2 C after 60 cycles, serves as the cathode material in Li-S batteries. Porous carbon retains a reversible capacity of 567 mA h g(-1), which corresponds to a capacity retention of 98% at 1 C after 200 cycles. The promising electrochemical performance of porous carbon is attributed to its mesoporous structure, high specific surface area and nitrogen doping into the carbon skeleton. This study provides a general strategy to synthesise nitrogen-doped carbons with a high specific surface area, which is crucial to improve the energy density and electrochemical performance of Li-S batteries. PMID:26456870

  7. An Australian webspinner species makes the finest known insect silk fibers

    SciTech Connect

    Okada, Shoko; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E.; Mudie, Stephen T.; Haritos, Victoria S.; Sutherland, Tara D.

    2009-01-15

    Aposthonia gurneyi, an Australian webspinner species, is a primitive insect that constructs and lives in a silken tunnel which screens it from the attentions of predators. The insect spins silk threads from many tiny spines on its forelegs to weave a filmy sheet. We found that the webspinner silk fibers have a mean diameter of only 65 nm, an order of magnitude smaller than any previously reported insect silk. The purpose of such fine silk may be to reduce the metabolic cost of building the extensive tunnels. At the molecular level, the A. gurneyi silk has a predominantly beta-sheet protein structure. The most abundant clone in a cDNA library produced from the webspinner silk glands encoded a protein with extensive glycine-serine repeat regions. The GSGSGS repeat motif of the A. gurneyi silk protein is similar to the well-known GAGAGS repeat motif found in the heavy fibroin of silkworm silk, which also has beta-sheet structure. As the webspinner silk gene is unrelated to the silk gene of the phylogenetically distant silkworm, this is a striking example of convergent evolution.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    We report the preparation of a specific fibroin antibody and its use for the identification of unearthed ancient silk relics. Based on the 12-amino-acid repeat sequence "GAGAGSGAGAGS", which is found in fibroin of the silkworm Bombyx mori, a specific antibody against fibroin was prepared in rabbits through peptide synthesis and carrier-protein coupling. This antibody was highly specific for fibroin found in silk. Using this antibody we have successfully identified four silk samples from different time periods. Our results reveal, for the first time, a method capable of detecting silk from a few milligrams of archaeological fabric that has been buried for thousands of years, confirming that the ancient practice of wearing silk products while praying for rebirth dated back to at least 400 BCE. This method also complements current approaches in silk detection, especially for the characterization of poorly preserved silks, promoting the investigation of silk origins and of ancient clothing cultures. PMID:25804731

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yafei; Zhao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Fangfang; Tang, Jihua; Fu, Zhiyuan

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26630375

  10. Molecular and mechanical properties of major ampullate silk of the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Barbara A; Vierra, Craig A; Moore, Anne M F

    2004-01-01

    Molecular and material properties of major ampullate silk were studied for the cobweb-building black widow spider Latrodectus hesperus. Material properties were measured by stretching the silk to breaking. The strength was 1.0 +/- 0.2 GPa, and the extensibility was 34 +/- 8%. The secondary structure of the major ampullate silk protein was studied using carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy. Alanine undergoes a transition from a coiled structure in pre-spun silk to a beta sheet structure in post-spun silk. We have also isolated two distinct cDNAs (both about 500 bp) which encode proteins similar to major ampullate spidroin 1 and 2 (MaSp1 and MaSp2). The MaSp1-like silk contains polyalanine runs of 5-10 residues as well as GA and GGX motifs. The MaSp2-like silk contains polyalanine runs of varying length as well as GPG(X)(n) motifs. L. hesperus major ampullate silk is more like major ampullate silk from other species than other L. hesperus silks. PMID:15132648

  11. Piriform Spider Silk Sequences Reveal Unique Repetitive Elements

    PubMed Central

    Perry, David J.; Bittencourt, Daniela; Siltberg-Liberles, Jessica; Rech, Elibio L.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2010-01-01

    Orb-weaving spider silk fibers are assembled from very large, highly repetitive proteins. The repeated segments contain, in turn, short, simple repetitive amino acid motifs that account for the physical and mechanical properties of the assembled fiber. Of the six orb-weaver silk fibroins, the piriform silk that makes the attachment discs, which lashes the joints of the web and attaches dragline silk to surfaces has not been previously characterized. Piriform silk protein cDNAs were isolated from phage libraries of three species, A. trifasciata, N. clavipes, and N. cruentata. The deduced amino acid sequences from these genes revealed two new repetitive motifs: an alternating proline motif where every other amino acid is proline, and a glutamine-rich motif of 6 to 8 amino acids. Similar to other spider silk proteins, the repeated segments are large (>200 amino acids) and highly homogenized within a species. There is also substantial sequence similarity across the genes from the three species with particular conservation of the repetitive motifs. Northern blot analysis revealed that the messenger RNA is larger than 11kb and is expressed exclusively in the piriform glands of the spider. Phylogenetic analysis of the C-terminal regions of the new proteins with published spidroins robustly shows that the pirifom sequences form an ortholog group. PMID:20954740

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Electrospun chitosan/sericin composite nanofibers with antibacterial property as potential wound dressings.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Rui; Li, Xiang; Sun, Bolun; Zhang, Ying; Zhang, Dawei; Tang, Zhaohui; Chen, Xuesi; Wang, Ce

    2014-07-01

    Chitosan and sericin are natural and low cost biomaterials. Both biomaterials displayed good compatibility to human tissues and antibacterial properties for biomedical application. In this study, we have successfully fabricated chitosan/sericin composite nanofibers by electrospinning. The obtained composite nanofibers were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) studies. The composite nanofibers had good morphology with diameter between 240nm and 380nm. In vitro methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assays demonstrated that the chitosan/sericin composite nanofibers were biocompatible and could promote the cell proliferation. Furthermore, the composite nanofibers showed good bactericidal activity against both of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Thus, the chitosan/sericin composite nanofibers are promising for wound dressing applications. PMID:24769088

  14. In vitro culture medium (IVC) supplementation with sericin improves developmental competence of ovine zygotes.

    PubMed

    Aghaz, Faranak; Hajarian, Hadi; KaramiShabankareh, Hamed

    2016-03-01

    This study was carried out to investigate the effects of supplementation of potassium simplex optimized medium (KSOM-aa) with various sericin concentrations (0, 0.1, 0.5, 1 and 2.5%) on ovine zygotes. The results indicate that the supplementation of oocyte in vitro culture medium with optimal concentration of sericin (0.1 and 0.5%) may have beneficial effects on developmental competence of in vitro-derived ovine embryos. PMID:26952758

  15. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in a Rabbit Model Using Silk-Collagen Scaffold and Comparison with Autograft

    PubMed Central

    Bi, Fanggang; Shi, Zhongli; Liu, An; Guo, Peng; Yan, Shigui

    2015-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to perform an in vivo assessment of a novel silk-collagen scaffold for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. First, a silk-collagen scaffold was fabricated by combining sericin-extracted knitted silk fibroin mesh and type I collagen to mimic the components of the ligament. Scaffolds were electron-beam sterilized and rolled up to replace the ACL in 20 rabbits in the scaffold group, and autologous semitendinosus tendons were used to reconstruct the ACL in the autograft control group. At 4 and 16 weeks after surgery, grafts were retrieved and analyzed for neoligament regeneration and tendon-bone healing. To evaluate neoligament regeneration, H&E and immunohistochemical staining was performed, and to assess tendon-bone healing, micro-CT, biomechanical test, H&E and Russell-Movat pentachrome staining were performed. Cell infiltration increased over time in the scaffold group, and abundant fibroblast-like cells were found in the core of the scaffold graft at 16 weeks postoperatively. Tenascin-C was strongly positive in newly regenerated tissue at 4 and 16 weeks postoperatively in the scaffold group, similar to observations in the autograft group. Compared with the autograft group, tendon-bone healing was better in the scaffold group with trabecular bone growth into the scaffold. The results indicate that the silk-collagen scaffold has considerable potential for clinical application. PMID:25938408

  16. Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in a rabbit model using silk-collagen scaffold and comparison with autograft.

    PubMed

    Bi, Fanggang; Shi, Zhongli; Liu, An; Guo, Peng; Yan, Shigui

    2015-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to perform an in vivo assessment of a novel silk-collagen scaffold for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. First, a silk-collagen scaffold was fabricated by combining sericin-extracted knitted silk fibroin mesh and type I collagen to mimic the components of the ligament. Scaffolds were electron-beam sterilized and rolled up to replace the ACL in 20 rabbits in the scaffold group, and autologous semitendinosus tendons were used to reconstruct the ACL in the autograft control group. At 4 and 16 weeks after surgery, grafts were retrieved and analyzed for neoligament regeneration and tendon-bone healing. To evaluate neoligament regeneration, H&E and immunohistochemical staining was performed, and to assess tendon-bone healing, micro-CT, biomechanical test, H&E and Russell-Movat pentachrome staining were performed. Cell infiltration increased over time in the scaffold group, and abundant fibroblast-like cells were found in the core of the scaffold graft at 16 weeks postoperatively. Tenascin-C was strongly positive in newly regenerated tissue at 4 and 16 weeks postoperatively in the scaffold group, similar to observations in the autograft group. Compared with the autograft group, tendon-bone healing was better in the scaffold group with trabecular bone growth into the scaffold. The results indicate that the silk-collagen scaffold has considerable potential for clinical application. PMID:25938408

  17. Structural Properties of Silk Electro-Gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

    The interest in Bombyx Mori silk emerges from its biocompatibility and its structural superiority to synthetic polymers. Our particular interest lies in understanding the capabilities of silk electro-gels because of their reversibility and tunable adhesion. We create an electro-gel by applying a DC electric potential across a reconstituted silk fibroin solution derived directly from Bombyx Mori cocoons. This process leads to the intermolecular self-assembly of fibroin proteins into a weak gel. In this talk we will present our results on the effects of applied shear on electro-gels. We quantify the structural properties while dynamically imaging shear induced fiber formation; known as fibrillogenesis. It is observed that the mechanical properties and microstructure of these materials are highly dependent on shear history. We will also discuss the role of surface modification, through micro-patterning, on the observed gel structure. Our results provide an understanding of both the viscoelastiticity and microstucture of reconstituted silks that are being utilized as tissue scaffolds. This work is supported by a grant from the AFOSR FA9550-07-1-0130.

  18. Reproducing Natural Spider Silks’ Copolymer Behavior in Synthetic Silk Mimics

    PubMed Central

    An, Bo; Jenkins, Janelle E.; Sampath, Sujatha; Holland, Gregory P.; Hinman, Mike; Yarger, Jeffery L.; Lewis, Randolph

    2012-01-01

    Dragline silk from orb-weaving spiders is a copolymer of two large proteins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and 2 (MaSp2). The ratio of these proteins is known to have a large variation across different species of orb-weaving spiders. NMR results from gland material of two different species of spiders, N. clavipes and A. aurantia, indicates that MaSp1 proteins are more easily formed into β-sheet nanostructures, while MaSp2 proteins form random coil and helical structures. To test if this behavior of natural silk proteins could be reproduced by recombinantly produced spider silk mimic protein, recombinant MaSp1/MaSp2 mixed fibers as well as chimeric silk fibers from MaSp1 and MaSp2 sequences in a single protein were produced based on the variable ratio and conserved motifs of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in native silk fiber. Mechanical properties, solid-state NMR, and XRD results of tested synthetic fibers indicate the differing roles of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in the fiber and verify the importance of postspin stretching treatment in helping the fiber to form the proper spatial structure. PMID:23110450

  19. The elaborate structure of spider silk: structure and function of a natural high performance fiber.

    PubMed

    Römer, Lin; Scheibel, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Biomaterials, having evolved over millions of years, often exceed man-made materials in their properties. Spider silk is one outstanding fibrous biomaterial which consists almost entirely of large proteins. Silk fibers have tensile strengths comparable to steel and some silks are nearly as elastic as rubber on a weight to weight basis. In combining these two properties, silks reveal a toughness that is two to three times that of synthetic fibers like Nylon or Kevlar. Spider silk is also antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and completely biodegradable. This article focuses on the structure-function relationship of the characterized highly repetitive spider silk spidroins and their conformational conversion from solution into fibers. Such knowedge is of crucial importance to understanding the intrinsic properties of spider silk and to get insight into the sophisticated assembly processes of silk proteins. This review further outlines recent progress in recombinant production of spider silk proteins and their assembly into distinct polymer materials as a basis for novel products. PMID:19221522

  20. Optically switchable natural silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnov, Igor; Krekiehn, Nicolai R.; Krywka, Christina; Jung, Ulrich; Zillohu, Ahnaf U.; Strunskus, Thomas; Elbahri, Mady; Magnussen, Olaf M.; Müller, Martin

    2015-03-01

    An optically active bio-material is created by blending natural silk fibers with photoisomerizable chromophore molecules—azobenzenebromide (AzBr). The material converts the energy of unpolarized light directly into mechanical work with a well-defined direction of action. The feasibility of the idea to produce optically driven microsized actuators on the basis of bio-material (silk) is proven. The switching behavior of the embedded AzBr molecules was studied in terms of UV/Vis spectroscopy. To test the opto-mechanical properties of the modified fibers and the structural changes they undergo upon optically induced switching, single fiber X-ray diffraction with a micron-sized synchrotron radiation beam was combined in situ with optical switching as well as with mechanical testing and monitoring. The crystalline regions of silk are not modified by the presence of the guest molecules, hence occupy only the amorphous part of the fibers. It is shown that chromophore molecules embedded into fibers can be reversibly switched between the trans and cis conformation by illumination with light of defined wavelengths. The host fibers respond to this switching with a variation of the internal stress. The amplitude of the mechanical response is independent of the applied external stress and its characteristic time is shorter than the relaxation time of the usual mechanical response of silk.

  1. Optically switchable natural silk

    SciTech Connect

    Krasnov, Igor Müller, Martin; Krekiehn, Nicolai R.; Jung, Ulrich; Magnussen, Olaf M.; Krywka, Christina; Zillohu, Ahnaf U.; Strunskus, Thomas; Elbahri, Mady

    2015-03-02

    An optically active bio-material is created by blending natural silk fibers with photoisomerizable chromophore molecules—azobenzenebromide (AzBr). The material converts the energy of unpolarized light directly into mechanical work with a well-defined direction of action. The feasibility of the idea to produce optically driven microsized actuators on the basis of bio-material (silk) is proven. The switching behavior of the embedded AzBr molecules was studied in terms of UV/Vis spectroscopy. To test the opto-mechanical properties of the modified fibers and the structural changes they undergo upon optically induced switching, single fiber X-ray diffraction with a micron-sized synchrotron radiation beam was combined in situ with optical switching as well as with mechanical testing and monitoring. The crystalline regions of silk are not modified by the presence of the guest molecules, hence occupy only the amorphous part of the fibers. It is shown that chromophore molecules embedded into fibers can be reversibly switched between the trans and cis conformation by illumination with light of defined wavelengths. The host fibers respond to this switching with a variation of the internal stress. The amplitude of the mechanical response is independent of the applied external stress and its characteristic time is shorter than the relaxation time of the usual mechanical response of silk.

  2. Functional silk: colored and luminescent.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22302383

  3. Silk Fibroin as Edible Coating for Perishable Food Preservation

    PubMed Central

    Marelli, B.; Brenckle, M. A.; Kaplan, D. L.; Omenetto, F. G.

    2016-01-01

    The regeneration of structural biopolymers into micelles or nanoparticles suspended in water has enabled the design of new materials with unique and compelling properties that can serve at the interface between the biotic and the abiotic worlds. In this study, we leveraged silk fibroin quintessential properties (i.e. polymorphism, conformability and hydrophobicity) to design a water-based protein suspension that self-assembles on the surface of food upon dip coating. The water-based post-processing control of the protein polymorphism enables the modulation of the diffusion of gases through the silk fibroin thin membranes (e.g. O2 and CO2 diffusion, water vapour permeability), which is a key parameter to manage food freshness. In particular, an increased beta-sheet content corresponds to a reduction in oxygen diffusion through silk fibroin thin films. By using the dip coating of strawberries and bananas as proof of principle, we have shown that the formation of micrometre-thin silk fibroin membranes around the fruits helps the management of postharvest physiology of the fruits. Thus, silk fibroin coatings enhance fruits’ shelf life at room conditions by reducing cell respiration rate and water evaporation. The water-based processing and edible nature of silk fibroin makes this approach a promising alternative for food preservation with a naturally derived material. PMID:27151492

  4. Silk Fibroin as Edible Coating for Perishable Food Preservation.

    PubMed

    Marelli, B; Brenckle, M A; Kaplan, D L; Omenetto, F G

    2016-01-01

    The regeneration of structural biopolymers into micelles or nanoparticles suspended in water has enabled the design of new materials with unique and compelling properties that can serve at the interface between the biotic and the abiotic worlds. In this study, we leveraged silk fibroin quintessential properties (i.e. polymorphism, conformability and hydrophobicity) to design a water-based protein suspension that self-assembles on the surface of food upon dip coating. The water-based post-processing control of the protein polymorphism enables the modulation of the diffusion of gases through the silk fibroin thin membranes (e.g. O2 and CO2 diffusion, water vapour permeability), which is a key parameter to manage food freshness. In particular, an increased beta-sheet content corresponds to a reduction in oxygen diffusion through silk fibroin thin films. By using the dip coating of strawberries and bananas as proof of principle, we have shown that the formation of micrometre-thin silk fibroin membranes around the fruits helps the management of postharvest physiology of the fruits. Thus, silk fibroin coatings enhance fruits' shelf life at room conditions by reducing cell respiration rate and water evaporation. The water-based processing and edible nature of silk fibroin makes this approach a promising alternative for food preservation with a naturally derived material. PMID:27151492

  5. The expression pattern of four odorant-binding proteins in male and female silk moths, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Maida, R; Mameli, M; Müller, B; Krieger, J; Steinbrecht, R A

    2005-03-01

    Four recombinant odorant-binding proteins of Bombyx mori, pheromone-binding protein (PBP), general odorant-binding protein 1 (GOBP1), general odorant-binding protein 2 (GOBP2) and antennal binding protein X (ABPX), were expressed in E. coli and used to raise polyclonal antisera. Immunoblots of antennal homogenates showed that these antisera were specific. In Western blot analysis and immunocytochemical labelling experiments, the sera against recombinant PBP and GOBP2 of B. mori gave identical results as sera against native PBP and GOBP2 of Antheraea polyphemus, respectively, thus confirming earlier results obtained with the latter. Labelling consecutive cross sections of various sensillum types with all four antisera revealed different labelling patterns in male and female sensilla (s.) trichodea and s. basiconica. Long s. trichodea in males and females represented uniform labelling types, whereas for short s. trichodea, s. intermedia, and s. basiconica a great variety of labelling patterns was observed, some being more common than others. Long s. trichodea, which in males are uniformly tuned to the pheromone components bombykol and bombykal, all strongly expressed PBP; labelling with antisera against the other three odorant-binding proteins hardly was above background, only in some hairs GOBP1 was expressed somewhat more strongly. Long s. trichodea of females, which respond specifically to linalool and benzoic acid, showed a different labelling pattern. Here, we observed strong labelling with antibodies against GOBP2 and medium labelling with anti-GOBP1, sometimes with anti-ABPX. S. basiconica in both sexes most commonly co-expressed GOBP1 and GOBP2, but other patterns were occasionally found, with some of them showing PBP expression, also in females. The great variety of labelling types in short s. trichodea, s. intermedia, and s. basiconica suggests a similar variety of functional subtypes as observed in plant odour-sensitive sensilla of other moth species. PMID:16374716

  6. Scrutinizing the datasets obtained from nanoscale features of spider silk fibres

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Luciano P; Rech, Elibio L

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibres share unprecedented structural and mechanical properties which span from the macroscale to nanoscale and beyond. This is possible due to the molecular features of modular proteins termed spidroins. Thus, the investigation of the organizational scaffolds observed for spidroins in spider silk fibres is of paramount importance for reverse bioengineering. This dataset consists in describing a rational screening procedure to identify the nanoscale features of spider silk fibres. Using atomic force microscopy operated in multiple acquisition modes, we evaluated silk fibres from nine spider species. Here we present the complete results of the analyses and decrypted a number of novel features that could even rank the silk fibres according to desired mechanostructural features. This dataset will allow other researchers to select the most appropriate models for synthetic biology and also lead to better understanding of spider silk fibres extraordinary performance that is comparable to the best manmade materials. PMID:25977795

  7. Stabilization of Enzymes in Silk Films

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Shenzhou; Wang, Xiaoqin; Lv, Qiang; Hu, Xiao; Uppal, Neha; Omenetto, Fiorenzo

    2009-01-01

    Material systems are needed that promote stabilization of entrained molecules, such as enzymes or therapeutic proteins, without destroying their activity. We demonstrate that the unique structure of silk fibroin protein, when assembled into the solid state, establishes an environment that is conducive to the stabilization of entrained proteins. Enzymes (glucose oxidase, lipase and horseradish peroxidase) entrapped in these films over ten months retained significant activity, even when stored at 37°C, and in the case of glucose oxidase did not lose any activity. Further, the mode of processing of the silk protein into the films could be correlated to the stability of the enzymes. The relationship between processing and stability offers a large suite of conditions within which to optimize such stabilization processes. Overall, the techniques reported here result in materials that stabilize enzymes to a remarkable extent, without the need for cryoprotectants, emulsifiers, covalent immobilization or other treatments. Further, these systems are amenable to optical characterization, environmental distribution without refrigeration, are ingestible, and offer potential use in vivo, since silk materials are biocompatible and FDA approved, degradable with proteases and currently used in biomedical devices. PMID:19323497

  8. Electrodeposited silk coatings for functionalized implant applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elia, Roberto

    The mechanical and morphological properties of titanium as well as its biocompatibility and osteoinductive characteristics have made it the material of choice for dental implant systems. Although the success rate of titanium implants exceeds 90% in healthy individuals, a large subset of the population has one or more risk factors that inhibit implant integration. Treatments and coatings have been developed to improve clinical outcomes via introduction of appropriate surface topography, texture and roughness or incorporation of bioactive molecules. It is essential that the coatings and associated deposition techniques are controllable and reproducible. Currently, methods of depositing functional coatings are dictated by numerous parameters (temperature, particle size distribution, pH and voltage), which result in variable coating thickness, strength, porosity and weight, and hinder or preclude biomolecule incorporation. Silk is a highly versatile protein with a unique combination of mechanical and physical properties, including tunable degradation, biocompatibility, drug stabilizing capabilities and mechanical properties. Most recently an electrogelation technique was developed which allows for the deposition of gels which dry seamlessly over the contoured topography of the conductive substrate. In this work we examine the potential use of silk electrogels as mechanically robust implant coatings capable of sequestering and releasing therapeutic agents. Electrodeposition of silk electrogels formed in uniform electric fields was characterized with respect to field intensity and deposition time. Gel formation kinetics were used to derive functions which allowed for the prediction of coating deposition over a range of process and solution parameters. Silk electrogel growth orientation was shown to be influenced by the applied electric field. Coatings were reproducible and tunable via intrinsic silk solution properties and extrinsic process parameters. Adhesion was modulated over a 10-fold range and implant insertion into bone mimics demonstrated that the coatings were able to withstand delamination forces experienced during these mock implantations. Antibiotic release from coated implant studs inhibited bacterial growth and dexamethasone release was shown to stimulate calcium deposition in mesenchymal stem cells.

  9. Electrospun Silk Biomaterial Scaffolds for Regenerative Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaohui; Reagan, Michaela R; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Electrospinning is a versatile technique that enables the development of nanofiber-based biomaterial scaffolds. Scaffolds can be generated that are useful for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine since they mimic the nanoscale properties of certain fibrous components of the native extracellular matrix in tissues. Silk is a natural protein with excellent biocompatibility, remarkable mechanical properties as well as tailorable degradability. Integrating these protein polymer advantages with electrospinning results in scaffolds with combined biochemical, topographical and mechanical cues with versatility for a range of biomaterial, cell and tissue studies and applications. This review covers research related to electrospinning of silk, including process parameters, post treatment of the spun fibers, functionalization of nanofibers, and the potential applications for these material systems in regenerative medicine. Research challenges and future trends are also discussed. PMID:19643154

  10. Transcriptomic Analysis of the Anterior Silk Gland in the Domestic Silkworm (Bombyx mori) – Insight into the Mechanism of Silk Formation and Spinning

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Huaipu; Cheng, Tingcai; Wu, Yuqian; Hu, Wenbo; Long, Renwen; Liu, Chun; Zhao, Ping; Xia, Qingyou

    2015-01-01

    Silk proteins are synthesized in the middle and posterior silk glands of silkworms, then transit into the anterior of the silk gland, where the silk fibers are produced, stored and processed. The mechanism of formation and spinning of the silk fibers has not been fully elucidated, and transcriptome analyses specific to the anterior silk gland have not been reported. In the present study, we explored gene expression profiles in five regions of silk gland samples using the RNA-Seq method. As a result, there were 959,979,570 raw reads obtained, of which 583,068,172 reads were mapped to the silkworm genome. A total of 7419 genes were found to be expressed in terms of reads per kilobase of exon model per million mapped reads ≥ 5 in at least one sample. The gene numbers and expression levels of the expressed genes differed between these regions. The differentially expressed genes were analyzed, and 282 genes were detected as up-regulated in the anterior silk gland, compared with the other parts. Functions of these genes were addressed using the gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes databases, and seven key pathways were enriched. It suggested that the ion transportation, energy metabolism, protease inhibitors and cuticle proteins played essential roles in the process of silk formation and spinning in the anterior silk gland. In addition, 210 genes were found differently expressed between males and females, which should help to elucidate the mechanism of the quality difference in silk fibers from male and female silkworms. PMID:26418001

  11. [Engineered spider silk: the intelligent biomaterial of the future. Part II].

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    The development and progress in engineered spider silk manufacturing has enabled its practical application. Recombinant spider silk can assemble in several morphological forms such as films, hydrogels, fibers, scaffolds, microcapsules, and micro- and nanospheres. The in vitro fiber formation takes place by mimicking the natural spinning process in the spider spinning gland: in the presence of phosphate ions and dragging forces. Films are obtained by evaporation of solvent from the silk solution, while the result of evaporation of the solvent in the presence of porogens is a silk scaffold. Hydrogels are formed by spontaneous polymerization of silk particles in solutions at low pH. The silk film assembled at the interface of two immiscible phases forms microcapsules. The smallest of the described forms--silk spheres--are obtained by salting out the silk protein solution after addition of the phosphate ions. Common properties of the silk biomaterials are biocompatibility and biodegradability, which make them suitable for a number of applications in medicine and pharmacy. Moreover, the strategy of hybrid proteins which provides the desired function to biomaterial will further expand their potential use. PMID:21734323

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

    The pupal cocoon of the domesticated silk moth Bombyx mori is the best known and most extensively studied insect silk. It is not widely known that Apis mellifera larvae also produce silk. We have used a combination of genomic and proteomic techniques to identify four honey bee fiber genes (AmelFibroin1–4) and two silk-associated genes (AmelSA1 and 2). The four fiber genes are small, comprise a single exon each, and are clustered on a short genomic region where the open reading frames are GC-rich amid low GC intergenic regions. The genes encode similar proteins that are highly helical and predicted to form unusually tight coiled coils. Despite the similarity in size, structure, and composition of the encoded proteins, the genes have low primary sequence identity. We propose that the four fiber genes have arisen from gene duplication events but have subsequently diverged significantly. The silk-associated genes encode proteins likely to act as a glue (AmelSA1) and involved in silk processing (AmelSA2). Although the silks of honey bees and silkmoths both originate in larval labial glands, the silk proteins are completely different in their primary, secondary, and tertiary structures as well as the genomic arrangement of the genes encoding them. This implies independent evolutionary origins for these functionally related proteins. PMID:17065612

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

    The pupal cocoon of the domesticated silk moth Bombyx mori is the best known and most extensively studied insect silk. It is not widely known that Apis mellifera larvae also produce silk. We have used a combination of genomic and proteomic techniques to identify four honey bee fiber genes (AmelFibroin1-4) and two silk-associated genes (AmelSA1 and 2). The four fiber genes are small, comprise a single exon each, and are clustered on a short genomic region where the open reading frames are GC-rich amid low GC intergenic regions. The genes encode similar proteins that are highly helical and predicted to form unusually tight coiled coils. Despite the similarity in size, structure, and composition of the encoded proteins, the genes have low primary sequence identity. We propose that the four fiber genes have arisen from gene duplication events but have subsequently diverged significantly. The silk-associated genes encode proteins likely to act as a glue (AmelSA1) and involved in silk processing (AmelSA2). Although the silks of honey bees and silkmoths both originate in larval labial glands, the silk proteins are completely different in their primary, secondary, and tertiary structures as well as the genomic arrangement of the genes encoding them. This implies independent evolutionary origins for these functionally related proteins. PMID:17065612

  14. Spider silk reduces insect herbivory

    PubMed Central

    Rypstra, Ann L.; Buddle, Christopher M.

    2013-01-01

    The role of predators in food webs extends beyond their ability to kill and consume prey. Such trait-mediated effects occur when signals of the predator influence the behaviour of other animals. Because all spiders are silk-producing carnivores, we hypothesized that silk alone would signal other arthropods and enhance non-lethal effects of spiders. We quantified the herbivory inflicted by two beetle species on green bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the presence of silkworm silk and spider silk along with no silk controls. Single leaflets were treated and enclosed with herbivores in the laboratory and field. Another set of leaflets were treated and left to experience natural herbivory in the field. Entire plants in the field were treated with silk and enclosed with herbivores or left exposed to herbivory. In all cases, the lowest levels of herbivory occurred with spider silk treatments and, in general, silkworm silk produced intermediate levels of leaf damage. These results suggest that silk may be a mechanism for the trait-mediated impacts of spiders and that it might contribute to integrated pest management programmes. PMID:23193048

  15. Spider silk reduces insect herbivory.

    PubMed

    Rypstra, Ann L; Buddle, Christopher M

    2013-02-23

    The role of predators in food webs extends beyond their ability to kill and consume prey. Such trait-mediated effects occur when signals of the predator influence the behaviour of other animals. Because all spiders are silk-producing carnivores, we hypothesized that silk alone would signal other arthropods and enhance non-lethal effects of spiders. We quantified the herbivory inflicted by two beetle species on green bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the presence of silkworm silk and spider silk along with no silk controls. Single leaflets were treated and enclosed with herbivores in the laboratory and field. Another set of leaflets were treated and left to experience natural herbivory in the field. Entire plants in the field were treated with silk and enclosed with herbivores or left exposed to herbivory. In all cases, the lowest levels of herbivory occurred with spider silk treatments and, in general, silkworm silk produced intermediate levels of leaf damage. These results suggest that silk may be a mechanism for the trait-mediated impacts of spiders and that it might contribute to integrated pest management programmes. PMID:23193048

  16. Transdermal Delivery Devices: Fabrication, Mechanics and Drug Release from Silk**

    PubMed Central

    Raja, Waseem K.; MacCorkle, Scott; Diwan, Izzuddin M.; Abdurrob, Abdurrahman; Lu, Jessica; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Microneedles are a relatively simple, minimally invasive and painless approach to deliver drugs across the skin. However, there remain limitations with this approach because of the materials most commonly utilized for such systems. Silk protein, with tunable and biocompatibility properties, is a useful biomaterial to overcome the current limitations with microneedles. Silk devices preserve drug activity, offer superior mechanical properties and biocompatibility, can be tuned for biodegradability, and can be processed under aqueous, benign conditions. In the present work, we report the fabrication of dense microneedle arrays from silk with different drug release kinetics. The mechanical properties of the microneedle patches are tuned by post-fabrication treatments or by loading the needles with silk microparticles to increase capacity and mechanical strength. Drug release is further enhanced by the encapsulation of the drugs in the silk matrix and coating with a thin dissolvable drug layer. The microneedles are used on human cadaver skin and drugs were delivered successfully. The various attributes demonstrated suggest that silk-based microneedle devices can provide significant benefit as a platform material for transdermal drug delivery. PMID:23653252

  17. Formation of different gold nanostructures by silk nanofibrils.

    PubMed

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

    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. PMID:27127067

  18. Ingrowth of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Porous Silk Particle Reinforced Silk Composite Scaffolds: An In Vitro Study

    PubMed Central

    Rockwood, Danielle N.; Gil, Eun Seok; Park, Sang-Hyug; Kluge, Jonathan A.; Grayson, Warren; Bhumiratana, Sarindr; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Wang, Xungai; Kim, Sung Jun; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L

    2010-01-01

    Silk fibroin protein is biodegradable and biocompatible, exhibiting excellent mechanical properties for various biomedical applications. However, porous 3D silk fibroin scaffolds, or silk sponges, usually fall short in matching the initial mechanical requirements for bone tissue engineering. In the present study, silk sponge matrices were reinforced with silk microparticles to generate protein-protein composite scaffolds with desirable mechanical properties for in vitro osteogenic tissue formation. It was found that increasing the silk microparticle loading led to a substantial increase in the scaffold compressive modulus from 0.3 MPa (nonreinforced) to 1.9 MPa for 1:2 (matrix:particle) reinforcement loading by dry mass. Biochemical, gene expression, and histological assays were employed to study the possible effects of increasing composite scaffold stiffness, due to microparticle reinforcement, on in vitro osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Increasing silk microparticle loading increased the osteogenic capability of hMSCs in the presence of bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2) and other osteogenic factors in static culture for up to six weeks. The calcium adsorption increased dramatically with increasing loading, as observed from biochemical assays, histological staining, and microCT (μCT) analysis. Specifically, calcium content in the scaffolds increased by 0.57, 0.71, and 1.27 mg (per μg of DNA) from 3 to 6 weeks for matrix to particle dry mass loading ratios of 1:0, 1:1 and 1:2, respectively. In addition, μCT imaging revealed that at 6 weeks, bone volume fraction increased from 0.78% for nonreinforced to 7.1% and 6.7% for 1:1 and 1:2 loading, respectively. Our results support the hypothesis that scaffold stiffness may strongly influence the 3D in vitro differentiation capabilities of hMSCs, providing a means to improve osteogenic outcomes. PMID:20656075

  19. Physical properties and structure of aquatic silk fiber from Stenopsyche marmorata.

    PubMed

    Tsukada, Masuhiro; Khan, Md Majibur Rahman; Inoue, Eiso; Kimura, Goro; Hun, Jin Young; Mishima, Mitsuharu; Hirabayashi, Kimio

    2010-01-01

    To study the properties and structure of aquatic silk, nest-spinning hydropsychid caddisfly (Stenopsyche marmorata) larva were collected from a Japanese river and the silk glands were removed from the larva by dissecting and dried on the glass plate at room temperature. The silk fibers were obtained by removing fibrous materials, which the aquatic insects spun at the bottom of glass container and the microstructure and physical properties of aquatic silk protein fibres and their solid silk protein gland were evaluated. Silk fiber produced by the caddisfly larvae is composed of two filament embedded in a layer of glue. The results of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction measurements suggested the existence of binary structure containing random coil conformation and additional minor beta-molecular structure. Differential scanning calorimetry results are characterized by two broad endothermic transitions, at 230 degrees C and 320 degrees C, which corresponds to the decomposition of silk glue and silk fiber from caddis fly, respectively. The storage modulus (E') remained almost unchanged and nearly constant at above 60 degrees C until about 214 degrees C, where it began to show a sharp drop. A prominent relaxation peak appeared in the imaginary part of the modulus (loss peak at 230 degrees C), in response to the strong motional transitions exhibited by the silk fiber at this temperature. There was significant difference of tensile strength of single solid silk protein gland in dry and wet state. The results obtained are quite promising as a basis for possible future biotechnological and adhesive applications of aquatic silk. PMID:19828120

  20. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section... SAFE Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is the fresh styles and stigmas of Zea mays L. collected when the corn is in milk....

  1. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section... SAFE Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is the fresh styles and stigmas of Zea mays L. collected when the corn is in milk....

  2. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section... SAFE Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is the fresh styles and stigmas of Zea mays L. collected when the corn is in milk....

  3. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section... Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is the fresh styles and stigmas of Zea mays L. collected when the corn is in milk. The filaments are extracted with dilute ethanol...

  4. Silk microgels formed by proteolytic enzyme activity.

    PubMed

    Samal, Sangram K; Dash, Mamoni; Chiellini, Federica; Kaplan, David L; Chiellini, Emo

    2013-09-01

    The proteolytic enzyme α-chymotrypsin selectively cleaves the amorphous regions of silk fibroin protein (SFP) and allows the crystalline regions to self-assemble into silk microgels (SMGs) at physiological temperature. These microgels consist of lamellar crystals in the micrometer scale, in contrast to the nanometer-scaled crystals in native silkworm fibers. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and zeta potential results demonstrated that α-chymotrypsin utilized only the non-amorphous domains or segments of the heavy chain of SFP to form negatively charged SMGs. The SMGs were characterized in terms of size, charge, structure, morphology, crystallinity, swelling kinetics, water content and thermal properties. The results suggest that the present technique of preparing SMGs by α-chymotrypsin is simple and efficient, and that the prepared SMGs have useful features for studies related to biomaterial and pharmaceutical needs. This process is also an easy way to obtain the amorphous peptide chains for further study. PMID:23756227

  5. Silk constructs for delivery of muskuloskeletal therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Meinel, Lorenz; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Silk Microgels Formed by Proteolytic Enzyme Activity

    PubMed Central

    Samal, Sangram K.; Dash, Mamoni; Chiellini, Federica; Kaplan, David L.; Chiellini, Emo

    2013-01-01

    The proteolytic enzyme α-chymotrypsin selectively cleaves the amorphous regions of silk fibroin protein (SFP) and allows the crystalline regions to self-assemble into silk microgels (SMG) at physiological temperature. These microgels consist of lamellar crystals in the micrometer scale, in contrast to the nanometer scaled crystals in native silkworm fibers. SDS-PAGE and zeta potential results demonstrated that α-chymotrypsin utilized only the nonamorphous domains or segments of the heavy chain of SFP to form negatively charged SMGs. The SMGs were characterized in terms of size, charge, structure, morphology, crystallinity, swelling kinetics, water content and thermal properties. The results suggest that the present technique of preparing SMGs by α-chymotrypsin is simple and efficient potential and that the prepared SMGS have useful features for studies related to biomaterials and pharmaceutical needs. This process is also an easy approach to obtain the amorphous peptide chains for further study. PMID:23756227

  7. Silk fibroin nanostructured materials for biomedical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitropoulos, Alexander N.

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

  8. Silk Fibroin under Osmotic Stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohn, Sungkyun; Strey, Helmut H.; Gido, Samuel P.

    2003-03-01

    The osmotic stress method was applied to study the thermodynamics of supramolecular self-assembly phenomena in crystallizable segments of Bombyx mori silkworm silk fibroin. Controlling compositions and phases of silk fibroin solution, the method provided a means for the direct investigation of microscopic and thermodynamic details of these intermolecular interactions in aqueous media. It is apparent that as osmotic pressure increases, silk fibroin molecules get pressurized to align together to form a water-soluble crystalline mesophase (Silk-I), and then gradually become anti-parallel b-sheet structure (Silk-II) at higher osmotic pressure. This behavior becomes more sensitive as the salt concentration decreases. A partial ternary phase diagram of Water-Silk fibroin-LiBr was constructed based on the results. This phase diagram can be utilized to help design a new route for wet spinning of re-generated silk fibroin. Precise control of compositions and corresponding crystalline structure of a silk fibroin solution may enable us to simulate the natural Bombyx mori silkworm spinning process.

  9. Synthetic spider silk production on a laboratory scale.

    PubMed

    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

  10. Synthetic Spider Silk Production on a Laboratory Scale

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Structure Formation in Bombyx mori Silk Foams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Shi-Juang; Valluzzi, Regina; Gido, Samuel P.

    1998-03-01

    The structural evolution of silk stored within the lumen of the silk gland of the silkworm (Silk I) to the highly crystalline spun fiber (Silk II) is not well understood. Conclusive experimental elucidation of Silk I crystal structure has still not been achieved despite nearly fifty years of study. Via a foaming technique, a new insight has been provided into the structural formation of Bombyx mori silk on a microscopic scale in aqueous systems. These formations include an unoriented state, a mesophase, and near perfect single crystals. A similarity between the semicrystalline foam structureand the previously observed interfacial silk (Silk III) was found. Under different conditions, a Silk I-like structure was present in the silk foams as near perfect single crystals.

  12. Silk electrogel coatings for titanium dental implants.

    PubMed

    Elia, Roberto; Michelson, Courtney D; Perera, Austin L; Harsono, Masly; Leisk, Gray G; Kugel, Gerard; Kaplan, David L

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this study was to develop biocompatible, biodegradable dental implant coatings capable of withstanding the mechanical stresses imparted during implant placement. Two techniques were developed to deposit uniform silk fibroin protein coatings onto dental implants. Two novel coating techniques were implemented to coat titanium shims, studs, and implants. One technique involved electrodeposition of the silk directly onto the titanium substrates. The second technique consisted of melting electrogels and dispensing the melted gels onto the titanium to form the coatings. Both techniques were tested for coating reproducibility using a stylus profilometer and a dial thickness gauge. The mechanical strength of adhered titanium studs was assessed using a universal mechanical testing machine. Uniform, controllable coatings were obtained from both the electrodeposition and melted electrogel coating techniques, tunable from 35 to 1654 µm thick under the conditions studied, and able to withstand delamination during implantation into implant socket mimics. Mechanical testing revealed that the adhesive strength of electrogel coatings, 0.369 ± 0.09 MPa, rivaled other biologically derived coating systems such as collagen, hydroxyapatite, and chitosan (0.07-4.83 MPa). These novel silk-based techniques offer a unique approach to the deposition of safe, simple, mechanically robust, biocompatible, and degradable implant coatings. PMID:25425563

  13. Nutrient deprivation induces property variations in spider gluey silk.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Nutrient Deprivation Induces Property Variations in Spider Gluey Silk

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. In vitro study on silk fibroin textile structure for anterior cruciate ligament regeneration.

    PubMed

    Farè, Silvia; Torricelli, Paola; Giavaresi, Gianluca; Bertoldi, Serena; Alessandrino, Antonio; Villa, Tomaso; Fini, Milena; Tanzi, Maria Cristina; Freddi, Giuliano

    2013-10-01

    A novel hierarchical textile structure made of silk fibroin from Bombyx mori capable of matching the mechanical performance requirements of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and in vitro cell ingrowth is described. This sericin-free, Silk Fibroin Knitted Sheath with Braided Core (SF-KSBC) structure was fabricated using available textile technologies. Micro-CT analysis confirmed that the core was highly porous and had a higher degree of interconnectivity than that observed for the sheath. The in vivo cell colonization of the scaffolds is thus expected to penetrate even the internal parts of the structure. Tensile mechanical tests demonstrated a maximum load of 1212.4±56.4 N (under hydrated conditions), confirming the scaffold's suitability for ACL reconstruction. The absence of cytotoxic substances in the extracts of the SF-KSBC structure in culture medium was verified by in vitro tests with L929 fibroblasts. In terms of extracellular matrix production, Human Periodontal Ligament Fibroblasts (HPdLFs) cultured in direct contact with SF-KSBC, compared to control samples, demonstrated an increased secretion of aggrecan (PG) and fibronectin (FBN) at 3 and 7 days of culture, and no change in IL-6 and TNF-α secretion. Altogether, the outcomes of this investigation confirm the significant utility of this novel scaffold for ACL tissue regeneration. PMID:23910255

  16. Potential of non-mulberry silk protein fibroin blended and grafted poly(Є-caprolactone) nanofibrous matrices for in vivo bone regeneration.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharjee, Promita; Naskar, Deboki; Maiti, Tapas K; Bhattacharya, Debasis; Das, Piyali; Nandi, Samit Kumar; Kundu, Subhas C

    2016-07-01

    An in vivo investigation is conducted to evaluate effectiveness of poly(Є-caprolactone) (PCL) nanofibrous matrices, with non-mulberry silk fibroin (NSF) (from Antheraea mylitta) inclusion, for bone tissue engineering. Inclusion is achieved by either blending NSF with PCL prior to electrospinning substrates or by grafting NSF onto electrospun PCL substrates. Proceeding from our previous in vitro results, showing that NSF grafted matrices have an edge when it comes to aiding cellular adhesion and proliferation, animal trials using rabbits are planned. As this is first in vivo trial of nanofibrous scaffolds with silk fibroin from A. mylitta, aim is to both evaluate the grafted and blended scaffolds independently and compare the method of silk fibroin introduction into the nanofibrous structures. The scaffolds are implanted at bone defect site in distal metaphysis region of the rabbits' femur. Host tissue immuno-compatibility of implants is assessed from measurements of IL-2, IL-6 and TNF-α level through 4 weeks after implantation. Barring an initial inflammatory response, IL-2, IL-6 and TNF-α levels fall back at baseline values in 2 or 4 weeks, thus confirming long term compatibility. Substantial interfacial bonding strength between grafts and host bone is evidenced from mechanical push-out test. Formation of bone tissue for both implant varieties is confirmed using histological and radiological examinations along with fluorochrome labelling and scanning electron microscopy. Significantly better bone formation is observed for NSF grafted matrices. The cumulative results from in vivo tests indicate suitability of NSF grafted PCL nanofibrous matrix as an ECM for bone repair and regrowth. PMID:27037780

  17. Persistence and variation in microstructural design during the evolution of spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madurga, R.; Blackledge, T. A.; Perea, B.; Plaza, G. R.; Riekel, C.; Burghammer, M.; Elices, M.; Guinea, G.; Pérez-Rigueiro, J.

    2015-10-01

    The extraordinary mechanical performance of spider dragline silk is explained by its highly ordered microstructure and results from the sequences of its constituent proteins. This optimized microstructural organization simultaneously achieves high tensile strength and strain at breaking by taking advantage of weak molecular interactions. However, elucidating how the original design evolved over the 400 million year history of spider silk, and identifying the basic relationships between microstructural details and performance have proven difficult tasks. Here we show that the analysis of maximum supercontracted single spider silk fibers using X ray diffraction shows a complex picture of silk evolution where some key microstructural features are conserved phylogenetically while others show substantial variation even among closely related species. This new understanding helps elucidate which microstructural features need to be copied in order to produce the next generation of biomimetic silk fibers.

  18. Material properties of cobweb silk from the black widow spider Latrodectus hesperus.

    PubMed

    Moore, A M; Tran, K

    1999-01-01

    We present the material analysis of scaffolding silk from the cobweb of the black widow spider Latrodectus hesperus. 30 strands were tested from the webs of nine spiders. Strands were stretched at 0.211 mm/s as force and extension were recorded. Cross-sectional area was measured under 1000 x oil-immersion light microscopy. The stress strain curve shows that cobweb silk is a distinct material from other known spider silks. The average breaking point for this cobweb silk is 1.1 +/- 0.5 GPa at 0.22 +/- 0.05 strain. All samples increased stiffness as they were stretched, but to different extents. Variation in stiffness might be due to differential crystallization or alignment of the silk proteins during stretching. PMID:10342775

  19. Persistence and variation in microstructural design during the evolution of spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Madurga, R.; Blackledge, T. A.; Perea, B.; Plaza, G. R.; Riekel, C.; Burghammer, M.; Elices, M.; Guinea, G.; Pérez-Rigueiro, J.

    2015-01-01

    The extraordinary mechanical performance of spider dragline silk is explained by its highly ordered microstructure and results from the sequences of its constituent proteins. This optimized microstructural organization simultaneously achieves high tensile strength and strain at breaking by taking advantage of weak molecular interactions. However, elucidating how the original design evolved over the 400 million year history of spider silk, and identifying the basic relationships between microstructural details and performance have proven difficult tasks. Here we show that the analysis of maximum supercontracted single spider silk fibers using X ray diffraction shows a complex picture of silk evolution where some key microstructural features are conserved phylogenetically while others show substantial variation even among closely related species. This new understanding helps elucidate which microstructural features need to be copied in order to produce the next generation of biomimetic silk fibers. PMID:26438975

  20. Silk properties determined by gland-specific expression of a spider fibroin gene family.

    PubMed

    Guerette, P A; Ginzinger, D G; Weber, B H; Gosline, J M

    1996-04-01

    Spiders produce a variety of silks that range from Lycra-like elastic fibers to Kevlar-like superfibers. A gene family from the spider Araneus diadematus was found to encode silk-forming proteins (fibroins) with different proportions of amorphous glycine-rich domains and crystal domains built from poly(alanine) and poly(glycine-alanine) repeat motifs. Spiders produce silks of different composition by gland-specific expression of this gene family, which allows for a range of mechanical properties according to the crystal-forming potential of the constituent fibroins. These principles of fiber property control may be important in the development of genetically engineered structural proteins. PMID:8600519

  1. All-water-based electron-beam lithography using silk as a resist

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sunghwan; Marelli, Benedetto; Brenckle, Mark A.; Mitropoulos, Alexander N.; Gil, Eun-Seok; Tsioris, Konstantinos; Tao, Hu; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2014-04-01

    Traditional nanofabrication techniques often require complex lithographic steps and the use of toxic chemicals. To move from the laboratory scale to large scales, nanofabrication should be carried out using alternative procedures that are simple, inexpensive and use non-toxic solvents. Recent efforts have focused on nanoimprinting and the use of organic resists (such as quantum dot-polymer hybrids, DNA and poly(ethylene glycol)), which still require, for the most part, noxious chemicals for processing. Significant advances have been achieved using `green' resists that can be developed with water, but so far these approaches have suffered from low electron sensitivity, line edge roughness and scalability constraints. Here, we present the use of silk as a natural and biofunctional resist for electron-beam lithography. The process is entirely water-based, starting with the silk aqueous solution and ending with simple development of the exposed silk film in water. Because of its polymorphic crystalline structure, silk can be used either as a positive or negative resist through interactions with an electron beam. Moreover, silk can be easily modified, thereby enabling a variety of `functional resists', including biologically active versions. As a proof of principle of the viability of all-water-based silk electron-beam lithography (EBL), we fabricate nanoscale photonic lattices using both neat silk and silk doped with quantum dots, green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) or horseradish peroxidase (HRP).

  2. Anisotropic growth of hydroxyapatite on the silk fibroin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yucheng; Cai, Yurong; Kong, Xiangdong; Yao, Juming

    2008-12-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin is of practical interest for its excellent intrinsic properties utilizable in the biotechnological and biomedical fields. Here, the silk fibroin films were pretreated with different methods and then used as the template for the hydroxyapatite (HA) crystal growth. To study the effect of silk films' surface structure on the protein biomineralization, the films were immersed into 1.5 times simulated body fluid (1.5 × SBF) to induce the HA deposition at 37 °C. The results showed that an anisotropic growth of HA crystals was observed on the different films as judging from XRD, TEM and HRTEM data. This was thought that the positions and density of carboxyl groups, C dbnd O and amino groups on the surface of SF films may be different, which play the key effect on HA crystal growth.

  3. Carbon nanotubes on a spider silk scaffold.

    PubMed

    Steven, Eden; Saleh, Wasan R; Lebedev, Victor; Acquah, Steve F A; Laukhin, Vladimir; Alamo, Rufina G; Brooks, James S

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the compatibility between spider silk and conducting materials is essential to advance the use of spider silk in electronic applications. Spider silk is tough, but becomes soft when exposed to water. Here we report a strong affinity of amine-functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes for spider silk, with coating assisted by a water and mechanical shear method. The nanotubes adhere uniformly and bond to the silk fibre surface to produce tough, custom-shaped, flexible and electrically conducting fibres after drying and contraction. The conductivity of coated silk fibres is reversibly sensitive to strain and humidity, leading to proof-of-concept sensor and actuator demonstrations. PMID:24022336

  4. Carbon nanotubes on a spider silk scaffold

    PubMed Central

    Steven, Eden; Saleh, Wasan R.; Lebedev, Victor; Acquah, Steve F. A.; Laukhin, Vladimir; Alamo, Rufina G.; Brooks, James S.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the compatibility between spider silk and conducting materials is essential to advance the use of spider silk in electronic applications. Spider silk is tough, but becomes soft when exposed to water. Here we report a strong affinity of amine-functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes for spider silk, with coating assisted by a water and mechanical shear method. The nanotubes adhere uniformly and bond to the silk fibre surface to produce tough, custom-shaped, flexible and electrically conducting fibres after drying and contraction. The conductivity of coated silk fibres is reversibly sensitive to strain and humidity, leading to proof-of-concept sensor and actuator demonstrations. PMID:24022336

  5. Extraction conditions of Antheraea mylitta sericin with high yields and minimum molecular weight degradation.

    PubMed

    Yun, Haesung; Oh, Hanjin; Kim, Moo Kon; Kwak, Hyo Won; Lee, Jeong Yun; Um, In Chul; Vootla, Shyam Kumar; Lee, Ki Hoon

    2013-01-01

    Although the technique for extracting the Bombyx mori sericin has been extensively known, the extraction of sericin from wild-silkworm cocoons is not yet standardized. The aim of this study was to find the optimal conditions for the extraction of sericin from Antheraea mylitta cocoons, with high yields and minimum degradation. We attempted to apply various protocols for the extraction of the A. mylitta sericin (AmS). Among these, we found that the extraction of AmS with a sodium carbonate solution exhibited the highest yield except the conventional soap-alkali extraction. To find the optimal conditions for the AmS extraction with the sodium carbonate, we changed the concentration of sodium carbonate and the treatment time. With an increase in the sodium carbonate concentration and the extraction time, the yield of AmS increased, but the molecular weight (MW) of AmS decreased. Considering the yield, molecular weight distribution (MWD) and amino acid composition of AmS, we suggest that the optimal conditions for the AmS extraction require treatment with 0.02 M sodium carbonate and boiling for 60 min. PMID:23026092

  6. A new route for silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2008-11-01

    Famous for its use in clothing since early times, silk is now finding a new application as a useful biocompatible material in photonic devices. Thin films, diffraction gratings and organic photonic crystals are just a few of the exciting possibilities.

  7. Genetic fusion of single-chain variable fragments to partial spider silk improves target detection in micro- and nanoarrays.

    PubMed

    Thatikonda, Naresh; Delfani, Payam; Jansson, Ronnie; Petersson, Linn; Lindberg, Diana; Wingren, Christer; Hedhammar, My

    2016-03-01

    Immobilizing biomolecules with retained functionality and stability on solid supports is crucial for generation of sensitive immunoassays. However, upon use of conventional immobilization strategies, a major portion of the biomolecules (e.g. antibodies) frequently tends to lose their bioactivity. In this study, we describe a procedure to immobilize human single-chain variable fragment (scFv) via genetic fusion to partial spider silk, which have a high tendency to adhere to solid supports. Two scFvs, directed towards serum proteins, were genetically fused to partial spider silk proteins and expressed as silk fusion proteins in E. coli. Antigen binding ability of scFvs attached to a partial silk protein denoted RC was investigated using microarray analysis, whereas scFvs fused to the NC silk variant were examined using nanoarrays. Results from micro- and nanoarrays confirmed the functionality of scFvs attached to both RC and NC silk, and also for binding of targets in crude serum. Furthermore, the same amount of added scFv gives higher signal intensity when immobilized via partial spider silk compared to when immobilized alone. Together, the results suggest that usage of scFv-silk fusion proteins in immunoassays could improve target detection, in the long run enabling novel biomarkers to be detected in crude serum proteomes. PMID:26470853

  8. Different Types of Peptide Detected by Mass Spectrometry among Fresh Silk and Archaeological Silk Remains for Distinguishing Modern Contamination

    PubMed Central

    Li, Li; Gong, Yuxuan; Yin, Hao; Gong, Decai

    2015-01-01

    Archaeological silk provides abundant information for studying ancient technologies and cultures. However, due to the spontaneous degradation and the damages from burial conditions, most ancient silk fibers which suffered the damages for thousands of years were turned into invisible molecular residues. For the obtained rare samples, extra care needs to be taken to accurately identify the genuine archaeological silk remains from modern contaminations. Although mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful tool for identifying and analyzing the ancient protein residues, the traditional approach could not directly determine the dating and contamination of each sample. In this paper, a series of samples with a broad range of ages were tested by MS to find an effective and innovative approach to determine whether modern contamination exists, in order to verify the authenticity and reliability of the ancient samples. The new findings highlighted that the detected peptide types of the fibroin light chain can indicate the degradation levels of silk samples and help to distinguish contamination from ancient silk remains. PMID:26186676

  9. Different Types of Peptide Detected by Mass Spectrometry among Fresh Silk and Archaeological Silk Remains for Distinguishing Modern Contamination.

    PubMed

    Li, Li; Gong, Yuxuan; Yin, Hao; Gong, Decai

    2015-01-01

    Archaeological silk provides abundant information for studying ancient technologies and cultures. However, due to the spontaneous degradation and the damages from burial conditions, most ancient silk fibers which suffered the damages for thousands of years were turned into invisible molecular residues. For the obtained rare samples, extra care needs to be taken to accurately identify the genuine archaeological silk remains from modern contaminations. Although mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful tool for identifying and analyzing the ancient protein residues, the traditional approach could not directly determine the dating and contamination of each sample. In this paper, a series of samples with a broad range of ages were tested by MS to find an effective and innovative approach to determine whether modern contamination exists, in order to verify the authenticity and reliability of the ancient samples. The new findings highlighted that the detected peptide types of the fibroin light chain can indicate the degradation levels of silk samples and help to distinguish contamination from ancient silk remains. PMID:26186676

  10. Sonication-Induced Gelation of Silk Fibroin for Cell Encapsulation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoqin; Kluge, Jon; Leisk, Gary G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Purified native silk fibroin forms β-sheet-rich, physically crosslinked, hydrogels from aqueous solution, in a process influenced by environmental parameters. Previously we reported gelation times of days to weeks for aqueous native silk protein solutions, with high ionic strength and temperature and low pH responsible for increasing gelation kinetics. Here we report a novel method to accelerate the process and control silk fibroin gelation through ultrasonication. Depending on the sonication parameters, including power output and time, along with silk fibroin concentration, gelation could be controlled from minutes to hours, allowing the post-sonication addition of cells prior to final gel setting. Mechanistically, ultrasonication initiated the formation of β-sheets by alteration in hydrophobic hydration, thus accelerating the formation of physical crosslinks responsible for gel stabilization. K+ at physiological concentrations and low pH promoted gelation which was not observed in the presence of Ca2+. The hydrogels were assessed for mechanical properties and proteolytic degradation; reported values matched or exceeded other cell-encapsulating gel material systems. Human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were successfully incorporated into these silk fibroin hydrogels after sonication, followed by rapid gelation and sustained cell function. Sonicated silk fibroin solutions at 4, 8, and 12% (w/v), followed by mixing in hMSCs, gelled within 0.5 to 2 hrs. The cells grew and proliferated in the 4% gels over 21 days, while survival was lower in the gels with higher protein content. Thus, sonication provides a useful new tool with which to initiate rapid sol-gel transitions, such as for cell encapsulation. PMID:18031805

  11. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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, morphological features and assembly. Aside from fundamental perspectives, we anticipate that these results will provide a blueprint for the design of precise materials for a range of potential applications such as controlled release devices, functional coatings, components of tissue regeneration materials and environmentally friendly polymers in future studies. In the second part of this work, human collagen type I was studied as another representative of the family of fibrous proteins. Collagen type I is the most abundant extracellular matrix protein in the human body, providing the basis for tissue structure and directing cellular functions. Collagen has a complex structural hierarchy, organized at different length scales, including the characteristic triple helical feature. In the present study we assessed the relationship between collagen structure (native vs. denatured) and sensitivity to UV radiation with a focus on changes in the primary structure, conformation, microstructure and material properties. Free radical reactions are involved in collagen degradation and a mechanism for UV-induced collagen degradation related to structure was proposed. The results from this study demonstrated the role of collagen supramolecular organization (triple helix) in the context of the effects of electromagnetic radiation on extracellular matrices. Owing to the fact that both silks and collagens are proteins that have found widespread interest for biomaterial related needs, we anticipate that the current studies will serve as a foundation for future biomaterial designs with controlled properties. Furthermore, fundamental insight into self-assembly and environmentally-2mediated degradation, will build a foundation for fundamental understanding of the remodeling and functions of these types of fibrous proteins in vivo and in vitro. This type of insight is essential for many areas of scientific inquiry, from drug delivery, to scaffolds for tissue engineering, and to the stability of materials in space.

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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(NO3)2-methanol, Ca(NO3)2-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. PMID:22676291

  13. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-11-11

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

  14. Nephila clavipes Flagelliform Silk-like GGX Motifs Contribute to Extensibility and Spacer Motifs Contribute to Strength in Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers

    PubMed Central

    Adrianos, Sherry L.; Teul, Florence; Hinman, Michael B.; Jones, Justin A.; Weber, Warner S.; Yarger, Jeffery L.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2013-01-01

    Flagelliform spider silk is the most extensible silk fiber produced by orb weaver spiders, though not as strong as the dragline silk of the spider. The motifs found in the core of the Nephila clavipes flagelliform Flag protein are: GGX, spacer, and GPGGX. Flag does not contain the polyalanine motif known to provide the strength of dragline silk. To investigate the source of flagelliform fiber strength, four recombinant proteins were produced containing variations of the three core motifs of the Nephila clavipes flagelliform Flag protein that produces this type of fiber. The as-spun fibers were processed in 80% aqueous isopropanol using a standardized process for all four fiber types, which produced improved mechanical properties. Mechanical testing of the recombinant proteins determined that the GGX motif contributes extensibility and the spacer motif contributes strength to the recombinant fibers. Recombinant protein fibers containing the spacer motif were stronger than the proteins constructed without the spacer that contained only the GGX motif or the combination of the GGX and GPGGX motifs. The mechanical and structural X-ray diffraction analysis of the recombinant fibers provide data that suggests a functional role of the spacer motif that produces tensile strength though the spacer motif is not clearly defined structurally. These results indicate that the spacer is likely a primary contributor of strength with the GGX motif supplying mobility to the protein network of native N. clavipes flagelliform silk fibers. PMID:23646825

  15. Fifty Years Later: The Sequence, Structure and Function of Lacewing Cross-beta Silk

    SciTech Connect

    Weisman, Sarah; Okada, Shoko; Mudie, Stephen T.; Huson, Mickey G.; Trueman, Holly E.; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Haritos, Victoria S.; Sutherland, Tara D.

    2009-12-01

    Classic studies of protein structure in the 1950s and 1960s demonstrated that green lacewing egg stalk silk possesses a rare native cross-beta sheet conformation. We have identified and sequenced the silk genes expressed by adult females of a green lacewing species. The two encoded silk proteins are 109 and 67 kDa in size and rich in serine, glycine and alanine. Over 70% of each protein sequence consists of highly repetitive regions with 16-residue periodicity. The repetitive sequences can be fitted to an elegant cross-beta sheet structural model with protein chains folded into regular 8-residue long beta strands. This model is supported by wide-angle X-ray scattering data and tensile testing from both our work and the original papers. We suggest that the silk proteins assemble into stacked beta sheet crystallites bound together by a network of cystine cross-links. This hierarchical structure gives the lacewing silk high lateral stiffness nearly threefold that of silkworm silk, enabling the egg stalks to effectively suspend eggs and protect them from predators.

  16. Novel dermo-epidermal equivalents on silk fibroin-based formic acid-crosslinked three-dimensional nonwoven devices with prospective applications in human tissue engineering/regeneration/repair.

    PubMed

    Dal Pra, Ilaria; Chiarini, Anna; Boschi, Alessandra; Freddi, Giuliano; Armato, Ubaldo

    2006-08-01

    Biologically well-tolerated materials are at the core of intense research. In this study, we report both the intrinsic features of formic acid (FA)-crosslinked three-dimensional (3D) nonwoven scaffolds consisting of sericin-deprived, Bombyx mori silk fibroin (SF) in beta-sheet form and the long-term co-culture of adult human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKs) and dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) on them. The results of scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric and tensile strength studies showed that such scaffolds are made by a composite material, in which anisotropic SF fibres are enclosed within an isotropic matrix of SF in film form. Both fibres and films are firmly crosslinked by FA treatment and water-insoluble owing to their beta-sheet crystalline structure. Moreover, while a certain strength of the material in the dry state may favour its manufacturing, handling, and shaping, the dramatic loss of hardiness under wet conditions renders the scaffolds softer, mechanically more compliant and, hence, more apt for implantation. Normal HEKs and HDFs could be successfully co-cultured on such nonwovens for up to 75-95 days in vitro, thus forming a novel kind of dermo-epidermal equivalent, in which the cells were metabolically active and performed specific functions (e.g. the de novo production and assembly of collagen fibres), but never released urea nitrogen (an index of protein catabolism) or proinflammatory interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta). In keeping with the results of previous studies in animals (Dal Pra I, et al, Biomaterials 26: 1987-1989, 2005), these findings support the view that 3D SF-based nonwovens may be excellent candidates for beneficial applications in the field of human tissue engineering/regeneration/repair. PMID:16820930

  17. Increasing silk fibre strength through heterogeneity of bundled fibrils

    PubMed Central

    Cranford, Steven W.

    2013-01-01

    Can naturally arising disorder in biological materials be beneficial? Materials scientists are continuously attempting to replicate the exemplary performance of materials such as spider silk, with detailed techniques and assembly procedures. At the same time, a spider does not precisely machine silk—imaging indicates that its fibrils are heterogeneous and irregular in cross section. While past investigations either focused on the building material (e.g. the molecular scale protein sequence and behaviour) or on the ultimate structural component (e.g. silk threads and spider webs), the bundled structure of fibrils that compose spider threads has been frequently overlooked. Herein, I exploit a molecular dynamics-based coarse-grain model to construct a fully three-dimensional fibril bundle, with a length on the order of micrometres. I probe the mechanical behaviour of bundled silk fibrils with variable density of heterogenic protrusions or globules, ranging from ideally homogeneous to a saturated distribution. Subject to stretching, the model indicates that cooperativity is enhanced by contact through low-force deformation and shear ‘locking’ between globules, increasing shear stress transfer by up to 200 per cent. In effect, introduction of a random and disordered structure can serve to improve mechanical performance. Moreover, addition of globules allows a tuning of free volume, and thus the wettability of silk (with implications for supercontraction). These findings support the ability of silk to maintain near-molecular-level strength at the scale of silk threads, and the mechanism could be easily adopted as a strategy for synthetic fibres. PMID:23486175

  18. Design and Optimization of Resorbable Silk Internal Fixation Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 improved bone deposition and remodeling with functionalization and showed promising feasibility of fracture fixations with minor adjustments to geometry. The proposed silk orthopedic hardware exhibits high potential as a resorbable fixation system that can bridge the gap between the current materials for internal fixation devices.

  19. The expression patterns of a eukaryotic initiation factor 3 subunit H in the silk glands in Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jia-Lin; Wang, Li-Fu; Wang, Jin-Xing; Zhao, Xiao-Fan

    2010-09-01

    Eukaryotic initiation factor 3 subunit H has been characterized in many organisms, and it has been found to play many roles including help regulate translation initiation. In this work, we studied the tissue distribution and expression profiles of Bombyx mori (B. mori) eIF3 subunit H (BmeIF3h). BmeIF3h was prominently expressed in silk glands, with anterior silk glands (ASGs), middle silk glands (MSGs), and posterior silk glands (PSGs) all expressing BmeIF3h. The expression levels of BmeIF3h in MSGs and PSGs were higher than that in ASGs during 0 d and 2 d of the 5th instar larvae. The expression levels of BmeIF3h in MSGs and PSGs were up-regulated once the silk glands began to synthesize silk protein during the feeding stage of the 4th instar larvae. Immunohistochemistry showed that BmeIF3h was distributed in the cytoplasm of MSGs cells and in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of PSGs cells. These data suggest that BmeIF3h had different action behaviors in the MSGs and PSGs related to the production of the silk glue proteins and silk fibre proteins, respectively. PMID:20734419

  20. Regulation of silk material structure by temperature-controlled water vapor annealing.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  1. Biomaterials from ultrasonication-induced silk fibroin-hyaluronic acid hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiao; Lu, Qiang; Sun, Lin; Cebe, Peggy; Wang, Xiaoqin; Zhang, Xiaohui; Kaplan, David L

    2010-11-01

    We report formation of biocompatible hydrogels using physically cross-linked biopolymers. Gelation of silk fibroin (from B. mori silkworm) aqueous solution was effected by ultrasonication and used to entrap blended, un-cross-linked, hyaluronic acid (HA) without chemical cross-linking. HA was formed into silk/HA blended hydrogels with different mixing ratios, forming homogeneous materials with stable swelling behavior when the HA content was less than 40 wt %. This is a novel approach to HA hydrogel systems, which otherwise require chemical cross-linking. Further, these systems exploit the beneficial material and biological properties of both polymers. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), temperature modulated DSC, and thermal gravimetric analysis were used to show that well-blended silk/HA hydrogel systems formed without macrophase separation. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was used to determine secondary structures from the amide I region of silk protein by spectral subtraction and Fourier-self-deconvolution. The β-sheet crystal fraction of the silk protein increased with increase of HA content (26-35 wt %), which resulted in stable, crystalline features in the blend hydrogel materials, favorable features to support human mesenchymal stem cell attachment and proliferation. Scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize morphology. β-Sheet content controlled the stability of the silk/HA hydrogel systems, with a minimum crystalline content needed to maintain a stable hydrogel system of ∼26 wt %. This value is close to the β-sheet content in pure silk fibroin hydrogels. These novel nonchemically cross-linked blend hydrogels may be useful for biomedical applications due to biocompatibility and the widespread utility of hydrogel systems. The attributes of HA in combination with the features of silk, offer a useful suite of properties, combining the mechanical integrity and slow degradation of silk with the control of water interactions and biological signaling of HA. PMID:20942397

  2. Release and cellular acceptance of multiple drugs loaded silk fibroin particles.

    PubMed

    Shi, Pujiang; Goh, James C H

    2011-11-28

    In this article, silk fibroin particles with average diameter of 980 nm were fabricated via self assembly. Exceptional loading efficiency and release patterns of hydrophobic and protein drugs were observed. Furthermore, smoother release patterns were observed with increase loading of the hydrophobic and protein model drugs, only about 23% FITC-BSA and 34% RhB were released from the silk particles at their highest corresponding loading in 50 days. Most importantly, osteoblasts' viability was augmented during co-culture with silk fibroin particles, as shown by Alamar Blue assay. Attachment of the particles and delivery of model drugs to cells were confirmed by fluorescence images and flow cytometry. Hence, the silk fibroin particles could be potential biomaterial for application in controlled release and pharmaceutics. PMID:21920418

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. Tissue response and biodegradation of composite scaffolds prepared from Thai silk fibroin, gelatin and hydroxyapatite.

    PubMed

    Tungtasana, Hathairat; Shuangshoti, Somruetai; Shuangshoti, Shanop; Kanokpanont, Sorada; Kaplan, David L; Bunaprasert, Tanom; Damrongsakkul, Siriporn

    2010-12-01

    This work aimed to investigate tissue responses and biodegradation, both in vitro and in vivo, of four types of Bombyx mori Thai silk fibroin based-scaffolds. Thai silk fibroin (SF), conjugated gelatin/Thai silk fibroin (CGSF), hydroxyapatite/Thai silk fibroin (SF4), and hydroxyapatite/conjugated gelatin/Thai silk fibroin (CGSF4) scaffolds were fabricated using salt-porogen leaching, dehydrothermal/chemical crosslinking and an alternate soaking technique for mineralization. In vitro biodegradation in collagenase showed that CGSF scaffolds had the slowest biodegradability, due to the double crosslinking by dehydrothermal and chemical treatments. The hydroxyapatite deposited from alternate soaking separated from the surface of the protein scaffolds when immersed in collagenase. From in vivo biodegradation studies, all scaffolds could still be observed after 12 weeks of implantation in subcutaneous tissue of Wistar rats and also following ISO10993-6: Biological evaluation of medical devices. At 2 and 4 weeks of implantation the four types of Thai silk fibroin based-scaffolds were classified as "non-irritant" to "slight-irritant", compared to Gelfoam(®) (control samples). These natural Thai silk fibroin-based scaffolds may provide suitable biomaterials for clinical applications. PMID:20976530

  6. Impact of processing parameters on the haemocompatibility of Bombyx mori silk films.

    PubMed

    Seib, F Philipp; Maitz, Manfred F; Hu, Xiao; Werner, Carsten; Kaplan, David L

    2012-02-01

    Silk has traditionally been used for surgical sutures due to its lasting strength and durability; however, the use of purified silk proteins as a scaffold material for vascular tissue engineering goes beyond traditional use and requires application-orientated biocompatibility testing. For this study, a library of Bombyx mori silk films was generated and exposed to various solvents and treatment conditions to reflect current silk processing techniques. The films, along with clinically relevant reference materials, were exposed to human whole blood to determine silk blood compatibility. All substrates showed an initial inflammatory response comparable to polylactide-co-glycolide (PLGA), and a low to moderate haemostasis response similar to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) substrates. In particular, samples that were water annealed at 25 °C for 6 h demonstrated the best blood compatibility based on haemostasis parameters (e.g. platelet decay, thrombin-antithrombin complex, platelet factor 4, granulocytes-platelet conjugates) and inflammatory parameters (e.g. C3b, C5a, CD11b, surface-associated leukocytes). Multiple factors such as treatment temperature and solvent influenced the biological response, though no single physical parameter such as β-sheet content, isoelectric point or contact angle accurately predicted blood compatibility. These findings, when combined with prior in vivo data on silk, support a viable future for silk-based vascular grafts. PMID:22079005

  7. Structure modifications induced in silk fibroin by enzymatic treatments. A Raman study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monti, Patrizia; Freddi, Giuliano; Sampaio, Sandra; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Taddei, Paola

    2005-06-01

    Raman spectroscopy was used to investigate various enzyme-catalyzed reactions onto silk fibroin, i.e. the biodegradation of Tussah ( Antheraea pernyi) silk fibroin films by a proteolytic enzyme, the oxidation of domestic ( Bombyx mori) silk fibroin by mushroom tyrosinase and the subsequent grafting of chitosan onto oxidized silk. The spectra of Tussah silk fibroin films exposed to a bacterial protease for different times demonstrated that the cleavage of sensitive peptide bonds in the amorphous glycine-rich domains resulted in the loss of various amino acid residues (Tyr, Trp, Asp, etc.). The bands attributed to the crystalline alanine-rich sequences increased in intensity, and the β-sheet molecular conformation was not affected by biodegradation. Following oxidation with mushroom tyrosinase, the tyrosine bands of Bombyx mori fibroin decreased in intensity but did not disappear. The increase of the I853/ I829 intensity ratio indicated that the Tyr residues not accessible to the enzyme were located in a strongly hydrophobic environment. Raman spectroscopy provided evidence that chitosan was effectively grafted onto oxidized silk, probably via the Schiff-base mechanism, as shown by the behavior of the imine band at about 1646 cm -1. Grafting chitosan onto silk fibroin resulted in a β-sheet→random coil conformational transition of the protein component in the bioconjugated product.

  8. Biocompatible silk step-index optical waveguides

    PubMed Central

    Applegate, Matthew B.; Perotto, Giovanni; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2015-01-01

    Biocompatible optical waveguides were constructed entirely of silk fibroin. A silk film (n=1.54) was encapsulated within a silk hydrogel (n=1.34) to form a robust and biocompatible waveguide. Such waveguides were made using only biologically and environmentally friendly materials without the use of harsh solvents. Light was coupled into the silk waveguides by direct incorporation of a glass optical fiber. These waveguides are extremely flexible, and strong enough to survive handling and manipulation. Cutback measurements showed propagation losses of approximately 2 dB/cm. The silk waveguides were found to be capable of guiding light through biological tissue. PMID:26600988

  9. Biocompatible silk step-index optical waveguides.

    PubMed

    Applegate, Matthew B; Perotto, Giovanni; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G

    2015-11-01

    Biocompatible optical waveguides were constructed entirely of silk fibroin. A silk film (n=1.54) was encapsulated within a silk hydrogel (n=1.34) to form a robust and biocompatible waveguide. Such waveguides were made using only biologically and environmentally friendly materials without the use of harsh solvents. Light was coupled into the silk waveguides by direct incorporation of a glass optical fiber. These waveguides are extremely flexible, and strong enough to survive handling and manipulation. Cutback measurements showed propagation losses of approximately 2 dB/cm. The silk waveguides were found to be capable of guiding light through biological tissue. PMID:26600988

  10. Analytical markers for silk degradation: comparing historic silk and silk artificially aged in different environments.

    PubMed

    Vilaplana, Francisco; Nilsson, Johanna; Sommer, Dorte V P; Karlsson, Sigbritt

    2015-02-01

    Suitable analytical markers to assess the degree of degradation of historic silk textiles at molecular and macroscopic levels have been identified and compared with silk textiles aged artificially in different environments, namely (i) ultraviolet (UV) exposure, (ii) thermo-oxidation, (iii) controlled humidity and (iv) pH. The changes at the molecular level in the amino acid composition, the formation of oxidative moieties, crystallinity and molecular weight correlate well with the changes in the macroscopic properties such as brightness, pH and mechanical properties. These analytical markers are useful to understand the degradation mechanisms that silk textiles undergo under different degradation environments, involving oxidation processes, hydrolysis, chain scission and physical arrangements. Thermo-oxidation at high temperatures proves to be the accelerated ageing procedure producing silk samples that most resembled the degree of degradation of early seventeenth-century silk. These analytical markers will be valuable to support the textile conservation tasks currently being performed in museums to preserve our heritage. PMID:25492090

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26234773

  12. Accelerated in vitro Degradation of Optically Clear Low β-sheet Silk Films by Enzyme-Mediated Pretreatment

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Ke; Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Lin, Yinan; Hayden, Rebecca S.; Hu, Tao; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To design patterned, transparent silk films with fast degradation rates for the purpose of tissue engineering corneal stroma, Methods β-sheet (crystalline) content of silk films was decreased significantly by using a short water annealing time. Additionally, a protocol combining short water annealing time with enzymatic pretreatment of silk films with protease XIV was developed. Results Low β-sheet content (17–18%) and enzymatic pre-treatment provided film stability in aqueous environments and accelerated degradation of the silk films in the presence of human corneal fibroblasts in vitro. The results demonstrate a direct relationship between reduced β-sheet content and enzymatic pre-treatment and overall degradation rate of the protein films. Conclusions The novel protocol developed here provides new approaches to modulate the regeneration rate of silk biomaterials for corneal tissue regeneration needs. Translational relevance Patterned silk protein films possess desirable characteristics for corneal tissue engineering, including optical transparency, biocompatibility, cell alignment and tunable mechanical properties, but current fabrication protocols do not provide adequate degradation rates to match the regeneration properties of the human cornea. This novel processing protocol makes silk films more suitable for the construction of human corneal stroma tissue and a promising way to tune silk film degradation properties to match corneal tissue regeneration. PMID:23579493

  13. Degradation Mechanism and Control of Silk Fibroin

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Qiang; Zhang, Bing; Li, Mingzhong; Zuo, Baoqi; Kaplan, David L.; Huang, Yongli; Zhu, Hesun

    2012-01-01

    Controlling the degradation process of silk is an important and interesting subject in biomaterials field. In the present study, silk fibroin films with different secondary conformations and nanostructures were used to study the degradation behavior. Silk fibroin films with highest ?-sheet content achieved highest degradation rate, different from the previous studies. A new degradation mechanism revealed that degradation behavior of silk fibroin was related to not only crystal content, but also hydrophilic interaction and crystal-noncrystal alternant nanostructures. The hydrophilic blocks of silk were firstly degraded. Then, the hydrophobic crystal blocks which were formerly surrounded and immobilized by hudrophilic blocks, became free particles and moved into solution. Based on the mechanism, which enables the process more controllable and flexible, controlling the degradation behavior of silk fibroin without sacrificing other performances such as mechanical or hydrophilic properties become feasible, and this would greatly expand the applications of silk as a biomedical material. PMID:21361368

  14. Conformation transition in silk protein films monitored by time-resolved Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy: effect of potassium ions on Nephila spidroin films.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xin; Knight, David P; Shao, Zhengzhong; Vollrath, Fritz

    2002-12-17

    We used time-resolved Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to follow a conformation transition in Nephila spidroin film from random coil and/or helical structures to beta-sheet induced by the addition of KCl from 0.01 to 1.0 mol/L in D(2)O. Time series difference spectra showed parallel increases in absorption at 1620 and 1691 cm(-)(1), indicating formation of beta-sheet, together with a coincident loss of intensity of approximately 1650 cm(-)(1), indicating decrease of random coil and/or helical structures. Increase in KCl concentration produced an increased rate of the conformation transition that may attributable to weakening of hydrogen bonds within spidroin macromolecules. The conformation transition was a biphasic process with [KCl] > or = 0.3 mol/L but monophasic with [KCl] < or = 0.1 mol/L. This suggests that, at high KCl concentrations, segments of the molecular chain are adjusted first and then the whole molecule undergoes rearrangement. We discuss the possible significance of these findings to an understanding of the way that spiders spin silk. PMID:12475243

  15. A green salt-leaching technique to produce sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffolds with distinguished characteristics for wound-dressing applications.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Ratanavaraporn, Juthamas; Ekgasit, Sanong; Tongsakul, Duangta; Bang, Nipaporn

    2015-05-01

    Sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffolds could be fabricated using the freeze-drying technique; they showed good physical and biological properties and can be applied as wound dressings. However, freeze-drying is an energy- and time-consuming process with a high associated cost. In this study, an alternative, solvent-free, energy- and time-saving, low-cost salt-leaching technique is introduced as a green technology to produce sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffolds. We found that sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffolds were successfully fabricated without any crosslinking using a salt-leaching technique. The salt-leached sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffolds had a porous structure with pore interconnectivity. The sericin in the salt-leached scaffolds had a crystallinity that was as high as that of the freeze-dried scaffolds. Compared to the freeze-dried scaffolds with the same composition, the salt-leached sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffolds has larger pores, a lower Young's modulus, and faster rates of biodegradation and sericin release. When cultured with L929 mouse fibroblast cells, a higher number of cells were found in the salt-leached scaffolds. Furthermore, the salt-leached scaffolds were less adhesive to the wound, which would reduce pain upon removal. Therefore, salt-leached sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffolds with distinguished characteristics were introduced as another choice of wound dressing, and their production process was simpler, more energy efficient, and saved time and money compared to the freeze-dried scaffolds. PMID:25175958

  16. Electrospinning of chitosan/sericin/PVA nanofibers incorporated with in situ synthesis of nano silver.

    PubMed

    Hadipour-Goudarzi, Elmira; Montazer, Majid; Latifi, Masoud; Aghaji, Ali Akbar Ghare

    2014-11-26

    Here, chitosan/sericin/poly(vinyl alcohol) as a biodegradable nanofibrous membrane was prepared through electrospinning with and without silver nitrate. The influences of spinning conditions including volume ratio of chitosan and sericin, voltage and spinning distance at constant feed rate on the fiber morphology and size distribution were examined by SEM and Image J software. The FT-IR spectrum and EDAX were used to indicate the chemical structure of nanofibrous membrane. In addition, the effect of AgNO3 on the nanofibers diameter and its antibacterial activity was investigated. The optimum conditions obtained with chitosan:sericin (50:50, v/v), 22 kV voltage, 10 cm spinning distance at 0.25 mL/h feed rate to prepare nanofibers with small diameter and narrow size distribution without beads. The mean diameter of nanofibers was about 180 nm while introducing AgNO3 led to smaller nanofibers diameter about 95 nm. Moreover, the presence of AgNO3 produced an excellent antibacterial activity against Escherchia coli. PMID:25256480

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ming, Jinfa; Zuo, Baoqi

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Judaism and the Silk Route.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foltz, Richard

    1998-01-01

    Demonstrates that the Judeans traveled along the Ancient Silk Route. Discusses the Iranian influence on the formation of Jewish religious ideas. Considers the development of Jewish trade networks, focusing on the Radanites (Jewish traders), the Jewish presence in the Far East, and the survival of Judaism in central Asia. (CMK)

  19. PEGylated Silk Nanoparticles for Anticancer Drug Delivery.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Silk has a robust clinical track record and is emerging as a promising biopolymer for drug delivery, including its use as nanomedicine. However, silk-based nanomedicines still require further refinements for full exploitation of their potential; the application of "stealth" design principals is especially necessary to support their evolution. The aim of this study was to develop and examine the potential of PEGylated silk nanoparticles as an anticancer drug delivery system. We first generated B. mori derived silk nanoparticles by driving β-sheet assembly (size 104 ± 1.7 nm, zeta potential -56 ± 5.6 mV) using nanoprecipitation. We then surface grafted polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the fabricated silk nanoparticles and verified the aqueous stability and morphology of the resulting PEGylated silk nanoparticles. We assessed the drug loading and release behavior of these nanoparticles using clinically established and emerging anticancer drugs. Overall, PEGylated silk nanoparticles showed high encapsulation efficiency (>93%) and a pH-dependent release over 14 days. Finally, we demonstrated significant cytotoxicity of drug loaded silk nanoparticles applied as single and combination nanomedicines to human breast cancer cells. In conclusion, these results, taken together with prior silk nanoparticle data, support a viable future for silk-based nanomedicines. PMID:26418537

  20. Analyses of the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Silk Production in Silkworm by iTRAQ-Based Proteomics and RNA-Sequencing-Based Transcriptomics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shaohua; You, Zhengying; Feng, Mao; Che, Jiaqian; Zhang, Yuyu; Qian, Qiujie; Komatsu, Setsuko; Zhong, Boxiong

    2016-01-01

    Silkworm is used as a model organism to analyze two standard complex traits, which are high and low silk yields. To understand the molecular mechanisms of silk production, the posterior silk glands aged to the third day of the fifth instar were analyzed from the ZB strain with low silk production and from the control strain Lan10. Using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) quantitative shotgun proteomics and RNA-sequencing-based transcriptomics, 139 proteins and 630 transcripts were identified as novel in the ZB strain compared with the Lan10 strain, indicating that these results significantly expand the coverage of proteins and transcripts of the posterior silk glands in the silkworm. Of the 89 differently changed proteins, 23 were increased, and 66 were decreased. Of the 788 transcripts, 779 were upregulated, and 9 were downregulated. These results confirm that decreased energy utilization/protein translation and enhanced protein degradation are the key factors in lower silk production. Moreover, this study provides novel insight into the molecular changes that may result in lower silk production, namely, a combination of impaired transcription activity, missed protein folding/transport, and lowered yields of the main components of fibroin, along with weakened growth/development of the posterior silk gland. PMID:26626507

  1. The effect of ageing on the mechanical properties of the silk of the bridge spider Larinioides cornutus (Clerck, 1757)

    PubMed Central

    Lepore, Emiliano; Isaia, Marco; Mammola, Stefano; Pugno, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Spider silk is regarded as one of the best natural polymer fibers especially in terms of low density, high tensile strength and high elongation until breaking. Since only a few bio-engineering studies have been focused on spider silk ageing, we conducted nano-tensile tests on the vertical naturally spun silk fibers of the bridge spider Larinioides cornutus (Clerck, 1757) (Arachnida, Araneae) to evaluate changes in the mechanical properties of the silk (ultimate stress and strain, Young’s modulus, toughness) over time. We studied the natural process of silk ageing at different time intervals from spinning (20 seconds up to one month), comparing silk fibers spun from adult spiders collected in the field. Data were analyzed using Linear Mixed Models. We detected a positive trend versus time for the Young’s modulus, indicating that aged silks are stiffer and possibly less effective in catching prey. Moreover, we observed a negative trend for the ultimate strain versus time, attesting a general decrement of the resistance force. These trends are interpreted as being due to the drying of the silk protein chains and the reorientation among the fibers. PMID:27156712

  2. The effect of ageing on the mechanical properties of the silk of the bridge spider Larinioides cornutus (Clerck, 1757).

    PubMed

    Lepore, Emiliano; Isaia, Marco; Mammola, Stefano; Pugno, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Spider silk is regarded as one of the best natural polymer fibers especially in terms of low density, high tensile strength and high elongation until breaking. Since only a few bio-engineering studies have been focused on spider silk ageing, we conducted nano-tensile tests on the vertical naturally spun silk fibers of the bridge spider Larinioides cornutus (Clerck, 1757) (Arachnida, Araneae) to evaluate changes in the mechanical properties of the silk (ultimate stress and strain, Young's modulus, toughness) over time. We studied the natural process of silk ageing at different time intervals from spinning (20 seconds up to one month), comparing silk fibers spun from adult spiders collected in the field. Data were analyzed using Linear Mixed Models. We detected a positive trend versus time for the Young's modulus, indicating that aged silks are stiffer and possibly less effective in catching prey. Moreover, we observed a negative trend for the ultimate strain versus time, attesting a general decrement of the resistance force. These trends are interpreted as being due to the drying of the silk protein chains and the reorientation among the fibers. PMID:27156712

  3. Pancreatic Islet Survival and Engraftment Is Promoted by Culture on Functionalized Spider Silk Matrices.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Ulrika; Ria, Massimiliano; Åvall, Karin; Dekki Shalaly, Nancy; Zaitsev, Sergei V; Berggren, Per-Olof; Hedhammar, My

    2015-01-01

    Transplantation of pancreatic islets is one approach for treatment of diabetes, however, hampered by the low availability of viable islets. Islet isolation leads to disruption of the environment surrounding the endocrine cells, which contributes to eventual cell death. The reestablishment of this environment is vital, why we herein investigated the possibility of using recombinant spider silk to support islets in vitro after isolation. The spider silk protein 4RepCT was formulated into three different formats; 2D-film, fiber mesh and 3D-foam, in order to provide a matrix that can give the islets physical support in vitro. Moreover, cell-binding motifs from laminin were incorporated into the silk protein in order to create matrices that mimic the natural cell environment. Pancreatic mouse islets were thoroughly analyzed for adherence, necrosis and function after in vitro maintenance on the silk matrices. To investigate their suitability for transplantation, we utilized an eye model which allows in vivo imaging of engraftment. Interestingly, islets that had been maintained on silk foam during in vitro culture showed improved revascularization. This coincided with the observation of preserved islet architecture with endothelial cells present after in vitro culture on silk foam. Selected matrices were further evaluated for long-term preservation of human islets. Matrices with the cell-binding motif RGD improved human islet maintenance (from 36% to 79%) with preserved islets architecture and function for over 3 months in vitro. The islets established cell-matrix contacts and formed vessel-like structures along the silk. Moreover, RGD matrices promoted formation of new, insulin-positive islet-like clusters that were connected to the original islets via endothelial cells. On silk matrices with islets from younger donors (<35 year), the amount of newly formed islet-like clusters found after 1 month in culture were almost double compared to the initial number of islets added. PMID:26090859

  4. Pancreatic Islet Survival and Engraftment Is Promoted by Culture on Functionalized Spider Silk Matrices

    PubMed Central

    Johansson, Ulrika; Dekki Shalaly, Nancy; Zaitsev, Sergei V.; Berggren, Per-Olof; Hedhammar, My

    2015-01-01

    Transplantation of pancreatic islets is one approach for treatment of diabetes, however, hampered by the low availability of viable islets. Islet isolation leads to disruption of the environment surrounding the endocrine cells, which contributes to eventual cell death. The reestablishment of this environment is vital, why we herein investigated the possibility of using recombinant spider silk to support islets in vitro after isolation. The spider silk protein 4RepCT was formulated into three different formats; 2D-film, fiber mesh and 3D-foam, in order to provide a matrix that can give the islets physical support in vitro. Moreover, cell-binding motifs from laminin were incorporated into the silk protein in order to create matrices that mimic the natural cell environment. Pancreatic mouse islets were thoroughly analyzed for adherence, necrosis and function after in vitro maintenance on the silk matrices. To investigate their suitability for transplantation, we utilized an eye model which allows in vivo imaging of engraftment. Interestingly, islets that had been maintained on silk foam during in vitro culture showed improved revascularization. This coincided with the observation of preserved islet architecture with endothelial cells present after in vitro culture on silk foam. Selected matrices were further evaluated for long-term preservation of human islets. Matrices with the cell-binding motif RGD improved human islet maintenance (from 36% to 79%) with preserved islets architecture and function for over 3 months in vitro. The islets established cell-matrix contacts and formed vessel-like structures along the silk. Moreover, RGD matrices promoted formation of new, insulin-positive islet-like clusters that were connected to the original islets via endothelial cells. On silk matrices with islets from younger donors (<35 year), the amount of newly formed islet-like clusters found after 1 month in culture were almost double compared to the initial number of islets added. PMID:26090859

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Glow-worms (larvae of dipteran genus Arachnocampa) are restricted to moist habitats where they capture flying prey using snares composed of highly extensible silk fibres and sticky mucus droplets. Little is known about the composition or structure of glow-worm snares, or the extent of possible convergence between glow-worm and arachnid capture silks. We characterised Arachnocampa richardsae silk and mucus using X-ray scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis. Silk but not mucus contained crystallites of the cross-β-sheet type, which occur in unrelated insect silks but have not been reported previously in fibres used for prey capture. Mucus proteins were rich in Gly (28.5%) and existed in predominantly a random coil structure, typical of many adhesive proteins. In contrast, the silk fibres were unusually rich in charged and polar residues, particularly Lys (18.1%), which we propose is related to their use in a highly hydrated state. Comparison of X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis data suggests that silk fibres contain a high fraction of disordered protein. We suggest that in the native hydrated state, silk fibres are capable of extension via deformation of both disordered regions and cross-β-sheet crystallites, and that high extensibility is an adaptation promoting successful prey capture. This study illustrates the rich variety of protein motifs that are available for recruitment into biopolymers, and how convergently evolved materials can nevertheless be based on fundamentally different protein structures. PMID:26006749

  6. Thromboelastometric and platelet responses to silk biomaterials

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Silkworm's silk is natural biopolymer with unique properties including mechanical robustness, all aqueous base processing and ease in fabrication into different multifunctional templates. Additionally, the nonmulberry silks have cell adhesion promoting tri-peptide (RGD) sequences, which make it an immensely potential platform for regenerative medicine. The compatibility of nonmulberry silk with human blood is still elusive; thereby, restricts its further application as implants. The present study, therefore, evaluate the haematocompatibility of silk biomaterials in terms of platelet interaction after exposure to nonmulberry silk of Antheraea mylitta using thromboelastometry (ROTEM). The mulberry silk of Bombyx mori and clinically used Uni-Graft W biomaterial serve as references. Shortened clotting time, clot formation times as well as enhanced clot strength indicate the platelet mediated activation of blood coagulation cascade by tested biomaterials; which is comparable to controls. PMID:24824624

  7. Sericin/Poly(ethylcyanoacrylate) Nanospheres by Interfacial Polymerization for Enhanced Bioefficacy of Fenofibrate: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies.

    PubMed

    Parisi, Ortensia I; Fiorillo, Marco; Scrivano, Luca; Sinicropi, Maria S; Dolce, Vincenza; Iacopetta, Domenico; Puoci, Francesco; Cappello, Anna R

    2015-10-12

    Fenofibrate is a lipophilic drug used in hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia as a lipid-regulating agent; however, it is characterized by poor water solubility and low dissolution rate, which result in a low oral bioavailability. In the present study, sericin/poly(ethylcyanoacrylate) nanospheres are synthesized by interfacial polymerization in aqueous media and investigated as a novel sericin-based delivery system for improved and enhanced oral bioefficacy of fenofibrate. The incorporation of sericin into the prepared cyanoacrylate nanoparticles and their spherical shape are confirmed by Lowry assay and scanning electron microscopy, respectively. Hydrophilic and mucoadhesive properties of the synthesized nanospheres are also evaluated. Finally, both in vitro release and in vivo studies are performed and the oral absorbable amount of fenofibrate is calculated to be higher than 70% when incorporated into the polymeric material, reducing the levels of total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerols (TG), very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) compared to fenofibrate alone. PMID:26348208

  8. Fabrication and Biocompatibility of Electrospun Silk Biocomposites

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Kai; Kim, Byoung-Suhk; Kim, Ick-Soo

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:24957869

  9. Effect of β-sheet crystalline content on mass transfer in silk films

    PubMed Central

    Karve, Kiran A.; Gil, Eun Seok; McCarthy, Stephen P.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The material properties of silk are favorable for drug delivery due to the ability to control material structure and morphology under ambient, aqueous processing conditions. Mass transport of compounds with varying physical-chemical characteristics was studied in silk fibroin films with control of β-sheet crystalline content. Two compounds, vitamin B12 and fluorescein isothiocynate (FITC) labeled lysozyme were studied in a diffusion apparatus to determine transport through silk films. The films exhibited size exclusion phenomenon with permeability coefficients with contrasting trends with increases in β-sheet crystallinity. The size exclusion phenomenon observed with the two model compounds was characterized by contrasting trends in permeability coefficients of the films as a function of β-sheet crystallinity. The diffusivity of the compounds was examined in the context of free volume theory. Apart from the β-sheet crystallinity, size of the compound and its interactions with silk influenced mass transfer. Diffusivity of vitamin B12 was modeled to define a power law relationship with β-sheet crystallinity. The results of the study demonstrate that diffusion of therapeutic agents though silk fibroin films can be directed to match a desired rate by modulating secondary structure of the silk proteins. PMID:22135474

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27159277

  11. Sericin cream reduces pruritus in hemodialysis patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Uremic pruritus (UP) is a significant complication in ESRD patients and substantially impairs their quality of life. UP is considered to be a skin manifestation of chronic inflammation. Because sericin can suppress the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term safety and efficacy of sericin cream for treating UP in hemodialysis patients. Methods This study used a double-blind design to investigate the effects of random topical administration of sericin cream and cream base (placebo) on either the right or left extremities of hemodialysis patients for 6?weeks. Skin hydration, irritation and pigmentation were evaluated every 2?weeks using Skin Diagnostic SD27. The visual analog scale for itching was also evaluated every 2?weeks, and the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form was performed on the day of each patients enrollment and after 6?weeks of treatment. Results Fifty dialysis patients were enrolled, 47 of which completed the study. The hydration of the skin of the patients extremities increased significantly after administration of sericin cream; significant differences were found between sericin treatment and control after 6?weeks of treatment (p?=?0.041 for arms and p?=?0.022 for legs, respectively). Moreover, a significant difference was also found in skin irritation between the two treatments (p?=?0.013 for arms and p?=?0.027 for legs, respectively). At the end of the study, the skin pigmentation level was significantly reduced on both the arms (p?=?0.032) and legs (p?=?0.021) of the sericin-treated side compared with the side treated with cream base. The mean itching score decreased significantly from moderate to severe at the time of enrollment to mild pruritus after 6?weeks of treatment (p?=?0.002). A better quality of life was found in all domains tested although statistically significant differences before and after treatment was found only in the patients pain scores, the effect of kidney disease on daily life, sleep quality and symptoms or problems related to kidney disease. Conclusions We conclude that sericin cream has a high potential for reducing UP in hemodialysis patients. The trial registration number of this study is ISRCTN16019033; its public title is sericin cream reduces pruritus in hemodialysis patients. PMID:23006933

  12. 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*

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. Effects of sericin on the testicular growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis in a rat model of type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Song, Cheng-Jun; Yang, Zhen-Jun; Tang, Qi-Feng; Chen, Zhi-Hong

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of sericin on the testicular growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis in rats with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Forty rats were randomly assigned to normal control, type 2 diabetes mellitus, sericin and metformin treated groups. Type 2 diabetes was established by repeated intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin, and identified by blood glucose ≥16.7 mmol/L at 1 week. The diabetic rats were given no other treatment, these rats in the sericin group were intragastrically perfused with 2.4 g/kg sericin and the metformin treated rats were intragastrically perfused with 55.33 mg/kg Metformin daily for 35 consecutive days. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to determine serum testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1 levels. Immunohistochemical staining, western blotting and reverse transcription-PCR were used to determine testicular growth hormone, growth hormone receptor and IGF-1 expression. The sericin significantly reduced serum growth hormone levels, downregulated growth hormone expression, increased serum testosterone and IGF-1 levels, and upregulated testicular growth hormone receptor and IGF-1 expression. Moreover, there were no significant differences in any of the parameters between the sericin and metformin treated groups. These findings indicated that sericin improved spermatogenic function through regulating the growth hormone/IGF-1 axis, thereby protecting reproductive function against diabetes-induced damage. PMID:26379831

  14. Effects of sericin on the testicular growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis in a rat model of type 2 diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Song, Cheng-Jun; Yang, Zhen-Jun; Tang, Qi-Feng; Chen, Zhi-Hong

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of sericin on the testicular growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis in rats with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Forty rats were randomly assigned to normal control, type 2 diabetes mellitus, sericin and metformin treated groups. Type 2 diabetes was established by repeated intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin, and identified by blood glucose ≥16.7 mmol/L at 1 week. The diabetic rats were given no other treatment, these rats in the sericin group were intragastrically perfused with 2.4 g/kg sericin and the metformin treated rats were intragastrically perfused with 55.33 mg/kg Metformin daily for 35 consecutive days. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to determine serum testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1 levels. Immunohistochemical staining, western blotting and reverse transcription-PCR were used to determine testicular growth hormone, growth hormone receptor and IGF-1 expression. The sericin significantly reduced serum growth hormone levels, downregulated growth hormone expression, increased serum testosterone and IGF-1 levels, and upregulated testicular growth hormone receptor and IGF-1 expression. Moreover, there were no significant differences in any of the parameters between the sericin and metformin treated groups. These findings indicated that sericin improved spermatogenic function through regulating the growth hormone/IGF-1 axis, thereby protecting reproductive function against diabetes-induced damage. PMID:26379831

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:24295234

  16. Mechanical behavior comparison of spider and silkworm silks using molecular dynamics at atomic scale.

    PubMed

    Lee, Myeongsang; Kwon, Junpyo; Na, Sungsoo

    2016-02-01

    Spider and silkworm silk proteins have received much attention owing to their inherent structural stability, biodegradability, and biocompatibility. These silk protein materials have various mechanical characteristics such as elastic modulus, ultimate strength and fracture toughness. While the considerable mechanical characteristics of the core crystalline regions of spider silk proteins at the atomistic scale have been investigated through several experimental techniques and computational studies, there is a lack of comparison between spider and silkworm fibroins in the atomistic scale. In this study, we investigated the differences between the mechanical characteristics of spider and silkworm fibroin structures by applying molecular dynamics and steered molecular dynamics. We found that serine amino acids in silkworm fibroins not only increased the number of hydrogen bonds, but also altered their structural characteristics and mechanical properties. PMID:26806791

  17. Unexpected behavior of irradiated spider silk links conformational freedom to mechanical performance.

    PubMed

    Perea, G Belén; Solanas, Concepción; Plaza, Gustavo R; Guinea, Gustavo V; Jorge, Inmaculada; Vázquez, Jesús; Pérez Mateos, Jorge M; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Elices, Manuel; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2015-06-28

    Silk fibers from Argiope trifasciata and Nephila inaurata orb-web weaving spiders were UV irradiated to modify the molecular weight of the constituent proteins. Fibers were characterized either as forcibly silked or after being subjected to maximum supercontraction. The effect of irradiation on supercontraction was also studied, both in terms of the percentage of supercontraction and the tensile properties exhibited by irradiated and subsequently supercontracted fibers. The effects of UV exposure at the molecular level were assessed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. It is shown that UV-irradiated fibers show a steady decrease in their main tensile parameters, most notably, tensile strength and strain. The combination of the mechanical and biochemical data suggests that the restricted conformational freedom of the proteins after UV irradiation is critical in the reduction of these properties. Consequently, an adequate topological organization of the protein chains emerges as a critical design principle in the performance of spider silk. PMID:25994594

  18. Development and characterization of silk fibroin coated quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nathwani, B. B.; Needham, C.; Mathur, A. B.; Meissner, K. E.

    2008-02-01

    Recent progress in the field of semiconductor nanocrystals or Quantum Dots (QDs) has seen them find wider acceptance as a tool in biomedical research labs. As produced, high quality QDs, synthesized by high temperature organometallic synthesis, are coated with a hydrophobic ligand. Therefore, they must be further processed to be soluble in water and to be made biocompatible. To accomplish this, the QDs are generally coated with a synthetic polymer (eg. block copolymers) or the hydrophobic surface ligands exchanged with hydrophilic material (eg. thiols). Advances in this area have enabled the QDs to experience a smooth transition from being simple inorganic fluorophores to being smart sensors, which can identify specific cell marker proteins and help in diagnosis of diseases such as cancer. In order to improve the biocompatibility and utility of the QDs, we report the development of a procedure to coat QDs with silk fibroin, a fibrous crystalline protein extracted from Bombyx Mori silkworm. Following the coating process, we characterize the size, quantum yield and two-photon absorption cross section of the silk coated QDs. Additionally, the results of biocompatibility studies carried out to compare the properties of these QD-silks with conventional QDs are presented. These natural polymer coatings on QDs could enhance the intracellular delivery and enable the use of these nanocrystals as an imaging tool for studying subcellular machinery at the molecular level.

  19. Construction of transgenic silkworm spinning antibacterial silk with fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhen; Jiang, Yue; Cao, Guangli; Li, Jingzhi; Xue, Renyu; Gong, Chengliang

    2015-01-01

    A targeting vector consisting of a fusion gene of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene gfp and the antimicrobial peptide cecropin gene cec flanked by pieces of the 5' and 3' sequences of the fibroin L chain gene fib-L of the silkworm (Bombyx mori) and a negative selection DsRed marker gene driven by the baculovirus immediate early gene 1 (i.e.-1) promoter, was used to target the silkworm genome in order to explore the possibility of improving the performance of silk. A transgenic silkworm with a green fluorescent cocoon was obtained and PCR analysis of its genome confirmed that the target genes had been integrated into the silkworm genome correctly. Furthermore, in the posterior silk glands of the G6 generation transformation silkworm, a band representing the fusion protein Fib-L-GFP-Cec with a molecular mass of 68.7 kDa was detected by western blotting with an antibody against GFP. An investigation of the number of bacteria attached to a cocoon showed the transgenic silkworm cocoon possessed antibacterial properties. These results suggested the performance of silk can be improved by modifying the fibroin gene. PMID:25223857

  20. Thermal Properties of Silk Fibroin Using Fast Scanning Calorimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    We performed fast scanning chip-based calorimetry of silk protein using the Mettler Flash DSC1. We suggest the methodology by which to obtain quantitative information on the very first scan to high temperature, including the melting endotherm of the beta pleated sheets. For proteins, this first scan is the most important one, because the crystalline secondary structural features, the beta pleated sheets, melt after the first heating and cannot be thermally reintroduced. To obtain high quality data, the samples must be treated to drying and enthalpy relaxation sequences. The heat flow rates in heating and cooling must be corrected for asymmetric heat loses. We evaluate methods to obtain an estimate of the sample mass, finally choosing internal calibration using the known heat capacity increment at the glass transition. We report that even heating at rates of 2000 K/s, thermal degradation of silk cannot be totally avoided, though it can be minimized. Using a set of nineteen samples, we successfully determine the liquid state heat capacity of silk as: Cpliquid (T) = (1.98 +0.06) J/gK + T (6.82 +1.4) x10-4 J/gK2. Methods for estimation of the sample mass will be presented and compared. National Science Foundation, Polymers Program DMR-1206010; DAAD; Tufts Faculty Supported Leave.

  1. Material properties of evolutionary diverse spider silks described by variation in a single structural parameter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madurga, Rodrigo; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Blackledge, Todd A.; Guinea, Gustavo. V.; Elices, Manuel; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2016-01-01

    Spider major ampullate gland silks (MAS) vary greatly in material properties among species but, this variation is shown here to be confined to evolutionary shifts along a single universal performance trajectory. This reveals an underlying design principle that is maintained across large changes in both spider ecology and silk chemistry. Persistence of this design principle becomes apparent after the material properties are defined relative to the true alignment parameter, which describes the orientation and stretching of the protein chains in the silk fiber. Our results show that the mechanical behavior of all Entelegynae major ampullate silk fibers, under any conditions, are described by this single parameter that connects the sequential action of three deformation micromechanisms during stretching: stressing of protein-protein hydrogen bonds, rotation of the β-nanocrystals and growth of the ordered fraction. Conservation of these traits for over 230 million years is an indication of the optimal design of the material and gives valuable clues for the production of biomimetic counterparts based on major ampullate spider silk.

  2. On the strength of β-sheet crystallites of Bombyx mori silk fibroin

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yuan; Koh, Leng-Duei; Li, Dechang; Ji, Baohua; Han, Ming-Yong; Zhang, Yong-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibroin, a natural multi-domain protein, has attracted great attention due to its superior mechanical properties such as ultra-high strength and stretchability, biocompatibility, as well as its versatile biodegradability and processability. It is mainly composed of β-sheet crystallites and amorphous domains. Although its strength is well known to be controlled by the dissociation of protein chains from β-sheet crystallites, the way that water as the solvent affects its strength and the reason that its theoretically predicted strength is several times higher than experimental measurement remain unclear. We perform all-atom molecular dynamics simulations on a β-sheet crystallite of Bombyx mori silk. We find that water solvent reduces the number and strength of hydrogen bonds between β-chains, and thus greatly weakens the strength of silk fibroin. By dissociating protein chains at different locations from the crystallite, we also find that the pulling strength for the interior chains is several times higher than that for the surface/corner chains, with the former being consistent with the theoretically predicted value, while the latter on par with the experimental value. It is shown that the weakest rupture strength controls the failure strength of silk fibre. Hence, this work sheds light on the role of water in the strength of silk fibroin and also provides clues on the origin of the strength difference between theory and experiment. PMID:24789564

  3. Material properties of evolutionary diverse spider silks described by variation in a single structural parameter

    PubMed Central

    Madurga, Rodrigo; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Blackledge, Todd A.; Guinea, Gustavo.V.; Elices, Manuel; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2016-01-01

    Spider major ampullate gland silks (MAS) vary greatly in material properties among species but, this variation is shown here to be confined to evolutionary shifts along a single universal performance trajectory. This reveals an underlying design principle that is maintained across large changes in both spider ecology and silk chemistry. Persistence of this design principle becomes apparent after the material properties are defined relative to the true alignment parameter, which describes the orientation and stretching of the protein chains in the silk fiber. Our results show that the mechanical behavior of all Entelegynae major ampullate silk fibers, under any conditions, are described by this single parameter that connects the sequential action of three deformation micromechanisms during stretching: stressing of protein-protein hydrogen bonds, rotation of the β-nanocrystals and growth of the ordered fraction. Conservation of these traits for over 230 million years is an indication of the optimal design of the material and gives valuable clues for the production of biomimetic counterparts based on major ampullate spider silk. PMID:26755434

  4. Sustained volume retention in vivo with adipocyte and lipoaspirate seeded silk scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Bellas, Evangelia; Panilaitis, Bruce J.B.; Glettig, Dean L.; Kirker-Head, Carl A.; Yoo, James J.; Marra, Kacey G.; Rubin, J. Peter; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Current approaches to soft tissue regeneration include the use of fat grafts, natural or synthetic biomaterials as filler materials. Fat grafts and natural biomaterials resorb too quickly to maintain tissue regeneration, while synthetic materials do not degrade or regenerate tissue. Here, we present a simple approach to volume stable filling of soft tissue defects. In this study, we combined lipoaspirate with a silk protein matrix in a subcutaneous rat model. Silk biomaterials can be tailored to fit a variety of needs, and here were processed silk biomaterials into a porous sponge format to allow for tissue ingrowth while remaining mechanically robust. Over an 18 month period, the lipoaspirate seeded silk protein matrix regenerated subcutaneous adipose tissue while maintaining the original implanted volume. A silk protein matrix alone was not sufficient to regenerate adipose tissue, but yielded a fibrous tissue, although implanted volume was maintained. This work presents a significant improvement to the standard approaches to filling soft tissue defects by matching biomaterial degradation and tissue regeneration profiles. PMID:23374707

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Cleft palate is a congenital malformation that generates a maxillofacial bone defect around the mouth area. The creation of performance scaffolds for bone tissue engineering in cleft palate is an issue that was proposed in this research. Because of its good biocompatibility, high stability, and non-toxicity, silk fibroin was selected as the scaffold of choice in this research. Silk fibroin scaffolds were prepared by freeze-drying before immerging in a solution of collagen, decellularized pulp, and collagen/decellularized pulp. Then, the immersed scaffolds were freeze-dried. Structural organization in solution was observed by Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The molecular organization of the solutions and crystal structure of the scaffolds were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. The weight increase of the modified scaffolds and the pore size were determined. The morphology was observed by a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Mechanical properties were tested. Biofunctionalities were considered by seeding osteoblasts in silk fibroin scaffolds before analysis of the cell proliferation, viability, total protein assay, and histological analysis. The results demonstrated that dendrite structure of the fibrils occurred in those solutions. Molecular organization of the components in solution arranged themselves into an irregular structure. The fibrils were deposited in the pores of the modified silk fibroin scaffolds. The modified scaffolds showed a beta-sheet structure. The morphological structure affected the mechanical properties of the silk fibroin scaffolds with and without modification. Following assessment of the biofunctionalities, the modified silk fibroin scaffolds could induce cell proliferation, viability, and total protein particularly in modified silk fibroin with collagen/decellularized pulp. Furthermore, the histological analysis indicated that the cells could adhere in modified silk fibroin scaffolds. Finally, it can be deduced that modified silk fibroin scaffolds with collagen/decellularized pulp had the performance for bone tissue engineering and a promise for cleft palate treatment. PMID:26478414

  6. 21 CFR 878.5030 - Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. 878... Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. (a) Identification. Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture... Bombycidae. Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture is indicated for use in soft tissue...

  7. 21 CFR 878.5030 - Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. 878... Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. (a) Identification. Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture... Bombycidae. Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture is indicated for use in soft tissue...

  8. 21 CFR 878.5030 - Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. 878... Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. (a) Identification. Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture... Bombycidae. Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture is indicated for use in soft tissue...

  9. Isolation and characterisation of sericin antifreeze peptides and molecular dynamics modelling of their ice-binding interaction.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jinhong; Rong, Yuzhi; Wang, Zhengwu; Zhou, Yanfu; Wang, Shaoyun; Zhao, Bo

    2015-05-01

    This study aimed to isolate and characterise a novel sericin antifreeze peptide and investigate its ice-binding molecular mechanism. The thermal hysteresis activity of ice-binding sericin peptides (I-SP) was measured and their activity reached as high as 0.94 °C. A P4 fraction, with high hypothermia protective activity and inhibition activity of ice recrystallisation, was obtained from I-SP, and a purified sericin peptide, named SM-AFP, with the sequence of TTSPTNVSTT and a molecular weight of 1009.50 Da was then isolated from the P4 fraction. Treatment of Lactobacillus delbrueckii Subsp. bulgaricus LB340 LYO with 100 μg/ml synthetic SM-AFP led to 1.4-fold increased survival (p < 0.05). Finally, an SM-AFP/ice binding model was constructed and results of molecular dynamics simulation suggested that the binding of SM-AFP with ice and prevention of ice crystal growth could be attributed to hydrogen bond formation, hydrophobic interaction and non-bond interactions. Sericin peptides could be developed into beneficial cryoprotectants and used in frozen food processing. PMID:25529728

  10. Mandibular Repair in Rats with Premineralized Silk Scaffolds and BMP-2-modified bMSCs

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xinquan; Zhao, Jun; Wang, Shaoyi; Sun, Xiaojuan; Zhang, Xiuli; Chen, Jake; Kaplan, David L.; Zhang, Zhiyuan

    2010-01-01

    Premineralized silk fibroin protein scaffolds (mSS) were prepared to combine the osteoconductive properties of biological apatite with aqueous-derived silk scaffold (SS) as a composite scaffold for bone regeneration. The aim of present study was to evaluate the effect of premineralized silk scaffolds combined with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) modified bone marrow stromal cells (bMSCs) to repair mandibular bony defects in a rat model. bMSCs were expanded and transduced with adenovirus AdBMP-2, AdLacZ gene in vitro. These genetically modified bMSCs were then combined with premineralized silk scaffolds to form tissue engineered bone. Mandibular repairs with AdBMP-2 transduced bMSCs/mSS constructs were compared with those treated with AdLacZ transduced bMSCs/mSS constructs, native (nontransduced) bMSCs/mSS constructs and mSS alone. Eight weeks post-operation, the mandibles were explanted and evaluated by radiographic observation, micro-CT, histological analysis and immunohistochemistry. The presence of BMP-2 gene enhanced tissue engineered bone in terms of the most new bone formed and the highest local bone mineral densities (BMD) found. These results demonstrated that premineralized silk scaffold could serve as a potential substrate for bMSCs to construct tissue engineered bone for mandibular bony defects. BMP-2 gene therapy and tissue engineering techniques could be used in mandibular repair and bone regeneration. PMID:19501905

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ha, Sung-Won

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin has excellent mechanical properties combined with flexibility, tissue compatibility, and high oxygen permeability in the wet condition. This important material should be dissolved and regenerated to be utilized as useful forms such as gel, film, fiber, powder, or non-woven. However, it has long been a problem that the regenerated fibroin materials show poor mechanical properties and brittleness. These problems were technically solved by improving a fiber processing method reported here. The regenerated fibroin fibers showed much better mechanical properties compared to the original silk fibers. This improved technique for the fiber processing of Bombyx mori silk fibroin may be used as a model system for other semi-crystalline fiber forming proteins, becoming available through biotechnology. The physical and chemical properties of the regenerated fibers were characterized by SinTechRTM tensile testing, X-ray diffraction, solid state 13C NMR spectroscopy, and SEM. Unlike synthetic polymers, the molecular weight distribution of Bombyx mori silk fibroin is mono-disperse because silk fibroin is synthesized from DNA template. Genetic studies have revealed the entire amino acid sequence of Bombyx mori silk fibroin. It is known that the crystalline silk II structure is composed of hexa-amino acid sequences, GAGAGS. However, in the amino acid sequence of Bombyx mori silk fibroin heavy chain, there are present 11 chemically irregular but evolutionarily conserved sequences with about 31 amino acid residues (irregular GT˜GT sequences). The structure and role of these irregular sequences have remained unknown. One of the most frequently appearing irregular sequences was synthesized by a peptide synthesizer. The three-dimensional structure of this irregular silk peptide was studied by the high resolution two-dimensional NMR technique. The three-dimensional structure of this peptide shows that it makes a turn or loop structure (distorted O shape), which means the proceeding backbone direction is changed 180° by this sequence. This may facilitate the beta-sheet formation of the crystal forming building blocks, GAGAGS/GY˜GY sequences, in fibroin heavy chain. It may also facilitate the solubilization of the fibroin heavy chain within the silk gland.

  12. Silk polymer-based adenosine release: therapeutic potential for epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Wilz, Andrew; Pritchard, Eleanor M; Li, Tianfu; Lan, Jing-Quan; Kaplan, David L; Boison, Detlev

    2008-09-01

    Adenosine augmentation therapies (AAT) make rational use of the brain's own adenosine-based seizure control system and hold promise for the therapy of refractory epilepsy. In an effort to develop an AAT compatible with future clinical application, we developed a novel silk protein-based release system for adenosine. Adenosine releasing brain implants with target release doses of 0, 40, 200, and 1000ng adenosine per day were prepared by embedding adenosine containing microspheres into nanofilm-coated silk fibroin scaffolds. In vitro, the respective polymers released 0, 33.4, 170.5, and 819.0ng adenosine per day over 14 days. The therapeutic potential of the implants was validated in a dose-response study in the rat model of kindling epileptogenesis. Four days prior to the onset of kindling, adenosine releasing polymers were implanted into the infrahippocampal cleft and progressive acquisition of kindled seizures was monitored over a total of 48 stimulations. We document a dose-dependent retardation of seizure acquisition. In recipients of polymers releasing 819ng adenosine per day, kindling epileptogenesis was delayed by one week corresponding to 18 kindling stimulations. Histological analysis of brain samples confirmed the correct location of implants and electrodes. We conclude that silk-based delivery of around 1000ng adenosine per day is a safe and efficient strategy to suppress seizures. PMID:18514814

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Regenerated silk fibroin has been proposed as a material substrate for biomedical, optical, and electronic applications. Preparation of the silk fibroin solution requires extraction (degumming) to remove contaminants, but results in the degradation of the fibroin protein. Here, a mechanism of fibroin degradation is proposed and the molecular weight and polydispersity is characterized as a function of extraction time. Rheological analysis reveals significant changes in the viscosity of samples while mechanical characterization of cast and drawn films shows increased moduli, extensibility, and strength upon drawing. Fifteen minutes extraction time results in degraded fibroin that generates the strongest films. Structural analysis by wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) indicates molecular alignment in the drawn films and shows that the drawing process converts amorphous films into the crystalline, β-sheet, secondary structure. Most interesting, by using selected extraction times, films with near-native crystallinity, alignment, and molecular weight can be achieved; yet maximal mechanical properties for the films from regenerated silk fibroin solutions are found with solutions subjected to some degree of degradation. These results suggest that the regenerated solutions and the film casting and drawing processes introduce more complexity than native spinning processes. PMID:26756449

  14. Translational enhancement of recombinant protein synthesis in transgenic silkworms by a 5'-untranslated region of polyhedrin gene of Bombyx mori Nucleopolyhedrovirus.

    PubMed

    Iizuka, Masashi; Tomita, Masahiro; Shimizu, Katsuhiko; Kikuchi, Yutaka; Yoshizato, Katsutoshi

    2008-06-01

    Previously, we established a method to produce recombinant proteins (r-proteins) in cocoons of germline transgenic silkworms, and showed that a step(s) in post-transcription processes was rate-limiting in obtaining a high yield of r-proteins. In this study, we examined whether the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the polyhedrin gene (pol) of nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) has a translational enhancer activity in the r-protein expression by middle silk gland (MSG) cells of silkworm Bombyx mori (Bm). Sericin 1 gene (ser1) promoter-driven transformation vectors were constructed in which pol5'-UTRs of NPVs isolated from four different species, Bm, Spodoptera frugiperda, Ectropis oblique, and Malacosoma neustria, were each placed upstream of a reporter gene. Transient expression assays in MSGs showed that these pol5'-UTRs all enhanced the protein expression of reporter genes, and the pol5'-UTR of Bm NPV (pol5'-UTR/Bm) was the most effective among them. Thus, transgenic silkworms were generated, which bore the ser1 promoter-driven His-tagged secretory EGFP (sEGFP-His) gene under the control of pol5'-UTR/Bm. The synthesis of sEGFP-His proteins in MSGs of the transgenic worms was approximately 1.5-fold higher than that in those bearing null vectors. However, its mRNA expression levels were 67% of the control worms, indicating that the pol5'-UTR/Bm specifically enhanced the translational level. In conclusion, pol5'-UTR/Bm increased the yield of r-protein production in transgenic silkworms by enhancing the translational activity and this 5'-UTR could be useful for the mass production of r-proteins in germline transgenic silkworms. PMID:18640598

  15. Spider silk gut: Development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ping; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Madurga, Rodrigo; Arroyo-Hernández, María; Solanas, Concepción; Gañán, Alfonso; Daza, Rafael; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel; Cenis, José Luis; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much larger cross-sectional area of the former. In particular spider silk gut has a proper ground state to which the material can revert independently from its previous loading history by supercontraction. A larger cross-sectional area implies that spider silk gut outperforms the natural material in terms of the loads that the fiber can sustain. This property suggests that it could substitute conventional spider silk fibers in some intended uses, such as sutures and scaffolds in tissue engineering. PMID:25475975

  16. Spider silk gut: Development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Ping; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Madurga, Rodrigo; Arroyo-Hernández, María; Solanas, Concepción; Gañán, Alfonso; Daza, Rafael; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel; Cenis, José Luis; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2014-12-01

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much larger cross-sectional area of the former. In particular spider silk gut has a proper ground state to which the material can revert independently from its previous loading history by supercontraction. A larger cross-sectional area implies that spider silk gut outperforms the natural material in terms of the loads that the fiber can sustain. This property suggests that it could substitute conventional spider silk fibers in some intended uses, such as sutures and scaffolds in tissue engineering.

  17. Spider silk gut: development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ping; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Madurga, Rodrigo; Arroyo-Hernández, María; Solanas, Concepción; Gañán, Alfonso; Daza, Rafael; Plaza, Gustavo R; Guinea, Gustavo V; Elices, Manuel; Cenis, José Luis; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much larger cross-sectional area of the former. In particular spider silk gut has a proper ground state to which the material can revert independently from its previous loading history by supercontraction. A larger cross-sectional area implies that spider silk gut outperforms the natural material in terms of the loads that the fiber can sustain. This property suggests that it could substitute conventional spider silk fibers in some intended uses, such as sutures and scaffolds in tissue engineering. PMID:25475975

  18. Surface modification of silk fibroin fabric using layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte deposition and heparin immobilization for small-diameter vascular prostheses.

    PubMed

    Elahi, M Fazley; Guan, Guoping; Wang, Lu; Zhao, Xinzhe; Wang, Fujun; King, Martin W

    2015-03-01

    There is an urgent need to develop a biologically active implantable small-diameter vascular prosthesis with long-term patency. Silk-fibroin-based small-diameter vascular prosthesis is a promising candidate having higher patency rate; however, the surface modification is indeed required to improve its further hemocompatibility. In this study, silk fibroin fabric was modified by a two-stage process. First, the surface of silk fibroin fabric was coated using a layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte deposition technique by stepwise dipping the silk fibroin fabric into a solution of cationic poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and anionic poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) solution. The dipping procedure was repeated to obtain the PAH/PAA multilayers deposited on the silk fibroin fabrics. Second, the polyelectrolyte-deposited silk fibroin fabrics were treated in EDC/NHS-activated low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) solution at 4 °C for 24 h, resulting in immobilization of LMWH on the silk fibroin fabrics surface. Scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray data revealed the accomplishment of LMWH immobilization on the polyelectrolyte-deposited silk fibroin fabric surface. The higher the number of PAH/PAA coating layers on the silk fibroin fabric, the more surface hydrophilicity could be obtained, resulting in a higher fetal bovine serum protein and platelets adhesion resistance properties when tested in vitro. In addition, compared with untreated sample, the surface-modified silk fibroin fabrics showed negligible loss of bursting strength and thus reveal the acceptability of polyelectrolytes deposition and heparin immobilization approach for silk-fibroin-based small-diameter vascular prostheses modification. PMID:25671295

  19. Evaluation of Gel Spun Silk-Based Biomaterials in a Murine Model of Bladder Augmentation

    PubMed Central

    Mauney, Joshua R.; Cannon, Glenn M.; Lovett, Michael L.; Gong, Edward M.; DiVizio, Dolores; Kaplan, David L.; Adam, Rosalyn M.; Estrada, Carlos R.

    2013-01-01

    Currently, gastrointestinal segments are considered the gold standard for bladder reconstructive procedures. However, significant complications including chronic urinary tract infection, metabolic abnormalities, urinary stone formation, bowel dysfunction, and secondary malignancies are associated with this approach. Biomaterials derived from silk fibroin may represent a superior alternative due their robust mechanical properties, biodegradable features, and processing plasticity. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of a gel spun silk-based matrix for bladder augmentation in a murine model. Over the course of 70 d implantation period, H&E and Masson’s trichrome (MTS) analysis revealed that silk matrices were capable of supporting both urothelial and smooth muscle regeneration at the defect site. Prominent uroplakin and contractile protein expression (α-actin, calponin, and SM22α) was evident by immunohistochemical analysis demonstrating maturation of the reconstituted bladder wall compartments. Gel spun silk matrices also elicited a minimal acute inflammatory reaction following 70 d of bladder integration, in contrast to parallel assessments of small intestinal submucosa (SIS) and polyglycolic acid (PGA) matrices which routinely promoted evidence of fibrosis and chronic inflammatory responses. Voided stain on paper analysis revealed that silk augmented animals displayed similar voiding patterns in comparison to non surgical controls by 42 d of implantation. In addition, cystometric evaluations of augmented bladders at 70 d post-op demonstrated that silk scaffolds supported significant increases in bladder capacity, voided volume, and flow rate while maintaining similar degrees of compliance relative to the control group. These results provide evidence for the utility of gel spun silk-based matrices for functional bladder tissue engineering applications. PMID:20951426

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26364925

  1. Silk Electrogel Based Gastroretentive Drug Delivery System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Effect of sericin supplementation in maturation medium on cumulus cell expansion, oocyte nuclear maturation, and subsequent embryo development in Sanjabi ewes during the breeding season.

    PubMed

    Aghaz, F; Hajarian, H; Shabankareh, H Karami; Abdolmohammadi, A

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of sericin with different concentrations (0% [control], 0.1%, 0.5%, 1.0%, and 2.5%) added to the IVM medium on cumulus cell expansion, oocyte nuclear maturation, and subsequent embryo development in Sanjabi ewes during the breeding season. The resumption of meiosis was assessed by the frequency of germinal vesicle breakdown and the first polar body extrusion. After IVF with fresh ram semen, presumptive zygotes were cultured 8 days in potassium simplex optimization medium supplemented by amino acids, and the percentages developing to the two-cell and blastocyst stages were measured as the indicators of early embryonic developmental competence. More cumulus-oocyte complexes matured with 0.5% sericin underwent germinal vesicle breakdown and reached metaphase II stage compared with the control cumulus-oocyte complexes matured without sericin (P ≤ 0.05). The present findings indicated that supplementation with 0.5% sericin during the maturation culture may improve the nuclear maturation and the cumulus cell expansion. Furthermore, the percentage of blastocysts obtained from 0.5% and 0.1% sericin (37.8 ± 1.76% and 34.8 ± 1.09%, respectively) was higher (P ≤ 0.05) than that of the control medium (29.60 ± 1.67%). However, addition of 1% and 2.5% of sericin to the IVM medium oocytes had a negative effect on nuclear maturation and cumulus cell expansion. Furthermore, the percentage of cleavage and blastocyst rate was significantly lower in the 1% and 2.5% sericin groups than in the control group. These findings showed that supplementation of IVM medium with 0.5% sericin may improve the meiotic competence of oocytes and early embryonic development in Sanjabi ewes during the breeding season. PMID:26411362

  3. Spider Silks-Biomimetics Beyond Silk Fibers: Hydrogels, films & Adhesives from Aqueous Recombinant Spider Silk dopes: A Synchrotron X-Ray Nano-Structural Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sampath, Sujatha; Jones, Justin; Harris, Thomas; Lewis, Randolph

    2015-03-01

    With a combination of high strength and extensibility, spider silk's (SS) mechanical properties surpass those of any man made fiber. The superior properties are due to the primary protein composition and the complex hierarchical structural organization from nanoscale to macroscopic length scales. Considerable progress has been made to synthetically mimic the production of fibers based on SS proteins. We present synchrotron x-ray micro diffraction (SyXRD) results on new fibers and gels (hydrogels, lyogels) from recombinant SS protein water-soluble dopes. Novelty in these materials is two-fold: water based rather than widely used HFIP acid synthesis, makes them safe in medical applications (replacement for tendons & ligaments). Secondly, hydrogels morphology render them as excellent carriers for targeted drug delivery biomedical applications. SyXRD results reveal semi-crystalline structure with ordered beta-sheets and relatively high degree of axial orientation in the fibers, making them the closest yet to natural spider silks. SyXRD on the gels elucidate the structural transformations during the self-recovery process through mechanical removal and addition of water. Studies correlating the observed structural changes to mechanical properties are underway.

  4. Silk microfiber-reinforced silk hydrogel composites for functional cartilage tissue repair

    PubMed Central

    Yodmuang, Supansa; McNamara, Stephanie L.; Nover, Adam B.; Mandal, Biman B.; Agarwal, Monica; Kelly, Terri-Ann N.; Chao, Pen-hsiu Grace; Hung, Clark; Kaplan, David L.; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana

    2014-01-01

    Cartilage tissue lacks an intrinsic capacity for self-regeneration due to slow matrix turnover, a limited supply of mature chondrocytes and insufficient vasculature. Although cartilage tissue engineering has achieved some success using agarose as a scaffolding material, major challenges of agarose-based cartilage repair, including non-degradability, poor tissue–scaffold integration and limited processing capability, have prompted the search for an alternative biomaterial. In this study, silk fiber–hydrogel composites (SF–silk hydrogels) made from silk microfibers and silk hydrogels were investigated for their potential use as a support material for engineered cartilage. We demonstrated the use of 100% silk-based fiber–hydrogel composite scaffolds for the development of cartilage constructs with properties comparable to those made with agarose. Cartilage constructs with an equilibrium modulus in the native tissue range were fabricated by mimicking the collagen fiber and proteoglycan composite architecture of native cartilage using biocompatible, biodegradable silk fibroin from Bombyx mori. Excellent chondrocyte response was observed on SF–silk hydrogels, and fiber reinforcement resulted in the development of more mechanically robust constructs after 42 days in culture compared to silk hydrogels alone. Thus, we demonstrate the versatility of silk fibroin as a composite scaffolding material for use in cartilage tissue repair to create functional cartilage constructs that overcome the limitations of agarose biomaterials, and provide a much-needed alternative to the agarose standard. PMID:25281788

  5. Production, structure and in vitro degradation of electrospun honeybee silk nanofibers

    PubMed Central

    Wittmer, Corinne R.; Hu, Xiao; Gauthier, Pierre-Chanel; Weisman, Sarah; Kaplan, David L.; Sutherland, Tara D.

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees produce silken cocoons containing four related fibrous proteins. High levels of each of the honeybee silk proteins can be produced recombinantly by fermentation in E. coli. In this study we have used electrospinning to fabricate a single recombinant honeybee silk protein, AmelF3, into nanofibres of around 200 nm diameter. Infrared spectroscopy found that the molecular structure of the nanofibres was predominantly coiled coil, essentially the same as native honeybee silk. Mats of the honeybee nanofibres were treated with methanol or by water annealing, which increased their -sheet content and rendered them water-insensitive. The insoluble mats were degraded by protease on a time scale of hours to days. The protease gradually released proteins from the solid state and these were subsequently rapidly degraded into small peptides without the accumulation of partial degradation products. Cell culture assays demonstrated that the mats allowed survival, attachment and proliferation of fibroblasts. These results indicate that honeybee silk proteins meet many prerequisites for use as a biomaterial. PMID:21689795

  6. Processing and characterisation of a novel electropolymerized silk fibroin hydrogel membrane

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibroin can be made into various forms of biocompatible medical materials, including hydrogel due to its excellent properties. Here, we report a novel method for the preparation of electropolymerized silk fibroin hydrogel membrane (ESFHM), which is formed on a nanoporous film as a barrier using a homemade device at a higher DC voltage. Regenerated silk fibroin solution in Tris buffer (pH 6.55–7.55) was added into a reservoir with a negative charge, and the silk molecules migrated toward the positive charge at 80VDC, resulting in the formation of the ESFHM on the barrier film. Barrier film with a MWCO of 10 kDa is favourable to the formation of the ESFHM. Semi-transparent ESFHM with a swelling ratio of 1056.4% predominantly consisted of a mixture of β-sheets and α-helix crystalline structures. SEM studies revealed that the ESFHM consisted of a 3D mesh structure woven by a chain of silk fibroin nanoparticles with a size of approximately 30 nanometres, similar to a pearl necklace. In vitro studies indicated that the ESFHM was degradable and was sufficient for cell adhesion and growth. Thus, ESFHM is a promising candidate for loading bioactive protein and appropriate cells, as artificial skin or for use in transplantation. PMID:25154713

  7. Self-assembly of nucleic acids, silk and hybrid materials thereof

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humenik, Martin; Scheibel, Thomas

    2014-12-01

    Top-down approaches based on etching techniques have almost reached their limits in terms of dimension. Therefore, novel assembly strategies and types of nanomaterials are required to allow technological advances. Self-assembly processes independent of external energy sources and unlimited in dimensional scaling have become a very promising approach. Here, we highlight recent developments in self-assembled DNA-polymer, silk-polymer and silk-DNA hybrids as promising materials with biotic and abiotic moieties for constructing complex hierarchical materials in ‘bottom-up’ approaches. DNA block copolymers assemble into nanostructures typically exposing a DNA corona which allows functionalization, labeling and higher levels of organization due to its specific addressable recognition properties. In contrast, self-assembly of natural silk proteins as well as their recombinant variants yields mechanically stable β-sheet rich nanostructures. The combination of silk with abiotic polymers gains hybrid materials with new functionalities. Together, the precision of DNA hybridization and robustness of silk fibrillar structures combine in novel conjugates enable processing of higher-order structures with nanoscale architecture and programmable functions.

  8. Dynamic behaviour of silks: Nature's precision nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drodge, D. R.; Mortimer, B.; Siviour, C. R.; Holland, C.

    2012-08-01

    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.

  9. Dating silk by capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Moini, Mehdi; Klauenberg, Kathryn; Ballard, Mary

    2011-10-01

    A new capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry (CE-MS) technique is introduced for age estimation of silk textiles based on amino acid racemization rates. With an L to D conversion half-life of ~2500 years for silk (B. mori) aspartic acid, the technique is capable of dating silk textiles ranging in age from several decades to a few-thousand-years-old. Analysis required only ~100 μg or less of silk fiber. Except for a 2 h acid hydrolysis at 110 °C, no other sample preparation is required. The CE-MS analysis takes ~20 min, consumes only nanoliters of the amino acid mixture, and provides both amino acid composition profiles and D/L ratios for ~11 amino acids. PMID:21913691

  10. Beating the Heat - Fast Scanning Melts Silk Beta Sheet Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cebe, Peggy; Hu, Xiao; Kaplan, David L.; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Wurm, Andreas; Arbeiter, Daniela; Schick, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Beta-pleated-sheet crystals are among the most stable of protein secondary structures, and are responsible for the remarkable physical properties of many fibrous proteins, such as silk, or proteins forming plaques as in Alzheimer's disease. Previous thinking, and the accepted paradigm, was that beta-pleated-sheet crystals in the dry solid state were so stable they would not melt upon input of heat energy alone. Here we overturn that assumption and demonstrate that beta-pleated-sheet crystals melt directly from the solid state to become random coils, helices, and turns. We use fast scanning chip calorimetry at 2,000 K/s and report the first reversible thermal melting of protein beta-pleated-sheet crystals, exemplified by silk fibroin. The similarity between thermal melting behavior of lamellar crystals of synthetic polymers and beta-pleated-sheet crystals is confirmed. Significance for controlling beta-pleated-sheet content during thermal processing of biomaterials, as well as towards disease therapies, is envisioned based on these new findings.

  11. Beating the Heat - Fast Scanning Melts Silk Beta Sheet Crystals

    PubMed Central

    Cebe, Peggy; Hu, Xiao; Kaplan, David L.; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Wurm, Andreas; Arbeiter, Daniela; Schick, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Beta-pleated-sheet crystals are among the most stable of protein secondary structures, and are responsible for the remarkable physical properties of many fibrous proteins, such as silk, or proteins forming plaques as in Alzheimer's disease. Previous thinking, and the accepted paradigm, was that beta-pleated-sheet crystals in the dry solid state were so stable they would not melt upon input of heat energy alone. Here we overturn that assumption and demonstrate that beta-pleated-sheet crystals melt directly from the solid state to become random coils, helices, and turns. We use fast scanning chip calorimetry at 2,000?K/s and report the first reversible thermal melting of protein beta-pleated-sheet crystals, exemplified by silk fibroin. The similarity between thermal melting behavior of lamellar crystals of synthetic polymers and beta-pleated-sheet crystals is confirmed. Significance for controlling beta-pleated-sheet content during thermal processing of biomaterials, as well as towards disease therapies, is envisioned based on these new findings. PMID:23350037

  12. In vitro evaluation of bi-layer silk fibroin scaffolds for gastrointestinal tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Franck, Debra; Chung, Yeun Goo; Coburn, Jeannine; Kaplan, David L; Estrada, Carlos R

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibroin scaffolds were investigated for their ability to support attachment, proliferation, and differentiation of human gastrointestinal epithelial and smooth muscle cell lines in order to ascertain their potential for tissue engineering. A bi-layer silk fibroin matrix composed of a porous silk fibroin foam annealed to a homogeneous silk fibroin film was evaluated in parallel with small intestinal submucosa scaffolds. AlamarBlue analysis revealed that silk fibroin scaffolds supported significantly higher levels of small intestinal smooth muscle cell, colon smooth muscle cell, and esophageal smooth muscle cell attachment in comparison to small intestinal submucosa. Following 7 days of culture, relative numbers of each smooth muscle cell population maintained on both scaffold groups were significantly elevated over respective 1-day levels—indicative of cell proliferation. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated that both silk fibroin and small intestinal submucosa scaffolds were permissive for contractile differentiation of small intestinal smooth muscle cell, colon smooth muscle cell, esophageal smooth muscle cell as determined by significant upregulation of α-smooth muscle actin and SM22α messenger RNA and protein expression levels following transforming growth factor-β1 stimulation. AlamarBlue analysis demonstrated that both matrix groups supported similar degrees of attachment and proliferation of gastrointestinal epithelial cell lines including colonic T84 cells and esophageal epithelial cells. Following 14 days of culture on both matrices, spontaneous differentiation of T84 cells toward an enterocyte lineage was confirmed by expression of brush border enzymes, lactase, and maltase, as determined by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical analyses. In contrast to small intestinal submucosa scaffolds, silk fibroin scaffolds supported spontaneous differentiation of esophageal epithelial cells toward a suprabasal cell lineage as indicated by significant upregulation of cytokeratin 4 and cytokeratin 13 messenger RNA transcript levels. In addition, esophageal epithelial cells maintained on silk fibroin scaffolds also produced significantly higher involucrin messenger RNA transcript levels in comparison to small intestinal submucosa counterparts, indicating an increased propensity for superficial, squamous cell specification. Collectively, these data provide evidence for the potential of silk fibroin scaffolds for gastrointestinal tissue engineering applications. PMID:25396043

  13. Silk Roads or Steppe Roads? The Silk Roads in World History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christian, David

    2000-01-01

    Explores the prehistory of the Silk Roads, reexamines their structure and history in the classical era, and explores shifts in their geography in the last one thousand years. Explains that a revised understanding of the Silk Roads demonstrates how the Afro-Eurasian land mass has been linked by networks of exchange since the Bronze Age. (CMK)

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

    PubMed

    Hajer, Jaromr; Mal, Jan; Rehkov, 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). PMID:23034869

  15. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 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 (CONTINUED) FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION (CONTINUED) DIRECT FOOD SUBSTANCES AFFIRMED AS GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed...

  16. Novel silk fibroin/elastin wound dressings.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Andreia; Gomes, Andreia C; Cavaco-Paulo, Artur

    2012-08-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) and elastin (EL) scaffolds were successfully produced for the first time for the treatment of burn wounds. The self-assembly properties of SF, together with the excellent chemical and mechanical stability and biocompatibility, were combined with elastin protein to produce scaffolds with the ability to mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM). Porous scaffolds were obtained by lyophilization and were further crosslinked with genipin (GE). Genipin crosslinking induces the conformational transition from random coil to β-sheet of SF chains, yielding scaffolds with smaller pore size and reduced swelling ratios, degradation and release rates. All results indicated that the composition of the scaffolds had a significant effect on their physical properties, and that can easily be tuned to obtain scaffolds suitable for biological applications. Wound healing was assessed through the use of human full-thickness skin equivalents (EpidermFT). Standardized burn wounds were induced by a cautery and the best re-epithelialization and the fastest wound closure was obtained in wounds treated with 50SF scaffolds; these contain the highest amount of elastin after 6 days of healing in comparison with other dressings and controls. The cytocompatibility demonstrated with human skin fibroblasts together with the healing improvement make these SF/EL scaffolds suitable for wound dressing applications. PMID:22546517

  17. Mechanisms of monoclonal antibody stabilization and release from silk biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Guziewicz, Nicholas A.; Massetti, Andrew J.; Perez-Ramirez, Bernardo J.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    The availability of stabilization and sustained delivery systems for antibody therapeutics remains a major clinical challenge, despite the growing development of antibodies for a wide range of therapeutic applications due to their specificity and efficacy. A mechanistic understanding of protein-matrix interactions is critical for the development of such systems and is currently lacking as a mode to guide the field. We report mechanistic insight to address this need by using well-defined matrices based on silk gels, in combination with a monoclonal antibody. Variables including antibody loading, matrix density, charge interactions, hydrophobicity and water access were assessed to clarify mechanisms involved in the release of antibody from the biomaterial matrix. The results indicate that antibody release is primarily governed by hydrophobic interactions and hydration resistance, which are controlled by silk matrix chemistry, peptide domain distribution and protein density. Secondary ionic repulsions are also critical in antibody stabilization and release. Matrix modification by free methionine incorporation was found to be an effective strategy for mitigating encapsulation induced antibody oxidation. Additionally, these studies highlight a characterization approach to improve the understanding and development of other protein sustained delivery systems, with broad applicability to the rapidly developing monoclonal antibody field. PMID:23859659

  18. Silk film culture system for in vitro analysis and biomaterial design.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Brian D; Pan, Zhi; Weber, Michael D; Kaplan, David L; Rosenblatt, Mark I

    2012-01-01

    Silk films are promising protein-based biomaterials that can be fabricated with high fidelity and economically within a research laboratory environment (1,2). These materials are desirable because they possess highly controllable dimensional and material characteristics, are biocompatible and promote cell adhesion, can be modified through topographic patterning or by chemically altering the surface, and can be used as a depot for biologically active molecules for drug delivery related applications (3-8). In addition, silk films are relatively straightforward to custom design, can be designed to dissolve within minutes or degrade over years in vitro or in vivo, and are produce with the added benefit of being transparent in nature and therefore highly suitable for imaging applications (9-13). The culture system methodology presented here represents a scalable approach for rapid assessments of cell-silk film surface interactions. Of particular interest is the use of surface patterned silk films to study differences in cell proliferation and responses of cells for alignment (12,14). The seeded cultures were cultured on both micro-patterned and flat silk film substrates, and then assessed through time-lapse phase-contrast imaging, scanning electron microscopy, and biochemical assessment of metabolic activity and nucleic acid content. In summary, the silk film in vitro culture system offers a customizable experimental setup suitable to the study of cell-surface interactions on a biomaterial substrate, which can then be optimized and then translated to in vivo models. Observations using the culture system presented here are currently being used to aid in applications ranging from basic cell interactions to medical device design, and thus are relevant to a broad range of biomedical fields. PMID:22565786

  19. Water-insoluble sericin/β-cyclodextrin/PVA composite electrospun nanofibers as effective adsorbents towards methylene blue.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Rui; Wang, Yong; Li, Xiang; Sun, Bolun; Jiang, Ziqiao; Wang, Ce

    2015-12-01

    A novel water-insoluble sericin/β-cyclodextrin/poly (vinyl alcohol) composite nanofiber adsorbent was prepared by electrospinning and followed by thermal crosslinking for removal of cationic dye methylene blue from aqueous solution. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and solubility experiments confirmed that sericin and β-cyclodextrin were incorporated into the nanofibers and the crosslinking reaction occurred successfully. Kinetics, isotherms and thermodynamics analysis were studied for adsorption of methylene blue. The adsorption process is better fitted with the pseudo-second-order model and Langmuir isotherm model. The maximum adsorption capacities are 187.97, 229.89, and 261.10mg/g at the temperatures 293, 313 and 333K, respectively. Thermodynamic parameters showed that methylene blue adsorption was endothermic and spontaneous. In addition, the fiber membrane adsorbent could be easily separated from dye solution and showed high recyclable removal efficiency. All these results suggest that crosslinked sericin/β-cyclodextrin/poly(vinyl alcohol) composite nanofibers could be potential recyclable adsorbents in dye wastewater treatment. PMID:26433644

  20. Amphiphilic Spider Silk-Like Block Copolymers with Tunable Physical Properties and Morphology for Biomedical Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Wenwen; Krishnaji, Sreevidhya; Kaplan, David; Cebe, Peggy

    2013-03-01

    Silk-based materials are important candidates for biomedical applications because of their excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability. To generate silk amphiphilic biopolymers with potential use in guided tissue repair and drug delivery, a novel family of spider silk-like block copolymers was synthesized by recombinant DNA technology. Block copolymer thermal properties, structural conformations, protein-water interactions, and self-assembly morphologies were studied with respect to well controlled protein amino acid sequences. A theoretical model was used to predict the heat capacity of the protein and protein-water complex. Using thermal analysis, two glass transitions were observed: Tg1 is related to conformational changes caused by bound water removal, while Tg2 (>Tg1) is the glass transition of dry protein. Real-time infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction confirmed that different secondary structural changes occur during the two Tg relaxations. Using scanning electron microscopy, fibrillar networks and hollow vesicles are observed, depending on protein block copolymer sequence. This study provides a deeper understanding of the relationship between protein physical properties and amino acid sequence, with implications for design of other protein-based materials. Support was provided from the NSF CBET-0828028 and the MRI Program under DMR-0520655 for thermal analysis instrumentation.

  1. Influence factors analysis on the formation of silk I structure.

    PubMed

    Ming, Jinfa; Pan, Fukui; Zuo, Baoqi

    2015-04-01

    Regenerated silk fibroin aqueous solution was used to study the crystalline structure of Bombyx mori silk fibroin in vitro. By controlling environmental conditions and concentration of silk fibroin solution, it provided a means for the direct preparing silk I structure and understanding the details of silk fibroin molecules interactions in formation process. In this study, silk fibroin molecules were assembled to form random coil at low concentration of solution and then, as the concentration increases, were converted to silk I at 55% relative humidity (RH). At the same time, the structure of silk fibroin forming below 45 C was mostly in silk I. A partial ternary phase diagram of temperature-humidity-concentration was constructed based on the results. The results showed silk I structure could be controlled by adjusting the external environmental conditions. The enhanced control over silk I structure, as embodied in phase diagram, could potentially be utilized to understand the molecular chain conformation of silk I in further research work. PMID:25677178

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

    PubMed

    Agostini, Elisa; Winter, Gerhard; Engert, Julia

    2015-09-10

    The main focus of this work was to obtain a drug delivery matrix characterized by biocompatibility, water insolubility and good mechanical properties. Moreover the preparation process has to be compatible with protein encapsulation and the obtained matrix should be able to sustain release a model protein. Spider silk proteins represent exceptional natural polymers due to their mechanical properties in combination with biocompatibility. As both hydrophobic and slowly biodegrading biopolymers, recombinant spider silk proteins fulfill the required properties for a drug delivery system. In this work, we present the preparation of eADF4(C16) films as drug delivery matrices without the use of any organic solvent. Water-based spider silk films were characterized in terms of protein secondary structure, thermal stability, zeta-potential, solubility, mechanical properties, and water absorption and desorption. Additionally, this study includes an evaluation of their application as a drug delivery system for both small molecular weight drugs and high molecular weight molecules such as proteins. Our investigation focused on possible improvements in the film's mechanical properties including plasticizers in the film matrix. Furthermore, different film designs were prepared, such as: monolayer, coated monolayer, multilayer (sandwich), and coated multilayer. The release of the model protein BSA from these new systems was studied. Results indicated that spider silk films are a promising protein drug delivery matrix, capable of releasing the model protein over 90days with a release profile close to zero order kinetic. Such films could be used for several pharmaceutical and medical purposes, especially when mechanical strength of a drug eluting matrix is of high importance. PMID:26100366

  3. Revers