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Sample records for silk sericin protein

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Silk protein sericins, in the recent years, find application in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and as biomaterials. We investigate the potential of sericin, extracted from both mulberry Bombyx mori and different non-mulberry sources, namely, tropical tasar, Antheraea mylitta; muga, Antheraea assama; and eri, Samia ricini, as growth supplement in serum-free culture medium. Sericin supplemented media containing different concentrations of sericins from the different species are examined for attachment, growth, proliferation, and morphology of fibrosarcoma cells. The optimum sericin supplementation seems to vary with the source of sericins. The results indicate that all the sericins promote the growth of L929 cells in serum-free culture media; however, S. ricini sericin seems to promote better growth of cells amongst other non-mulberry sericins. PMID:27517047

  3. Interactions between fibroin and sericin proteins from Antheraea pernyi and Bombyx mori silk fibers.

    PubMed

    Du, Shan; Zhang, Jin; Zhou, Wei T; Li, Quan X; Greene, George W; Zhu, Hai J; Li, Jing L; Wang, Xun G

    2016-09-15

    Silkworm silk fibers are core-shell composites of fibroin and sericin proteins. Studying the interactions between fibroin and sericin is essential for understanding the properties of these composites. It is observed that compared to the domestic silk cocoon Bombyx mori (B. mori), the adhesion between fibroin and sericin from the wild silk cocoon, Antheraea pernyi (A. pernyi), is significantly stronger with a higher degree of heterogeneity. The adsorption of A. pernyi sericin on its fibroin is almost twice the value for B. mori sericin on fibroin, both showing a monolayer Langmuir adsorption. (1)H NMR and FTIR studies demonstrate on a molecular level the stronger interactions and the more intensive complex formation between A. pernyi fibroin and sericin, facilitated by the hydrogen bonding between glycine and serine. The findings of this study may help the design of composites with superior interfacial adhesion between different components.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Siritientong, Tippawan; Srichana, Teerapol

    2012-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  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

    2016-03-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    2014-11-20

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Cryopreservation for bovine embryos in serum-free freezing medium containing silk protein sericin.

    PubMed

    Isobe, Tomohiro; Ikebata, Yoshihisa; Onitsuka, Takeshi; Do, Lanh Thi Kim; Sato, Yoko; Taniguchi, Masayasu; Otoi, Takeshige

    2013-10-01

    Because the use of serum in the embryo cryopreservation increases the probability of animal health problems such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and viral infections, this study was conducted to examine the effects of sericin supplementation for serum-free freezing medium on the survival and development of bovine embryos after freezing-thawing and direct transfer to recipients. When in vitro-produced bovine embryos were frozen conventionally in the freezing medium supplemented with various concentrations (0.1%, 0.5%, and 1.0%) of sericin, the percentages of damaged zona pellucida, survival, and development of frozen-thawed embryos were similar to those of embryos frozen in freezing medium supplemented with 0.4% bovine serum albumin (BSA) and 20% fetal bovine serum (FBS) (0.4BSA/20F; control). When in vivo-derived embryos were frozen with 0.4BSA/20F (control), 0.5% sericin +20% FBS (0.5S/20F) or 0.5% sericin (0.5S) and were subsequently transferred directly to recipients, the percentages of recipients with pregnancy and normal calving in the 0.5S/20F group were higher than those in the control group (47.3% vs. 40.1% and 94.6% vs. 87.3%, respectively). Moreover, the percentages of recipients with pregnancy and normal calving (42.2% and 92.4%, respectively) in the 0.5S group were similar with those of other groups. In conclusion, these results indicate that serum-free freezing medium supplemented with sericin is available for the cryopreservation of bovine embryos and that it is beneficial for the elimination of a potential source of biological contamination by serum or BSA.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Non-mulberry silk sericin/poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel matrices for potential biotechnological applications.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Biman B; Ghosh, Borna; Kundu, S C

    2011-08-01

    This study reports a novel biopolymeric matrix fabricated by chemically cross-linking poly (vinyl alcohol) with silk sericin protein obtained from cocoons of the tropical tasar silkworm Antheraea mylitta. Glutaraldehyde was used as a cross-linking agent with hydrochloric acid acting as an initiator. The matrices were biophysically characterized and the cytocompatibility of the matrices was evaluated for their suitability as biomaterials. The surface morphology was assessed using atomic force microscopy while the changes taking place after cross-linking were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The enhanced thermal stability of the constructs was assessed by thermogravimetric and differential scanning calorimetry. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that sericin was chemically cross-linked with poly (vinyl alcohol) using glutaraldehyde. Silk sericin protein demonstrated a favorable effect on animal cell culture by successfully improving the adhering and spreading of cells on the poorly adhering surface of poly (vinyl alcohol). Confocal microscopy revealed cell spreading and actin filament development in sericin/poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel matrices. These findings prove the potential of non-mulberry silk sericin/poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel matrices to be used as biocompatible and biopolymeric material for tissue-engineering and biotechnological applications.

  2. Silk sericin ameliorates wound healing and its clinical efficacy in burn wounds.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Palapinyo, Sirinoot; Srichana, Teerapol; Chottanapund, Suthat; Muangman, Pornprom

    2013-09-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of silk sericin, a protein from silkworm cocoon, on scratch wound healing in vitro. For applicable result in clinical use, we also study the efficacy of sericin added to a standard antimicrobial cream, silver zinc sulfadiazine, for open wound care in the treatment of second-degree burn wounds. In vitro scratch assays show that sericin at concentration 100 μg/mL can promote the migration of fibroblast L929 cells similar to epidermal growth factor (positive control) at 100 μg/mL. After 1 day of treatment, the length of scratch in wounds treated with sericin was significantly shorter than the length of negative control wounds (culture medium without sericin). For clinical study, a total of 29 patients with 65 burn wounds which covered no less than 15 % of total body surface area were randomly assigned to either control (wounds treated with silver zinc sulfadiazine cream) or treatment (wounds treated with silver zinc sulfadiazine with added sericin cream) group in this randomized, double-blind, standard-controlled study. The results showed that the average time to reach 70 % re-epithelialization of the burned surface and complete healing in the treatment group was significantly shorter, approximately 5-7 days, than in the control group. Regarding time for complete healing, control wounds took approximately 29.28 ± 9.27 days, while wounds treated with silver zinc sulfadiazine with added sericin cream took approximately 22.42 ± 6.33 days, (p = 0.001). No infection or severe reaction was found in any wounds. This is the first clinical study to show that silk sericin is safe and beneficial for burn wound treatment when it is added to silver sulfadiazine cream.

  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. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  7. The effect of sterilization methods on the physical properties of silk sericin scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Siritientong, Tippawan; Srichana, Teerapol; Aramwit, Pornanong

    2011-06-01

    Protein-based biomaterials respond differently to sterilization methods. Since protein is a complex structure, heat, or irradiation may result in the loss of its physical or biological properties. Recent investigations have shown that sericin, a degumming silk protein, can be successfully formed into a 3-D scaffolds after mixing with other polymers which can be applied in skin tissue engineering. The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of ethanol, ethylene oxide (EtO) and gamma irradiation on the sterilization of sericin scaffolds. The influence of these sterilization methods on the physical properties such as pore size, scaffold dimensions, swelling and mechanical properties, as well as the amount of sericin released from sericin/polyvinyl alcohol/glycerin scaffolds, were also investigated. Ethanol treatment was ineffective for sericin scaffold sterilization whereas gamma irradiation was the most effective technique for scaffold sterilization. Moreover, ethanol also caused significant changes in pore size resulting from shrinkage of the scaffold. Gamma-irradiated samples exhibited the highest swelling property, but they also lost the greatest amount of weight after immersion for 24 h compared with scaffolds obtained from other sterilization methods. The results of the maximum stress test and Young's modulus showed that gamma-irradiated and ethanol-treated scaffolds are more flexible than the EtO-treated and untreated scaffolds. The amount of sericin released, which was related to its collagen promoting effect, was highest from the gamma-irradiated scaffold. The results of this study indicate that gamma irradiation should have the greatest potential for sterilizing sericin scaffolds for skin tissue engineering.

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-14

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Formulation and characterization of silk sericin-PVA scaffold crosslinked with genipin.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Siritientong, Tippawan; Kanokpanont, Sorada; Srichana, Teerapol

    2010-12-01

    A porous-three-dimensional scaffold shows several advantages in terms of tissue engineering since it can provide a framework for cells to attach, proliferate and form an extracellular matrix. Sericin, a by-product from the silk industry, can form a three-dimensional scaffold with PVA after freeze-drying but has a fragile structure. Glycerin (as a plasticizer) and genipin (a crosslinking agent) are necessary to make a strong and stable matrix. Our objective was to investigate the properties of a three-dimensional silk sericin and PVA scaffold with and without glycerin and genipin at various concentrations. SEM showed that adding glycerin into scaffold gave better uniformity and porosity. Smaller pore sizes and better uniformity were found as the concentration of genipin in the scaffold increased. The results of FTIR indicated that glycerin retained a high moisture content and had a major effect at 3286 cm(-1), indicating the presence of water molecule in the matrix structure. Adding genipin into the scaffold resulted in a higher degree of crosslinking or fewer free ∈-amino groups, as shown by the decrease in the stretching (=C-H) peak and absorption peaks around 1370-1650 cm(-1), respectively. The sericin/PVA scaffold had a low water sorption capacity, but adding glycerin significantly increased this property. Genipin further enhanced the moisture absorption capacity of the scaffold and extended the time taken to reach equilibrium. After immersing the sericin/PVA scaffold into purified water, the scaffold completely dissolved within an hour, whereas the scaffolds containing glycerin or glycerin with 0.1% genipin swelled 8 and 11 times, respectively, compared with the initial stage after 6h of immersion. In terms of mechanical properties, the sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffold exhibited a similar compressive strength to the scaffold with a high genipin concentration, whereas a low concentration of genipin softened and reduced the compressive strength of the scaffold. A

  13. Fibroin and sericin from Bombyx mori silk stimulate cell migration through upregulation and phosphorylation of c-Jun.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Mora, Celia; Mrowiec, Anna; García-Vizcaíno, Eva María; Alcaraz, Antonia; Cenis, José Luis; Nicolás, Francisco José

    2012-01-01

    Wound healing is a biological process directed to the restoration of tissue that has suffered an injury. An important phase of wound healing is the generation of a basal epithelium able to wholly replace the epidermis of the wound. A broad range of products derived from fibroin and sericin from Bombyx mori silk are used to stimulate wound healing. However, so far the molecular mechanism underlying this phenomenon has not been elucidated. The aim of this work was to determine the molecular basis underlying wound healing properties of silk proteins using a cell model. For this purpose, we assayed fibroin and sericin in a wound healing scratch assay using MDA-MB-231 and Mv1Lu cells. Both proteins stimulated cell migration. Furthermore, treatment with sericin and fibroin involved key factors of the wound healing process such as upregulation of c-Jun and c-Jun protein phosphorylation. Moreover, fibroin and sericin stimulated the phosphorylation of ERK 1/2 and JNK 1/2 kinases. All these experiments were done in the presence of specific inhibitors for some of the cell signalling pathways referred above. The obtained results revealed that MEK, JNK and PI3K pathways are involved in fibroin and sericin stimulated cells migration. Inhibition of these three kinases prevented c-Jun upregulation and phosphorylation by fibroin or sericin. Fibroin and sericin were tested in the human keratinocyte cell line, HaCaT, with similar results. Altogether, our results showed that fibroin and sericin initiate cell migration by activating the MEK, JNK and PI3K signalling pathways ending in c-Jun activation.

  14. Accelerated healing of full-thickness wounds by genipin-crosslinked silk sericin/PVA scaffolds.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Silk sericin has recently been studied for its advantageous biological properties, including its ability to promote wound healing. This study developed a delivery system to accelerate the healing of full-thickness wounds. Three-dimensional scaffolds were fabricated from poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), glycerin (as a plasticizer) and genipin (as a crosslinking agent), with or without sericin. The physical and biological properties of the genipin-crosslinked sericin/PVA scaffolds were investigated and compared with those of scaffolds without sericin. The genipin-crosslinked sericin/PVA scaffolds exhibited a higher compressive modulus and greater swelling in water than the scaffolds without sericin. Sericin also exhibited controlled release from the scaffolds. The genipin-crosslinked sericin/PVA scaffolds promoted the attachment and proliferation of L929 mouse fibroblasts. After application to full-thickness rat wounds, the wounds treated with genipin-crosslinked sericin/PVA scaffolds showed a significantly greater reduction in wound size, collagen formation and epithelialization compared with the control scaffolds without sericin but lower numbers of macrophages and multinucleated giant cells. These results indicate that the delivery of sericin from the novel genipin-crosslinked scaffolds efficiently healed the wound. Therefore, these genipin-crosslinked sericin/PVA scaffolds represent a promising candidate for the accelerated healing of full-thickness wounds.

  15. Mineralization and biocompatibility of Antheraea pernyi (A. pernyi) silk sericin film for potential bone tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Yang, Mingying; Mandal, Namita; Shuai, Yajun; Zhou, Guanshan; Min, Sijia; Zhu, Liangjun

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the mineralization of Antheraea pernyi (A. pernyi) silk sericin. Mineralization of A. pernyi sericin was performed by alternative soaking in calcium and phosphate. The inhibition of precipitation of calcium carbonate and von Kossa staining on A. pernyi sericin were tested, and the corresponding results prove that A. pernyi sericin has Ca binding activity. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation shows that spherical crystals could be nucleated on the A. pernyi sericin film. These crystals were confirmed to be hydroxyapatite according to FT-IR and XRD spectra, indicating that A. pernyi sericin is capable of mineralization. In addition, cell adhesion and growth activity assay demonstrate that A. pernyi sericin shows excellent biocompatibility for the growth of MG-63 cells.

  16. 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.

  17. Refining hot-water extracted silk sericin by ethanol-induced precipitation.

    PubMed

    Oh, Hanjin; Lee, Ji Young; Kim, Moo Kon; Um, In Chul; Lee, Ki Hoon

    2011-01-01

    In order to improve some inherent disadvantages in the mechanical properties of silk sericin (SS), we prepared ethanol-precipitated sericin (EpSS) by adding ethanol into hot-water extracted sericin (HS) solution. EpSS had higher viscosity compared to HS and it was due to the differences in their molecular weight distribution (MWD). The different MWD of EpSS was due to the different solubility of sericin molecules at various concentrations of ethanol, and the amino acid composition of EpSS showed that the more hydrophobic sericin is precipitated more readily in the presence of ethanol. The secondary structure of sericin is also changed from a random coil to β-sheet structure when the amount of ethanol added is high enough. The DSC analysis also revealed that EpSSs has a more compact structure. Finally, when beads were prepared from EpSS, they had enhanced compressive strength compared to those from HS.

  18. 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.

  19. Preparation of Silk Sericin/Lignin Blend Beads for the Removal of Hexavalent Chromium Ions.

    PubMed

    Kwak, Hyo Won; Shin, Munju; Yun, Haesung; Lee, Ki Hoon

    2016-09-02

    In the present study, novel adsorbents having high adsorption capability and reusability were prepared using agricultural by-products: silk sericin and lignin. Silk sericin and lignin blend beads were successfully prepared using simple coagulation methods for the removal of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) from aqueous solution. A 1 M lithium chloride (LiCl)/dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) solvent system successfully dissolved both sericin and lignin and had sufficient viscosity for bead preparation. Compared to the conventional sericin bead adsorbent, sericin/lignin blend beads showed higher Cr(VI) adsorption capacity. The amount of lignin added to the adsorbent greatly affected the adsorption capacity of the beads, and a 50:50 sericin/lignin blend ratio was optimal. Adsorption behavior followed the Freundlich isotherm, which means the adsorption of Cr(VI) occurred on the heterogeneous surface. Cr(VI) adsorption capability increased with temperature because of thermodynamic-kinetic effects. In addition, over 90% of Cr(VI) ions were recovered from the Cr(VI) adsorbed sericin/lignin beads in a 1 M NaOH solution. The adsorption-desorption recycling process was stable for more than seven cycles, and the recycling efficiency was 82%. It is expected that the sericin/lignin beads could be successfully applied in wastewater remediation especially for hazardous Cr(VI) ions in industrial wastewater.

  20. Preparation of Silk Sericin/Lignin Blend Beads for the Removal of Hexavalent Chromium Ions

    PubMed Central

    Kwak, Hyo Won; Shin, Munju; Yun, Haesung; Lee, Ki Hoon

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, novel adsorbents having high adsorption capability and reusability were prepared using agricultural by-products: silk sericin and lignin. Silk sericin and lignin blend beads were successfully prepared using simple coagulation methods for the removal of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) from aqueous solution. A 1 M lithium chloride (LiCl)/dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) solvent system successfully dissolved both sericin and lignin and had sufficient viscosity for bead preparation. Compared to the conventional sericin bead adsorbent, sericin/lignin blend beads showed higher Cr(VI) adsorption capacity. The amount of lignin added to the adsorbent greatly affected the adsorption capacity of the beads, and a 50:50 sericin/lignin blend ratio was optimal. Adsorption behavior followed the Freundlich isotherm, which means the adsorption of Cr(VI) occurred on the heterogeneous surface. Cr(VI) adsorption capability increased with temperature because of thermodynamic-kinetic effects. In addition, over 90% of Cr(VI) ions were recovered from the Cr(VI) adsorbed sericin/lignin beads in a 1 M NaOH solution. The adsorption-desorption recycling process was stable for more than seven cycles, and the recycling efficiency was 82%. It is expected that the sericin/lignin beads could be successfully applied in wastewater remediation especially for hazardous Cr(VI) ions in industrial wastewater. PMID:27598142

  1. 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.

  2. Antheraea pernyi silk sericin mediating biomimetic nucleation and growth of hydroxylapatite crystals promoting bone matrix formation.

    PubMed

    Jiayao, Zhuang; Guanshan, Zhou; Jinchi, Zhang; Yuyin, Chen; Yongqiang, Zhu

    2017-03-01

    Bone biomineralization is well-regulated processes mediated by extracellular matrix proteins. The materials that can direct nucleation of hydroxylapatite (HAp) crystals and assembly of well-structured material-minerals complex are the key to mimicking the natural mineralization. This study used sericin from Antheraea pernyi (A.pernyi), non-mulberry silkworm cocoon as template to mediate nucleation of HAp crystals. Here we find out that AS (Antheraea pernyi sericin) can nucleate the formation HAp crystals in simulated body fluid verified by XRD and FTIR observations. The HAp crystals are organized into nano-rods oriented with c-axis preferentially parallel to the long axis of AS due to hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interaction and finally aggregated into HAp globule. The cell culture of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) showed that the HAp crystals mediated by AS not only stimulate cell adhesion and proliferation but also promote 0f osteogenic differentiation, suggesting that the resultant mineralized AS biomaterial has potential in promoting bone formation. Thus our work will provide significant implication on biomineralization of A. pernyi silk sericin as a potential scaffold for tissue engineering.

  3. 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.

  4. Bioconjugation of neutral protease on silk fibroin nanoparticles and application in the controllable hydrolysis of sericin.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lin; Hu, Ren-Ping; Wang, Hai-Yan; Wang, Yuan-Jing; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2011-09-28

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin is a protein-based macromolecular biopolymer with remarkable biocompatibility. Silk fiber was degummed and subjected to a series of treatments, including dissolution and dialysis, to yield an aqueous solution of silk fibroin, which was introduced rapidly into excess acetone to produce crystalline silk fibroin nanoparticles (SFNs). The SFNs were conjugated covalently with a neutral protease (NP) using glutaraldehyde as the cross-linking reagent. The objective of this study was to determine the optimal conditions for biosynthesis of the SFN-NP bioconjugates. First, SFN-NP was obtained by covalent cross-linking of SFN and NP at an SFN/NP ratio of 5-8 mg:1 IU with 0.75% glutaraldehyde for 6 h at 25 °C. When adding 50 IU of the enzyme, the residual activity of biological conjugates was increased to 31.45%. Studies on the enzyme activity of SFN-NP and its kinetics showed that the stability of SFN-NP bioconjugates was greater than that of the free enzyme, the optimum reactive temperature range was increased by 5-10 °C, and the optimum pH value range was increased to 6.5-8.0. Furthermore, the thermal stability was improved to some extent. A controlled hydrolysis test using the poorly water-soluble protein sericin as a substrate and SFN-NP as the enzyme showed that the longer the reaction time (within 1 h), the smaller the molecular mass (<30 kDa) is of the sericin peptide produced. The SFN-NP bioconjugate is easily recovered by centrifugation and can be used repeatedly. The highly efficient processing technology and the use of SFN as a novel vector for a protease has great potential for research and the development of food processing.

  5. Silk sericin/polyacrylamide in situ forming hydrogels for dermal reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Kundu, Banani; Kundu, Subhas C

    2012-10-01

    In situ forming tissue sealants are advantageous due to ease in application, complete coverage of defect site and assured comfort levels to patients. The interconnected three-dimensional hydrophilic networks perfectly manage typical dermal wounds by suitably scaffolding skin fibroblast, diffusing the nutrients, therapeutics and exudates while still maintaining an adequately moist environment. We evaluate the cell homing ability of semi-interpenetrating non-mulberry tropical tasar silk sericin/polyacrylamide hydrophilic network with a keen understanding of its network characteristics and correlation of protein concentration with the performance as cell scaffold. Interconnectivity of porous networks observed through scanning electron micrograph revealed pore sizes ranging from 23 to 52 μm. The enhanced β-sheet content with the increasing sericin concentration in far red spectroscopy study supported their corresponding improved compressive strength. These semi-interpenetrating networks were found to possess a maximum fluid uptake of 112% of its weight, hence preventing the accumulation of exudates at the wound area. The present systems appear to possess characteristics like rapid gelation (~5min) at 37 °C, 98% porosity enabling the migration of fibroblasts during healing (observed through confocal and scanning electron micrographs), cell adhesion together with the absence of any cyto-toxic effect suggesting its potential as in situ tissue sealants. The compressive strength up to 61 kPa ensured ease in handling even when wet. The results prove the suitability to use non-mulberry tasar cocoon silk sericin/polyacrylamide semi-interpenetrating network as a reconstructive dermal sealant.

  6. Biomechanics of Spider Silks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-02

    observed attachment to the sericin coat (sem picture above) and slippage of the silk fibroin fibres. Hence it appears that choosing silk cocoon thin...several thick layers of sericin coating 9,10. Both fibroin and sericin are proteins, but of very different composition and properties 𔃺. The two brins...produced and coated in separate ducts, are pressed together while still inside the animal; the sericin hardens in air and typically on the cocoon to

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The characterization of protein release from sericin film in the presence of an enzyme: towards fibroblast growth factor-2 delivery.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Ayumu; Naganuma, Tsuyoshi; Kanazawa, Takanori; Takashima, Yuuki; Yamada, Masaki; Okada, Hiroaki

    2011-07-29

    Aqueous preparations of silk protein (sericin) films were prepared to evaluate their biodegradation properties. In the absence of trypsin, sericin film swelled rapidly, kept its shape, and remained unaltered for 28 days or longer due to form β-sheet structures. In the presence of trypsin, sericin film gradually degraded; since the rate depended on the concentration of trypsin, the films likely underwent enzymatic hydrolysis. Sericin film incorporating the model protein drug fluorescein isothiocyanate-albumin (FA) also gradually degraded in the presence of trypsin and resulted in the sustained release of FA for 2 weeks or longer; in contrast, FA release was quite slow in the absence of trypsin. It is expected that sericin film has potential as a biodegradable and drug-releasing carrier. To evaluate the practical applicability of sericin film for the repair of defective tissues, fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) was incorporated into sericin films and the films were implanted on skull defects in rats. Whereas FGF-2 release was suppressed in the absence of trypsin in vitro, it appears that FGF-2, immobilized by ionic interactions between sericin and FGF-2, can be sustained-released in vivo from films incorporating 2500 or 250 ng of FGF-2 to support the growth of tissue around wounds.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Preliminary characterization of genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/poly(vinyl alcohol) films as two-dimensional wound dressings for the healing of superficial wounds.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. The influence of silkworm species on cellular interactions with novel PVA/silk sericin hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Lim, Khoon S; Kundu, Joydip; Reeves, April; Poole-Warren, Laura A; Kundu, Subhas C; Martens, Penny J

    2012-03-01

    Sericin peptides and PVA are chemically modified with methacrylate groups to produce a covalent PVA/sericin hydrogel. Preservation of the sericin bioactivity following methacrylation is confirmed, and PVA/sericin hydrogels are fabricated for both B. mori and A. mylitta sericin. Cell adhesion studies confirm the preservation of sericin bioactivity post incorporation in PVA gels. PVA/A. mylitta gels are observed to facilitate cell adhesion to a significantly greater degree than PVA/B. mori gels. Overall, the incorporation of sericin does not alter the physical properties of the PVA hydrogels but does result in significantly improved cellular interaction, particularly from A. mylitta gels.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mechanical Properties of Robust Ultrathin Silk Fibroin Films

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    extracted from the cocoons prior to sericin removal in order to avoid contamination of the fibroin protein. Silk fibers were prepared as previously...the glue-like sericin proteins. The extracted silk fibroin was dissolved in 9.3 M LiBr solution at 60 °C for 4 h, yielding a 20 wt % solution. The

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Potential of 2D crosslinked sericin membranes with improved biostability for skin tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Nayak, Sunita; Talukdar, Sarmistha; Kundu, Subhas C

    2012-03-01

    Silk sericin protein is a natural, hydrophilic, macromolecular glycoprotein mainly synthesized in the middle silk gland of the silkworm. It constitutes 25-30% of the silk cocoon. Sericin proteins have antioxidant, antimicrobial, UV-resistant properties, promote wound healing and support cell proliferation even in serum-free media. Most of the sericin is discarded as waste in silk processing industries. This study aims at improving the mechanical strength and stability of sericin extracted from the silk cocoons during processing and utilize it as a biocompatible natural biopolymer in biomedical applications. Crosslinked sericin membranes, from the cocoon of non-mulberry tropical silkworm, Antheraea mylitta, were prepared using gluteraldehyde as the crosslinking agent. Physical and structural characteristics of the membranes were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction along with swelling and degradation studies. The secondary structure of the membrane indicates that crosslinking provides a more integrated structure that significantly improves the stability and mechanical strength of the membranes. In vitro cytocompatibility of the membranes was evaluated by MTT assay and cell cycle analysis of feline fibroblast cells. The adherence, growth and proliferation patterns of cells on membranes were assessed by confocal microscopy, which demonstrated that the latter is non-toxic and supports cell growth. Cell cycle analyses indicate cytocompatibility with normal cell cycle pattern. This study reveals that silk sericin protein can be used as a biocompatible natural biopolymer for various applications in the biomedical field.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Processing, Properties and Morphology of Optical Limiting Silk Membranes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-11

    films of regenerated B. Mori silk doped with GFP Cocoons were degummed to remove the glue-like sericin proteins. Degumming was accomplished by boiling...just before spinning and rinsed with deionized water. The membrane was removed from the gland and the sericin was washed from the surface of the

  14. Spider Silk Proteins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-04-18

    ampullate and cocoon silks of both Nephila clavip~s and Araneus gemmoides using standardized mechanical testing methods. We found the silks to exceed the...Chem, Res, 25: 392-397. (1992) Hinman, M.B. and Lewis, R.V. Isolation of a Clone Encoding a Second Dragline Silk Fibroin, Nephila Clavipes Dragline

  15. 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

  16. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  17. Physical and biological characterization of sericin-loaded copolymer liposomes stabilized by polyvinyl alcohol.

    PubMed

    Suktham, Kunat; Koobkokkruad, Thongchai; Saesoo, Somsak; Saengkrit, Nattika; Surassmo, Suvimol

    2016-12-01

    Sericin protein (SP) is widely used as a nutrient biomaterial for biomedical and cosmeceutical applications although it shows low stability to heat and light. To overcome these problems and add value to wastewater from the silk industry, sericin protein was recovered as sericin-loaded copolymer-liposomes (SP-PVA-LP), prepared through thin film hydration. The size and morphology of the liposomes were investigated using dynamic light scattering (DLS), and electron microscopy (SEM and TEM). The particle size, liposome surface morphology and encapsulation efficiency of SP were dependent on PVA concentration. The hydrodynamic size of the nanoparticles was between 200 and 400nm, with the degree of negative charge contingent on sericin loading. SEM and TEM images confirmed the mono-dispersity, and spherical nature of the particles, with FTIR measurements confirming the presence of surface bound PVA. Exposure of liposomes to 500ppm sericin highlighted a dependence of encapsulation efficiency on PVA content; 2% surface PVA proved the optimal level for sericin loading. Cytotoxicity and viability assays revealed that SP-loaded surface modified liposomes promote cellular attachment and proliferation of human skin fibroblasts without adverse toxic effects. Surface modified copolymer liposomes show high performance in maintaining structural stability, and promoting enhancements in the solubility and bio-viability of sericin. Taken together, these biocompatible constructs allow for effective controlled release, augmenting sericin activity and resulting in effective drug delivery systems.

  18. Evaluation of sericin/collagen membranes as prospective wound dressing biomaterial.

    PubMed

    Akturk, Omer; Tezcaner, Aysen; Bilgili, Hasan; Deveci, M Salih; Gecit, M Rusen; Keskin, Dilek

    2011-09-01

    Sericin, a silk protein, has high potential for use in biomedical applications. In this study, wound dressing membranes of Sericin (S) and Collagen (C) were prepared by glutaraldehyde cross-linking at S/C; 2:1, 1:1, 1:2, and 0:1 weight ratios. They were stable in water for 4 weeks. However, increasing the proportion of sericin had decreasing effect on the membrane stability. Water swelling property of membranes was enhanced with sericin. The highest water swelling was obtained in 1:1 group (9.06 g/g), but increasing collagen or sericin content in the membranes had a diminishing effect. Highest water vapor transmission rate was obtained with 1:2 group (1013.80 g/m(2)/day). Oxygen permeability results showed that 1:2 (7.67 mg/L) and 2:1 (7.85 mg/L) S/C groups were better than the other groups. While sericin decreased the tensile strength and elongation of membranes, it increased modulus. Sericin also increased brittleness of membranes, but their UTS range (24.93-44.92 MPa) was still suitable for a wound dressing. Membranes were not penetrable to microorganisms. Cytotoxicity studies showed that fibroblasts and keratinocytes attached and gained their characteristic morphologies. They also proliferated on membranes significantly. After 1 week of subcutaneous implantation, a fibrous capsule formed around all membranes with an acute inflammation. Sericin containing membranes showed signs of degradation (at 2nd week), while collagen only membranes remained largely intact. Eventually, sericin containing membranes degraded in 3 weeks with moderate inflammatory response. Overall results suggest that sericin/collagen membranes would be favorable as wound dressing material when sericin ratio is less than or equal to the collagen component.

  19. Effect of sericin on preimplantation development of bovine embryos cultured individually.

    PubMed

    Isobe, T; Ikebata, Y; Onitsuka, T; Wittayarat, M; Sato, Y; Taniguchi, M; Otoi, T

    2012-09-01

    The silk protein sericin has been identified as a potent antioxidant in mammalian cells. This study was conducted to examine the effects of sericin on preimplantation development and quality of bovine embryos cultured individually. When two-cell-stage embryos were cultured individually for 7 days in CR1aa medium supplemented with 0, 0.1, 0.5, or 1% sericin, rates of total blastocyst formation and development to expanded blastocysts from embryos cultured with 0.5% sericin were higher (P < 0.05) than those from embryos cultured with 0 or 1% sericin. When embryos were cultured individually for 7 days in the CR1aa medium supplemented with 0 or 0.5% sericin under two oxidative stress conditions (50 or 100 μm H(2)O(2)), the addition of sericin significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of embryos exposed to 100 μm H(2)O(2). However, the protective effect of sericin was not observed in development of embryos exposed to 50 μm H(2)O(2). When embryos were exposed to 100 μm H(2)O(2) during culture, the DNA fragmentation index of total blastocysts from embryos cultured with 0.5% sericin was lower than blastocysts derived from embryos cultured without sericin (4.4 vs. 6.8%; P < 0.01). In conclusion, the addition of 0.5% sericin to in vitro culture medium improved preimplantation development and quality of bovine embryos cultured individually by preventing oxidative stress.

  20. Systematic evaluation of sericin protein as a substitute for fetal bovine serum in cell culture

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Liyuan; Wang, Jinhuan; Duan, Shengchang; Chen, Lei; Xiang, Hui; Dong, Yang; Wang, Wen

    2016-01-01

    Fetal bovine serum (FBS) shows obvious deficiencies in cell culture, such as low batch to batch consistency, adventitious biological contaminant risk, and high cost, which severely limit the development of the cell culture industry. Sericin protein derived from the silkworm cocoon has become increasingly popular due to its diverse and beneficial cell culture characteristics. However, systematic evaluation of sericin as a substitute for FBS in cell culture medium remains limited. In this study, we conducted cellular morphological, physiological, and transcriptomic evaluation on three widely used mammalian cells. Compared with cells cultured in the control, those cultured in sericin-substitute medium showed similar cellular morphology, similar or higher cellular overall survival, lower population doubling time (PDT), and a higher percentage of S-phase with similar G2/G1 ratio, indicating comparable or better cell growth and proliferation. At the transcriptomic level, differentially expressed genes between cells in the two media were mainly enriched in function and biological processes related to cell growth and proliferation, reflecting that genes were activated to facilitate cell growth and proliferation. The results of this study suggest that cells cultured in sericin-substituted medium perform as well as, or even better than, those cultured in FBS-containing medium. PMID:27531556

  1. 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.

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

  3. Designing Spider Silk Proteins for Materials Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-10-28

    spider silk. Accomplishments: YEAR 1. Bacteria were genetically engineered to produce two spider silk protein variants composed of basic repeat...silk proteins. In another development with Nexia we have purchased most of the founder goats they produced in order to protect the genetics they...Nexia produced in order to protect the genetics they developed. After a 9 month odyssey of bureaucratic hassles we will brought the goats into othe

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2015-07-24

    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.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Barnacles adhere by producing a mixture of cement proteins (CPs) that organize into a permanently bonded layer displayed as nanoscale fibers. These cement proteins share no homology with any other marine adhesives, and a common sequence-basis that defines how nanostructures function as adhesives remains undiscovered. Here we demonstrate that a significant unidentified portion of acorn barnacle cement is comprised of low complexity proteins; they are organized into repetitive sequence blocks and found to maintain homology to silk motifs. Proteomic analysis of aggregate bands from PAGE gels reveal an abundance of Gly/Ala/Ser/Thr repeats exemplified by a prominent, previously unidentified, 43 kDa protein in the solubilized adhesive. Low complexity regions found throughout the cement proteome, as well as multiple lysyl oxidases and peroxidases, establish homology with silk-associated materials such as fibroin, silk gum sericin, and pyriform spidroins from spider silk. Distinct primary structures defined by homologous domains shed light on how barnacles use low complexity in nanofibers to enable adhesion, and serves as a starting point for unraveling the molecular architecture of a robust and unique class of adhesive nanostructures. PMID:27824121

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-08

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

  10. Single honeybee silk protein mimics properties of multi-protein silk.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-02

    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.

  11. Dietary sericin enhances epidermal levels of glucosylceramides and ceramides with up-regulating protein expressions of glucosylceramide synthase, β-glucocerebrosidase and acidic sphingomyelinase in NC/Nga mice.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyunae; Lee, Jongsun; Cho, Yunhi

    2012-12-01

    We have previously reported that dietary sericin improves epidermal dryness with the increased total Ceramide (Cer) in NC/Nga mice, an animal model of atopic dermatitis (AD). In this study, we hypothesized that the increased level of total Cer induced by dietary sericin would be related to the altered metabolism of glucosylceramide (GlcCer) and sphingomyelin (SM), major precursors of Cer generation. NC/Nga mice were fed a control diet (group CA: atopic control) or diets with 1% silk protein, either sericin (group S) or fibroin (group F) for 10 weeks. In the epidermis of group CA, total Cer (including Cer1, 2, 3/4 and 6) and all GlcCer species were reduced; these levels in group S were increased to levels similar to or higher than in the normal control group of BALB/c mice (group C). In addition, the protein expressions, but not mRNA expressions, of GlcCer synthase, β-glucocerebrosidase, and acidic sphingomyelinase, enzymes for GlcCer synthesis, GlcCer and SM hydrolysis, respectively, were highly increased in group S. The epidermal levels of total Cer (including Cer2, 3/4, and 6) and all GlcCer species and of these enzyme proteins in group F were lower than in group S. Notably, alterations in total SM, SM1, SM3, and SM synthase 1, which were increased in group CA, were not significant between groups S and F. Cer5 and SM2 were not altered among groups. Dietary sericin enhanced the epidermal levels of all GlcCer and most Cer species with up-regulating protein expressions of GlcCer synthase, β-glucocerebrosidase, and acidic sphingomyelinase.

  12. Biocompatibility of silk-tropoelastin protein polymers.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hongjuan; Wise, Steven G; Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Kaplan, David L; Bilek, Marcela M M; Weiss, Anthony S; Fei, Jian; Bao, Shisan

    2014-06-01

    Blended polymers are used extensively in many critical medical conditions as components of permanently implanted devices. Hybrid protein polymers containing recombinant human tropoelastin and silk fibroin have favorable characteristics as implantable scaffolds in terms of mechanical and biological properties. A firefly luciferase transgenic mouse model was used to monitor real-time IL-1β production localized to the site of biomaterial implantation, to observe the acute immune response (up to 5 days) to these materials. Significantly reduced levels of IL-1β were observed in silk/tropoelastin implants compared to control silk only implants at 1, 2 and 3 days post-surgery. Subsequently, mice (n = 9) were euthanized at 10 days (10D) and 3 weeks (3W) post-surgery to assess inflammatory cell infiltration and collagen deposition, using histopathology and immunohistochemistry. Compared to control silk only implants, fewer total inflammatory cells were found in silk/tropoelastin (∼29% at 10D and ∼47% at 3W). Also fewer ingrowth cells (∼42% at 10D and ∼63% at 3W) were observed within the silk/tropoelastin implants compared to silk only. Lower IL-6 (∼52%) and MMP-2 (∼84%) (pro-inflammatory) were also detected for silk/tropoelastin at 10 days. After 3 weeks implantation, reduced neovascularization (vWF ∼43%), fewer proliferating cells (Ki67 ∼58% and PCNA ∼41%), macrophages (F4/80 ∼64%), lower IL-10 (∼47%) and MMP-9 (∼55%) were also observed in silk/tropoelastin materials compared to silk only. Together, these results suggest that incorporation of tropoelastin improves on the established biocompatibility of silk fibroin, uniquely measured here as a reduced foreign body inflammatory response.

  13. 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.

  14. Consumption of a resistant protein, sericin, elevates fecal immunoglobulin A, mucins, and cecal organic acids in rats fed a high-fat diet.

    PubMed

    Okazaki, Yukako; Tomotake, Hiroyuki; Tsujimoto, Kazuhisa; Sasaki, Masahiro; Kato, Norihisa

    2011-11-01

    We previously reported that consumption of a resistant protein, sericin, reduces colon tumorigenesis, constipation, and serum TG in rodents. The present study was conducted to elucidate the effects of dietary sericin on the intestinal luminal environment in rats fed a high-fat (HF) diet. Rats were fed 300 or 50 g/kg of beef tallow with or without 40 g/kg sericin, a protein purified from cocoons of Bombix mori, for 3 wk. Intestinal luminal variables, including IgA (index of intestinal immune function), mucins (index of barrier function), organic acids, microflora, and secondary bile acids, were measured. Dietary sericin markedly elevated fecal IgA in the HF diet group (3-fold, P < 0.05) but not in the low-fat (LF) diet group. Fecal mucin levels were elevated by sericin intake in the HF diet group (P < 0.05). Cecal organic acids, including acetate, propionate, n-butyrate, and succinate, were significantly lower in the HF diet group compared with the LF diet group. Dietary sericin significantly elevated cecal acetate and n-butyrate in the HF diet group but not in the LF diet group. Compared with the LF diet, the HF diet significantly increased serum TG in the untreated group but not in those fed sericin. The HF diet increased lower density lipoprotein (VLDL + IDL + LDL) cholesterol and it was reduced by sericin intake (P < 0.05). There was an inverse correlation between serum TG and cecal acetate (Spearman rank correlation coefficient = -0.63; P < 0.001). The profile of microflora in cecal digesta and fecal secondary bile acids (a risk factor for colon cancer) did not differ between the HF diet and HF diet with sericin groups. These results suggest a novel and favorable effect of sericin on colon health by modulating intestinal immune and barrier functions and fermentation in rats fed a HF diet.

  15. Replacement of serum with sericin in in vitro maturation and culture media: Effects on embryonic developmental competence of Sanjabi sheep embryo during breeding season.

    PubMed

    Hajarian, H; Aghaz, F; Karami Shabankareh, H

    2017-04-01

    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, as a serum replacement, in maturation and culture media on the meiotic competence of oocytes or in vitro culture of ovine embryos. In experiment 1, oocytes were matured in the presence of 10% fetal ovine serum (FOS), 0.1% polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and different concentrations of sericin (0.1, 0.5, 1 and 2.5%), for 24 h. The addition of 0.5% sericin to maturation medium increased the rates of maturation to metaphase II of oocytes compared with those in cultures with 0.1% PVA. Following fertilization, blastocyst development was higher for oocytes matured with 0.5% of sericin compared with 0.1% PVA. However, the rates of nuclear maturation of oocytes and blastocyst development under FOS and 0.5% sericin were not significantly different. In experiment 2, presumptive zygotes were cultured in the presence of 10% FOS, 0.1% PVA and different concentrations of sericin (0.1, 0.5, 1 and 2.5%), for 7-8 days. The addition of 0.5% sericin to culture medium increased the blastocyst rate compared with those in cultures without sericin or addition of 0.1% PVA and 10% FOS. These results indicate the feasibility of sericin as an alternative protein supplement for IVM and IVC in ovine oocytes and zygotes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Silkworm Sericin: Properties and Biomedical Applications.

    PubMed

    Kunz, Regina Inês; Brancalhão, Rose Meire Costa; Ribeiro, Lucinéia de Fátima Chasko; Natali, Maria Raquel Marçal

    2016-01-01

    Silk sericin is a natural polymer produced by silkworm, Bombyx mori, which surrounds and keeps together two fibroin filaments in silk thread used in the cocoon. The recovery and reuse of sericin usually discarded by the textile industry not only minimizes environmental issues but also has a high scientific and commercial value. The physicochemical properties of the molecule are responsible for numerous applications in biomedicine and are influenced by the extraction method and silkworm lineage, which can lead to variations in molecular weight and amino acid concentration of sericin. The presence of highly hydrophobic amino acids and its antioxidant potential make it possible for sericin to be applied in the food and cosmetic industry. The moisturizing power allows indications as a therapeutic agent for wound healing, stimulating cell proliferation, protection against ultraviolet radiation, and formulating creams and shampoos. The antioxidant activity associated with low digestibility of sericin that expands the application in the medical field, such as antitumour, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent, anticoagulant, acts in colon health, improving constipation and protects the body from obesity through improved plasma lipid profile. In addition, the properties of sericin allow its application as a culture medium and cryopreservation, in tissue engineering and for drug delivery, demonstrating its effective use, as an important biomaterial.

  19. Silkworm Sericin: Properties and Biomedical Applications

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Lucinéia de Fátima Chasko

    2016-01-01

    Silk sericin is a natural polymer produced by silkworm, Bombyx mori, which surrounds and keeps together two fibroin filaments in silk thread used in the cocoon. The recovery and reuse of sericin usually discarded by the textile industry not only minimizes environmental issues but also has a high scientific and commercial value. The physicochemical properties of the molecule are responsible for numerous applications in biomedicine and are influenced by the extraction method and silkworm lineage, which can lead to variations in molecular weight and amino acid concentration of sericin. The presence of highly hydrophobic amino acids and its antioxidant potential make it possible for sericin to be applied in the food and cosmetic industry. The moisturizing power allows indications as a therapeutic agent for wound healing, stimulating cell proliferation, protection against ultraviolet radiation, and formulating creams and shampoos. The antioxidant activity associated with low digestibility of sericin that expands the application in the medical field, such as antitumour, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent, anticoagulant, acts in colon health, improving constipation and protects the body from obesity through improved plasma lipid profile. In addition, the properties of sericin allow its application as a culture medium and cryopreservation, in tissue engineering and for drug delivery, demonstrating its effective use, as an important biomaterial. PMID:27965981

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, Amanda

    2015-11-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Production And Characterization Of Synthetic Spider Silks Based On Nephila Clavipes Major Ampullate Silk Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Bo

    The extraordinary mechanical properties of orb-weaving spider silks have served spiders for over 400 million years. However, only in the late 20th century did we start to understand the molecular nature of spider silk that contributes to its incredible properties as biomaterials. Among all seven types of spider silks, major ampullate silk from typical orb-weaving spiders is the toughest of all, it consists of primarily two proteins: MaSp1 and MaSp2. Variable ratios and conserved motifs of these two proteins in all the native spider silks demonstrate the significant role of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in controlling the mechanical properties of the fiber. The amino acid sequences of the orb weaving spider silk proteins have remained almost unchanged for more than 100 million years. Interestingly, MaSp1 and MaSp2 are the only two components in all studied dragline silk fibers from these spiders. The mechanical properties of native dragline silk vary slightly between species, which are believed to relate to the ratio of MaSp1 to MaSp2 in the silk. Both of these facts clearly indicate the importance of these two proteins to the mechanical properties of the fiber. Various types of synthetic spider silk fibers have been produced and studied in an effort to mass-produce man-made fibers with qualities comparable to native spider silk. To investigate the roles of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in silk fiber, synthetic MaSp1 (major abundant protein in Nephila clavipes major ampullate silks) only fibers, MaSp1/MaSp2 protein mixture fibers and chimeric protein fibers with both MaSp1 and MaSp2 sequence features have been produced and tested for mechanical properties. Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance was used to characterize the structure of silk fibers and reveal the relation between fiber spatial structure and mechanical properties.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-08

    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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-14

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  10. Hypocholesterolemic effect of sericin-derived oligopeptides in high-cholesterol fed rats.

    PubMed

    Lapphanichayakool, Phakhamon; Sutheerawattananonda, Manote; Limpeanchob, Nanteetip

    2017-01-01

    The beneficial effect of cholesterol-lowering proteins and/or peptides derived from various dietary sources is continuously reported. A non-dietary protein from silk cocoon, sericin, has also demonstrated cholesterol-lowering activity. A sericin hydrolysate prepared by enzymatic hydrolysis was also expected to posses this effect. The present study was aimed at investigating the cholesterol-lowering effect of sericin peptides, so called "sericin-derived oligopeptides" (SDO) both in vivo and in vitro. The results showed that SDO at all three doses tested (10 mg kg(-1) day(-1), 50 mg kg(-1) day(-1), and 200 mg kg(-1) day(-1)) suppressed serum total and non-HDL cholesterol levels in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet. Triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol levels were not significantly changed among all groups. The fecal contents of bile acids and cholesterol did not differ among high-cholesterol fed rats. SDO dose-dependently reduced cholesterol solubility in lipid micelles, and inhibited cholesterol uptake in monolayer Caco-2 cells. SDO also effectively bound to all three types of bile salts including taurocholate, deoxytaurocholate, and glycodeoxycholate. Direct interaction with bile acids of SDO may disrupt micellar cholesterol solubility, and subsequently reduce the absorption of dietary cholesterol in intestines. Taking all data together, SDO or sericin peptides exhibit a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels and could be potentially used as a health-promoting dietary supplement or nutraceutical product.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Isolation of a clone encoding a second dragline silk fibroin. Nephila clavipes dragline silk is a two-protein fiber.

    PubMed

    Hinman, M B; Lewis, R V

    1992-09-25

    Spider dragline silk is a unique protein fiber possessing both high tensile strength and high elasticity. A partial cDNA clone for one dragline silk protein (Spidroin 1) was previously isolated. However, the predicted amino acid sequence could not account for the amino acid composition of dragline silk. We have isolated a partial cDNA clone for another dragline silk protein (Spidroin 2), demonstrating that dragline silk is composed of multiple proteins. The amino acid sequence exhibits an entirely different repetitive motif than Spidroin 1. Spidroin 2 is predicted to consist of linked beta-turns in proline-rich regions which alternate with beta-sheet regions composed of polyalanine segments. This structure for Spidroin 2 provides a model for dragline silk structure and function.

  15. Novel silk protein barrier membranes for guided bone regeneration.

    PubMed

    Smeets, Ralf; Knabe, Christine; Kolk, Andreas; Rheinnecker, Michael; Gröbe, Alexander; Heiland, Max; Zehbe, Rolf; Sachse, Manuela; Große-Siestrup, Christian; Wöltje, Michael; Hanken, Henning

    2016-10-12

    This study assesses the biocompatibility of novel silk protein membranes with and without modification, and evaluates their effect on facilitating bone formation and defect repair in guided bone regeneration. Two calvarian bone defects 12 mm in diameter were created in each of a total of 38 rabbits. Four different types of membranes, (silk-, hydroxyapatite-modified silk-, β-TCP-modified silk- and commonly clinically used collagen-membranes) were implanted to cover one of the two defects in each animal. Histologic analysis did not show any adverse tissue reactions in any of the defect sites indicating good biocompatibility of all silk protein membranes. Histomorphometric and histologic evaluation revealed that collagen and β-TCP modified silk membranes supported bone formation (collagen: bone area fraction p = 0.025; significant; β-TCP modified silk membranes bone area fraction: p = 0.24, not significant), guided bone regeneration and defect bridging. The bone, which had formed in defects covered by β-TCP modified silk membranes, displayed a more advanced stage of bone tissue maturation with restoration of the original calvarial bone microarchitecture when compared to the bone which had formed in defects, for which any of the other test membranes were used. Micro-CT analysis did not reveal any differences in the amount of bone formation between defects with and without membranes. In contrast to the collagen membranes, β-TCP modified silk membranes were visible in all cases and may therefore be advantageous for further supporting bone formation beyond 10 weeks and preventing soft tissue ingrowth from the periphery. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2016.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2016-04-22

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J

    2010-12-06

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, M.; Lewis, R. V.

    2006-02-01

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

  20. Solution behavior of synthetic silk peptides and modified recombinant silk proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foo, C. Wong Po; Bini, E.; Huang, J.; Lee, S. Y.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2006-02-01

    Spider dragline silk from Nephila clavipes possesses impressive mechanical properties derived in part from repetitive primary sequence containing polyalanine regions that self-assemble into crystalline β-sheets. In the present study, we have sought to understand more details of redox responses related to conformational transitions of modified silk peptides and a recombinant protein containing encoded methionine triggers. Regardless of the position of the methionine trigger relative to the polyalanine domain, chemical oxidation was rapid and slight increases in the α-helical structure and decreases in the β-sheet and random coil content were observed by CD and FTIR in the assembled silk-like peptides and the recombinant protein. CD results indicated that the decrease in β-sheet and random coil conformations, coupled with the increase in helical content during oxidation, occurred during the first 30 min of the reaction. No further conformational changes occurred after this time and the response was independent of methionine trigger location relative to the penta-alanine domain. These results were confirmed with fluorescence studies. The design, processing and utility of these modified redox triggered silk-like peptides and proteins suggest a range of potential utility, from biomaterials to engineered surface coatings with chemically alterable secondary structure and, thus, properties.

  1. 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.

  2. Enhancing effects of sericin on corneal wound healing in Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty rats as a model of human type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Noriaki; Murao, Takatoshi; Ito, Yoshimasa; Okamoto, Norio; Sasaki, Masahiro

    2009-09-01

    The protein sericin is the main constituent of silk. We investigated the effects of sericin on corneal wound healing in Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats, a model for human type 2 diabetes. Corneal wounds were prepared by removal of the corneal epithelium, and documented using a TRC-50X equipped with a digital camera. Sericin solutions were instilled into the eyes of rats five times a day following corneal abrasion. Plasma glucose and triglycerides were determined using an Accutrend GCT. Cholesterol and insulin were measured using a Cholesterol E-Test Kit and ELISA Insulin Kit, respectively. The plasma levels of glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol and insulin in 38-week-old OLETF rats were significantly higher than in Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats used as normal controls, and the rate of corneal wound healing in OLETF rats was slower than in LETO rats. The corneal wounds of rats instilled with saline showed almost complete healing by 72 h after corneal epithelial abrasion. On the other hand, the corneal healing rate of OLETF rats instilled with 10% sericin solution was significantly higher than that of LETO rats instilled with saline, and the wounds showed almost complete healing at 48 h after abrasion. The corneal healing rate increased with increasing sericin concentration. The present study demonstrates that the corneal wound healing rate in OLETF rat is slower than in LETO rats, and the instillation of sericin solution has a potent effect in promoting wound healing and wound-size reduction in LETO and OLETF rats.

  3. Molecular characterization and evolutionary study of spider tubuliform (eggcase) silk protein.

    PubMed

    Tian, Maozhen; Lewis, Randolph V

    2005-06-07

    As a result of hundreds of millions of years of evolution, orb-web-weaving spiders have developed the use of seven different silks produced by different abdominal glands for various functions. Tubuliform silk (eggcase silk) is unique among these spider silks due to its high serine and very low glycine content. In addition, tubuliform silk is the only silk produced just during a short period of time, the reproductive season, in the spider's life. To understand the molecular characteristics of the proteins composing this silk, we constructed tubuliform-gland-specific cDNA libraries from three different spider families, Nephila clavipes, Argiope aurantia, and Araneus gemmoides. Sequencing of tubuliform silk cDNAs reveals the repetitive architecture of its coding sequence and novel amino acid motifs. The inferred protein, tubuliform spidroin 1 (TuSp1), contains highly homogenized repeats in all three spiders. Amino acid composition comparison of the predicted tubuliform silk protein sequence to tubuliform silk indicates that TuSp1 is the major component of tubuliform silk. Repeat unit alignment of TuSp1 among three spider species shows high sequence conservation among tubuliform silk protein orthologue groups. Sequence comparison among TuSp1 repetitive units within species suggests intragenic concerted evolution, presumably through gene conversion and unequal crossover events. Comparative analysis demonstrates that TuSp1 represents a new orthologue in the spider silk gene family.

  4. Shape Memory Silk Protein Sponges for Minimally Invasive Tissue Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Brown, Joseph E; Moreau, Jodie E; Berman, Alison M; McSherry, Heather J; Coburn, Jeannine M; Schmidt, Daniel F; Kaplan, David L

    2017-01-01

    Porous silk protein scaffolds are designed to display shape memory characteristics and volumetric recovery following compression. Two strategies are utilized to realize shape recovery: addition of hygroscopic plasticizers like glycerol, and tyrosine modifications with hydrophilic sulfonic acid chemistries. Silk sponges are evaluated for recovery following 80% compressive strain, total porosity, pore size distribution, secondary structure development, in vivo volume retention, cell infiltration, and inflammatory responses. Glycerol-modified sponges recover up to 98.3% of their original dimensions following compression, while sulfonic acid/glycerol modified sponges swell in water up to 71 times their compressed volume, well in excess of their original size. Longer silk extraction times (lower silk molecular weights) and higher glycerol concentrations yielded greater flexibility and shape fidelity, with no loss in modulus following compression. Sponges are over 95% porous, with secondary structure analysis indicating glycerol-induced β-sheet physical crosslinking. Tyrosine modifications with sulfonic acid interfere with β-sheet formation. Glycerol-modified sponges exhibit improved rates of cellular infiltration at subcutaneous implant sites with minimal immune response in mice. They also degrade more rapidly than unmodified sponges, a result posited to be cell-mediated. Overall, this work suggests that silk sponges may be useful for minimally invasive deployment in soft tissue augmentation procedures.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2016-01-08

    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.

  7. Characterization of the protein components of Nephila clavipes dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Sponner, Alexander; Schlott, Bernhard; Vollrath, Fritz; Unger, Eberhard; Grosse, Frank; Weisshart, Klaus

    2005-03-29

    Spider silk is predominantly composed of structural proteins called spider fibroins or spidroins. The major ampullate silk that forms the dragline and the cobweb's frame threads of Nephila clavipes is believed to be a composite of two spidroins, designated as Masp 1 and 2. Specific antibodies indeed revealed the presence of Masp 1 and 2 specific epitopes in the spinning dope and solubilized threads. In contrast, sequencing of specific peptides obtained from solubilized threads or gland urea extracts were exclusively homologous to segments of Masp 1, suggesting that this protein is more abundantly expressed in silk than Masp 2. The strength of immunoreactivities corroborated this finding. Polypeptides reactive against both Masp 1 and 2 specific antibodies were found to be expressed in the epithelia of the tail and different gland zones and accumulated in the gland secreted material. Both extracts of gland secretion and solubilized threads showed a ladder of polypeptides in the size range of 260-320 kDa in gel electrophoresis under reducing conditions, whereas gel filtration chromatography yielded molecular masses of the proteins of approximately 300-350 kDa. In the absence of a reducing agent, dimeric forms of the spidroins were observed with estimated molecular masses of 420-480 kDa according to gel electrophoresis and 550-650 kDa as determined by gel filtration chromatography. Depending on the preparation, some silk material readily underwent degradation, and polypeptides down to 20 kDa in size and less were detectable.

  8. 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.

  9. A Materiomics Approach to Spider Silk: Protein Molecules to Webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarakanova, Anna; Buehler, Markus J.

    2012-02-01

    The exceptional mechanical properties of hierarchical self-assembling silk biopolymers have been extensively studied experimentally and in computational investigations. A series of recent studies has been conducted to examine structure-function relationships across different length scales in silk, ranging from atomistic models of protein constituents to the spider web architecture. Silk is an exemplary natural material because its superior properties stem intrinsically from the synergistic cooperativity of hierarchically organized components, rather than from the superior properties of the building blocks themselves. It is composed of beta-sheet nanocrystals interspersed within less orderly amorphous domains, where the underlying molecular structure is dominated by weak hydrogen bonding. Protein chains are organized into fibrils, which pack together to form threads of a spider web. In this article we survey multiscale studies spanning length scales from angstroms to centimeters, from the amino acid sequence defining silk components to an atomistically derived spider web model, with the aim to bridge varying levels of hierarchy to elucidate the mechanisms by which structure at each composite level contributes to organization and material phenomena at subsequent levels. The work demonstrates that the web is a highly adapted system where both material and hierarchical structure across all length scales is critical for its functional properties.

  10. Spider minor ampullate silk proteins are constituents of prey wrapping silk in the cob weaver Latrodectus hesperus.

    PubMed

    La Mattina, Coby; Reza, Ryan; Hu, Xiaoyi; Falick, Arnold M; Vasanthavada, Keshav; McNary, Shannon; Yee, Russell; Vierra, Craig A

    2008-04-22

    Spiders spin high performance fibers with diverse biological functions and mechanical properties. Molecular and biochemical studies of spider prey wrapping silks have revealed the presence of the aciniform silk fibroin AcSp1-like. In our studies we demonstrate the presence of a second distinct polypeptide present within prey wrapping silk. Combining matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry and reverse genetics, we have isolated a novel gene called MiSp1-like and demonstrate that its protein product is a constituent of prey wrap silks from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. BLAST searches of the NCBInr protein database using the amino acid sequence of MiSp1-like revealed similarity to the conserved C-terminal domain of silk family members. In particular, MiSp1-like showed the highest degree of sequence similarity to the nonrepetitive C-termini of published orb-weaver minor ampullate fibroin molecules. Analysis of the internal amino acid sequence of the black widow MiSp1-like revealed polyalanine stretches interrupted by glycine residues and glycine-alanine couplets within MiSp1-like as well as repeats of the heptameric sequence AGGYGQG. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis demonstrates that the MiSp1-like gene displays a minor ampullate gland-restricted pattern of expression. Furthermore, amino acid composition analysis, coupled with scanning electron microscopy of raw wrapping silk, supports the assertion that minor ampullate silks are important constituents of black widow spider prey wrap silk. Collectively, our findings provide direct molecular evidence for the involvement of minor ampullate fibroins in swathing silks and suggest composite materials play an important role in the wrap attack process for cob-weavers.

  11. Engineering aqueous fiber assembly into silk-elastin-like protein polymers.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Like; Jiang, Linan; Teng, Weibing; Cappello, Joseph; Zohar, Yitshak; Wu, Xiaoyi

    2014-07-01

    Self-assembled peptide/protein nanofibers are valuable 1D building blocks for creating complex structures with designed properties and functions. It is reported that the self-assembly of silk-elastin-like protein polymers into nanofibers or globular aggregates in aqueous solutions can be modulated by tuning the temperature of the protein solutions, the size of the silk blocks, and the charge of the elastin blocks. A core-sheath model is 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. Furthermore, enhanced hydrophobic interactions between the elastin blocks at elevated temperatures greatly influence the nanoscale features of silk-elastin nanofibers.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Structure of a protein superfiber: spider dragline silk.

    PubMed Central

    Xu, M; Lewis, R V

    1990-01-01

    Spider major ampullate (dragline) silk is an extracellular fibrous protein with unique characteristics of strength and elasticity. The silk fiber has been proposed to consist of pseudocrystalline regions of antiparallel beta-sheet interspersed with elastic amorphous segments. The repetitive sequence of a fibroin protein from major ampullate silk of the spider Nephila clavipes was determined from a partial cDNA clone. The repeating unit is a maximum of 34 amino acids long and is not rigidly conserved. The repeat unit is composed of three different segments: (i) a 6 amino acid segment that is conserved in sequence but has deletions of 3 or 6 amino acids in many of the repeats; (ii) a 13 amino acid segment dominated by a polyalanine sequence of 5-7 residues; (iii) a 15 amino acid, highly conserved segment. The latter is predominantly a Gly-Gly-Xaa repeat with Xaa being alanine, tyrosine, leucine, or glutamine. The codon usage for this DNA is highly selective, avoiding the use of cytosine or guanine in the third position. A model for the physical properties of fiber formation, strength, and elasticity, based on this repetitive protein sequence, is presented. PMID:2402494

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Stability of silk and collagen protein materials in space.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-05

    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.

  19. Novel nanocomposites from spider silk-silica fusion (chimeric) proteins.

    PubMed

    Wong Po Foo, Cheryl; Patwardhan, Siddharth V; Belton, David J; Kitchel, Brandon; Anastasiades, Daphne; Huang, Jia; Naik, Rajesh R; Perry, Carole C; Kaplan, David L

    2006-06-20

    Silica skeletal architectures in diatoms are characterized by remarkable morphological and nanostructural details. Silk proteins from spiders and silkworms form strong and intricate self-assembling fibrous biomaterials in nature. We combined the features of silk with biosilica through the design, synthesis, and characterization of a novel family of chimeric proteins for subsequent use in model materials forming reactions. The domains from the major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) protein of Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk provide control over structural and morphological details because it can be self-assembled through diverse processing methods including film casting and fiber electrospinning. Biosilica nanostructures in diatoms are formed in aqueous ambient conditions at neutral pH and low temperatures. The R5 peptide derived from the silaffin protein of Cylindrotheca fusiformis induces and regulates silica precipitation in the chimeric protein designs under similar ambient conditions. Whereas mineralization reactions performed in the presence of R5 peptide alone form silica particles with a size distribution of 0.5-10 microm in diameter, reactions performed in the presence of the new fusion proteins generate nanocomposite materials containing silica particles with a narrower size distribution of 0.5-2 microm in diameter. Furthermore, we demonstrate that composite morphology and structure could be regulated by controlling processing conditions to produce films and fibers. These results suggest that the chimeric protein provides new options for processing and control over silica particle sizes, important benefits for biomedical and specialty materials, particularly in light of the all aqueous processing and the nanocomposite features of these new materials.

  20. Shape Changes and Interaction Mechanism of Escherichia coli Cells Treated with Sericin and Use of a Sericin-Based Hydrogel for Wound Healing

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Rui; Liu, Yalong; Liang, Congcong; Qin, Huazhen; Liu, Pengfei; Wang, Ke; Zhang, Xiaoyong; Chen, Li

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT To verify the interaction mechanism between sericin and Escherichia coli, especially the morphological and structural changes in the bacterial cells, the antimicrobial activity of sericin against E. coli as a model for Gram-negative bacteria was investigated. The antibacterial activity of sericin on E. coli and the interaction mechanism were investigated in this study by analyzing the growth, integrity, and morphology of the bacterial cells following treatment with sericin. The changes in morphology and cellular compositions of bacterial cells treated with sericin were observed by an inverted fluorescence microscope, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Changes in electrical conductivity, total sugar concentration of the broth for the bacteria, and protein expression of the bacteria were determined to investigate the permeability of the cell membrane. A sericin-based hydrogel was prepared for an in vivo study of wound dressing. The results showed that the antibacterial activity of the hydrogel increased with the increase in the concentration of sericin from 10 g/liter to 40 g/liter. The introduction of sericin induces membrane blebbing of E. coli cells caused by antibiotic action on the cell membrane. The cytoplasm shrinkage phenomenon was accompanied by blurring of the membrane wall boundaries. When E. coli cells were treated with sericin, release of intracellular components quickly increased. The electrical conductivity assay indicated that the charged ions are reduced after exposure to sericin so that the integrity of the cell membrane is weakened and metabolism is blocked. In addition, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis demonstrated that sericin hinders the expression of bacterial protein. Sericin may damage the integrity of the bacterial cell membrane, thereby eventually inhibiting the growth and reproduction of E. coli. Compared to sterile gauze, the sericin-based hydrogel promoted fibroblast cell

  1. 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

    2016-03-01

    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

  2. Molecular architecture and evolution of a modular spider silk protein gene.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, C Y; Lewis, R V

    2000-02-25

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2015-09-04

    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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2017-05-01

    Alkyl polyglycoside (APG), a nonionic surfactant, is often considered to be a green surfactant and is synthesized using glucose and long chain fatty alcohols. It is used as a degumming agent of Bombyx mori silk fibre in this study for the first time. We studied APG systematically in comparison to the traditional degumming methods, such as aqueous solutions of sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and neutral soap (NS). After repeatedly boiling silk fibres in an aqueous solution of 0.25% APG three times for 30min and using a bath ratio of 1:90-120 (g/mL), sericin was completely removed from the fibre. SDS-PAGE showed that the degumming in APG did not induce an evident breakage of the silk fibroin peptide chains, including the light chain and P25 protein. The tensile properties, thermal analysis, and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observation of the degummed fibroin fibre all show that APG is a degumming agent similar to NS and far superior to Na2CO3. These results indicate that APG is an environment-friendly silk degumming/refining agent in the silk textile industry and in the manufacture of silk floss quilts.

  7. Biological responses to spider silk-antibiotic fusion protein

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    The development of a new generation of multifunctional biomaterials is a continual goal for the field of materials science. The in vivo functional behaviour of a new fusion protein that combines the mechanical properties of spider silk with the antimicrobial properties of hepcidin was addressed in this study. This new chimeric protein, termed 6mer+hepcidin, fuses spider dragline consensus sequences (6mer) and the antimicrobial peptide hepcidin as we have recently described, with retention of bactericidal activity and low cytotoxicity. In the present study mice subcutaneous implants were studied to access the in vivo biological response to the 6mer+hepcidin, which were compared with controls of silk alone (6mer), poly-lactic-glycolic-acid (PLGA) films and empty defects. Along with visual observations, flow cytometry and histology analyses were used to determine the number and type of inflammatory cells at the implantation site. The results show a mild to low inflammatory reaction to the implanted materials and no apparent differences between the 6mer+hepcidin films and the other experimental controls, demonstrating that the new fusion protein has good in vivo biocompatibility, while maintaining antibiotic function. PMID:22514077

  8. Formation and Characterization of Langmuir Silk Films

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-07-01

    studied for phase transitions as immo- fibroin and sericin . Fibroin is the protein that forms the bilization matrices have been in the form of cast mem...properties. Sericins are a group membrane materials. However, the casting process has of gummy proteins which bind the fibroin filaments, limitations...approximately 5 mm X 5 mm pieces. The cocoon material was boiled in distilled water for 2 h with changes 7- of water to solubilize and remove the sericin

  9. Protein composition correlates with the mechanical properties of spider ( Argiope trifasciata ) dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Marhabaie, Mohammad; Leeper, Thomas C; Blackledge, Todd A

    2014-01-13

    We investigated the natural variation in silk composition and mechanical performance of the orb-weaving spider Argiope trifasciata at multiple spatial and temporal scales in order to assess how protein composition contributes to the remarkable material properties of spider dragline silk. Major ampullate silk in orb-weaving spiders consists predominantly of two proteins (MaSp1 and MaSp2) with divergent amino acid compositions and functionally different microstructures. Adjusting the expression of these two proteins therefore provides spiders with a simple mechanism to alter the material properties of their silk. We first assessed the reliability and precision of the Waters AccQ-Tag amino acid composition analysis kit for determining the amino acid composition of small quantities of spider silk. We then tested how protein composition varied within single draglines, across draglines spun by the same spider on different days, and finally between spiders. Then, we correlated chemical composition with the material properties of dragline silk. Overall, we found that the chemical composition of major ampullate silk was in general homogeneous among individuals of the same population. Variation in chemical composition was not detectable within silk spun by a single spider on a single day. However, we found that variation within a single spider's silk across different days could, in rare instances, be greater than variation among individual spiders. Most of the variation in silk composition in our investigation resulted from a small number of outliers (three out of sixteen individuals) with a recent history of stress, suggesting stress affects silk production process in orb web spiders. Based on reported sequences for MaSp genes, we developed a gene expression model showing the covariation of the most abundant amino acids in major ampullate silk. Our gene expression model supports that dragline silk composition was mostly determined by the relative abundance of MaSp1 and Ma

  10. 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.

  11. Low-Tech, Pilot Scale Purification of a Recombinant Spider Silk Protein Analog from Tobacco Leaves.

    PubMed

    Heppner, René; Weichert, Nicola; Schierhorn, Angelika; Conrad, Udo; Pietzsch, Markus

    2016-10-09

    Spider dragline is used by many members of the Araneae family not only as a proteinogenic safety thread but also for web construction. Spider dragline has been shown to possess high tensile strength in combination with elastic behavior. This high tensile strength can be attributed to the presence of antiparallel β-sheets within the thread; these antiparallel β-sheets are why the protein is classified as a silk. Due to the properties of spider silk and its technical and medical uses, including its use as a suture material and as a scaffold for tissue regeneration, spider dragline is a focus of the biotechnology industry. The production of sufficient amounts of spider silk is challenging, as it is difficult to produce large quantities of fibers because of the cannibalistic behavior of spiders and their large spatial requirements. In recent years, the heterologous expression of genes coding for spider silk analogs in various hosts, including plants such as Nicotiana tabacum, has been established. We developed a simple and scalable method for the purification of a recombinant spider silk protein elastin-like peptide fusion protein (Q-/K-MaSp1-100× ELP) after heterologous production in tobacco leaves involving heat and acetone precipitation. Further purification was performed using centrifugal Inverse Transition Cycling (cITC). Up to 400 mg of highly pure spider silk protein derivatives can be isolated from six kilograms of tobacco leaves, which is the highest amount of silk protein derivatives purified from plants thus far.

  12. Unique molecular architecture of egg case silk protein in a spider, Nephila clavata.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Aichun; Zhao, Tianfu; Sima, Yanghu; Zhang, Yuansong; Nakagaki, Koichi; Miao, Yungen; Shiomi, Kunihiro; Kajiura, Zenta; Nagata, Yoko; Nakagaki, Masao

    2005-11-01

    We describe a unique silk protein secreted from the cylindrical silk glands of the spider Nephila clavata. This silk is primarily composed of three proteins, whose transcripts of approximately 16.0, 14.5 and 13.0 kb are homologous to one another in two termini and repetitive units, as determined on Northern blotting. Its overall organization shows that it is similar to other characterized silk proteins, including in the mainly central repetitive region as well as the non-repetitive N-terminal (166 residues) and C-terminal (176 residues) parts. However, up to 90% of the protein consists of highly ordered repetitive structures that are not found in other silks. The repetitive region mainly consists of several types of complexes and remarkably conserved polypeptide repeats. The assembled repeat units (A1B1) contain a high proportion of Ala (30.41%), Ser (25.15%), and residues with hydrophobic side chains (22.22% for Gly, Leu, Ile, Val and Phe combined). The presence of Ser-rich and GVGAGASA motifs suggests the formation of a beta-sheet. The repetitive region is characterized by alternating arrays of hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks. The results suggested that this egg case silk is an exceptional protein when compared with previously investigated spider silks.

  13. Low-Tech, Pilot Scale Purification of a Recombinant Spider Silk Protein Analog from Tobacco Leaves

    PubMed Central

    Heppner, René; Weichert, Nicola; Schierhorn, Angelika; Conrad, Udo; Pietzsch, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Spider dragline is used by many members of the Araneae family not only as a proteinogenic safety thread but also for web construction. Spider dragline has been shown to possess high tensile strength in combination with elastic behavior. This high tensile strength can be attributed to the presence of antiparallel β-sheets within the thread; these antiparallel β-sheets are why the protein is classified as a silk. Due to the properties of spider silk and its technical and medical uses, including its use as a suture material and as a scaffold for tissue regeneration, spider dragline is a focus of the biotechnology industry. The production of sufficient amounts of spider silk is challenging, as it is difficult to produce large quantities of fibers because of the cannibalistic behavior of spiders and their large spatial requirements. In recent years, the heterologous expression of genes coding for spider silk analogs in various hosts, including plants such as Nicotiana tabacum, has been established. We developed a simple and scalable method for the purification of a recombinant spider silk protein elastin-like peptide fusion protein (Q-/K-MaSp1-100× ELP) after heterologous production in tobacco leaves involving heat and acetone precipitation. Further purification was performed using centrifugal Inverse Transition Cycling (cITC). Up to 400 mg of highly pure spider silk protein derivatives can be isolated from six kilograms of tobacco leaves, which is the highest amount of silk protein derivatives purified from plants thus far. PMID:27735843

  14. Microbial production of amino acid-modified spider dragline silk protein with intensively improved mechanical properties.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haibo; Zhou, Fengli; Jiang, Xinglin; Cao, Mingle; Wang, Shilu; Zou, Huibin; Cao, Yujin; Xian, Mo; Liu, Huizhou

    2016-08-17

    Spider dragline silk is a remarkably strong fiber with impressive mechanical properties, which were thought to result from the specific structures of the underlying proteins and their molecular size. In this study, silk protein 11R26 from the dragline silk protein of Nephila clavipes was used to analyze the potential effects of the special amino acids on the function of 11R26. Three protein derivatives, ZF4, ZF5, and ZF6, were obtained by site-directed mutagenesis, based on the sequence of 11R26, and among these derivatives, serine was replaced with cysteine, isoleucine, and arginine, respectively. After these were expressed and purified, the mechanical performance of the fibers derived from the four proteins was tested. Both hardness and average elastic modulus of ZF4 fiber increased 2.2 times compared with those of 11R26. The number of disulfide bonds in ZF4 protein was 4.67 times that of 11R26, which implied that disulfide bonds outside the poly-Ala region affect the mechanical properties of spider silk more efficiently. The results indicated that the mechanical performances of spider silk proteins with small molecular size can be enhanced by modification of the amino acids residues. Our research not only has shown the feasibility of large-scale production of spider silk proteins but also provides valuable information for protein rational design.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-02

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

  19. Sericin-binded-deprotenized natural rubber film containing chitin whiskers as elasto-gel dressing.

    PubMed

    Watthanaphanit, Anyarat; Rujiravanit, Ratana

    2017-03-18

    Here, we aims to demonstrate a simple concept in biomaterials design by using natural resources solely as raw materials to fabricate elastic wound care dressing. Elasto-gel films comprise of silk sericin (SRC), natural rubber (NR), and chitin whisker (CTW) were developed. A glue-like protein SRC found in silk cocoons is beneficial for the treatment of wounds due to its superior skin moisturizing ability. However, the pure SRC film is generally difficult to be fabricated because of its weak structural feature. This limitation was overcome by using NR as a binder which consecutively rendered elasticity and strength of the films. CTW was chosen as another component to promote ability of the films for tissue restoration. Before the film formation, protein in the natural rubber latex (NRL) was removed to avoid allergic and cytotoxic problems. The enzyme-treated NR/SRC (ETNR/SRC) films having different blend compositions were fabricated by solution casting technique. The highest amount of the SRC to gain an easy to handle ETNR/SRC film was 30%. The ETNR/SRC/CTW films having 20% SRC were fabricated and studied in comparison. Essential properties of the films as elastic wound care dressings were investigated and effect of the materials chemistry on the observed properties were discussed.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Secretory mechanism of fibroin, a silk protein, in the posterior silk gland cells of Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, S; Nakagaki, I

    1980-01-01

    There are two microtubule-microfilament systems in the posterior silk gland cells of Bombyx mori. One is a radial microtubule system; the other is a circular microtubule-microfilament system. These two systems are presumably concerned with the intracellular transport of secretory granules of fibroin and the secretion of fibroin into the lumen, respectively. Conventional and scanning electron microscopic observations of the two microtubule-microfilament systems in the posterior silk gland cells are reported. Scanning electron micrographs showed that a number of parallel linear cytoplasmic processes ran circularly on the luminal surface of the posterior silk gland cells. These processes were assumed to correspond to the circular microtubule-microfilament systems. The effects of cytochalasin (B or D), a secretion stimulating agent of fibroin, on the intracellular recording of membrane potential from the posterior silk gland cells are also reported. Exposure to cytochalasin resulted in depolarization of the membrane potential of the gland cells. Possible functional roles of the two microtubule-microfilament systems in the secretory mechanism of fibroin are discussed with reference to the effects of antimitotic reagents and cytochalasin on these two systems.

  3. 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.

  4. Recombinant Minimalist Spider Wrapping Silk Proteins Capable of Native-Like Fiber Formation

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Lingling; Rainey, Jan K.; Meng, Qing; Liu, Xiang-Qin

    2012-01-01

    Spider silks are desirable biomaterials characterized by high tensile strength, elasticity, and biocompatibility. Spiders produce different types of silks for different uses, although dragline silks have been the predominant focus of previous studies. Spider wrapping silk, made of the aciniform protein (AcSp1), has high toughness because of its combination of high elasticity and tensile strength. AcSp1 in Argiope trifasciata contains a 200-aa sequence motif that is repeated at least 14 times. Here, we produced in E. coli recombinant proteins consisting of only one to four of the 200-aa AcSp1 repeats, designated W1 to W4. We observed that purified W2, W3 and W4 proteins could be induced to form silk-like fibers by shear forces in a physiological buffer. The fibers formed by W4 were ∼3.4 µm in diameter and up to 10 cm long. They showed an average tensile strength of 115 MPa, elasticity of 37%, and toughness of 34 J cm−3. The smaller W2 protein formed fewer fibers and required a higher protein concentration to form fibers, whereas the smallest W1 protein did not form silk-like fibers, indicating that a minimum of two of the 200-aa repeats was required for fiber formation. Microscopic examinations revealed structural features indicating an assembly of the proteins into spherical structures, fibrils, and silk-like fibers. CD and Raman spectral analysis of protein secondary structures suggested a transition from predominantly α-helical in solution to increasingly β-sheet in fibers. PMID:23209681

  5. Effect of sericin on diabetic hippocampal growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 axis

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhihong; Yang, Songhe; He, Yaqiang; Song, Chengjun; Liu, Yongping

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that sericin extracted from silk cocoon significantly reduces blood glucose levels and protects the nervous system against diabetes mellitus. In this study, a rat type 2 diabetes mellitus model was established by intraperitoneal injection of 25 mg/kg streptozotocin for 3 successive days, following which the rats were treated with sericin for 35 days. After treatment, the blood glucose levels of the diabetic rats decreased significantly, the growth hormone level in serum and its expression in the hippocampus decreased significantly, while the insulin-like growth factor-1 level in serum and insulin-like growth factor-1 and growth hormone receptor expression in the hippocampus increased significantly. The experimental findings indicate that sericin improves disorders of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 axis to alleviate hippocampal damage in diabetic rats. PMID:25206472

  6. Native-sized spider silk proteins synthesized in planta via intein-based multimerization.

    PubMed

    Hauptmann, Valeska; Weichert, Nicola; Menzel, Matthias; Knoch, Dominic; Paege, Norman; Scheller, Jürgen; Spohn, Uwe; Conrad, Udo; Gils, Mario

    2013-04-01

    The synthesis of native-sized proteins is a pre-requisite for exploiting the potential of spider silk as a bio-based material. The unique properties of spider silk, such as extraordinary tensile strength and elasticity, result from the highly repetitive nature of spider silk protein motifs. The present report describes the combination of spider silk flagelliform protein (FLAG) production in the endoplasmic reticulum of tobacco plant leaf cells with an intein-based posttranslational protein fusion technology. The repeated ligation of FLAG monomers resulted in the formation of large multimers. This method avoids the need for highly repetitive transgenes, which may result in a higher genetic and transcriptional stability. Here we show, for the first time, the production of synthetic, high molecular weight spider silk proteins larger than 250 kDa based on the assembly of protein monomers via intein-mediated trans-splicing in planta. The resulting multimeric structures form microfibers, thereby demonstrating their great potential as a biomaterial.

  7. 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

  8. Evidence of Decoupling Protein Structure from Spidroin Expression in Spider Dragline Silks

    PubMed Central

    Blamires, Sean J.; Kasumovic, Michael M.; Tso, I-Min; Martens, Penny J.; Hook, James M.; Rawal, Aditya

    2016-01-01

    The exceptional strength and extensibility of spider dragline silk have been thought to be facilitated by two spidroins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and major ampullate spidroin 2 (MaSp2), under the assumption that protein secondary structures are coupled with the expressed spidroins. We tested this assumption for the dragline silk of three co-existing Australian spiders, Argiope keyserlingi, Latrodectus hasselti and Nephila plumipes. We found that silk amino acid compositions did not differ among spiders collected in May. We extended these analyses temporally and found the amino acid compositions of A. keyserlingi silks to differ when collected in May compared to November, while those of L. hasselti did not. To ascertain whether their secondary structures were decoupled from spidroin expression, we performed solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) analysis on the silks of all spiders collected in May. We found the distribution of alanine toward β-sheet and 3,10helix/random coil conformations differed between species, as did their relative crystallinities, with A. keyserlingi having the greatest 3,10helix/random coil composition and N. plumipes the greatest crystallinity. The protein secondary structures correlated with the mechanical properties for each of the silks better than the amino acid compositions. Our findings suggested that a differential distribution of alanine during spinning could decouple secondary structures from spidroin expression ensuring that silks of desirable mechanical properties are consistently produced. Alternative explanations include the possibility that other spidroins were incorporated into some silks. PMID:27517909

  9. 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.

  10. Transglutamination allows production and characterization of native-sized ELPylated spider silk proteins from transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Weichert, Nicola; Hauptmann, Valeska; Menzel, Matthias; Schallau, Kai; Gunkel, Philip; Hertel, Thomas C; Pietzsch, Markus; Spohn, Uwe; Conrad, Udo

    2014-02-01

    In the last two decades it was shown that plants have a great potential for production of specific heterologous proteins. But high cost and inefficient downstream processing are a main technical bottleneck for the broader use of plant-based production technology especially for protein-based products, for technical use as fibres or biodegradable plastics and also for medical applications. High-performance fibres from recombinant spider silks are, therefore, a prominent example. Spiders developed rather different silk materials that are based on proteins. These spider silks show excellent properties in terms of elasticity and toughness. Natural spider silk proteins have a very high molecular weight, and it is precisely this property which is thought to give them their strength. Transgenic plants were generated to produce ELPylated recombinant spider silk derivatives. These fusion proteins were purified by Inverse Transition Cycling (ITC) and enzymatically multimerized with transglutaminase in vitro. Layers produced by casting monomers and multimers were characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and AFM-based nanoindentation. The layered multimers formed by mixing lysine- and glutamine-tagged monomers were associated with the highest elastic penetration modulus.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    McDougall, Carmel; Woodcroft, Ben J.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Giant wood spider Nephila pilipes alters silk protein in response to prey variation.

    PubMed

    Tso, I-Min; Wu, Hsuan-Chen; Hwang, In-Ru

    2005-03-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that orb-weaving spiders may alter web structures, foraging localities or silk output in response to prey variations. In this study we conducted field surveys and food manipulations to examine whether orb-weaving spiders may also adjust the protein of silk to prey variations. A comparison of dragline silks collected from nine giant wood spider Nephila pilipes populations in Taiwan showed a spatial variation. The percentage of all amino acids (except alanine and glycine) exhibited significant differences among populations. A survey of prey composition also revealed a significant spatial variation among N. pilipes populations. To determine whether prey variation was responsible for silk protein variation, we fed N. pilipes with different types of prey (dipteran vs orthopteran) then compared the percentage of five major dragline amino acids and secondary structures. The results showed that dragline of N. pilipes fed with orthopteran prey contained significantly higher proline and glutamine but lower alanine. Congruent with this result were those from FTIR spectroscopy, which showed that dragline of N. pilipes fed with crickets exhibited significantly higher percentage of proline- and glutamine-containing beta turns, and lower percentage of alanine-containing beta sheet structures. Since the results of feeding manipulations showed that diet significantly affected the compositions of dragline silks, the observed spatial variation seemed to reflect the different types of prey these spiders had consumed. Results of this study thus indicated that orb-weaving spiders can alter dragline protein in response to prey variations.

  17. Free radical scavenging and tyrosinase inhibition activity of oils and sericin extracted from Thai native silkworms (Bombyx mori).

    PubMed

    Manosroi, Aranya; Boonpisuttinant, Korawinwich; Winitchai, Supanida; Manosroi, Worapaka; Manosroi, Jiradej

    2010-08-01

    Oils and sericin were extracted from pupae and silk cocoons, respectively, of the five Thai native silkworms (Bombyx mori, Linnaeus (Bombycidae)), namely, Keawsakol, Nangnoi, Somrong, Nangleung, and Noneruesee, which are variations of the same species. The oils were extracted by a hot process using Soxhlet apparatus and a cold process using petroleum ether, while sericin was extracted by basic hydrolysis and autoclaving. Sericin from the five Thai native silkworms showed free radical scavenging activity lower than the standard antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, and BHT) by about 20-100-fold, but all oils gave higher activity than that of the standard linoleic acid by 11-22-fold. Oil extracted from Noneruesee by the cold process gave the highest DPPH scavenging activity, compared with other oil samples. All sericin samples showed tyrosinase inhibition activity with IC(50) values in the range of 1.2-18.76 mg/mL, but only oils from Noneruesee extracted by the hot process, and Nangleung, Somrong, and Noneruesee extracted by the cold process, showed this activity. Oil extracted by the hot process and sericin by basic hydrolysis from Noneruesee gave the highest tyrosinase inhibition activity, but lower than that of the standards vitamin C and kojic acid by 20-49 and 3-8 times, respectively. This study has suggested that sericin and oil from Noneruesee extracted by basic hydrolysis and the cold process, which gave the highest tyrosinase inhibition and free radical scavenging activity, respectively, can be applied in antiaging and whitening cosmetic products.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Tunable Self-Assembly of Genetically Engineered Silk-Elastin-Like Protein Polymers

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Xiao-Xia; Xu, Qiaobing; Hu, Xiao; Qin, Guokui; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Silk-elastin-like protein polymers (SELPs), consisting of the repeating units of silk and elastin blocks, combine a set of outstanding physical and biological properties of silk and elastin. Due to the unique properties, SELPs have been widely fabricated into various materials for the applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering. However, little is known about the fundamental self-assembly characteristics of these remarkable polymers. Here we propose a two-step self-assembly process of SELPs in aqueous solution for the first time and report the importance of the ratio of silk to elastin blocks in a SELP’s repeating unit on the assembly of the SELP. Through precise tuning of the ratio of silk to elastin, various structures including nanoparticles, hydrogels and nanofibers could be generated either reversibly or irreversibly. This assembly process might provide opportunities to generate innovative smart materials for biosensors, tissue engineering and drug delivery. Furthermore, the newly developed SELPs in this study may be potentially useful as biomaterials for controlled drug delivery and biomedical engineering. PMID:21955178

  1. Tunable self-assembly of genetically engineered silk--elastin-like protein polymers.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xiao-Xia; Xu, Qiaobing; Hu, Xiao; Qin, Guokui; Kaplan, David L

    2011-11-14

    Silk--elastin-like protein polymers (SELPs), consisting of the repeating units of silk and elastin blocks, combine a set of outstanding physical and biological properties of silk and elastin. Because of the unique properties, SELPs have been widely fabricated into various materials for the applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering. However, little is known about the fundamental self-assembly characteristics of these remarkable polymers. Here we propose a two-step self-assembly process of SELPs in aqueous solution for the first time and report the importance of the ratio of silk-to-elastin blocks in a SELP's repeating unit on the assembly of the SELP. Through precise tuning of the ratio of silk to elastin, various structures including nanoparticles, hydrogels, and nanofibers could be generated either reversibly or irreversibly. This assembly process might provide opportunities to generate innovative smart materials for biosensors, tissue engineering, and drug delivery. Furthermore, the newly developed SELPs in this study may be potentially useful as biomaterials for controlled drug delivery and biomedical engineering.

  2. Native-sized recombinant spider silk protein produced in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli results in a strong fiber

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Xiao-Xia; Qian, Zhi-Gang; Ki, Chang Seok; Park, Young Hwan; Kaplan, David L.; Lee, Sang Yup

    2010-01-01

    Spider dragline silk is a remarkably strong fiber that makes it attractive for numerous applications. Much has thus been done to make similar fibers by biomimic spinning of recombinant dragline silk proteins. However, success is limited in part due to the inability to successfully express native-sized recombinant silk proteins (250–320 kDa). Here we show that a 284.9 kDa recombinant protein of the spider Nephila clavipes is produced and spun into a fiber displaying mechanical properties comparable to those of the native silk. The native-sized protein, predominantly rich in glycine (44.9%), was favorably expressed in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli within which the glycyl-tRNA pool was elevated. We also found that the recombinant proteins of lower molecular weight versions yielded inferior fiber properties. The results provide insight into evolution of silk protein size related to mechanical performance, and also clarify why spinning lower molecular weight proteins does not recapitulate the properties of native fibers. Furthermore, the silk expression, purification, and spinning platform established here should be useful for sustainable production of natural quality dragline silk, potentially enabling broader applications. PMID:20660779

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-07

    Silk protein has been used as a biopolymer substrate for flexible photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate ZnO nanorod array hybrid photodetectors on Au nanoparticle-embedded silk protein for flexible optoelectronics. Hybrid samples exhibit optical absorption at the band edge of ZnO as well as plasmonic energy due to Au nanoparticles, making them attractive for selective UV and visible wavelength detection. The device prepared on Au-silk protein shows a much lower dark current and a higher photo to dark-current ratio of ∼10(5) as compared to the control sample without Au nanoparticles. The hybrid device also exhibits a higher specific detectivity due to higher responsivity arising from the photo-generated hole trapping by Au nanoparticles. Sharp pulses in the transient photocurrent have been observed in devices prepared on glass and Au-silk protein substrates due to the light induced pyroelectric effect of ZnO, enabling the demonstration of self-powered photodetectors at zero bias. Flexible hybrid detectors have been demonstrated on Au-silk/polyethylene terephthalate substrates, exhibiting characteristics similar to those fabricated on rigid glass substrates. A study of the performance of photodetectors with different bending angles indicates very good mechanical stability of silk protein based flexible devices. This novel concept of ZnO nanorod array photodetectors on a natural silk protein platform provides an opportunity to realize integrated flexible and self-powered bio-photonic devices for medical applications in near future.

  5. Sticky Situation: An Investigation of Robust Aqueous-Based Recombinant Spider Silk Protein Coatings and Adhesives.

    PubMed

    Harris, Thomas I; Gaztambide, Danielle A; Day, Breton A; Brock, Cameron L; Ruben, Ashley L; Jones, Justin A; Lewis, Randolph V

    2016-11-14

    The mechanical properties and biocompatibility of spider silks have made them one of the most sought after and studied natural biomaterials. A biomimetic process has been developed that uses water to solvate purified recombinant spider silk proteins (rSSps) prior to material formation. The absence of harsh organic solvents increases cost effectiveness, safety, and decreases the environmental impact of these materials. This development allows for the investigation of aqueous-based rSSps as coatings and adhesives and their potential applications. In these studies it was determined that fiber-based rSSps in nonfiber formations have the capability to coat and adhere numerous substrates, whether rough, smooth, hydrophobic, or hydrophilic. Further, these materials can be functionalized for a variety of processes. Drug-eluting coatings have been made with the capacity to release a variety of compounds in addition to their inherent ability to prevent blood clotting and biofouling. Additionally, spider silk protein adhesives are strong enough to outperform some conventional glues and still display favorable tissue implantation properties. The physical properties, corresponding capabilities, and potential applications of these nonfibrous materials were characterized in this study. Mechanical properties, ease of manufacturing, biodegradability, biocompatibility, and functionality are the hallmarks of these revolutionary spider silk protein materials.

  6. Investigate the Effect of Thawing Process on the Self-Assembly of Silk Protein for Tissue Applications

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Hien Anh; Huynh, Khon Chan; Vo, Toi Van

    2017-01-01

    Biological self-assembly is a process in which building blocks autonomously organize to form stable supermolecules of higher order and complexity through domination of weak, noncovalent interactions. For silk protein, the effect of high incubating temperature on the induction of secondary structure and self-assembly was well investigated. However, the effect of freezing and thawing on silk solution has not been studied. The present work aimed to investigate a new all-aqueous process to form 3D porous silk fibroin matrices using a freezing-assisted self-assembly method. This study proposes an experimental investigation and optimization of environmental parameters for the self-assembly process such as freezing temperature, thawing process, and concentration of silk solution. The optical images demonstrated the possibility and potential of −80ST48 treatment to initialize the self-assembly of silk fibroin as well as controllably fabricate a porous scaffold. Moreover, the micrograph images illustrate the assembly of silk protein chain in 7 days under the treatment of −80ST48 process. The surface morphology characterization proved that this method could control the pore size of porous scaffolds by control of the concentration of silk solution. The animal test showed the support of silk scaffold for cell adhesion and proliferation, as well as the cell migration process in the 3D implantable scaffold. PMID:28367442

  7. Structural characterization of the major ampullate silk spidroin-2 protein produced by the spider Nephila clavipes.

    PubMed

    Santos-Pinto, José Roberto Aparecido Dos; Arcuri, Helen Andrade; Lubec, Gert; Palma, Mario Sergio

    2016-10-01

    Major ampullate spidroin-2 (MaSp2) is one of the most important spider silk protein, but up to now no information is available regarding the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of this protein. A gel-based mass spectrometry strategy using collision-induced dissociation (CID) and electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) fragmentation methods was used to sequence Nephila clavipes MaSp2 (including the N- and C-terminal non-repetitive domains, and the great part of the central core), and to assign a series of post-translational modifications (PTMs) on to the MaSp2 sequence. Two forms of this protein were identified, with different levels of phosphorylation along their sequences. These findings provide a basis for understanding mechanoelastic properties and can support the future design of recombinant spider silk proteins for biotechnological applications.

  8. Structure and post-translational modifications of the web silk protein spidroin-1 from Nephila spiders.

    PubMed

    dos Santos-Pinto, José Roberto Aparecido; Lamprecht, Günther; Chen, Wei-Qiang; Heo, Seok; Hardy, John George; Priewalder, Helga; Scheibel, Thomas Rainer; Palma, Mario Sergio; Lubec, Gert

    2014-06-13

    Spidroin-1 is one of the major ampullate silk proteins produced by spiders for use in the construction of the frame and radii of orb webs, and as a dragline to escape from predators. Only partial sequences of spidroin-1 produced by Nephila clavipes have been reported up to now, and there is no information on post-translational modifications (PTMs). A gel-based mass spectrometry strategy with ETD and CID fragmentation methods were used to sequence and determine the presence/location of any PTMs on the spidroin-1. Sequence coverage of 98.06%, 95.05%, and 98.37% were obtained for N. clavipes, Nephila edulis and for Nephila madagascariensis, respectively. Phosphorylation was the major PTM observed with 8 phosphorylation sites considered reliable on spidroin-1 produced by N. clavipes, 4 in N. madagascariensis and 2 for N. edulis. Dityrosine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (formed by oxidation of the spidroin-1) were observed, although the mechanism by which they are formed (i.e. exposure to UV radiation or to peroxidases in the major ampullate silk gland) is uncertain. Herein we present structural information on the spidroin-1 produced by three different Nephila species; these findings may be valuable for understanding the physicochemical properties of the silk proteins and moreover, future designs of recombinantly produced spider silk proteins. Biotechnological significance The present investigation shows for the first time spidroin structure and post-translational modifications observed on the major ampullate silk spidroin-1. The many site specific phosphorylations (localized within the structural motifs) along with the probably photoinduction of hydroxylations may be relevant for scientists in material science, biology, biochemistry and environmental scientists. Up to now all the mechanical properties of the spidroin have been characterized without any consideration about the existence of PTMs in the sequence of spidroins. Thus, these findings for major ampullate silk

  9. 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

  10. Characterization and expression of a cDNA encoding a tubuliform silk protein of the golden web spider Nephila antipodiana.

    PubMed

    Huang, W; Lin, Z; Sin, Y M; Li, D; Gong, Z; Yang, D

    2006-07-01

    Spider silks are renowned for their excellent mechanical properties. Although several spider fibroin genes, mainly from dragline and capture silks, have been identified, there are still many members in the spider fibroin gene family remain uncharacterized. In this study, a novel silk cDNA clone from the golden web spider Nephila antipodiana was isolated. It is serine rich and contains two almost identical fragments with one varied gap region and one conserved spider fibroin-like C-terminal domain. Both in situ hybridization and immunoblot analyses have shown that it is specifically expressed in the tubuliform gland. Thus, it likely encodes the silk fibroin from the tubuliform gland, which supplies the main component of the inner egg case. Unlike other silk proteins, the protein encoded by the novel cDNA in water solution exhibits the characteristic of an alpha-helical protein, which implies the distinct property of the egg case silk, though the fiber of tubuliform silk is mainly composed of beta-sheet structure. Its sequence information facilitates elucidation of the evolutionary history of the araneoid fibroin genes.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. The N-terminal domains of spider silk proteins assemble ultrafast and protected from charge screening.

    PubMed

    Schwarze, Simone; Zwettler, Fabian U; Johnson, Christopher M; Neuweiler, Hannes

    2013-01-01

    Web spiders assemble spidroin monomers into silk fibres of unrivalled tensile strength at remarkably high spinning speeds of up to 1 m s(-1). The spidroin N-terminal domain contains a charge-driven, pH-sensitive relay that controls self-association by an elusive mechanism. The underlying kinetics have not yet been reported. Here we engineer a fluorescence switch into the isolated N-terminal domain from spidroin 1 of the major ampullate gland of the nursery web spider E. australis that monitors dimerization. We observe ultrafast association that is surprisingly insensitive to salt, contrasting the classical screening effects in accelerated, charged protein interfaces. To gain deeper mechanistic insight, we mutate each of the protonatable residue side chains and probe their contributions. Two vicinal aspartic acids are critically involved in an unusual process of accelerated protein association that is protected from screening by electrolytes, potentially facilitating the rapid synthesis of silk fibres by web spiders.

  14. A novel model system for design of biomaterials based on recombinant analogs of spider silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Bogush, Vladimir G; Sokolova, Olga S; Davydova, Lyubov I; Klinov, Dmitri V; Sidoruk, Konstantin V; Esipova, Natalya G; Neretina, Tatyana V; Orchanskyi, Igor A; Makeev, Vsevolod Yu; Tumanyan, Vladimir G; Shaitan, Konstantin V; Debabov, Vladimir G; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P

    2009-03-01

    Spider dragline silk possesses impressive mechanical and biochemical properties. It is synthesized by a couple of major ampullate glands in spiders and comprises of two major structural proteins--spidroins 1 and 2. The relationship between structure and mechanical properties of spider silk is not well understood. Here, we modeled the complete process of the spider silk assembly using two new recombinant analogs of spidroins 1 and 2. The artificial genes sequence of the hydrophobic core regions of spidroin 1 and 2 have been designed using computer analysis of existing databases and mathematical modeling. Both proteins were expressed in Pichia pastoris and purified using a cation exchange chromatography. Despite the absence of hydrophilic N- and C-termini, both purified proteins spontaneously formed the nanofibrils and round micelles of about 1 microm in aqueous solutions. The electron microscopy study has revealed the helical structure of a nanofibril with a repeating motif of 40 nm. Using the electrospinning, the thin films with an antiparallel beta-sheet structure were produced. In summary, we were able to obtain artificial structures with characteristics that are perspective for further biomedical applications, such as producing three-dimensional matrices for tissue engineering and drug delivery.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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

  17. Complexation-triggerable liposome mixed with silk protein and chitosan.

    PubMed

    Hong, Yeon-Ji; Kim, Jin-Chul

    2015-01-01

    Complexation-triggerable liposomes were prepared by modifying the surface of egg phosphatidylcholine (EPC) liposomes with hydrophobicized silk fibroin (HmSF) and hydrophobicized chitosan (HmCh). Maximum complexation, determined by measuring the diameter of complexation, was found when the ratio of HmSF to HmCh was 14:1, so they were immobilized on the surface of liposomes at the same ratio. The degree of fluorescence quenching of calcein in liposomal suspension was as high as 68% when the ratio of surface modifier (HmSF + HmCh) to EPC was 1:15. When the ratio was increased to 1:5, the degree of quenching decreased to 32%, indicating the inefficient formation of liposome. Liposome mixed with the surface modifier was multi-lamellar vesicle on TEM photo. And, the mean diameter was larger than those of liposome mixed with either HmSF or HmCh, possibly due to insoluble complex on the liposomal surface. The liposome exhibited a pH-sensitive release and triggered the release at pH 5.5 and 6.0. It is believed that complexation is responsible for the promoted release at those pH values.

  18. Implantable chemotherapy-loaded silk protein materials for neuroblastoma treatment.

    PubMed

    Coburn, Jeannine; Harris, Jamie; Zakharov, Alexander D; Poirier, Jennifer; Ikegaki, Naohiko; Kajdacsy-Balla, Andre; Pilichowska, Monika; Lyubimov, Alexander V; Shimada, Hiroyuki; Kaplan, David L; Chiu, Bill

    2017-02-01

    Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial childhood solid tumor. Treatment of high risk tumors require intense multicycle chemotherapies, resulting in short- and long-term toxicities. Here, we present treatment of an orthotopic neuroblastoma mouse model, with silk fibroin materials loaded with vincristine, doxorubicin or the combination as a intratumoral, sustained release system. The materials, loaded with vincristine with or without doxorubicin, significantly decreased neuroblastoma tumor growth compared to materials loaded without drug or doxorubicin only as well as intravenous (IV) drug treatment. The intratumoral drug concentration was significantly higher with intratumoral delivery versus IV. Furthermore, intratumor delivery decreased the maximum plasma concentration compared to IV delivery, reducing systemic exposure and possibly reduing long-term side effects of chemotherapy exposure. Histopathologically, tumors with remission periods >25 days before recurrence transformed from a "small-round-blue cell" (SBRC) to predominantly "large cell" neuroblastoma (LCN) histopathology, a more aggressive tumor subtype with unfavorable clinical outcomes. These results show that intratumoral chemotherapy delivery may be a treatment strategy for pediatric neuroblastoma, potentially translatable to other focal tumors types. Furthermore, this treatment modality allows for a clinically relevant mouse model of tumor transformation that may be used for studying the phenotypical tumor recurrence and developing more effective treatment strategies for recurrent tumors.

  19. Differential polymerization of the two main protein components of dragline silk during fibre spinning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sponner, Alexander; Unger, Eberhard; Grosse, Frank; Weisshart, Klaus

    2005-10-01

    Spider silks are some of the strongest materials found in nature. Achieving the high tensile strength and elasticity of the dragline of orb-weaving spiders, such as Nephila clavipes, is a principal goal in biomimetics research. The dragline has a composite nature and is predominantly made up by two proteins, the major ampullate spidroins 1 and 2 (refs 3,6,7), which can be considered natural block copolymers. On the basis of their molecular structures both spidroins are thought to contribute, in different ways, to the mechanical properties of dragline silk. The spinning process itself is also considered important for determining the observed features by shaping the hierarchical structure of the fibre. Here we study the heterogeneous distribution of proteins along the radial axis of the fibre. This heterogeneity is generated during the conversion of the liquid spinning dope into solid fibre. Whereas spidroin 1 is distributed almost uniformly within the fibre core, spidroin 2 is missing in the periphery and is tightly packed in certain core areas. Our findings suggest that the role of spidroin 2 in the spinning process could be to facilitate the formation of fibrils and contribute directly to the elasticity of the silk.

  20. Differential polymerization of the two main protein components of dragline silk during fibre spinning.

    PubMed

    Sponner, Alexander; Unger, Eberhard; Grosse, Frank; Weisshart, Klaus

    2005-10-01

    Spider silks are some of the strongest materials found in nature. Achieving the high tensile strength and elasticity of the dragline of orb-weaving spiders, such as Nephila clavipes, is a principal goal in biomimetics research. The dragline has a composite nature and is predominantly made up by two proteins, the major ampullate spidroins 1 and 2 (refs 3, 6, 7), which can be considered natural block copolymers. On the basis of their molecular structures both spidroins are thought to contribute, in different ways, to the mechanical properties of dragline silk. The spinning process itself is also considered important for determining the observed features by shaping the hierarchical structure of the fibre. Here we study the heterogeneous distribution of proteins along the radial axis of the fibre. This heterogeneity is generated during the conversion of the liquid spinning dope into solid fibre. Whereas spidroin 1 is distributed almost uniformly within the fibre core, spidroin 2 is missing in the periphery and is tightly packed in certain core areas. Our findings suggest that the role of spidroin 2 in the spinning process could be to facilitate the formation of fibrils and contribute directly to the elasticity of the silk.

  1. Conformational and orientational transformation of silk proteins in the major ampullate gland of Nephila clavipes spiders.

    PubMed

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Boudreault, Simon; Cloutier, Conrad; Pézolet, Michel

    2008-09-01

    The orientational and conformational transformation of the native liquid silk into a solid fiber in the major ampullate gland of the spider Nephila clavipes has been studied by Raman spectromicroscopy. The spectra show that the conformation of silk proteins in the glandular sac contains several secondary structure elements, which is consistent with intrinsically unfolded proteins. A few alpha-helices are also present and involve some alanine residues located in the polyalanine segments of the spidroin sequence. The conversion of the silk solution in the major ampullate gland appears to be a two-state process without intermediate states. In the first and second limbs of the duct, silk is isotropic and spidroins are generally native-like. beta-Sheets start to develop between the second and the third limb of the duct, suggesting that early beta-sheets are generated by shear forces. However, most of the beta-sheets are formed between the draw down taper and the valve. The early beta-sheets formed upward of the draw down taper might play the role of nucleation sites for the subsequent beta-sheet aggregation. The alignment of the polypeptides chains occurs near the valve, revealing that orientational and conformational changes do not occur simultaneously. Extensional flow seems to be the driving force to produce the orientational order, which in turn is associated with the formation of the major part of the beta-sheets. The slow evolution of the spidroin conformation up to the draw down taper followed by the rapid transformation between the drawn down taper and the valve may be important to achieve the optimal structure of the final fiber.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. Protein Secondary Structure and Orientation in Silk as Revealed by Raman Spectromicroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Rousseau, Marie-Eve; Pézolet, Michel

    2007-01-01

    Taking advantage of recent advances in polarized Raman microspectroscopy, and based on a rational decomposition of the amide I band, the conformation and orientation of proteins have been determined for cocoon silks of the silkworms Bombyx mori and Samia cynthia ricini and dragline silks of the spiders Nephila clavipes and Nephila edulis. This study distinguished between band components due to β-sheets, β-turns, 31-helices, and unordered structure for the four fibers. For B. mori, the β-sheet content is 50%, which matches the proportion of residues that form the GAGAGS fibroin motifs. For the Nephila dragline and S. c. ricini cocoon, the β-sheet content (36–37% and 45%, respectively) is higher than the proportion of residues that belong to polyalanine blocks (18% and 42%, respectively), showing that adjacent GGA motifs are incorporated into the β-sheets. Nephila spidroins contain fewer β-sheets and more flexible secondary structures than silkworm fibroins. The amorphous polypeptide chains are preferentially aligned parallel to the fiber direction, although their level of orientation is much lower than that of β-sheets. Overall, the results show that the four silks exhibit a common molecular organization, with mixtures of different amounts of β-sheets and flexible structures, which are organized with specific orientation levels. PMID:17277183

  5. Protein secondary structure and orientation in silk as revealed by Raman spectromicroscopy.

    PubMed

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Rousseau, Marie-Eve; Pézolet, Michel

    2007-04-15

    Taking advantage of recent advances in polarized Raman microspectroscopy, and based on a rational decomposition of the amide I band, the conformation and orientation of proteins have been determined for cocoon silks of the silkworms Bombyx mori and Samia cynthia ricini and dragline silks of the spiders Nephila clavipes and Nephila edulis. This study distinguished between band components due to beta-sheets, beta-turns, 3(1)-helices, and unordered structure for the four fibers. For B. mori, the beta-sheet content is 50%, which matches the proportion of residues that form the GAGAGS fibroin motifs. For the Nephila dragline and S. c. ricini cocoon, the beta-sheet content (36-37% and 45%, respectively) is higher than the proportion of residues that belong to polyalanine blocks (18% and 42%, respectively), showing that adjacent GGA motifs are incorporated into the beta-sheets. Nephila spidroins contain fewer beta-sheets and more flexible secondary structures than silkworm fibroins. The amorphous polypeptide chains are preferentially aligned parallel to the fiber direction, although their level of orientation is much lower than that of beta-sheets. Overall, the results show that the four silks exhibit a common molecular organization, with mixtures of different amounts of beta-sheets and flexible structures, which are organized with specific orientation levels.

  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. Feeding silk protein hydrolysates to C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice improves blood glucose and lipid profiles.

    PubMed

    Jung, Eun Young; Lee, Hyun-Sun; Lee, Hyun Jung; Kim, Jin-Man; Lee, Kwang-Won; Suh, Hyung Joo

    2010-11-01

    The hypothesis for the research is that hydrolyzed silk protein has an antidiabetic effect by reducing plasma glucose levels. To investigate this potential antidiabetic activity of hydrolyzed silk protein by protease-N (silk protein hydrolysate E5K6) in vivo, male C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice were separated into 3 groups: control group, db/db mice treated with vehicle (distilled water); SP-1 group, db/db mice treated with silk protein hydrolysate E5K6 at 0.1 g/kg body weight; and SP-2 group, db/db mice treated with silk protein hydrolysate E5K6 at 0.2 g/kg body weight. After 4 weeks of treatment, plasma glucose levels were lower in the SP-1 (177.3 ± 20.8 mg/dL) and SP-2 (151.8 ± 9.2 mg/dL) groups as compared to those in the control group (236.0 ± 31.2 mg/dL). Furthermore, blood glycated hemoglobin was significantly reduced in the SP-2 (6.6% ± 0.1%) compared to that in the control mice (7.7% ± 0.1%). The SP-2 group also had significant reductions in plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the atherogenic index by 11%, 27%, and 26%, respectively, compared to the control group. Insulin levels on plasma concentrations were significantly increased in the silk protein hydrolysate E5K6 groups (SP-1, 4.2 ± 1.1 ng/mL; SP-2, 4.8 ± 0.4 ng/mL) compared to those in the control group (2.9 ± 0.9 ng/mL). The silk protein hydrolysate E5K6-treated db/db mice (SP-1, 62.8 ± 1.6 arbitrary units [AU]; SP-2, 63.0 ± 4.0 AU) displayed pancreatic islets with significantly enhanced (P < .05) insulin staining as compared to the intensity of staining of those from the control group (55.8 ± 2.5 AU). The results suggest that silk protein hydrolysate E5K6 has insulin-releasing activity through the induction of β-cell activity in the pancreatic islets.

  9. 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

    2014-08-06

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Silk-elastin-like protein biomaterials for the controlled delivery of therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wenwen; Rollett, Alexandra; Kaplan, David L.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Genetically engineered biomaterials are useful for controlled delivery owing to their rational design, tunable structure-function, biocompatibility, degradability and target specificity. Silk-elastin-like proteins (SELPs), a family of genetically engineered recombinant protein polymers, possess these properties. Additionally, given the benefits of combining semicrystalline silk-blocks and elastomeric elastin-blocks, SELPs possess multi-stimuli responsive properties and tenability, thereby, becoming promising candidates for targeted cancer therapeutics delivery and controlled gene release. Areas covered An overview of SELP biomaterials for drug delivery and gene release is provided. Biosynthetic strategies used for SELP production, fundamental physicochemical properties, and self-assembly mechanisms are discussed. The review focuses on sequence-structure-function relationships, stimuli responsive features, and current and potential drug delivery applications. Expert opinion The tunable material properties allow SELPs to be pursued as promising biomaterials for nano-carriers and injectable drug release systems. Current applications of SELPs have focused on thermally-triggered biomaterial formats for the delivery of therapeutics, based on local hyperthermia in tumors or infections. Other prominent controlled release applications of SELPs as injectable hydrogels for gene release have also been pursued. Further biomedical applications that utilize other stimuli to trigger the reversible material responses of SELPs for targeted delivery, including pH, ionic strength, redox, enzymatic stimuli and electric field, are in progress. Exploiting these additional stimuli responsive features will provide a broader range of functional biomaterials for controlled therapeutics release and tissue regeneration. PMID:25476201

  13. Identification and characterization of multiple Spidroin 1 genes encoding major ampullate silk proteins in Nephila clavipes.

    PubMed

    Gaines, W A; Marcotte, W R

    2008-09-01

    Spider dragline silk is primarily composed of proteins called major ampullate spidroins (MaSps) that consist of a large repeat array flanked by nonrepetitive N- and C-terminal domains. Until recently, there has been little evidence for more than one gene encoding each of the two major spidroin silk proteins, MaSp1 and MaSp2. Here, we report the deduced N-terminal domain sequences for two distinct MaSp1 genes from Nephila clavipes (MaSp1A and MaSp1B) and for MaSp2. All three MaSp genes are co-expressed in the major ampullate gland. A search of the GenBank database also revealed two distinct MaSp1 C-terminal domain sequences. Sequencing confirmed that both MaSp1 genes are present in all seven Nephila clavipes spiders examined. The presence of nucleotide polymorphisms in these genes confirmed that MaSp1A and MaSp1B are distinct genetic loci and not merely alleles of the same gene. We experimentally determined the transcription start sites for all three MaSp genes and established preliminary pairing between the two MaSp1 N- and C-terminal domains. Phylogenetic analysis of these new sequences and other published MaSp N- and C-terminal domain sequences illustrated that duplications of MaSp genes may be widespread among spider species.

  14. Surface Induced nanofiber growth by self-assembly of a silk-elastin-like protein polymer.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Wonseok; Kim, Bo-Hyun; Dandu, Ramesh; Cappello, Joseph; Ghandehari, Hamidreza; Seog, Joonil

    2009-11-03

    Many synthetic and natural peptides are known to self-assemble to form various nanostructures. During the self-assembling process, environmental conditions such as salt concentration, pH, temperature, and surface characteristics play a critical role by influencing intermolecular interactions, and hence the process of self-assembly. Here we studied the self-assembly of a genetically engineered protein polymer composed of silk-like and elastin-like repeats on a mica surface. Silk-elastin-like protein polymers (SELPs) consist of tandem repeats of Gly-Ala-Gly-Ala-Gly-Ser from Bombyx mori (silkworm) and Gly-Val-Gly-Val-Pro from mammalian elastin. At a very low polymer concentration of 1 mug/mL, SELPs self-assembled into nanofibrous structures on a mica surface. Examination using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and dynamic light scattering techniques showed that SELPs self-assembled into nanofibers in the presence of the mica surface but not in the bulk state. Ionic strength had a significant influence on nanofiber growth, indicating the importance of electrostatic interactions between the polymer and the mica surface. At low ionic strength, the kinetics of nanofiber growth showed that the mica surface effectively removed a lag phase by providing nucleating sites, facilitating nanofiber self-assembly of SELPs. Furthermore, self-assembly on additional substrates such as silicon and a hydrophobic pyrolytic carbon surface revealed that the charged hydrophilic surface provides the optimal surface to facilitate self-assembly of SELPs.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Nanoscale probing of electron-regulated structural transitions in silk proteins by near-field IR imaging and nano-spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Nan; Zhang, Shaoqing; Jiang, Jianjuan; Corder, Stephanie Gilbert; Qian, Zhigang; Zhou, Zhitao; Lee, Woonsoo; Liu, Keyin; Wang, Xiaohan; Li, Xinxin; Shi, Zhifeng; Mao, Ying; Bechtel, Hans A.; Martin, Michael C.; Xia, Xiaoxia; Marelli, Benedetto; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Liu, Mengkun; Tao, Tiger H.

    2016-01-01

    Silk protein fibres produced by silkworms and spiders are renowned for their unparalleled mechanical strength and extensibility arising from their high-β-sheet crystal contents as natural materials. Investigation of β-sheet-oriented conformational transitions in silk proteins at the nanoscale remains a challenge using conventional imaging techniques given their limitations in chemical sensitivity or limited spatial resolution. Here, we report on electron-regulated nanoscale polymorphic transitions in silk proteins revealed by near-field infrared imaging and nano-spectroscopy at resolutions approaching the molecular level. The ability to locally probe nanoscale protein structural transitions combined with nanometre-precision electron-beam lithography offers us the capability to finely control the structure of silk proteins in two and three dimensions. Our work paves the way for unlocking essential nanoscopic protein structures and critical conditions for electron-induced conformational transitions, offering new rules to design protein-based nanoarchitectures. PMID:27713412

  20. Nanoscale probing of electron-regulated structural transitions in silk proteins by near-field IR imaging and nano-spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Nan; Zhang, Shaoqing; Jiang, Jianjuan; Corder, Stephanie Gilbert; Qian, Zhigang; Zhou, Zhitao; Lee, Woonsoo; Liu, Keyin; Wang, Xiaohan; Li, Xinxin; Shi, Zhifeng; Mao, Ying; Bechtel, Hans A.; Martin, Michael C.; Xia, Xiaoxia; Marelli, Benedetto; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Liu, Mengkun; Tao, Tiger H.

    2016-10-01

    Silk protein fibres produced by silkworms and spiders are renowned for their unparalleled mechanical strength and extensibility arising from their high-β-sheet crystal contents as natural materials. Investigation of β-sheet-oriented conformational transitions in silk proteins at the nanoscale remains a challenge using conventional imaging techniques given their limitations in chemical sensitivity or limited spatial resolution. Here, we report on electron-regulated nanoscale polymorphic transitions in silk proteins revealed by near-field infrared imaging and nano-spectroscopy at resolutions approaching the molecular level. The ability to locally probe nanoscale protein structural transitions combined with nanometre-precision electron-beam lithography offers us the capability to finely control the structure of silk proteins in two and three dimensions. Our work paves the way for unlocking essential nanoscopic protein structures and critical conditions for electron-induced conformational transitions, offering new rules to design protein-based nanoarchitectures.

  1. Nanoscale probing of electron-regulated structural transitions in silk proteins by near-field IR imaging and nano-spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Qin, Nan; Zhang, Shaoqing; Jiang, Jianjuan; Corder, Stephanie Gilbert; Qian, Zhigang; Zhou, Zhitao; Lee, Woonsoo; Liu, Keyin; Wang, Xiaohan; Li, Xinxin; Shi, Zhifeng; Mao, Ying; Bechtel, Hans A; Martin, Michael C; Xia, Xiaoxia; Marelli, Benedetto; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Liu, Mengkun; Tao, Tiger H

    2016-10-07

    Silk protein fibres produced by silkworms and spiders are renowned for their unparalleled mechanical strength and extensibility arising from their high-β-sheet crystal contents as natural materials. Investigation of β-sheet-oriented conformational transitions in silk proteins at the nanoscale remains a challenge using conventional imaging techniques given their limitations in chemical sensitivity or limited spatial resolution. Here, we report on electron-regulated nanoscale polymorphic transitions in silk proteins revealed by near-field infrared imaging and nano-spectroscopy at resolutions approaching the molecular level. The ability to locally probe nanoscale protein structural transitions combined with nanometre-precision electron-beam lithography offers us the capability to finely control the structure of silk proteins in two and three dimensions. Our work paves the way for unlocking essential nanoscopic protein structures and critical conditions for electron-induced conformational transitions, offering new rules to design protein-based nanoarchitectures.

  2. Spidroin N-terminal Domain Promotes a pH-dependent Association of Silk Proteins during Self-assembly*

    PubMed Central

    Gaines, William A.; Sehorn, Michael G.; Marcotte, William R.

    2010-01-01

    Spider silks are spun from concentrated solutions of spidroin proteins. The appropriate timing of spidroin assembly into organized fibers must be highly regulated to avoid premature fiber formation. Chemical and physical signals presented to the silk proteins as they pass from the ampulle and through the tapered duct include changes in ionic environment and pH as well as the introduction of shear forces. Here, we show that the N-terminal domain of spidroins from the major ampullate gland (MaSp-NTDs) for both Nephila and Latrodectus spiders associate noncovalently as homodimers. The MaSp-NTDs are highly pH-responsive and undergo a structural transition in the physiological pH range of the spider duct. Tryptophan fluorescence of the MaSp-NTDs reveals a change in conformation when pH is decreased, and the pH at which the transition occurs is determined by the amount and type of salt present. Size exclusion chromatography and pulldown assays both indicate that the lower pH conformation is associated with a significantly increased MaSp-NTD homodimer stability. By transducing the duct pH signal into specific protein-protein interactions, this conserved spidroin domain likely contributes significantly to the silk-spinning process. Based on these results, we propose a model of spider silk assembly dynamics as mediated through the MaSp-NTD. PMID:20959449

  3. 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.

  4. Evolution of repetitive proteins: spider silks from Nephila clavipes (Tetragnathidae) and Araneus bicentenarius (Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Beckwitt, R; Arcidiacono, S; Stote, R

    1998-03-01

    Spider silks are highly repetitive proteins, characterized by regions of polyalanine and glycine-rich repeating units. We have obtained two variants of the Spidroin 1 (NCF-1) silk gene sequence from Nephila clavipes. One sequence (1726 bp) was from a cloned cDNA, and the other (1951 bp) was from PCR of genomic DNA. When these sequences are compared with each other and the previously published Spidroin 1 sequence, there are differences due to sequence rearrangements, as well as single base substitutions. These variations are similar to those that have been reported from other highly repetitive genes, and probably represent the results of unequal cross-overs. We have also obtained 708 bp of sequence from pCR of genomic DNA from Araneus biocentenarius. This sequence shows considerable similarity to a dragline sequence (ADF-3) from A. diadematus, as well as Spidroin 2 (NCF-2) from N. clavipes. Minor but consistent differences in the repeating unit sequence between A. bicentenarius and A. diadematus suggest that concerted evolution or gene conversion processes are acting to maintain similarity among repeat units within a single gene.

  5. Biomimetic production of silk-like recombinant squid sucker ring teeth proteins.

    PubMed

    Ding, Dawei; Guerette, Paul A; Hoon, Shawn; Kong, Kiat Whye; Cornvik, Tobias; Nilsson, Martina; Kumar, Akshita; Lescar, Julien; Miserez, Ali

    2014-09-08

    The sucker ring teeth (SRT) of Humboldt squid exhibit mechanical properties that rival those of robust engineered synthetic polymers. Remarkably, these properties are achieved without a mineral phase or covalent cross-links. Instead, SRT are exclusively made of silk-like proteins called "suckerins", which assemble into nanoconfined β-sheet reinforced supramolecular networks. In this study, three streamlined strategies for full-length recombinant suckerin protein production and purification were developed. Recombinant suckerin exhibited high solubility and colloidal stability in aqueous-based solvents. In addition, the colloidal suspensions exhibited a concentration-dependent conformational switch, from random coil to β-sheet enriched structures. Our results demonstrate that recombinant suckerin can be produced in a facile manner in E. coli and processed from mild aqueous solutions into materials enriched in β-sheets. We suggest that recombinant suckerin-based materials offer potential for a range of biomedical and engineering applications.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The production of recombinant spider silk proteins continues to be a key area of interest for a number of research groups. Several key obstacles exist in their production as well as in their formulation into useable products. The original reported method to solubilize recombinant spider silk proteins (rSSp) in an aqueous solution involved using microwaves to quickly generate heat and pressure inside of a sealed vial containing rSSp and water. Fibers produced from this system are remarkable in their mechanical ability and demonstrate the ability to be stretched and recover 100 times. The microwave method dissolves the rSSPs with dissolution time increasing with higher molecular weight constructs, increasing concentration of rSSPs, protein type, and salt concentration. It has proven successful in solvating a number of different rSSPs including native-like sequences (MaSp1, MaSp2, piriform, and aggregate) as well as chimeric sequences (FlAS) in varied concentrations that have been spun into fibers and formed into films, foams, sponges, gels, coatings, macro and micro spheres and adhesives. The system is effective but inherently unpredictable and difficult to control. Provided that the materials that can be generated from this method of dissolution are impressive, an alternative means of applying heat and pressure that is controllable and predictable has been developed. Results indicate that there are combinations of heat and pressure (135 °C and 140 psi) that result in maximal dissolution without degrading the recombinant MaSp2 protein tested, and that heat and pressure are the key elements to the method of dissolution. PMID:27886066

  8. Biotechnology and Composite Materials

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-01

    protein fibroin which are glued together by the protein sericin . Many other insects produce silk, most notably spiders. Spider silks Zre proteins with...silk is boiled to remove the soluble sticky sericin protein, and the remaining fibroin portion of the silk is then unwound and used as silk fiber. Orb

  9. Ancient Properties of Spider Silks Revealed by the Complete Gene Sequence of the Prey-Wrapping Silk Protein (AcSp1)

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  10. AFM study of morphology and mechanical properties of a chimeric spider silk and bone sialoprotein protein for bone regeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to assess a new chimeric protein consisting of a fusion protein of the consensus repeat for Nephila clavipes spider dragline protein and bone sialoprotein (6mer+BSP). The elastic modulus of this protein in film form was assessed through force curves, and film surface roughness was also determined. The results showed a significant difference between the elastic modulus of the chimeric silk protein, 6mer+BSP, and control films consisting of only the silk component (6mer). The behaviour of the 6mer+BSP and 6mer proteins in aqueous solution in the presence of calcium (Ca) ions was also assessed to determine interactions between the inorganic and organic components related to bone interactions, anchoring and biomaterial network formation. The results demonstrated the formation of protein networks in the presence of Ca2+ ions, characteristics that may be important in the context of controlling materials assembly and properties related to bone-formation with this new chimeric silk-BSP protein. PMID:21370930

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Silk is a natural polymer with broad utility in biomedical applications because it exhibits general biocompatibility and high tensile material properties. While mechanical integrity is important for most biomaterial applications, proper function and integration also requires biomaterial incorporation into complex surrounding tissues for many physiologically relevant processes such as wound healing. In this study, we spin silk fibroin into a protein alloy fibre with whole fibronectin using wet spinning approaches in order to synergize their respective strength and cell interaction capabilities. Results demonstrate that silk fibroin alone is a poor adhesive surface for fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and vascular smooth muscle cells in the absence of serum. However, significantly improved cell attachment is observed to silk-fibronectin alloy fibres without serum present while not compromising the fibres’ mechanical integrity. Additionally, cell viability is improved up to six fold on alloy fibres when serum is present while migration and spreading generally increase as well. These findings demonstrate the utility of composite protein alloys as inexpensive and effective means to create durable, biologically active biomaterials. PMID:28378749

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-05

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

  13. 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.

  14. Regenerated silk fibers: Structural studies and solid state NMR techniques for efficient multiple distance determinations in proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liivak, Oskar

    2000-09-01

    Material Science is the science of understanding the relationship between the molecular level structure of a material and its macroscopic properties. Such research requires both the ability to determine molecular structure and the ability to control and modify the molecular structure. The present research into silks, especially the dragline silk from the spider Nephila clavipes , is occurring at a time when these two criteria are beginning to be met for proteins like spider silk. Genetic engineering has evolved to the point where material scientists have full control over the primary sequence of amino acids that comprise proteins. In addition, solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques exist which allow us to probe molecular structure. This work applies solid state NMR to the study of the structure of silk fibers. In particular, we focus on techniques of fiber regeneration from solution. The purpose is not only to develop the techniques by which genetically engineered fibers could be spun into fibers for mass production but also as a tool into fundamental silk research. Results on these regenerated fibers show a correlation between the fraction of the silk's alanine residues which are in the β-sheet conformation and the ultimate tensile strength of the fibers. In addition, in a clever mating of the fiber regeneration technique and the solid state NMR distance measurement experiment, rotational echo double resonance (REDOR), we investigate the supramolecular topology of the alanine β-sheet crystals. Even though the REDOR technique has failings for the complicated ISn spin systems found in the silk samples, a qualitative analysis does indicate that the β-sheet crystals are intermolecular. Finally, we investigate a new class of REDOR-like experiments which are designed to overcome the failings of REDOR in ISn spin systems. Experimental data is shown to validate these ideas. An alternate pulse sequence is also introduced and verified with experimental

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The fabrication of cellulose-spider silk bio-nanocomposites comprised of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and recombinant spider silk protein fused to a cellulose binding domain (CBD) is described. Silk-CBD successfully binds cellulose, and unlike recombinant silk alone, silk-CBD self-assembles into microfibrils even in the absence of CNCs. Silk-CBD-CNC composite sponges and films show changes in internal structure and CNC alignment related to the addition of silk-CBD. The silk-CBD sponges exhibit improved thermal and structural characteristics in comparison to control recombinant spider silk sponges. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of the silk-CBD sponge was higher than the control silk sponge and similar to native dragline spider silk fibers. Gel filtration analysis, dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated that silk-CBD, but not the recombinant silk control, formed a nematic liquid crystalline phase similar to that observed in native spider silk during the silk spinning process. Silk-CBD microfibrils spontaneously formed in solution upon ultrasonication. We suggest a model for silk-CBD assembly that implicates CBD in the central role of driving the dimerization of spider silk monomers, a process essential to the molecular assembly of spider-silk nanofibers and silk-CNC composites. PMID:27649169

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. High Throughput Screening of Dynamic Silk-Elastin-Like Protein Biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qin; Xia, Xiaoxia; Huang, Wenwen; Lin, Yinan; Xu, Qiaobing; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    The need for dynamic, elastomeric polymeric biomaterials remains high, with few options with tunable control of mechanical properties, and environmental responses. Yet the diversity of these types of protein polymers pursued for biomaterials-related needs remains limited. Robust high-throughput synthesis and characterization methods will address the need to expand options for protein-polymers for a range of applications. To address this need, a combinatorial library approach with high throughput screening is used to select specific examples of dynamic protein silk-elastin-like polypeptides (SELPs) with unique stimuli responsive features, including tensile strength, and adhesion. Using this approach 64 different SELPs with different sequences and molecular weights are selected out of over 2,000 recombinant E. coli colonies. New understanding of sequence-function relationships with this family of proteins is gained through this combinatorial-screening approach and can provide a guide to future library designs. Further, this approach yields new families of SELPs to match specific material functions. PMID:25505375

  1. Conformation and orientation of proteins in various types of silk fibers produced by Nephila clavipes spiders.

    PubMed

    Rousseau, Marie-Eve; Lefèvre, Thierry; Pézolet, Michel

    2009-10-12

    Silk fibers harvested from the web, cocoon, and prey wrapping of the spider Nephila clavipes have been studied by polarized Raman spectromicroscopy. The technique is efficient to differentiate the various types of silk by probing monofilaments produced by the major ampullate (MA), minor ampullate (MI), cylindriform, flagelliform, and aciniform glands. The spectra show that the MA, MI, and cylindriform silks belong to the same structural class and are composed of highly oriented beta-sheets (35-37%) with other slightly oriented secondary structures. Spectral markers of particular motifs involved in the beta-sheets have been identified. The flagelliform silk represents a second, very peculiar structural class. It displays a heterogeneous disordered conformation without any preferential orientation. Such characteristics certainly play a role in the large extensibility of this silk. The aciniform silk represents a third class of silk dominated by moderately oriented beta-sheets (approximately 30%) and alpha-helices (approximately 24%). Such a structure seems important in explaining the high toughness of this silk.

  2. 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

    2013-01-16

    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.

  3. Conformation transition of Bombyx mori silk protein monitored by time-dependent fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy: effect of organic solvent.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xin; Cai, Huifei; Ling, Shengjie; Shao, Zhengzhong; Huang, Yufang

    2012-06-01

    The conformation transition from random coil and/or helix to β-sheet of silk protein is the most important step in the formation of silk fiber in nature as well as by artificial spinning. Time-dependent Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy was used in this research to monitor such a conformation transition process induced by the organic solvents methanol, ethanol, propanol, isopropanol, and acetone. The kinetics of β-sheet formation of regenerated Bombyx mori silk fibroin in these organic solvents was obtained by the Δabsorbance-time curve from the time-dependent difference infrared spectra. The results showed that the conformation transition rate of silk fibroin was methanol > ethanol > acetone > propanol > isopropanol, which is in accordance with the polarity of these organic solvents. In connection with the mechanical properties and morphologies of regenerated silk fibers using these organic solvents as coagulation bath reported in the literature, we may conclude that the conformation transition rate of silk protein in the organic solvent is very important in wet-spinning to produce high-performance regenerated silk fibers.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Interaction study of collagen and sericin in blending solution.

    PubMed

    Duan, Lian; Yuan, Jingjie; Yang, Xiao; Cheng, Xinjian; Li, Jiao

    2016-12-01

    The interactions of collagen and sericin were studied by fluorescence spectra, ultraviolet spectra, FTIR spectra and dynamic light scattering. The fluorescence quenching in emission spectra and red-shift (283-330nm) in synchronous fluorescence spectra suggested the Tyr of collagen and sericin overlapped with a distance of 3Å, generating excimer. The overlapped Tyr of collagen and sericin decreased the hydrophobicity of collagen, which resulted in the red-shifts (233-240nm) in ultraviolet spectra. Moreover, the red-shifts of amide bands of collagen in FTIR spectra indicated the hydrogen bonds of collagen were weaken and it could also be explained by the overlapped Tyr. The results of 2D-FTIR spectra demonstrated the backbone of collagen molecule was varied and the most susceptible structure of collagen was the triple helix with the presence of sericin. Based on dynamic light scattering, we conjectured large pure collagen aggregates were replaced by hybrid aggregates of collagen and sericin particles after the addition of sericin. With ascending sericin ratio, the diameters of the hybrid aggregates increased and attained maximum with 60% ratio of sericin, which were on account of the increasing excimer number. The results of DSC demonstrated the presence of sericin enhanced the thermal stability of collagen.

  8. 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.

  9. Antibiotic free selection for the high level biosynthesis of a silk-elastin-like protein

    PubMed Central

    Barroca, Mário; Rodrigues, Paulo; Sobral, Rómulo; Costa, M. Manuela R.; Chaves, Susana R.; Machado, Raul; Casal, Margarida; Collins, Tony

    2016-01-01

    Silk-elastin-like proteins (SELPs) are a family of genetically engineered recombinant protein polymers exhibiting mechanical and biological properties suited for a wide range of applications in the biomedicine and materials fields. They are being explored as the next generation of biomaterials but low productivities and use of antibiotics during production undermine their economic viability and safety. We have developed an industrially relevant, scalable, fed-batch process for the high level production of a novel SELP in E. coli in which the commonly used antibiotic selection marker of the expression vector is exchanged for a post segregational suicide system, the separate-component-stabilisation system (SCS). SCS significantly augments SELP productivity but also enhances the product safety profile and reduces process costs by eliminating the use of antibiotics. Plasmid content increased following induction but no significant differences in plasmid levels were discerned when using SCS or the antibiotic selection markers under the controlled fed-batch conditions employed. It is suggested that the absence of competing plasmid-free cells improves host cell viability and enables increased productivity with SCS. With the process developed, 12.8 g L−1 purified SELP was obtained, this is the highest SELP productivity reported to date and clearly demonstrates the commercial viability of these promising polymers. PMID:27982135

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Morphology and primary crystal structure of a silk-like protein polymer synthesized by genetically engineered Escherichia coli bacteria.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J P; Cappello, J; Martin, D C

    1994-08-01

    The morphology and primary crystal structure of SLPF, a protein polymer produced by genetically engineered Escherichia coli bacteria, were characterized. SLPF is a segmented copolymer consisting of amino acid sequence blocks modeled on the crystalline segments of silk fibroin and the cell attachment domain of human fibronectin. Wide angle x-ray scattering (WAXS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected area electron diffraction (SAED), and molecular simulations were used to analyze the primary crystal structure of SLPF. TEM experiments conducted on SLPF droplets cast from formic acid on amorphous carbon film demonstrated that these protein films have a microstructure formed of woven sheaves. The sheaves are composed of well-defined whisker crystallites. The width of the whiskers, 11.8 +/- 2.2 nm, may be correlated to the length of the silk-like segment in SLPF as predicted by molecular simulations. WAXS data, TEM images, SAED, patterns, molecular simulations, and theoretical diffraction patterns all were consistent with the crankshaft model proposed for Silk I by Lotz and Keith.

  13. Thermal behavior of Bombyx mori silk: evolution of crystalline parameters, molecular structure, and mechanical properties.

    PubMed

    Martel, A; Burghammer, M; Davies, R J; Riekel, C

    2007-11-01

    The thermal behavior up to degradation of Bombyx mori silk has been studied by scanning synchrotron radiation microdiffraction, gel electrophoresis, and mechanical testing. The diffraction patterns from single baves can be separated into scattering from anisotropic crystalline beta-sheet domains and random short-range order. In contrast to dragline silk, scattering from oriented, short-range-order fibroin is not observed. The sheath of sericin proteins can be selectively probed by a microbeam and shows also principally random short-range-order domains with a small crystalline beta-sheet fraction. Microdiffraction experiments on single baves from 100 to 573 K show an increase in lattice expansion along the [010] chain-stacking direction above 200-250 K, which could be due to an increase in side-chain mobility. Degradation of the crystalline fraction commences at approximately 500 K, and the fibers have become amorphous at about 570 K with an onset of carbonization. Gel electrophoresis shows that the degradation of FibH molecules starts already at about 350 K, while FibL molecules start degrading at about 400 K. The mechanical properties of single baves such as strain-to-failure and tensile strength also start degrading at about 400 K, while the initial modulus increases up to about 475 K. It is proposed that this is due to the development of cross-linking in the short-range-order chain fraction.

  14. Hydrophobic drug-triggered self-assembly of nanoparticles from silk-elastin-like protein polymers for drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xiao-Xia; Wang, Ming; Lin, Yinan; Xu, Qiaobing; Kaplan, David L

    2014-03-10

    Silk-elastin-like protein polymers (SELPs) combine the mechanical and biological properties of silk and elastin. These properties have led to the development of various SELP-based materials for drug delivery. However, SELPs have rarely been developed into nanoparticles, partially due to the complicated fabrication procedures, nor assessed for potential as an anticancer drug delivery system. We have recently constructed a series of SELPs (SE8Y, S2E8Y, and S4E8Y) with various ratios of silk to elastin blocks and described their capacity to form micellar-like nanoparticles upon thermal triggering. In this study, we demonstrate that doxorubicin, a hydrophobic antitumor drug, can efficiently trigger the self-assembly of SE8Y (SELPs with silk to elastin ratio of 1:8) into uniform micellar-like nanoparticles. The drug can be loaded in the SE8Y nanoparticles with an efficiency around 6.5% (65 ng doxorubicin/μg SE8Y), S2E8Y with 6%, and S4E8Y with 4%, respectively. In vitro studies with HeLa cell lines demonstrate that the protein polymers are not cytotoxic (IC50 > 200 μg/mL), while the doxorubicin-loaded SE8Y nanoparticles showed a 1.8-fold higher cytotoxicity than the free drug. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and flow cytometry indicate significant uptake of the SE8Y nanoparticles by the cells and suggest internalization of the nanoparticles through endocytosis. This study provides an all-aqueous, facile method to prepare nanoscale, drug-loaded SELPs packages with potential for tumor cell treatments.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Background Oncolytic viral efficacy may be limited by the penetration of the virus into tumors. This may be enhanced by intraoperative application of virus immediately after surgical resection. Methods Oncolytic vaccinia virus GLV-1h68 was delivered in silk-elastin-like protein polymer (SELP) in vitro and in vivo in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cell line 8505c in nude mice. Results GLV-1h68 in SELP infected and lysed anaplastic thyroid cancer cells in vitro equally as effectively as in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and at 1 week retains a thousand fold greater infectious plaque-forming units. In surgical resection models of residual tumor, GLV-1h68 in SELP improves tumor control and shows increased viral β-galactosidase expression as compared to PBS. Conclusion The use of SELP matrix for intraoperative oncolytic viral delivery protects infectious viral particles from degradation, facilitates sustained viral delivery and transgene expression, and improves tumor control. Such optimization of methods of oncolytic viral delivery may enhance therapeutic outcomes. PMID:25244076

  16. 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

  17. Silk protein as a new optically transparent adhesion layer for an ultra-smooth sub-10 nm gold layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Min, Kyungtaek; Umar, Muhammad; Ryu, Shinyoung; Lee, Soonil; Kim, Sunghwan

    2017-03-01

    Ultra-thin and ultra-smooth gold (Au) films are appealing for photonic applications including surface plasmon resonances and transparent contacts. However, poor adhesion at the Au–dielectric interface prohibits the formation of a mechanically stable, ultra-thin, and ultra-smooth Au film. A conventional solution is to use a metallic adhesion layer, such as titanium and chromium, however such layers cause the optical properties of pure Au to deteriorate. Here we report the use of silk protein to enhance the adhesion at the Au–dielectric interface, thus obtaining ultra-smooth sub-10 nm Au films. The Au films that were deposited onto the silk layer exhibited superior surface roughness to those deposited on SiO2, Si, and poly(methyl methacrylate), along with improved adhesion, electrical conductivity, and optical transparency. Additionally, we confirm that a metal–insulator–metal optical resonator can be successfully generated using a silk insulating layer without the use of a metallic adhesion layer.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Structural Origins of Silk Piezoelectricity

    PubMed Central

    Yucel, Tuna; Cebe, Peggy

    2012-01-01

    Uniaxially oriented, piezoelectric silk films were prepared by a two-step method that involved: (1) air drying aqueous, regenerated silk fibroin solutions into films, and (2) drawing the silk films to a desired draw ratio. The utility of two different drawing techniques, zone drawing and water immersion drawing were investigated for processing the silk for piezoelectric studies. Silk films zone drawn to a ratio of λ= 2.7 displayed relatively high dynamic shear piezoelectric coefficients of d14 = −1.5 pC/N, corresponding to over two orders of magnitude increase in d14 due to film drawing. A strong correlation was observed between the increase in the silk II, β-sheet content with increasing draw ratio measured by FTIR spectroscopy (Cβ∝ e2.5 λ), the concomitant increasing degree of orientation of β-sheet crystals detected via WAXD (FWHM = 0.22° for λ= 2.7), and the improvement in silk piezoelectricity (d14∝ e2.4 λ). Water immersion drawing led to a predominantly silk I structure with a low degree of orientation (FWHM = 75°) and a much weaker piezoelectric response compared to zone drawing. Similarly, increasing the β-sheet crystallinity without inducing crystal alignment, e.g. by methanol treatment, did not result in a significant enhancement of silk piezoelectricity. Overall, a combination of a high degree of silk II, β-sheet crystallinity and crystalline orientation are prerequisites for a strong piezoelectric effect in silk. Further understanding of the structural origins of silk piezoelectricity will provide important options for future biotechnological and biomedical applications of this protein. PMID:23335872

  3. Structural Insights into Water-Based Spider Silk Protein-Nanoclay Composites with Excellent Gas and Water Vapor Barrier Properties.

    PubMed

    Doblhofer, Elena; Schmid, Jasmin; Rieß, Martin; Daab, Matthias; Suntinger, Magdalena; Habel, Christoph; Bargel, Hendrik; Hugenschmidt, Christoph; Rosenfeldt, Sabine; Breu, Josef; Scheibel, Thomas

    2016-09-28

    Nature reveals a great variety of inorganic-organic composite materials exhibiting good mechanical properties, high thermal and chemical stability, and good barrier properties. One class of natural bio-nanocomposites, e.g. found in mussel shells, comprises protein matrices with layered inorganic fillers. Inspired by such natural bio-nanocomposites, the cationic recombinant spider silk protein eADF4(κ16) was processed together with the synthetic layered silicate sodium hectorite in an all-aqueous setup. Drop-casting of this bio-nanocomposite resulted in a thermally and chemically stable film reflecting a one-dimensional crystal. Surprisingly, this bio-nanocomposite coating was, though produced in an all-aqueous process, completely water insoluble. Analyzing the structural details showed a low inner free volume due to the well-oriented self-assembly/alignment of the spider silk proteins on the nanoclay surface, yielding high oxygen and water vapor barrier properties. The here demonstrated properties in combination with good biocompatibility qualify this new bio-nanocomposite to be used in packaging applications.

  4. 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

  5. Antioxidant Effect of Sericin in Brain and Peripheral Tissues of Oxidative Stress Induced Hypercholesterolemic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Deori, Meetali; Devi, Dipali; Kumari, Sima; Hazarika, Ankita; Kalita, Himadri; Sarma, Rahul; Devi, Rajlakshmi

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the antioxidant effect of crude sericin extract (CSE) from Antheraea assamensis in high cholesterol fed rats. Investigation was conducted by administering graded oral dose of 0.25 and 0.5 gm/kg body weight (b.w.)/day of CSE for a period of 28 days. Experiments were conducted in 30 rats and were divided into five groups: normal control, high cholesterol fed (HCF), HCF + 0.065 gm/kg b.w./day fenofibrate (FF), HCF + sericin 0.25 gm/kg b.w./day (LSD), and HCF + sericin 0.5 gm/kg b.w./day (HSD). In brain, heart, liver, serum, and kidney homogenates nitric oxide (NO), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), protein carbonyl content (PCC), superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione (GSH) was measured. LSD treatment prevented the alterations in GSH and PCC levels in hypercholesterolemic (HyC) brain tissue homogenates of rats. CSE lowers the serum total cholesterol level in HyC rats by promoting fecal cholesterol (FC) excretion. CSE increases FC level by promoting inhibition of cholesterol absorption in intestine. The endogenous antioxidant reduced significantly and the oxidative stress marker TBARS level increases significantly in the peripheral tissue of HCF rats. However, the administration of LSD and HSD exhibited a good antioxidant activity by reducing the TBARS level and increasing the endogenous antioxidant in peripheral tissue. In addition, a histological examination revealed loss of normal liver and kidney architecture in cholesterol fed rats which were retained in sericin treated groups. The findings of this study suggested that CSE improves hypercholesterolemia in rats fed a HyC diet. Clinical relevance of this effect of CSE seems worthy of further studies. PMID:27695419

  6. Silk Polymer Designs for Improved Expression and Processing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-10-28

    formed from regenerated silk fibroin using freeze- drying, salt leaching and gas foaming techniques with porosities up to 99% and pore sizes...materials. The formation of this beta sheet silk structure (termed silk II) was induced by nitrogen gas , likely due to dehydration effects, as is...silks in new ways to integrate inorganic components directly with the protein material, the hydrophobic nature of silk excludes the additional chimeric

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 2.5 nm × 3.3 nm × 3.8 nm. Besides a prominent nanocrystalline region, a partially oriented amorphous region was also observed with an fa ≈ 0.89. Two-dimensional 13C–13C 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  11. Carotenoid silk coloration is controlled by a carotenoid-binding protein, a product of the Yellow blood gene

    PubMed Central

    Sakudoh, Takashi; Sezutsu, Hideki; Nakashima, Takeharu; Kobayashi, Isao; Fujimoto, Hirofumi; Uchino, Keiro; Banno, Yutaka; Iwano, Hidetoshi; Maekawa, Hideaki; Tamura, Toshiki; Kataoka, Hiroshi; Tsuchida, Kozo

    2007-01-01

    Mechanisms for the uptake and transport of carotenoids, essential nutrients for humans, are not well understood in any animal system. The Y (Yellow blood) gene, a critical cocoon color determinant in the silkworm Bombyx mori, controls the uptake of carotenoids into the intestinal mucosa and the silk gland. Here we provide evidence that the Y gene corresponds to the intracellular carotenoid-binding protein (CBP) gene. In the Y recessive strain, the absence of an exon, likely due to an incorrect mRNA splicing caused by a transposon-associated genomic deletion, generates a nonfunctional CBP mRNA, resulting in colorless hemolymph and white cocoons. Enhancement of carotenoid uptake and coloration of the white cocoon was achieved by germ-line transformation with the CBP gene. This study demonstrates the existence of a genetically facilitated intracellular process beyond passive diffusion for carotenoid uptake in the animal phyla, and paves the way for modulating silk color and lipid content through genetic engineering. PMID:17496138

  12. 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.

  13. Physical properties and dyeability of silk fibers degummed with citric acid.

    PubMed

    Khan, Majibur Rahman; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Gotoh, Yasuo; Morikawa, Hideaki; Freddi, Giuliano; Shiozaki, Hideki

    2010-11-01

    Silk fibers from Bombyx mori silkworm was degummed with different concentration of citric acid, and the physical properties and fine structure were investigated to elucidate the effects of citric acid treatment. The silk sericin removal percentage was almost 100% after degumming with 30% citric acid which resulted in a total weight loss of 25.4% in the silk fibers. The surface morphology of silk fiber degummed with citric acid was very smooth and fine, showed perfect degumming like traditional soap-alkali method. The tensile strength of silk fiber was increased after degumming with citric acid (507MPa), where as the traditional soap-alkali method causes to decrease the strength about half of the control silk fiber (250MPa). The molecular conformation estimated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and the crystalline structure evaluated from X-ray diffraction curve stayed unchanged regardless of the degumming with citric acid and soap. The dye uptake percentage of silk fiber degummed with citric acid decreased slightly, about 4.2%. On the other hand, the dye uptake percentage of silk degummed with soap was higher which indicates the disordering of the molecular orientation of the laterally ordered structure, accompanied with the partial hydrolysis of silk fibroin molecules by the alkali action of soap. The thermal properties were greatly enhanced by soap and citric acid degumming agents. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis showed silk degummed with citric acid is more stable in higher temperature than that of soap. With heating at above 300 degrees C, the silk degummed with citric acid shows an increase in storage modulus and an onset of tan delta peaks at 325 degrees C and the melt flow of the sample was inhibited. The degumming of silk fibers with citric acid is safe and the results obtained are quite promising as a basis for possible future industrial application.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. State of water, molecular structure, and cytotoxicity of silk hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Numata, Keiji; Katashima, Takuya; Sakai, Takamasa

    2011-06-13

    A novel technique was developed to regulate the bulk water content of silk hydrogels by adjusting the concentrations of silk proteins, which is helpful to investigate the effects of the state of water in polymeric hydrogel on its biological functions, such as cytotoxicity. Gelation of the silk hydrogel was induced with ethanol and its gelation behavior was analyzed by rheometry. The silk hydrogels prepared at various silk concentrations were characterized with respect to their water content, molecular and network structures, state of water, mechanical properties, and cytotoxicity to human mesenchymal stem cells. The network structure of silk hydrogel was heterogeneous with β-sheet and fibrillar structures. The influence of the state of water in the silk hydrogel on the cytotoxicity was recognized by means of differential scanning calorimetry and cell proliferation assay, which revealed that the bound water will support cell-adhesion proteins in the cellular matrix to interact with the surface of the silk hydrogels.

  19. 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

    2011-01-11

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

  20. Anti-EGFR-iRGD recombinant protein conjugated silk fibroin nanoparticles for enhanced tumor targeting and antitumor efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Bian, Xinyu; Wu, Puyuan; Sha, Huizi; Qian, Hanqing; Wang, Qing; Cheng, Lei; Yang, Yang; Yang, Mi; Liu, Baorui

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we report a novel kind of targeting with paclitaxel (PTX)-loaded silk fibroin nanoparticles conjugated with iRGD–EGFR nanobody recombinant protein (anti-EGFR-iRGD). The new nanoparticles (called A-PTX-SF-NPs) were prepared using the carbodiimide-mediated coupling procedure and their characteristics were evaluated. The cellular cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of A-PTX-SF-NPs were also investigated. The results in vivo suggested that NPs conjugated with the recombinant protein exhibited more targeting and anti-neoplastic property in cells with high EGFR expression. In the in vivo antitumor efficacy assay, the A-PTX-SF-NPs group showed slower tumor growth and smaller tumor volumes than PTX-SF-NPs in a HeLa xenograft mouse model. A real-time near-infrared fluorescence imaging study showed that A-PTX-SF-NPs could target the tumor more effectively. These results suggest that the anticancer activity and tumor targeting of A-PTX-SF-NPs were superior to those of PTX-SF-NPs and may have the potential to be used for targeted delivery for tumor therapies. PMID:27313461

  1. 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.

  2. Sulfated sericin is a novel anticoagulant influencing the blood coagulation cascade.

    PubMed

    Sano, Masanari; Tamada, Yasushi; Niwa, Kazuki; Morita, Toshisuke; Yoshino, Gen

    2009-01-01

    Sulfated sericin's influence on factors in the blood coagulation cascade was investigated to elucidate its anticoagulant mechanism. Prolongation of the prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) were observed in the presence of sulfated sericin. Fluorogenic peptide substrates on thrombin (factor IIa) and factor Xa were used to study the influence of sulfate sericin on their respective activities. Sulfated sericin inhibited neither thrombin nor factor Xa in the presence of antithrombin III (AT III). Gel electrophoresis was used to examine fibrinogen-fibrin conversion by thrombin in the presence of sulfated sericin. FPA and FPB release from fibrinogen by thrombin proceeded in the presence of sulfated sericin. The behavior of polymerization of fibrin monomer (FM) was affected by the presence of sulfated sericin. No initial lag time in the polymerization process was observed by addition of sulfated sericin to FM. This result means that sulfated sericin will interfere in the build-up of normal double-strand fibrils of FM during formation of fibrin fiber. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations supported this inference. The anticoagulant mechanism of sulfated sericin is inferred to interfere with the initial polymerization process of FM.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 13C NMR of Nephila clavipes major ampullate silk gland.

    PubMed

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

    1996-12-01

    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.

  6. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes. PMID:27517908

  7. Förster Resonance Energy Transfer-Paired Hydrogel Forming Silk-Elastin-Like Recombinamers by Recombinant Conjugation of Fluorescent Proteins.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez-Fonseca, Arturo; Alonso, Matilde; Arias, Francisco Javier; Rodríguez-Cabello, José Carlos

    2017-02-15

    In the last decades, recombinant structural proteins have become very promising in addressing different issues such as the lack of traceability of biomedical devices or the design of more sensitive biosensors. Among them, we find elastin-like recombinamers (ELRs), which can be designed to self-assemble into diverse structures, such as hydrogels. Furthermore, they might be combined with other protein polymers, such as silk, to give silk-elastin-like recombinamers (SELRs), holding the properties of both proteins. In this work, due to their recombinant nature, we have fused two different fluorescent proteins (FPs), i.e., the green Aequorea coerulescens enhanced green fluorescent protein and the near-infrared eqFP650, to a SELR able to form irreversible hydrogels through physical cross-linking. These recombinamers showed an emission of fluorescence similar to the single FPs, and they were capable of forming hydrogels with different stiffness (G' = 60-4000 Pa) by varying the concentration of the SELR-FPs. Moreover, the absorption spectrum of SELR-eqFP650 showed a peak greatly overlapping the emission spectrum of the SELR-Aequorea coerulescens enhanced green fluorescent protein. Hence, this enables Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) upon the interaction between two SELR molecules, each one containing a different FP, due to the stacking of silk domains at any temperature and to the aggregation of elastin-like blocks above the transition temperature. This effect was studied by different methods, and a FRET efficiency of 0.06-0.2 was observed, depending on the technique used for its calculation. Therefore, innovative biological applications arise from the combination of SELRs with FPs, such as enhancing the traceability of hydrogels based on SELRs intended for tissue engineering, the development of biosensors, and the prediction of FRET efficiencies of novel FRET pairs.

  8. Sericin reduces serum cholesterol in rats and cholesterol uptake into Caco-2 cells.

    PubMed

    Limpeanchob, Nanteetip; Trisat, Kanittaporn; Duangjai, Acharaporn; Tiyaboonchai, Waree; Pongcharoen, Sutatip; Sutheerawattananonda, Manote

    2010-12-08

    A cholesterol lowering effect of sericin was investigated both in vivo and in vitro. Rats were dosed with cholesterol with and without sericin for 14 days. Non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and total serum cholesterols were reduced in rats fed high-cholesterol diet with all three tested doses of sericin (10, 100, and 1000 mg kg(-1) day(-1)). The potential mechanism of actions was determined by measuring the uptake of radiolabeled cholesterol into differentiated Caco-2 cells and cholesterol solubility in mixed lipid micelles. Concentration of sericin as low as 25 and 50 μg/mL inhibited 30% of cholesterol uptake into Caco-2 cells whereas no effect was found at higher concentration. Cholesterol micellar solubility was reduced in the presence of sericin. This study suggests the cholesterol lowering effect of sericin results from its inhibition of cholesterol absorption in intestinal cells and its reduction of cholesterol solubility in lipid micelles.

  9. Sericins exhibit ROS-scavenging, anti-tyrosinase, anti-elastase, and in vitro immunomodulatory activities.

    PubMed

    Chlapanidas, Theodora; Faragò, Silvio; Lucconi, Giulia; Perteghella, Sara; Galuzzi, Marta; Mantelli, Melissa; Avanzini, Maria Antonietta; Tosca, Marta Cecilia; Marazzi, Mario; Vigo, Daniele; Torre, Maria Luisa; Faustini, Massimo

    2013-07-01

    Some biological properties of Bombyx mori sericins from twenty strains were investigated, fourteen fed with artificial diet, two with fresh mulberry leaves and four with both diets. Sericin exhibited ROS-scavenging, anti-tyrosinase and anti-elastase properties, the strain significantly influenced these properties, while diet only influenced the anti-tyrosinase activity. Sericins were clustered into 5 groups and one sericin from each group was further studied: sericins showed anti-proliferative activity on in vitro stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells; some strains decreased in vitro secretion of IFNγ, while no effects were observed on TNFα and IL10 release. Therefore, a mixture of sericins extracted from the most promising strains may be useful for dermatological and cosmetic use.

  10. 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)

  11. Spider Silk Spun and Integrated into Composites

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-02-20

    and elongation of sericin is lower than those of fibroin and, finally, (0 local shear damage is dominant in damaged sericin between fibres, while the... sericin at fibre-joint often shows microflow. These analytical studies are presently being expanded to include synthetic composites made of both...with sericin . Such a cocoon consists of three main parts: an outermost loose mesh structure, the middle shell layers and the innermost tetelette; all

  12. 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.

  13. Functionalised Silk Fibres

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-07-30

    method. We note that high levels of non-specific binding to silkworm silk have been reported in other laboratories (Lammel et al., 2011...are commonly used to induce ß-sheet formation in reconstituted silkworm silk and 16 result in water insensitive material. FTIR analysis...model for artificial honeybee silk. In contrast, hornet silk (Vespoidea) can be solubilised in lithium bromide (akin to silkworm silk). Therefore, the

  14. Surface properties and conformation of Nephila clavipes spider recombinant silk proteins at the air-water interface.

    PubMed

    Renault, Anne; Rioux-Dubé, Jean-François; Lefèvre, Thierry; Pezennec, Stéphane; Beaufils, Sylvie; Vié, Véronique; Tremblay, Mélanie; Pézolet, Michel

    2009-07-21

    The dragline fiber of spiders is composed of two proteins, the major ampullate spidroins I and II (MaSpI and MaSpII). To better understand the assembly mechanism and the properties of these proteins, the adsorption behavior of the recombinant proteins of the spider Nephila clavipes produced by Nexia Biotechnologies Inc. has been studied at the air-water interface using ellipsometry, surface pressure, rheological, and infrared measurements. The results show that the adsorption is more rapid and more molecules are present at the interface for MaSpII than for MaSpI. MaSpII has thus a higher affinity for the interface than MaSpI, which is consistent with its higher aggregation propensity in water. The films formed at the interface consist of networks containing a high content of intermolecular beta-sheets as revealed by the in situ polarization modulation infrared absorption reflection spectra. The infrared results further demonstrate that, for MaSpI, the beta-sheets are formed as soon as the proteins adsorb to the interface while for MaSpII the beta-sheet formation occurs more slowly. The amount of beta-sheets is lower for MaSpII than for MaSpI, most likely due to the presence of proline residues in its sequence. Both proteins form elastic films, but they are heterogeneous for MaSpI and homogeneous for MaSpII most probably as a result of a more ordered and slower aggregation process for MaSpII. This difference in their mechanism of assembly and interfacial behaviors does not seem to arise from their overall hydrophobicity or from a specific pattern of hydrophobicity, but rather from the longer polyalanine motifs, lower glycine content, and higher proline content of MaSpII. The propensity of both spidroins to form beta-sheets, especially the polyalanine blocks, suggests the participation of both proteins in the silk's beta-sheet crystallites.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Structural and optical studies on selected web spinning spider silks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karthikeyani, R.; Divya, A.; Mathavan, T.; Asath, R. Mohamed; Benial, A. Milton Franklin; Muthuchelian, K.

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the structural and optical properties in the cribellate silk of the sheet web spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Eresidae) and the combined dragline, viscid silk of the orb-web spiders Argiope pulchella Thorell (Araneidae) and Nephila pilipes Fabricius (Nephilidae). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR), Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques were used to study these three spider silk species. X-ray diffraction data are consistent with the amorphous polymer network which is arising from the interaction of larger side chain amino acid contributions due to the poly-glycine rich sequences known to be present in the proteins of cribellate silk. The same amorphous polymer networks have been determined from the combined dragline and viscid silk of orb-web spiders. From FTIR spectra the results demonstrate that, cribellate silk of Stegodyphus sarasinorum, combined dragline viscid silk of Argiope pulchella and Nephila pilipes spider silks are showing protein peaks in the amide I, II and III regions. Further they proved that the functional groups present in the protein moieties are attributed to α-helical and side chain amino acid contributions. The optical properties of the obtained spider silks such as extinction coefficients, refractive index, real and imaginary dielectric constants and optical conductance were studied extensively from UV-Vis analysis. The important fluorescent amino acid tyrosine is present in the protein folding was investigated by using fluorescence spectroscopy. This research would explore the protein moieties present in the spider silks which were found to be associated with α-helix and side chain amino acid contributions than with β-sheet secondary structure and also the optical relationship between the three different spider silks are investigated. Successful spectroscopic knowledge of the internal protein structure and optical properties of the spider silks could

  19. Structural and optical studies on selected web spinning spider silks.

    PubMed

    Karthikeyani, R; Divya, A; Mathavan, T; Asath, R Mohamed; Benial, A Milton Franklin; Muthuchelian, K

    2017-01-05

    This study investigates the structural and optical properties in the cribellate silk of the sheet web spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Eresidae) and the combined dragline, viscid silk of the orb-web spiders Argiope pulchella Thorell (Araneidae) and Nephila pilipes Fabricius (Nephilidae). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR), Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques were used to study these three spider silk species. X-ray diffraction data are consistent with the amorphous polymer network which is arising from the interaction of larger side chain amino acid contributions due to the poly-glycine rich sequences known to be present in the proteins of cribellate silk. The same amorphous polymer networks have been determined from the combined dragline and viscid silk of orb-web spiders. From FTIR spectra the results demonstrate that, cribellate silk of Stegodyphus sarasinorum, combined dragline viscid silk of Argiope pulchella and Nephila pilipes spider silks are showing protein peaks in the amide I, II and III regions. Further they proved that the functional groups present in the protein moieties are attributed to α-helical and side chain amino acid contributions. The optical properties of the obtained spider silks such as extinction coefficients, refractive index, real and imaginary dielectric constants and optical conductance were studied extensively from UV-Vis analysis. The important fluorescent amino acid tyrosine is present in the protein folding was investigated by using fluorescence spectroscopy. This research would explore the protein moieties present in the spider silks which were found to be associated with α-helix and side chain amino acid contributions than with β-sheet secondary structure and also the optical relationship between the three different spider silks are investigated. Successful spectroscopic knowledge of the internal protein structure and optical properties of the spider silks could

  20. Silkmapin of Hyriopsis cumingii, a novel silk-like shell matrix protein involved in nacre formation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaojun; Dong, Shaojian; Jin, Can; Bai, Zhiyi; Wang, Guiling; Li, Jiale

    2015-01-25

    Understanding the role of matrix proteins in nacre formation and biomineralization in mollusks is important for the pearl industry. In this study, the gene encoding the novel Hyriopsis cumingii shell matrix protein silkmapin was characterized. The gene encodes a protein of 30.89kDa in which Gly accounts for 34.41% of the amino acid content, and the C-terminal region binds Ca(2+). Secondary structure prediction indicated a predominantly β-fold and a structure typical of filamentous proteins. Real-time quantitative PCR and in situ hybridization showed that silkmapin was expressed in epithelial cells at the edge and pallial of mantle tissue, indicated that silkmapin play roles in the shell nacreous and prismatic layer formation. Further real-time PCR results indicated an involvement in pearl formation via nucleation of calcium carbonate prior to formation of the nacre.

  1. Cloning and Structure of Different Types of Spider Silk

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-12-01

    necessary and identify by blockc number) Amino acid sequence from several spider silk proteins have been determined. These include: Nephila dragline (GYGPG...identified from a Nephila silk gland library using an 18 mer probe based on the dragline protein sequence. These have been plague purified and sequencing...YEAR 21: In the past year we have sequenced several more peptide fragments from different spider silks. These include: Nephila cocoon( SAFO), Araneus

  2. Effect of pH on the structure of the recombinant C-terminal domain of Nephila clavipes dragline silk protein.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Martin; Leclerc, Jérémie; Lefèvre, Thierry; Gagné, Stéphane M; Auger, Michèle

    2014-12-08

    Spider silk proteins undergo a complex series of molecular events before being converted into an outstanding hierarchically organized fiber. Recent literature has underlined the crucial role of the C-terminal domain in silk protein stability and fiber formation. However, the effect of pH remains to be clarified. We have thus developed an efficient purification protocol to obtain stable native-like recombinant MaSp1 C-terminal domain of Nephila clavipes (NCCTD). Its structure was investigated as a function of pH using circular dichroism, fluorescence and solution NMR spectroscopy. The results show that the NCCTD structure is very sensitive to pH and suggest that a molten globule state occurs at pH 5.0 and below. Electronic microscopy images also indicate fiber formation at low pH and coarser globular particles at more basic pH. The results are consistent with a spinning process model where the NCCTD acts as an aggregation nucleus favoring the β-aggregation of the hydrophobic polyalanine repeats upon spinning.

  3. The effect of sterilization on silk fibroin biomaterial properties.

    PubMed

    Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; DesRochers, Teresa M; Burke, Kelly A; Kaplan, David L

    2015-06-01

    The effects of common sterilization techniques on the physical and biological properties of lyophilized silk fibroin sponges are described. Sterile silk fibroin sponges were cast using a pre-sterilized silk fibroin solution under aseptic conditions or post-sterilized via autoclaving, γ radiation, dry heat, exposure to ethylene oxide, or hydrogen peroxide gas plasma. Low average molecular weight and low concentration silk fibroin solutions could be sterilized via autoclaving or filtration without significant loses of protein. However, autoclaving reduced the molecular weight distribution of the silk fibroin protein solution, and silk fibroin sponges cast from autoclaved silk fibroin were significantly stiffer compared to sponges cast from unsterilized or filtered silk fibroin. When silk fibroin sponges were sterilized post-casting, autoclaving increased scaffold stiffness, while decreasing scaffold degradation rate in vitro. In contrast, γ irradiation accelerated scaffold degradation rate. Exposure to ethylene oxide significantly decreased cell proliferation rate on silk fibroin sponges, which was rescued by leaching ethylene oxide into PBS prior to cell seeding.

  4. The effect of sterilization on silk fibroin biomaterial properties

    PubMed Central

    Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; DesRochers, Teresa M; Burke, Kelly A; Kaplan, David L

    2015-01-01

    The effects of common sterilization techniques on the physical and biological properties of lyophilized silk fibroin sponges is described. Sterile silk fibroin sponges were cast using a pre-sterilized silk fibroin solution under aseptic conditions or post-sterilized via autoclaving, gamma radiation, dry heat, exposure to ethylene oxide or hydrogen peroxide gas plasma. Low average molecular weight and low concentration silk fibroin solutions could be sterilized via autoclaving or filtration without significant loses of protein. However, autoclaving reduced the molecular weight distribution of the silk fibroin protein solution and silk fibroin sponges cast from autoclaved silk fibroin were significantly stiffer compared to sponges cast from unsterilized or filtered silk fibroin. When silk fibroin sponges were sterilized post-casting, autoclaving increased scaffold stiffness, while decreasing scaffold degradation rate in vitro. In contrast, gamma irradiation accelerated scaffold degradation rate. Exposure to ethylene oxide significantly decreased cell proliferation rate on silk fibroin sponges, which was rescued by leaching ethylene oxide into PBS prior to cell seeding. PMID:25761231

  5. 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.

  6. Bioactivity of porous biphasic calcium phosphate enhanced by recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2/silk fibroin microsphere.

    PubMed

    Chen, Liang; Gu, Yong; Feng, Yu; Zhu, Xue-Song; Wang, Chun-Zeng; Liu, Hai-Long; Niu, Hai-Yun; Zhang, Chi; Yang, Hui-Lin

    2014-07-01

    To prepare a bioactive bone substitute, which integrates biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) and rhBMP-2/silk fibroin (SF) microsphere, and to evaluate its characteristics. Hydroxyapatite and β-tricalcium phosphate were integrated with a ratio of 60–40%. RhBMP-2/SF (0.5 μg/1 mg) microsphere was prepared, and its rhBMP-2-release kinetics was assed. After joining pore-forming agent (Sodium chloride, NaCl), porous BCP/rhBMP-2/SF were manufactured, and its characteristics and bioactivity in vitro were evaluated. Mean diameter of rhBMP-2/SF microsphere was 398.7 ± 99.86 nm, with a loading rate of 4.53 ± 0.08%. RhBMP-2 was released in a dual-phase pattern, of which fast-release (nearly half of protein released) focused on the initial 3 days, and slow-release sustained more than 28 days. With the increase in concentration of NaCl, greater was porosity and pore size, but smaller mechanical strength of BCP/rhBMP-2/SF. Material with 150% (w/v) NaCl had an optimal performance, with a porosity of 78.83%, pore size of 293.25 ± 42.77μm and mechanical strength of 31.03 MPa. Proliferation of human placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hPMSCs) on leaching extract medium was similar to the normal medium (P = 0.89), which was better than that on control group (P = 0.03). Activity of alkaline phosphatase on BCP/rhBMP-2/SF surface was higher than on pure BCP at each time point except at 1 day (P < 0.05). RhBMP-2 has a burst release on early times and a sustaining release on later times. BCP/rhBMP-2/SF with 150% (w/v) pore-forming agent has excellent porosity, pore size and mechanical strength. The biomaterial induces proliferation and differentiation hPMSCs effectively.

  7. Cloning and Structure of Different Types of Spider Silk

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-12-01

    of peptides derived from Nephila dragline silk we used DNA probes to identify several clones from a silk gland cDNA library. The largest of these...the same protein from Areneus aemmoides. PROGRESS: We have sequenced over 2 kb of two separate clones for the Nephila dragline silk protein. One of the...similar to that seen in Nephila . We have also generated a odes cDNA library from the spider abdomen to have a library for the other silk Jo, j I or type

  8. Proteomic profiling of the photo-oxidation of silk fibroin: implications for historic tin-weighted silk.

    PubMed

    Solazzo, Caroline; Dyer, Jolon M; Deb-Choudhury, Santanu; Clerens, Stefan; Wyeth, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The stability of silk proteins to ultraviolet light is an issue of significant concern in both the appearance retention of silk-derived products and the preservation of historic silk textiles. Until now, evaluation of silk degradation has only been performed at the holistic, rather than molecular level. This article describes the first proteomic profiling of silk photo-oxidation, characterizing protein primary level modification leading to coloration changes, and evaluating the effects of tin weighting on photodegradation. Heavy-chain fibroin, the main proteinaceous component of the silk thread, is a repetitive, highly crystalline protein with a content rich in tyrosine. Photoproducts of tyrosine were characterized and the levels of oxidative modification at the protein primary structural level correlated with changes in coloration and tensile strength. The effect of tin as a weighting agent used on historical fabrics was examined. Tin-weighted fabrics were evaluated following two treatments (pink and dynamite) and proteomic analysis revealed a significant increase in oxidatively modified amino acid residues within the pink-treated silk. These findings offer new insight into the molecular-level oxidation of silk proteins under UV exposure, and the effects of silk treatments in either exacerbating or ameliorating this degradation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-08-01

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

  12. Effect of Strongly Alkaline Electrolyzed Water on Silk Degumming and the Physical Properties of the Fibroin Fiber

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Ting-Ting; Wang, Yuan-Jing; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2013-01-01

    Strongly alkaline electrolyzed water (SAEW) was prepared by electrolysis of tap water in a laboratory-made water electrolyzer. The pH of stored SAEW was stable for more than one month. The hardness of the electrolyzed water was 30% lower and the Na+ concentration was 18% higher than those of the tap water. Silkworm cocoon shells were boiled in pH 11.50 SAEW at a ratio of 1∶40∼80 (W/V) for 20 min and the sericin layers around the silk fibroin fibers were removed completely. The tensile properties and thermal decomposition temperature of a single filament of silk fibroin obtained by the SAEW method were almost the same as those for the fiber obtained by the neutral soap, and much higher than those for the fiber obtained by Na2CO3 degumming. The results demonstrate that SAEW is an environmentally friendly and pollution-free silk degumming agent that allows highly efficient, low cost recovery of sericin. PMID:23824061

  13. Cloning and Structure of Different Types of Spider Silk

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-11-10

    December 1, 1988 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES: Clone, sequence and express dragline silk protein from Nephila Clavipes and compare the sequence to clones of the...studies was to obtain sufficient quantities of a single pure type of silk. Spiders were obtained from Florida( Nephila clavipes) or collected locally...and on each different batch of silk. The compositions were similar in every case to those published for that species( Nephila ) or for a closely

  14. Silken toolkits: biomechanics of silk fibers spun by the orb web spider Argiope argentata (Fabricius 1775).

    PubMed

    Blackledge, Todd A; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2006-07-01

    Orb-weaving spiders spin five fibrous silks from differentiated glands that contain unique sets of proteins. Despite diverse ecological functions, the mechanical properties of most of these silks are not well characterized. Here, we quantify the mechanical performance of this toolkit of silks for the silver garden spider Argiope argentata. Four silks exhibit viscoelastic behaviour typical of polymers, but differ statistically from each other by up to 250% in performance, giving each silk a distinctive suite of material properties. Major ampullate silk is 50% stronger than other fibers, but also less extensible. Aciniform silk is almost twice as tough as other silks because of high strength and extensibility. Capture spiral silk, coated with aqueous glue, is an order of magnitude stretchier than other silks. Dynamic mechanical properties are qualitatively similar, but quantitatively vary by up to 300% among silks. Storage moduli are initially nearly constant and increase after fiber yield, whereas loss tangents reach maxima of 0.1-0.2 at the yield. The remarkable mechanical diversity of Argiope argentata silks probably results in part from the different molecular structures of fibers and can be related to the specific ecological role of each silk. Our study indicates substantial potential to customize the mechanics of bioengineered silks.

  15. 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.

  16. Enhancing effect of glycerol on the tensile properties of Bombyx mori cocoon sericin films.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haiping; Deng, Lianxia; Yang, Mingying; Min, Sijia; Yang, Lei; Zhu, Liangjun

    2011-01-01

    An environmental physical method described herein was developed to improve the tensile properties of Bombyx mori cocoon sericin films, by using the plasticizer of glycerol, which has a nontoxic effect compared with other chemical crosslinkers. The changes in the tensile characteristics and the structure of glycerolated (0-40 wt% of glycerol) sericin films were investigated. Sericin films, both in dry and wet states, showed enhanced tensile properties, which might be regulated by the addition of different concentrations of glycerol. The introduction of glycerol results in the higher amorphous structure in sericin films as evidenced by analysis of attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectra, thermogravimetry (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) curves. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) observation revealed that glycerol was homogeneously blended with sericin molecules when its content was 10 wt%, while a small amount of redundant glycerol emerged on the surface of sericin films when its content was increased to 20 wt% or higher. Our results suggest that the introduction of glycerol is a novel nontoxic strategy which can improve the mechanical features of sericin-based materials and subsequently promote the feasibility of its application in tissue engineering.

  17. Enhancing Effect of Glycerol on the Tensile Properties of Bombyx mori Cocoon Sericin Films

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Haiping; Deng, Lianxia; Yang, Mingying; Min, Sijia; Yang, Lei; Zhu, Liangjun

    2011-01-01

    An environmental physical method described herein was developed to improve the tensile properties of Bombyx mori cocoon sericin films, by using the plasticizer of glycerol, which has a nontoxic effect compared with other chemical crosslinkers. The changes in the tensile characteristics and the structure of glycerolated (0–40 wt% of glycerol) sericin films were investigated. Sericin films, both in dry and wet states, showed enhanced tensile properties, which might be regulated by the addition of different concentrations of glycerol. The introduction of glycerol results in the higher amorphous structure in sericin films as evidenced by analysis of attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectra, thermogravimetry (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) curves. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) observation revealed that glycerol was homogeneously blended with sericin molecules when its content was 10 wt%, while a small amount of redundant glycerol emerged on the surface of sericin films when its content was increased to 20 wt% or higher. Our results suggest that the introduction of glycerol is a novel nontoxic strategy which can improve the mechanical features of sericin-based materials and subsequently promote the feasibility of its application in tissue engineering. PMID:21686177

  18. 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

  19. Effect of sericin supplementation during in vitro maturation on the maturation, fertilization and development of porcine oocytes.

    PubMed

    Do, L T K; Namula, Z; Luu, V V; Sato, Y; Taniguchi, M; Isobe, T; Kikuchi, K; Otoi, T

    2014-04-01

    This study aimed to examine the effects of sericin supplementation during in vitro oocyte maturation on the nuclear maturation, fertilization and development of porcine oocytes. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured in maturation medium supplemented with 0 (control), 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, 2.5 or 5.0% sericin and were then subjected to in vitro fertilization and embryo culture. More COCs matured with 1.0% sericin underwent germinal vesicle breakdown and reached metaphase II compared with the control COCs matured without sericin (p < 0.01). The proportions of oocytes with DNA-fragmented nuclei did not differ between the groups, regardless of the sericin level. The total fertilization rate of oocytes matured with 1.0% sericin was higher (p < 0.05) than that of oocytes matured with 0.1%, 2.5% and 5.0% sericin. Supplementation with more than 1.0% sericin decreased the DNA fragmentation index of the blastocysts compared with the control group (p < 0.05). However, the supplementation of the maturation medium with sericin had no beneficial effects on the cleavage, development to the blastocyst stage and the total cell number of the embryos. Our findings indicate that supplementation with 1.0% sericin during maturation culture may improve the nuclear maturation and the quality of the embryos but does not affect blastocyst formation.

  20. Silk Nanospheres and Microspheres from Silk/PVA Blend Films for Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoqin; Yucel, Tuna; Lu, Qiang; Hu, Xiao; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Silk fibroin protein-based micro- and nanospheres provide new options for drug delivery due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability and their tunable drug loading and release properties. In the present study, we report a new aqueous-based preparation method for silk spheres with controllable sphere size and shape. The preparation was based on phase separation between silk fibroin and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) at a weight ratio of 1/1 and 1/4. Water-insoluble silk spheres were easily obtained from the blend in a three step process: (1) air-drying the blend solution into a film, (2) film dissolution in water and (3) removal of residual PVA by subsequent centrifugation. In both cases, the spheres had approximately 30% beta-sheet content and less than 5% residual PVA. Spindle-shaped silk particles, as opposed to the spherical particles formed above, were obtained by stretching the blend films before dissolving in water. Compared to the 1/1 ratio sample, the silk spheres prepared from the 1/4 ratio sample showed a more homogeneous size distribution ranging from 300 nm up to 20 μm. Further studies showed that sphere size and polydispersity could be controlled either by changing the concentration of silk and PVA or by applying ultrasonication on the blend solution. Drug loading was achieved by mixing model drugs in the original silk solution. The distribution and loading efficiency of the drug molecules in silk spheres depended on their hydrophobicity and charge, resulting in different drug release profiles. The entire fabrication procedure could be completed within one day. The only chemical used in the preparation except water was PVA, an FDA-approved ingredient in drug formulations. Silk micro- and nanospheres reported have potential as drug delivery carriers in a variety of biomedical applications. PMID:19945157

  1. 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

  2. Transgenic Silk Moths to Produce Spider Silk

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-24

    control number. PLEASE DO NOT RETURN YOUR FORM TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. 1. REPORT DATE ( DD -MM-YYYY) 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 24-01-08...produce Nephila clavipes dragline-like silk. In order to do this, a chimeric gene called Spidrofibroin ( SpF ) have been constructed. SpF combined the...repetitive domains of spider dragline silk with the N- and C- terminal domains of the Bombyx mori silk gene, Fibroin-H (Fib-H). Various SpF genes have been

  3. Sequence conservation in the C-terminal region of spider silk proteins (Spidroin) from Nephila clavipes (Tetragnathidae) and Araneus bicentenarius (Araneidae).

    PubMed

    Beckwitt, R; Arcidiacono, S

    1994-03-04

    The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been used to amplify the portion of the Spidroin 1 gene that codes for the C-terminal part of the silk protein of the spider Nephila clavipes. Along with some substitution mutations of minor consequence, the PCR-derived sequence reveals an additional base missing from the previously published Nephila Spidroin 1 sequence. Comparison of the PCR-derived sequence with the equivalent region of Spidroin 2 indicates that the insertion of this single base results in greatly increased similarity in the resulting amino acid sequences of Spidroin 1 and Spidroin 2 (75% over 97 amino acids). The same PCR primers also amplified a fragment of the same length from Araneus bicentenarius. This sequence is also very similar to Spidroin 1 of Nephila (71% over 238 bases excluding the PCR primers, which translates into 76% over 79 amino acids).

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Encapsulation of Volatile Compounds in Silk Microparticles.

    PubMed

    Elia, Roberto; Guo, Jin; Budijono, Stephanie; Normand, Valery; Benczédi, Daniel; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2015-07-01

    Various techniques have been employed to entrap fragrant oils within microcapsules or microparticles in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries for improved stability and delivery. In the present work we describe the use of silk protein microparticles for encapsulating fragrant oils using ambient processing conditions to form an all-natural biocompatible matrix. These microparticles are stabilized via physical crosslinking, requiring no chemical agents, and are prepared with aqueous and ambient processing conditions using polyvinyl alcohol-silk emulsions. The particles were loaded with fragrant oils via direct immersion of the silk particles within an oil bath. The oil-containing microparticles were coated using alternating silk and polyethylene oxide layers to control the release of the oil from the microspheres. Particle morphology and size, oil loading capacity, release rates as well as silk-oil interactions and coating treatments were characterized. Thermal analysis demonstrated that the silk coatings can be tuned to alter both retention and release profiles of the encapsulated fragrance. These oil containing particles demonstrate the ability to adsorb and controllably release oils, suggesting a range of potential applications including cosmetic and fragrance utility.

  9. Electrodeposited silk coatings for bone implants

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  10. Water permeability of spider dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Eles, Philip T; Michal, Carl A

    2009-05-11

    The water permeability of spider dragline silk was studied by measuring changes in amide deuteration of D(2)O-soaked silk with solid-state NMR. (13)C-D rotational-echo double-resonance (REDOR) NMR experiments showed that chemical exchange of amide hydrogen occurs in a large fraction of amino acids, including over 50% of alanine residues, which are known to exist predominantly in beta-sheet crystallites. This suggests that a substantial fraction of the crystalline regions are permeable to water, at least on the time scale of hours, implying that they are more dynamic, and therefore susceptible to chemical exchange with water, than previously thought. Wideline deuterium NMR spectra of dried D(2)O-soaked silk showed a combination of quadrupolar broadened and motionally averaged isotropic components whose intensities change on the time scale of hours. These results are interpreted in terms of chemical exchange between deuterium on the protein backbone, residual water within the silk, and water vapor in the ambient atmosphere. A simple compartmental model fits the results well and yields rate constants for the exchange processes. The model requires the inclusion of a compartment that does not undergo exchange. This compartment, likely related to the crystalline region, is interesting because it is accessible to water in wet silk, but impervious to any remaining free water when the silk is dried.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The outstanding material properties of spider dragline silk fibers have been attributed to two spidroins, major ampullate spidroins 1 and 2 (MaSp1 and MaSp2). Although dragline silk fibers have been treated with different chemical solvents to elucidate the relationship between protein structure and fiber mechanics, there has not been a comprehensive proteomic analysis of the major ampullate (MA) gland, its spinning dope, and dragline silk using a wide range of chaotropic agents, inorganic salts, and fluorinated alcohols to elucidate their complete molecular constituents. In these studies, we perform in-solution tryptic digestions of solubilized MA glands, spinning dope and dragline silk fibers using five different solvents, followed by nano liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis with an Orbitrap Fusion™ Tribrid™. To improve protein identification, we employed three different tryptic peptide fragmentation modes, which included collision-induced dissociation (CID), electron transfer dissociation (ETD), and high energy collision dissociation (HCD) to discover proteins involved in the silk assembly pathway and silk fiber. In addition to MaSp1 and MaSp2, we confirmed the presence of a third spidroin, aciniform spidroin 1 (AcSp1), widely recognized as the major constituent of wrapping silk, as a product of dragline silk. Our findings also reveal that MA glands, spinning dope, and dragline silk contain at least seven common proteins: three members of the Cysteine-Rich Protein Family (CRP1, CRP2 and CRP4), cysteine-rich secretory protein 3 (CRISP3), fasciclin and two uncharacterized proteins. In summary, this study provides a proteomic blueprint to construct synthetic silk fibers that most closely mimic natural fibers. PMID:27649139

  12. Antibiotic Spider Silk: Site-Specific Functionalization of Recombinant Spider Silk Using "Click" Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Harvey, David; Bardelang, Philip; Goodacre, Sara L; Cockayne, Alan; Thomas, Neil R

    2017-03-01

    In a new, versatile approach to fun-ction-alizing recombinant spider silk, L-azidohomoalanine is introduced residue-specifically in the minispidroin protein 4RepCT through expression in an E. coli methionine auxotroph. Both fluorophores and the antibiotic levofloxacin are attached to this bio-orthogonal amino acid using copper-catalyzed click chemistry, either before or after the silk fibers are self-assembled.

  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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Effect of supplemented sericin on the development, cell number, cryosurvival and number of lipid droplets in cultured bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Hosoe, Misa; Inaba, Yasushi; Hashiyada, Yutaka; Imai, Kei; Kajitani, Kenji; Hasegawa, Yuichi; Irie, Mamoru; Teramoto, Hidetoshi; Takahashi, Toru; Niimura, Sueo

    2017-02-01

    Sericin was investigated as an alternative to fetal bovine serum (FBS) for bovine embryo culture. In vitro matured oocytes were developed using 0.05%, 0.1% or 0.15% sericin. The developmental rate, cryosurvival rate and blastulation time of these embryos were compared with those of embryos developed using 5% FBS. The number of lipid droplets was compared among the blastocysts developed using 5% FBS, using 0.05% sericin and in vivo. The rate of cleavage and blastocyst formation was similar among all groups. Blastulation occurred significantly earlier in the embryos developed using 5% FBS than in those developed using sericin at any concentration (P < 0.05). At 72 h after thawing, the cryosurvival rate of the blastocysts developed using 5% FBS and 0.05% sericin were significantly higher compared with those developed using 0.1% and 0.15% sericin (P < 0.05). The blastocysts developed using 0.05% sericin and in vivo produced a significantly fewer number of medium and large lipid droplets than those developed using 5% FBS. These results suggest that the blastocysts developed using 0.05% sericin show characteristics similar to those of the blastocysts developed in vivo and that the use of sericin as an alternative to FBS is feasible.

  19. Vortex-Induced Injectable Silk Fibroin Hydrogels

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Abstract A novel, to our knowledge, technique was developed to control the rate of β-sheet formation and resulting hydrogelation kinetics of aqueous, native silk solutions. Circular dichroism spectroscopy indicated that vortexing aqueous solutions of silkworm silk lead to a transition from an overall protein structure that is initially rich in random coil to one that is rich in β-sheet content. Dynamic oscillatory rheology experiments collected under the same assembly conditions as the circular dichroism experiments indicated that the increase in β-sheet content due to intramolecular conformational changes and intermolecular self-assembly of the silk fibroin was directly correlated with the subsequent changes in viscoelastic properties due to hydrogelation. Vortexing low-viscosity silk solutions lead to orders-of-magnitude increase in the complex shear modulus, G∗, and formation of rigid hydrogels (G∗ ≈ 70 kPa for 5.2 wt % protein concentration). Vortex-induced, β-sheet-rich silk hydrogels consisted of permanent, physical, intermolecular crosslinks. The hydrogelation kinetics could be controlled easily (from minutes to hours) by changing the vortex time, assembly temperature and/or protein concentration, providing a useful timeframe for cell encapsulation. The stiffness of preformed hydrogels recovered quickly, immediately after injection through a needle, enabling the potential use of these systems for injectable cell delivery scaffolds. PMID:19804736

  20. An experimental confirmation of thermal transitions in native and regenerated spider silks.

    PubMed

    Torres, Fernando G; Troncoso, Omar P; Torres, Carlos; Cabrejos, Wilson

    2013-04-01

    Biological structures such as spider silks are formed by proteins. The physical properties of such proteins are determined by environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. In this paper, we confirm the thermal transitions that take place in spider silks using differential scanning calorimetry and study how the interaction of spider silk proteins with water affects the onset temperatures for these thermal processes. Native fibres and regenerated films of dragline silk and egg sac silk from Argiope argentata spiders were used to study thermal transitions of protein based structures. For the first time, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) tests were carried out with spider silk samples of relatively large mass (10mg). Previous attempts of DSC tests applied to spider silk samples failed to detect thermal transitions in a conclusive way. The tests reported here, however, show thermal transitions on both natural and regenerated samples that are in agreement with results from dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) tests reported in the literature. The water content on spider silks seems to lower the temperatures at which such thermal transitions take place. The results also confirm that the amorphous regions of native and regenerated spider silk and silk worm silk give rise to similar thermal transitions.

  1. 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,...

  2. Functionalized Silk Materials

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-10

    A genetic combination of spider dragline silk sequence (Nephila clavipes) and the silaffin derived R5 peptide of the diatom (Cylindrotheca... sequences identified by phage display into silk, new materials which incorporate mineral binding functional of the peptide while retaining the useful...strong morphological and spatial control are attractive in electronics, biosensors, microfluidic devices, and DNA microarray technology. The novelty

  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. Development of new smart materials and spinning systems inspired by natural silks and their applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Jie; Lee, Sang-Hoon

    2015-12-01

    Silks produced by spiders and silkworms are charming natural biological materials with highly optimized hierarchical structures and outstanding physicomechanical properties. The superior performance of silks relies on the integration of a unique protein sequence, a distinctive spinning process, and complex hierarchical structures. Silks have been prepared to form a variety of morphologies and are widely used in diverse applications, for example, in the textile industry, as drug delivery vehicles, and as tissue engineering scaffolds. This review presents an overview of the organization of natural silks, in which chemical and physical functions are optimized, as well as a range of new materials inspired by the desire to mimic natural silk structure and synthesis.

  5. Tissue Regeneration: A Silk Road

    PubMed Central

    Jao, Dave; Mou, Xiaoyang; Hu, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    Silk proteins are natural biopolymers that have extensive structural possibilities for chemical and mechanical modifications to facilitate novel properties, functions, and applications in the biomedical field. The versatile processability of silk fibroins (SF) into different forms such as gels, films, foams, membranes, scaffolds, and nanofibers makes it appealing in a variety of applications that require mechanically superior, biocompatible, biodegradable, and functionalizable biomaterials. There is no doubt that nature is the world’s best biological engineer, with simple, exquisite but powerful designs that have inspired novel technologies. By understanding the surface interaction of silk materials with living cells, unique characteristics can be implemented through structural modifications, such as controllable wettability, high-strength adhesiveness, and reflectivity properties, suggesting its potential suitability for surgical, optical, and other biomedical applications. All of the interesting features of SF, such as tunable biodegradation, anti-bacterial properties, and mechanical properties combined with potential self-healing modifications, make it ideal for future tissue engineering applications. In this review, we first demonstrate the current understanding of the structures and mechanical properties of SF and the various functionalizations of SF matrices through chemical and physical manipulations. Then the diverse applications of SF architectures and scaffolds for different regenerative medicine will be discussed in detail, including their current applications in bone, eye, nerve, skin, tendon, ligament, and cartilage regeneration. PMID:27527229

  6. Tissue Regeneration: A Silk Road.

    PubMed

    Jao, Dave; Mou, Xiaoyang; Hu, Xiao

    2016-08-05

    Silk proteins are natural biopolymers that have extensive structural possibilities for chemical and mechanical modifications to facilitate novel properties, functions, and applications in the biomedical field. The versatile processability of silk fibroins (SF) into different forms such as gels, films, foams, membranes, scaffolds, and nanofibers makes it appealing in a variety of applications that require mechanically superior, biocompatible, biodegradable, and functionalizable biomaterials. There is no doubt that nature is the world's best biological engineer, with simple, exquisite but powerful designs that have inspired novel technologies. By understanding the surface interaction of silk materials with living cells, unique characteristics can be implemented through structural modifications, such as controllable wettability, high-strength adhesiveness, and reflectivity properties, suggesting its potential suitability for surgical, optical, and other biomedical applications. All of the interesting features of SF, such as tunable biodegradation, anti-bacterial properties, and mechanical properties combined with potential self-healing modifications, make it ideal for future tissue engineering applications. In this review, we first demonstrate the current understanding of the structures and mechanical properties of SF and the various functionalizations of SF matrices through chemical and physical manipulations. Then the diverse applications of SF architectures and scaffolds for different regenerative medicine will be discussed in detail, including their current applications in bone, eye, nerve, skin, tendon, ligament, and cartilage regeneration.

  7. Spider silks from plants - a challenge to create native-sized spidroins.

    PubMed

    Hauptmann, Valeska; Weichert, Nicola; Rakhimova, Marziya; Conrad, Udo

    2013-10-01

    Silk threads from spiders exhibit extraordinary mechanical properties, such as superior toughness and elasticity. Spider silks consist of several different large repetitive proteins that act as the basic materials responsible for these outstanding features. The production of spider silk protein variants in plants opens up new horizons in the production and functional investigation that enable the use of spider silks in innovative material development, nanotechnology and biomedicine in the future. This review summarizes and discusses production of spider silk protein variants in plants, especially with regards to plant expression systems, purification strategies, and characteristics of spider silk variants. Furthermore, the challenge of producing native-sized recombinant spidroins in planta is outlined, presenting three different strategies for achieving these high repetitive proteins with the help of non-repetitive C-terminal domains, crosslinking transglutaminase, and self-linking inteins. The potential of these fascinating proteins in medicine is also highlighted.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Biomineralization regulation by nano-sized features in silk fibroin proteins: synthesis of water-dispersible nano-hydroxyapatite.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xiaowei; Liu, Xi; Liu, Shanshan; Zhang, Aili; Lu, Qiang; Kaplan, David L; Zhu, Hesun

    2014-11-01

    In the present study, silk fibroin (SF) was used as a template to prepare nano-hydroxyapatite (nano-HA) via a biomineralization process. We observed that the content of SF affected both the morphology and water dispersibility of nano-HA particles. Scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), zetasizer, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were used to examine nano-HA particle features including the surface morphology, aggregation performance, and crystallization. Rod-like nano-HA particles with desired water dispersibility were achieved when the ratio of SF/HA (calculated) was above 7:3. SEM, TEM, and zeta potential results revealed that nano-HA particles were enclosed by the SF which formed a negative charge layer preventing the aggregation of HA nanoparticles in aqueous solution. Moreover, the nano-HA particles were able to re-disperse in water without precipitation for two weeks at room temperature, 60°C, and 90°C. Our work suggested a facile and effective approach of designing water-dispersible nano-HA particles which may have wide potential application in tissue engineering especially bone regeneration.

  12. Thermal and Structural Properties of Silk Biomaterials Plasticized by Glycerol.

    PubMed

    Brown, Joseph E; Davidowski, Stephen K; Xu, Dian; Cebe, Peggy; Onofrei, David; Holland, Gregory P; Kaplan, David L

    2016-12-12

    The molecular interactions of silk materials plasticized using glycerol were studied, as these materials provide options for biodegradable and flexible protein-based systems. Plasticizer interactions with silk were analyzed by thermal, spectroscopic, and solid-state NMR analyses. Spectroscopic analysis implied that glycerol was hydrogen bonded to the peptide matrix, but may be displaced with polar solvents. Solid-state NMR indicated that glycerol induced β-sheet formation in the dried silk materials, but not to the extent of methanol treatment. Fast scanning calorimetry suggested that β-sheet crystal formation in silk-glycerol films appeared to be less organized than in the methanol treated silk films. We propose that glycerol may be simultaneously inducing and interfering with β-sheet formation in silk materials, causing some improper folding that results in less-organized silk II structures even after the glycerol is removed. This difference, along with trace residual glycerol, allows glycerol extracted silk materials to retain more flexibility than methanol processed versions.

  13. Clay-Enriched Silk Biomaterials for Bone Formation

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Stabilization and release of enzymes from silk films.

    PubMed

    Lu, Qiang; Wang, Xiaoqin; Hu, Xiao; Cebe, Peggy; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2010-04-08

    A significant challenge remains to protect protein drugs from inactivation during production, storage, and use. In the present study, the stabilization and release of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in silk films was investigated. Water-insoluble silk films were prepared under mild aqueous conditions, maintaining the activity of the entrapped enzyme. Depending on film processing and post-processing conditions, HRP retained more than 90% of the initial activity at 4 degrees C, room temperature and 37 degrees C over two months. The stability of protein drugs in silk films is attributed to intermolecular interactions between the silk and the enzymes, based on Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The unique structural feature of silk molecules, periodic hydrophobic-hydrophilic domains, enabled strong interactions with proteins. The entrapped protein was present in two states, untrapped active and trapped inactive forms. The ratio between the two forms varied according to processing conditions. Proteolytic degradation and dissolution of the silk films resulted in the release of the bound enzyme which was otherwise not released by diffusion; enzyme recovered full activity upon release. There was a linear relationship between silk degradation/dissolution and the release of entrapped enzyme. Modifying the secondary structure of the silk matrix and the interactions with the non-crystalline domains resulted in control of the film degradation or dissolution rate, and therefore the release rate of the entrapped enzyme. Based on the above results, silk materials are an intriguing carrier for proteins in terms of both retention of activity and controllable release kinetics from the films.

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

    PubMed Central

    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, 13C 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

  16. Blueprint for a High-Performance Biomaterial: Full-Length Spider Dragline Silk Genes

    PubMed Central

    Ayoub, Nadia A.; Garb, Jessica E.; Tinghitella, Robin M.; Collin, Matthew A.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.

    2007-01-01

    Spider dragline (major ampullate) silk outperforms virtually all other natural and manmade materials in terms of tensile strength and toughness. For this reason, the mass-production of artificial spider silks through transgenic technologies has been a major goal of biomimetics research. Although all known arthropod silk proteins are extremely large (>200 kiloDaltons), recombinant spider silks have been designed from short and incomplete cDNAs, the only available sequences. Here we describe the first full-length spider silk gene sequences and their flanking regions. These genes encode the MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins that compose the black widow's high-performance dragline silk. Each gene includes a single enormous exon (>9000 base pairs) that translates into a highly repetitive polypeptide. Patterns of variation among sequence repeats at the amino acid and nucleotide levels indicate that the interaction of selection, intergenic recombination, and intragenic recombination governs the evolution of these highly unusual, modular proteins. Phylogenetic footprinting revealed putative regulatory elements in non-coding flanking sequences. Conservation of both upstream and downstream flanking sequences was especially striking between the two paralogous black widow major ampullate silk genes. Because these genes are co-expressed within the same silk gland, there may have been selection for similarity in regulatory regions. Our new data provide complete templates for synthesis of recombinant silk proteins that significantly improve the degree to which artificial silks mimic natural spider dragline fibers. PMID:17565367

  17. 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.

  18. Atomistic model of the spider silk nanostructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-04-01

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

  19. Greatly Increased Toughness of Infiltrated Spider Silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Seung-Mo; Pippel, Eckhard; Gösele, Ulrich; Dresbach, Christian; Qin, Yong; Chandran, C. Vinod; Bräuniger, Thomas; Hause, Gerd; Knez, Mato

    2009-04-01

    In nature, tiny amounts of inorganic impurities, such as metals, are incorporated in the protein structures of some biomaterials and lead to unusual mechanical properties of those materials. A desire to produce these biomimicking new materials has stimulated materials scientists, and diverse approaches have been attempted. In contrast, research to improve the mechanical properties of biomaterials themselves by direct metal incorporation into inner protein structures has rarely been tried because of the difficulty of developing a method that can infiltrate metals into biomaterials, resulting in a metal-incorporated protein matrix. We demonstrated that metals can be intentionally infiltrated into inner protein structures of biomaterials through multiple pulsed vapor-phase infiltration performed with equipment conventionally used for atomic layer deposition (ALD). We infiltrated zinc (Zn), titanium (Ti), or aluminum (Al), combined with water from corresponding ALD precursors, into spider dragline silks and observed greatly improved toughness of the resulting silks. The presence of the infiltrated metals such as Al or Ti was verified by energy-dispersive x-ray (EDX) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra measured inside the treated silks. This result of enhanced toughness of spider silk could potentially serve as a model for a more general approach to enhance the strength and toughness of other biomaterials.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Yu, Qiaozhen; Sun, Chengjun

    2015-02-01

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

  2. Effect of sequence features on assembly of spider silk block copolymers.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Accelerated biodegradation of silk sutures through matrix metalloproteinase activation by incorporating 4-hexylresorcinol

    PubMed Central

    Jo, You-Young; Kweon, HaeYong; Kim, Dae-Won; Kim, Min-Keun; Kim, Seong-Gon; Kim, Jwa-Young; Chae, Weon-Sik; Hong, Sam-Pyo; Park, Young-Hwan; Lee, Si Young; Choi, Je-Yong

    2017-01-01

    Silk suture material is primarily composed of silk fibroin and regarded as a non-resorbable material. It is slowly degraded by proteolysis when it is implanted into the body. 4-Hexylresorcinol (4HR) is a well-known antiseptic. In this study, the biodegradability of 4HR-incorporated silk sutures were compared to that of untreated silk sutures and polyglactin 910 sutures, a commercially available resorbable suture. 4HR-incorporated silk sutures exhibited anti-microbial properties. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) can digest a wide spectrum of proteins. 4HR increased MMP-2, -3, and -9 expression in RAW264.7 cells. MMP-2, -3, and -9 were able to digest not only silk fibroin but also silk sutures. Consequently, 59.5% of the 4HR-incorporated silk suture material remained at 11 weeks after grafting, which was similar to that of polyglactin 910 degradation (56.4% remained). The residual amount of bare silk suture material at 11 weeks after grafting was 91.5%. The expression levels of MMP-2, -3 and -9 were high in the 4HR-incorporated silk suture-implanted site 12 weeks after implantation. In conclusion, 4HR-treated silk sutures exhibited anti-microbial properties and a similar level of bio-degradation to polyglactin 910 sutures and induced higher expression of MMP-2, -3, and -9 in macrophages. PMID:28205580

  6. Structure and properties of regenerated Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin in aqueous solution.

    PubMed

    Tao, Wei; Li, Mingzhong; Zhao, Chunxia

    2007-04-10

    Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin fibers were dissolved by aqueous lithium thiocyanate to obtain regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin solution. By means of circular dichroism, (13)C NMR and Raman spectroscopy, the molecular conformation of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin in aqueous solution was investigated. The relationship of environmental factors and sol-gel transformation behavior of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin was also studied. The molecular conformations of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin mainly were alpha-helix and random coil in solution. There also existed a little beta-sheet conformation. It was obviously different with Bombyx mori silk fibroin, whose molecular conformation in solution was only random coil but no alpha-helix existence. With the increase of temperature and solution concentration and with the decrease of solution pH value, the gelation velocity of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin solution increased. Especially, it showed that A. pernyi silk fibroin was more sensitive to temperature than B. mori silk fibroin during the sol-gel transformation. The velocity increased obviously when the temperature was above 30 degrees C. During the sol-gel transformation, the molecular conformation of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin changed from random coil to beta-sheet structure. The results of these studies provided important insight into the preparation of new biomaterials by silk fibroin protein.

  7. Silk fibroin microtubes for blood vessel engineering.

    PubMed

    Lovett, Michael; Cannizzaro, Christopher; Daheron, Laurence; Messmer, Brady; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L

    2007-12-01

    Currently available synthetic grafts demonstrate moderate success at the macrovascular level, but fail at the microvascular scale (<6mm inner diameter). We report on the development of silk fibroin microtubes for blood vessel repair with several advantages over existing scaffold materials/designs. These microtubes were prepared by dipping straight lengths of stainless steel wire into aqueous silk fibroin, where the addition of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) enabled control of microtube porosity. The microtube properties were characterized in terms of pore size, burst strength, protein permeability, enzymatic degradation, and cell migration. Low porosity microtubes demonstrated superior mechanical properties in terms of higher burst pressures, but displayed poor protein permeability; whereas higher porosity tubes had lower burst strengths but increased permeability and enhanced protein transport. The microtubes also exhibited cellular barrier functions as low porosity tubes prevented outward migration of GFP-transduced HUVECs, while the high porosity microtubes allowed a few cells per tube to migrate outward during perfusion. When combined with the biocompatible and suturability features of silk fibroin, these results suggest that silk microtubes, either implanted directly or preseeded with cells, are an attractive biomaterial for microvascular grafts.

  8. 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

  9. Juvenile hormone stimulated tyrosine kinase-mediated protein phosphorylation in the CNS of the silk worm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Arif, A; Shanavas, A; Murthy, Ch R K; Dutta-Gupta, Aparna

    2002-07-01

    In vitro studies with the larval CNS of the silkworm, Bombyx mori revealed the phosphorylation of a 48-kDa protein, which was not dependent on cyclic nucleotides. Studies also revealed modest phosphorylation of this protein by a calcium-dependent but calmodulin-independent mechanism. However, phosphorylation of this protein was greatly enhanced in the presence of juvenile hormone (JH) I by a calcium-independent mechanism. This stimulatory effect of JH was seen in both homogenates as well as in intact CNS of Bombyx. Immunoblotting studies revealed the cross-reaction of this 48-kDa protein with phosphotyrosine monoclonal antibody and the phosphorylation of this protein was inhibited by genistein. This study suggests that the 48-kDa protein is a substrate for tyrosine kinase. The phosphorylation of this protein was also observed in other larval tissues such as salivary gland, fat body, and epidermis of Bombyx.

  10. Decrease in corneal damage due to benzalkonium chloride by the addition of sericin into timolol maleate eye drops.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Noriaki; Ito, Yoshimasa; Okamoto, Norio; Shimomura, Yoshikazu

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the protective effects of sericin on corneal damage due to benzalkonium chloride (BAC) used as a preservative in commercially available timolol maleate eye drops using rat debrided corneal epithelium and a human cornea epithelial cell line (HCE-T). Corneal wounds were monitored using a fundus camera TRC-50X equipped with a digital camera; eye drops were instilled into the rat eyes five times a day after corneal epithelial abrasion. The viability of HCE-T cells was calculated by TetraColor One; and Escherichia coli (ATCC 8739) were used to measure antimicrobial activity. The reducing effects on transcorneal penetration and intraocular pressure (IOP) of the eye drops were determined using rabbits. The corneal wound healing rate and rate constants (kH) as well as cell viability were higher following treatment with 0.005% BAC solution containing 0.1% sericin than in the case of treatment with BAC solution alone; the antimicrobial activity was approximately the same for BAC solutions with and without sericin. In addition, the kH for rat eyes instilled with commercially available timolol maleate eye drops containing 0.1% sericin was significantly higher than that of eyes instilled with timolol maleate eye drops without sericin, and the addition of sericin did not affect the corneal penetration or IOP reducing effect of commercially available timolol maleate eye drops. A preservative system comprising BAC and sericin may provide effective therapy for glaucoma patients requiring long-term anti-glaucoma agents.

  11. Recombinant spider silk genetically functionalized with affinity domains.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-12

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

  12. Piriform spider silk sequences reveal unique repetitive elements.

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-08

    Orb-weaving spider silk fibers are assembled from very large, highly repetitive proteins. The repeated segments contain, in turn, short, simple, and 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 6-8 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 mRNA is larger than 11 kb 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 piriform sequences form an ortholog group.

  13. GC/MS-based metabolomic studies reveal key roles of glycine in regulating silk synthesis in silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Chen, Quanmei; Liu, Xinyu; Zhao, Ping; Sun, Yanhui; Zhao, Xinjie; Xiong, Ying; Xu, Guowang; Xia, Qingyou

    2015-02-01

    Metabolic profiling of silkworm, especially the factors that affect silk synthesis at the metabolic level, is little known. Herein, metabolomic method based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was applied to identify key metabolic changes in silk synthesis deficient silkworms. Forty-six differential metabolites were identified in Nd group with the defect of silk synthesis. Significant changes in the levels of glycine and uric acid (up-regulation), carbohydrates and free fatty acids (down-regulation) were observed. The further metabolomics of silk synthesis deficient silkworms by decreasing silk proteins synthesis using knocking out fibroin heavy chain gene or extirpating silk glands operation showed that the changes of the metabolites were almost consistent with those of the Nd group. Furthermore, the increased silk yields by supplying more glycine or its related metabolite confirmed that glycine is a key metabolite to regulate silk synthesis. These findings provide important insights into the regulation between metabolic profiling and silk synthesis.

  14. 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

  15. Increasing silk fibre strength through heterogeneity of bundled fibrils.

    PubMed

    Cranford, Steven W

    2013-05-06

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Cross-linking in the silks of bees, ants and hornets.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Peter M; Trueman, Holly E; Zhang, Qiang; Kojima, Katsura; Kameda, Tsunenori; Sutherland, Tara D

    2014-05-01

    Silk production is integral to the construction of nests or cocoons for many Aculeata, stinging Hymenopterans such as ants, bees and wasps. Here we report the sequences of new aculeate silk proteins and compare cross-linking among nine native silks from three bee species (Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris and Megachile rotundata), three ant species (Myrmecia forficata, Oecophylla smaragdina and Harpegnathos saltator) and three hornets (Vespa analis, Vespa simillima and Vespa mandarinia). The well studied silks of spiders and silkworms are comprised of large proteins that are cross-linked and stabilized predominantly by intra and intermolecular beta sheet structure. In contrast, the aculeate silks are comprised of relatively small proteins that contain central coiled coil domains and comparatively reduced amounts of beta sheet structure. The hornet silks, which have the most beta sheet structure and the greatest amount of amino acid sequence outside the coiled-coil domains, dissolve in concentrated LiBr solution and appear to be stabilized predominantly by beta sheet structure like the classic silks. In contrast, the ant and bee silks, which have less beta sheet and less sequence outside the coiled-coil domains, could not be dissolved in LiBr and appear to be predominantly stabilized by covalent cross-linking. The iso-peptide cross-linker, ε-(γ-glutamyl)-lysine that is produced by transglutaminase enzymes, was demonstrated to be present in all silks by mass spectrometry, but at greater levels in silks of ants and bees. The bee silks and ant cocoons, but not the Oecophylla nest silks, appeared to be further stabilized by tanning reactions.

  18. 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.

  19. Water-driven actuation of Ornithoctonus huwena spider silk fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Shuyuan; Zhu, Jia; Li, Xinming; Guo, Yang; Fang, Yaopeng; Cheng, Huanyu; Zhu, Hongwei

    2017-01-01

    Spider silk possesses remarkable mechanical properties and can lift weight effectively. Certain kinds of spider silk have unique response to liquid, especially water, because of their hydrophilic proteins, β-sheet characters, and surface structure. The Ornithoctonus huwena (O. huwena) spider is a unique species because it can be bred artificially and it spins silk whose diameter is in nanometer scale. In this work, we report the "shrink-stretch" behavior of the O. huwena spider silk fibers and show how they can be actuated by water to lift weight over long distance, at a fast speed, and with high efficiency. We further rationalize this behavior by analyzing the mechanical energy of the system. The lifting process is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, allowing applications in actuators, biomimetic muscles, or hoisting devices.

  20. Silk Fibroin as Edible Coating for Perishable Food Preservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-06

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Understanding Natural Silks and Their Integration into Composites

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-02-01

    sericins .  This...initial  tensile  modulus  Yf  ≈  9  GPa  and  strength  of  about  400   MPa  as  well  as  a   sericin  matrix...of   cocoons   and   showed   their   relation   to   structral   parameters   such   as   binder   fractions   ( sericin

  6. 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.

  7. Modulation of vincristine and doxorubicin binding and release from silk films.

    PubMed

    Coburn, Jeannine M; Na, Elim; Kaplan, David L

    2015-12-28

    Sustained release drug delivery systems remain a major clinical need for small molecule therapeutics in oncology. Here, mechanisms of small molecule interactions with silk protein films were studied with cationic oncology drugs, vincristine and doxorubicin, with a focus on hydrophobicity (non-ionic surfactant) and charge (pH and ionic strength). Interactions were primarily driven by charge interactions between the positively charged drugs and the negatively charged groups within the silk films. Exploiting chemical modifications of silk further modulated the drug interactions in a controlled fashion. Increasing anionic side groups via carboxylate- and sulfonate-modifications of tyrosine side chains in the silk protein using diazonium coupling chemistry, increased drug binding and altered drug release. The effects of silk film protein crystallinity, beta sheet content, on drug binding and release were also explored. Lower crystallinity supported more rapid drug binding when compared to higher crystalline silk films. The drug release kinetics were governed by the protonation state of vincristine and doxorubicin and were tunable based on silk crystallinity and chemistry. These studies depict an approach to characterize small molecule-silk protein interactions and methods to tune drug binding and release kinetics from this protein delivery matrix.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Relationships between supercontraction and mechanical properties of spider silk.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yi; Shao, Zhengzhong; Vollrath, Fritz

    2005-12-01

    Typical spider dragline silk tends to outperform other natural fibres and most man-made filaments. However, even small changes in spinning conditions can have large effects on the mechanical properties of a silk fibre as well as on its water uptake. Absorbed water leads to significant shrinkage in an unrestrained dragline fibre and reversibly converts the material into a rubber. This process is known as supercontraction and may be a functional adaptation for the silk's role in the spider's web. Supercontraction is thought to be controlled by specific motifs in the silk proteins and to be induced by the entropy-driven recoiling of molecular chains. In analogy, in man-made fibres thermal shrinkage induces changes in mechanical properties attributable to the entropy-driven disorientation of 'unfrozen' molecular chains (as in polyethylene terephthalate) or the 'broken' intermolecular hydrogen bonds (as in nylons). Here we show for Nephila major-ampullate silk how in a biological fibre the spinning conditions affect the interplay between shrinkage and mechanical characteristics. This interaction reveals design principles linking the exceptional properties of silk to its molecular orientation.

  13. Relationships between supercontraction and mechanical properties of spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi; Shao, Zhengzhong; Vollrath, Fritz

    2005-12-01

    Typical spider dragline silk tends to outperform other natural fibres and most man-made filaments. However, even small changes in spinning conditions can have large effects on the mechanical properties of a silk fibre as well as on its water uptake. Absorbed water leads to significant shrinkage in an unrestrained dragline fibre and reversibly converts the material into a rubber. This process is known as supercontraction and may be a functional adaptation for the silk's role in the spider's web. Supercontraction is thought to be controlled by specific motifs in the silk proteins and to be induced by the entropy-driven recoiling of molecular chains. In analogy, in man-made fibres thermal shrinkage induces changes in mechanical properties attributable to the entropy-driven disorientation of `unfrozen' molecular chains (as in polyethylene terephthalate) or the `broken' intermolecular hydrogen bonds (as in nylons). Here we show for Nephila major-ampullate silk how in a biological fibre the spinning conditions affect the interplay between shrinkage and mechanical characteristics. This interaction reveals design principles linking the exceptional properties of silk to its molecular orientation.

  14. 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.

  15. Ingrowth of human mesenchymal stem cells into porous silk particle reinforced silk composite scaffolds: An in vitro study.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-01-01

    Silk fibroin protein is biodegradable and biocompatible, exhibiting excellent mechanical properties for various biomedical applications. However, porous three-dimensional (3-D) 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 (non-reinforced) 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 6 weeks. The calcium adsorption increased dramatically with increasing loading, as observed from biochemical assays, histological staining, and microcomputer tomography (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 non-reinforced 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 3-D in vitro differentiation capabilities of hMSCs, providing a means to improve osteogenic outcomes.

  16. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Methods Alloxan and adrenalin induced hyperglycemic mice were used in the study. The effects of corn silk on blood glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin secretion, damaged pancreatic β-cells, hepatic glycogen and gluconeogenesis in hyperglycemic mice were studied respectively. Results After the mice were orally administered with corn silk extract, the blood glucose and the HbA1c were significantly decreased in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice (p < 0.05, p < 0.01, respectively), while the level of insulin secretionn was markedly elevated in alloxa-induced hyperglycemic mice (p < 0.05). The alloxan-damaged pancreatic β-cells of the mice were partly recovered gradually after the mice were administered with corn silk extract 15 days later. Also, the body weight of the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice was increased gradually. However, ascension of blood glucose induced by adrenalin and gluconeogenesis induced by L-alanine were not inhibited by corn silk extract treatment (p > 0.05). Although corn silk extract increased the level of hepatic glycogen in the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice, there was no significant difference between them and that of the control group(p > 0.05). Conclusion Corn silk extract markedly reduced hyperglycemia in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The action of corn silk extract on glycaemic metabolism is not via increasing glycogen and inhibiting gluconeogenesis but through increasing insulin level as well as recovering the injured

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

    PubMed

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

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

  18. Preparation of hexagonal GeO₂ particles with particle size and crystallinity controlled by peptides, silk and silk-peptide chimeras.

    PubMed

    Boix, Estefania; Puddu, Valeria; Perry, Carole C

    2014-11-28

    We demonstrate the use of silk based proteins to control the particle/crystallite size during GeO2 formation, using a bio-mimetic approach at circumneutral pH and ambient temperature. Multicrystalline GeO2 was prepared from germanium tetraethoxide (TEOG) in the presence of different silk-based proteins: Bombyx mori silk (native silk) and two chimeric proteins prepared by linking a germania binding peptide (Ge28: HATGTHGLSLSH) with Bombyx mori silk via chemical coupling at different peptide loadings (silk-Ge28 10% and silk-Ge28 50%). The mineralisation activity of the silk-based proteins was compared with that of peptide Ge28 as a control system. GeO2 mineralisation was investigated in water and in citric acid/bis-tris propane buffer at pH 6. Morphology, particle size, crystallinity, water and organic content of the materials obtained were analysed to study the effect of added biomolecules and mineralisation environment on material properties. In the presence of silk additives well-defined cube-shape hybrid materials composed of hexagonal germania and up to ca. 5 wt% organic content were obtained. The cubic particles ranged from 0.4 to 1.4 μm in size and were composed of crystalline domains in the range 35-106 nm depending on the additive used and synthesis conditions. The organic material incorporated in the mineral did not appear to affect the unit cell dimensions. The silk and chimeric proteins in water promote material formation and crystal growth, possibly via an effective ion-channelling mechanism, however further studies are needed to assert to what extent the presence of the silk impacts on nucleation and growth stages. The germania binding peptide alone did not have any significant effect on reaction rate, yield or the material's properties compared to the blank. Interestingly, the peptide content in the silk chimeras tested did not affect mineralisation. The presence of buffer inhibited mineral condensation rate and yield. The use of silk

  19. 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....

  20. 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....

  1. 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....

  2. 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...

  3. 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... 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....

  4. 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

  5. Silk-based blood stabilization for diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Kluge, Jonathan A.; Li, Adrian B.; Kahn, Brooke T.; Michaud, Dominique S.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2016-01-01

    Advanced personalized medical diagnostics depend on the availability of high-quality biological samples. These are typically biofluids, such as blood, saliva, or urine; and their collection and storage is critical to obtain reliable results. Without proper temperature regulation, protein biomarkers in particular can degrade rapidly in blood samples, an effect that ultimately compromises the quality and reliability of laboratory tests. Here, we present the use of silk fibroin as a solid matrix to encapsulate blood analytes, protecting them from thermally induced damage that could be encountered during nonrefrigerated transportation or freeze–thaw cycles. Blood samples are recovered by simple dissolution of the silk matrix in water. This process is demonstrated to be compatible with a number of immunoassays and provides enhanced sample preservation in comparison with traditional air-drying paper approaches. Additional processing can remediate interactions with conformational structures of the silk protein to further enhance blood stabilization and recovery. This approach can provide expanded utility for remote collection of blood and other biospecimens empowering new modalities of temperature-independent remote diagnostics. PMID:27162330

  6. Analysis of major ampullate silk cDNAs from two non-orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Tian, Maozhen; Liu, Congzhou; Lewis, Randolph

    2004-01-01

    Compared to other arthropods, spiders are unique in their use of silk throughout their life span and the extraordinary mechanical properties of the silk threads they produce. Studies on orb-weaving spider silk proteins have shown that silk proteins are composed of highly repetitive regions, characterized by alanine and glycine-rich units. We have isolated and sequenced four partial cDNA clones representing major ampullate spider silk gene transcripts from two non-orb weavers: three for Kukulcania hibernalis and one for Agelenopsis aperta. These cDNA sequences were compared to each other, as well as to the previously published orb-weaver silk gene sequences. The results indicate that the repeats encoding conserved amino acid motifs such as polyA and polyGA that are characteristic of some orb-weaving spider silks are also found in some of the cDNAs reported in this study. However, we also found other motifs such as polyGS and polyGV in the cDNA sequences from the two non-orb-weaving spiders. The amino acid composition of the silk gland extracts shows that alanine and glycine are the major components of the silk of these two non-orb weavers as is the case in orb-weaver silks. Sequence alignment shows that A. aperta's cDNA displays a C-terminal encoding region that is about 44% similar to the one present in N. clavipes's MaSp1 cDNA. In addition, as previously observed for spider silk sequences, the analysis of the codon usage for these four cDNAs demonstrates a bias for A or T in the wobble base position.

  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. 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

  9. Synthetic spider silk production on a laboratory scale.

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-18

    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.

  10. Shear-induced rigidity in spider silk glands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koski, Kristie J.; McKiernan, Keri; Akhenblit, Paul; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2012-09-01

    We measure the elastic stiffnesses of the concentrated viscous protein solution of the dehydrated Nephila clavipes major ampullate gland with Brillouin light scattering. The glandular material shows no rigidity but possesses a tensile stiffness similar to that of spider silk. We show, however, that with application of a simple static shear, the mechanical properties of the spider gland protein mixture can be altered irreversibly, lowering symmetry and enabling shear waves to be supported, thus, giving rise to rigidity and yielding elastic properties similar to those of the naturally spun (i.e., dynamically sheared) silk.

  11. 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.

  12. Consumption of sericin reduces serum lipids, ameliorates glucose tolerance and elevates serum adiponectin in rats fed a high-fat diet.

    PubMed

    Okazaki, Yukako; Kakehi, Shoko; Xu, Yonghui; Tsujimoto, Kazuhisa; Sasaki, Masahiro; Ogawa, Hiroshi; Kato, Norihisa

    2010-01-01

    The effect was examined of dietary sericin on the lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in rats fed with a high-fat diet. The rats were fed with a 20% beef tallow diet with or without sericin at the level of 4% for 5 weeks. The final body weight and white adipose tissue weight were unaffected by dietary manipulation. The consumption of sericin significantly reduced the serum levels of triglyceride, cholesterol, phospholipids and free fatty acids. Serum very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-triglyceride, VLDL-cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and LDL-phospholipids were also significantly reduced by the sericin intake. Liver triglyceride and the activities of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme, the lipogenic enzymes, were also reduced by the sericin intake. Dietary sericin caused a marked elevation in serum adiponectin. The consumption of sericin suppressed the increases in plasma glucose and insulin levels after an intraperitoneal glucose injection. These results imply the usefulness of sericin for improving the lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in rats fed on a high-fat diet.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  15. A highly tunable and fully biocompatible silk nanoplasmonic optical sensor.

    PubMed

    Lee, Myungjae; Jeon, Heonsu; Kim, Sunghwan

    2015-05-13

    Novel concepts for manipulating plasmonic resonances and the biocompatibility of plasmonic devices offer great potential in versatile applications involving real-time and in vivo monitoring of analytes with high sensitivity in biomedical and biological research. Here we report a biocompatible and highly tunable plasmonic bio/chemical sensor consisting of a natural silk protein and a gold nanostructure. Our silk plasmonic absorber sensor (SPAS) takes advantage of the strong local field enhancement in the metal-insulator-metal resonator in which silk protein is used as an insulating spacer and substrate. The silk insulating spacer has hydrogel properties and therefore exhibits a controllable swelling when exposed to water-alcohol mixtures. We experimentally and numerically show that drastic spectral shifts in reflectance minima arise from the changing physical volume and refractive index of the silk spacer during swelling. Furthermore, we apply this SPAS device as a glucose sensor with a very high sensitivity of 1200 nm/RIU (refractive index units) and high relative intensity change.

  16. NMR Studies of Molecular Orientation and Dynamics in Spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michal, Carl; Eles, Philip

    2004-05-01

    Spider dragline silk has a unique combination of strength and extensibility that has been difficult to achieve in synthetic polymer fibres and has inspired industrial efforts to produce genetically engineered analogues. In light of these efforts elsewhere, we describe solid-state NMR experiments that elucidate the molecular structure and dynamics of this remarkable material. These experiments include the use of a 2-D exchange NMR experiment known as DECODER in which the sample is reoriented through a discrete angle during the mixing time. This experiment allows a reconstruction of the orientation distribution of the protein backbone. Our data is well described by a two-component distribution where the protein backbones of both components are preferentially aligned along the silk fibre. This experiment is also sensitive to molecular motion on a wide range of time-scales, and is employed to study changes in the silk as a function of fibre extension and hydration. Hydrated silk undergoes a remarkable phenomena known as supercontraction where fibres shrink by up to 50% in length while swelling in diameter. DECODER NMR of fully and partially supercontracted silk reveals that supercontraction occurs through a process of local phase transitions where water disrupts inter- and intra-chain hydrogen bonds.

  17. 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.

  18. Silk film biomaterials for cornea tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Brian D.; Marchant, Jeffrey K.; Pindrus, Mariya; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Biomaterials for corneal tissue engineering must demonstrate several critical features for potential utility in vivo, including transparency, mechanical integrity, biocompatibility and slow biodegradation. Silk film biomaterials were designed and characterized to meet these functional requirements. Silk protein films were used in a biomimetic approach to replicate corneal stromal tissue architecture. The films were 2 μm thick to emulate corneal collagen lamellae dimensions, and were surface patterned to guide cell alignment. To enhance trans-lamellar diffusion of nutrients and to promote cell-cell interaction, pores with 0.5 to 5.0 μm diameters were introduced into the silk films. Human and rabbit corneal fibroblast proliferation, alignment and corneal extracellular matrix expression on these films in both 2D and 3D cultures was demonstrated. The mechanical properties, optical clarity and surface patterned features of these films, combined with their ability to support corneal cell functions suggest this new biomaterial system offers important potential benefits for corneal tissue regeneration. PMID:19059642

  19. Synthesis of sericin-based conjugates by click chemistry: enhancement of sunitinib bioavailability and cell membrane permeation.

    PubMed

    Scrivano, Luca; Iacopetta, Domenico; Sinicropi, Maria Stefania; Saturnino, Carmela; Longo, Pasquale; Parisi, Ortensia Ilaria; Puoci, Francesco

    2017-11-01

    Sericin is a natural protein that has been used in biomedical and pharmaceutical fields as raw material for polypeptide-based drug delivery systems (DDSs). In this paper, it has been employed as pharmaceutical biopolymer for the production of sunitinib-polypeptide conjugate. The synthesis has been carried out by simple click reaction in water, using the redox couple l-ascorbic acid/hydrogen peroxide as a free radical grafting initiator. The bioconjugate molecular weight (50 kDa < Mw < 75 kDa) was obtained by SDS-PAGE, while the spectroscopic characteristics have been studied in order to reveal the presence of grafted sunitinib. In both FT-IR and UV/Vis spectra, signals corresponding to sunitinib functional groups have been identified. Since sunitinib is an anticancer drug characterized by low bioavailability and low permeability, the bioconjugation aimed at their enhancement. In vitro studies demonstrated that bioavailability has been increased to almost 74%, compared with commercial formulation. Also cell membrane permeability has been augmented in in vitro tests, in which membrane models have been used to determine the lipid membrane/physiological fluid partition coefficient (Kp). The log(Kp) value of the bioconjugate was increased to over 4. This effect resulted in a three-fold decrease of IC50 value against MCF-7 cells.

  20. Nonlinear material behaviour of spider silk yields robust webs.

    PubMed

    Cranford, Steven W; Tarakanova, Anna; Pugno, Nicola M; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-02-01

    Natural materials are renowned for exquisite designs that optimize function, as illustrated by the elasticity of blood vessels, the toughness of bone and the protection offered by nacre. Particularly intriguing are spider silks, with studies having explored properties ranging from their protein sequence to the geometry of a web. This material system, highly adapted to meet a spider's many needs, has superior mechanical properties. In spite of much research into the molecular design underpinning the outstanding performance of silk fibres, and into the mechanical characteristics of web-like structures, it remains unknown how the mechanical characteristics of spider silk contribute to the integrity and performance of a spider web. Here we report web deformation experiments and simulations that identify the nonlinear response of silk threads to stress--involving softening at a yield point and substantial stiffening at large strain until failure--as being crucial to localize load-induced deformation and resulting in mechanically robust spider webs. Control simulations confirmed that a nonlinear stress response results in superior resistance to structural defects in the web compared to linear elastic or elastic-plastic (softening) material behaviour. We also show that under distributed loads, such as those exerted by wind, the stiff behaviour of silk under small deformation, before the yield point, is essential in maintaining the web's structural integrity. The superior performance of silk in webs is therefore not due merely to its exceptional ultimate strength and strain, but arises from the nonlinear response of silk threads to strain and their geometrical arrangement in a web.

  1. Prey type, vibrations and handling interactively influence spider silk expression.

    PubMed

    Blamires, S J; Chao, I-C; Tso, I-M

    2010-11-15

    The chemical and mechanical properties of spider major ampullate (MA) silks vary in response to different prey, mostly via differential expression of two genes - MaSp1 and MaSp2 - although the spinning process exerts additional influence over the mechanical properties of silk. The prey cues that initiate differential gene expression are unknown. Prey nutrients, vibratory stimuli and handling have been suggested to be influential. We performed experiments to decouple the vibratory stimuli and handling associated with high and low kinetic energy prey (crickets vs flies) from their prey nutrients to test the relative influence of each as inducers of silk protein expression in the orb web spider Nephila pilipes. We found that the MA silks from spiders feeding on live crickets had greater percentages of glutamine, serine, alanine and glycine than those from spiders feeding on live flies. Proline composition of the silks was unaffected by feeding treatment. Increases in alanine and glycine in the MA silks of the live-cricket-feeding spiders indicate a probable increase in MaSp1 gene expression. The amino acid compositions of N. pilipes feeding on crickets with fly stimuli and N. pilipes feeding on flies with cricket stimuli did not differ from each other or from pre-treatment responses, so these feeding treatments did not induce differential MaSp expression. Our results indicate that cricket vibratory stimuli and handling interact with nutrients to induce N. pilipes to adjust their gene expression to produce webs with mechanical properties appropriate for the retention of this prey. This shows that spiders can genetically alter their silk chemical compositions and, presumably, mechanical properties upon exposure to different prey types. The lack of any change in proline composition with feeding treatment in N. pilipes suggests that the MaSp model determined for Nephila clavipes is not universally applicable to all Nephila.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Smart assembly of polymer fibers: lessons from major ampullate spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viney, Christopher

    1996-02-01

    Studies of major ampullate silk (MAS), especially the secretions and fibers produced by the spider Nephila clavipes (golden orb weaver), have yielded several results of potential value to the materials scientist/engineer. There are lessons to be learned about synthesis, processing and microstructural design of high-tensile polymer fibers. The 'smart' aspect of silk production in nature concerns the ability of the spider to rapidly process a concentrated, viscous aqueous solution of silk protein (stored in the gland) into water-insoluble fiber on demand. This process centers on the assembly of a shear-sensitive supramolecular liquid crystalline phase by aggregation of the solubilized globular protein molecules.

  6. 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).

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

    PubMed

    Radtke, Christine

    2016-10-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Radtke, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Spider silk and its synthetic derivatives have a light weight in combination with good strength and elasticity. Their high cytocompatibility and low immunogenicity make them well suited for biomaterial products such as nerve conduits. Silk proteins slowly degrade enzymatically in vivo, thus allowing for an initial therapeutic effect such as in nerve scaffolding to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and then are removed. Silks are biopolymers naturally produced by many species of arthropods including spiders, caterpillars and mites. The silk fibers are secreted by the labial gland of the larvae of some orders of Holometabola (insects with pupa) or the spinnerets of spiders. The majority of studies using silks for biomedical applications use materials from silkworms or spiders, mostly of the genus Nephila clavipes. Silk is one of the most promising biomaterials with effects not only in nerve regeneration, but in a number of regenerative applications. The development of silks for human biomedical applications is of high scientific and clinical interest. Biomaterials in use for biomedical applications have to meet a number of requirements such as biocompatibility and elicitation of no more than a minor inflammatory response, biodegradability in a reasonable time and specific structural properties. Here we present the current status in the field of silk-based conduit development for nerve repair and discuss current advances with regard to potential clinical transfer of an implantable nerve conduit for enhancement of nerve regeneration. PMID:27775616

  9. Amorphous Silk Nanofiber Solutions for Fabricating Silk-Based Functional Materials.

    PubMed

    Dong, Xiaodan; Zhao, Qun; Xiao, Liying; Lu, Qiang; Kaplan, David L

    2016-09-12

    As a functional material, silk has been widely used in tissue engineering, drug release, and tissue regeneration. Increasing subtle control of silk hierarchical structures and thus specific functional performance is required for these applications but remains a challenge. Here, we report a novel silk nanofiber solution achieved through tuning solvent systems used to generate the material. Unlike the β-sheet rich silk nanofibers reported previously, these new silk nanofibers are mainly composed of amorphous structures and maintain a solution state in aqueous environments. The amorphous silk nanofibers are stable enough for storage and also metastable, making them easy to use in the further fabrication of materials through various processes. Silk scaffolds, hydrogels, and films were prepared from these silk nanofiber solutions. These silk materials from amorphous nanofiber solutions show different properties and tunable performance features. Therefore, these amorphous silk nanofibers are suitable units or building blocks for designing silk-based materials.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  11. Neural responses to electrical stimulation on patterned silk films.

    PubMed

    Hronik-Tupaj, Marie; Raja, Waseem Khan; Tang-Schomer, Min; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Kaplan, David L

    2013-09-01

    Peripheral nerve injury is a critical issue for patients with trauma. Following injury, incomplete axon regeneration or misguided axon innervation into tissue will result in loss of sensory and motor functions. The objective of this study was to examine axon outgrowth and axon alignment in response to surface patterning and electrical stimulation. To accomplish our objective, metal electrodes with dimensions of 1.5 mm × 4 cm, were sputter coated onto micropatterned silk protein films, with surface grooves 3.5 μm wide × 500 nm deep. P19 neurons were seeded on the patterned electronic silk films and stimulated at 120 mV, 1 kHz, for 45 min each day for 7 days. Responses were compared with neurons on flat electronic silk films, patterned silk films without stimulation, and flat silk films without stimulation. Significant alignment was found on the patterned film groups compared with the flat film groups. Axon outgrowth was greater (p < 0.05) on electronic films on days 5 and 7 compared with the unstimulated groups. In conclusion, electrical stimulation, at 120 mV, 1 kHz, for 45 min daily, in addition to surface patterning, of 3.5 μm wide × 500 nm deep grooves, offered control of nerve axon outgrowth and alignment.

  12. 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.

  13. Silk materials--a road to sustainable high technology.

    PubMed

    Tao, Hu; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G

    2012-06-05

    This review addresses the use of silk protein as a sustainable material in optics and photonics, electronics and optoelectronic applications. These options represent additional developments for this technology platform that compound the broad utility and impact of this material for medical needs that have been recently described in the literature. The favorable properties of the material certainly make a favorable case for the use of silk, yet serve as a broad inspiration to further develop biological foundries for both the synthesis and processing of Nature's materials for technological applications.

  14. 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.

  15. Molecular and mechanical characterization of aciniform silk: uniformity of iterated sequence modules in a novel member of the spider silk fibroin gene family.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Blackledge, Todd A; Lewis, Randolph V

    2004-10-01

    Araneoid spiders use specialized abdominal glands to produce up to seven different protein-based silks/glues that have diverse physical properties. The fibroin sequences that encode aciniform fibers (wrapping silk) and the mechanical properties of these fibers have not been characterized previously. To gain a better understanding of the molecular radiation of spider silk fibroin genes, cDNA libraries derived from aciniform glands of the banded garden spider, Argiope trifasciata, were constructed, and unique silk transcripts were sequenced. There was evidence for a single silk fibroin gene that was expressed in the aciniform glands, and the inferred amino acid composition of the novel fibroin closely matched the amino acid contents of these glands. The inferred protein, aciniform spidroin 1 (AcSp1), is composed of highly homogenized repeats that are 200 amino acids in length. The long stretches of poly-alanine and glycine-alanine subrepeats, which are thought to account for the crystalline regions of minor ampullate and major ampullate fibers, are very poorly represented in AcSp1. The AcSp1 repeat unit is iterated minimally 14 times and does not display substantial sequence similarity to any previously described genes or proteins. Database searches, however, showed that the nonrepetitive carboxy-terminus contains stretches of matches to known spider fibroin sequences, suggesting that the AcSp1 gene is a highly divergent member of the spider silk gene family. In phylogenetic analyses of carboxy-terminal sequences from araneid spiders, the aciniform sequence did not group strongly with clusters of fibroins from the flagelliform, minor ampullate, or major ampullate silk glands. Comparisons of stress/strain curves for major ampullate, minor ampullate, and aciniform silks from Argiope trifasciata showed significant differences in ultimate strength, extensibility, and toughness. Remarkably, the toughness of aciniform silk was 50% greater than the highest values typically

  16. Evaluation of the Spectral Response of Functionalized Silk Inverse Opals as Colorimetric Immunosensors.

    PubMed

    Burke, Kelly A; Brenckle, Mark A; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G

    2016-06-29

    Regenerated silk fibroin is a high molecular weight protein obtained by purifying the cocoons of the domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori. This report exploits the aqueous processing and tunable β sheet secondary structure of regenerated silk to produce nanostructures (i.e., inverse opals) that can be used as colorimetric immunosensors. Such sensors would enable direct detection of antigens by changes in reflectance spectra induced by binding events within the nanostructure. Silk inverse opals were prepared by solution casting and annealing in a humidified atmosphere to render the silk insoluble. Next, antigen sensing capabilities were imparted to silk through a three step synthesis: coupling of avidin to silk surfaces, coupling of biotin to antibodies, and lastly antibody attachment to silk through avidin-biotin interactions. Varying the antibody enables detection of different antigens, as demonstrated using different protein antigens: antibodies, red fluorescent protein, and the beta subunit of cholera toxin. Antigen binding to sensors induces a red shift in the opal reflectance spectra, while sensors not exposed to antigen showed either no shift or a slight blue shift. This work constitutes a first step for the design of biopolymer-based optical systems that could directly detect antigens using commercially available reagents and environmentally friendly chemistries.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Sonication-induced gelation of silk fibroin for cell encapsulation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoqin; Kluge, Jonathan A; Leisk, Gary G; Kaplan, David L

    2008-03-01

    Purified native silk fibroin forms beta-sheet-rich, physically cross-linked, 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 beta-sheets by alteration in hydrophobic hydration, thus accelerating the formation of physical cross-links responsible for gel stabilization. K(+) at physiological concentrations and low pH promoted gelation, which was not observed in the presence of Ca(2+). 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 0.5-2 h. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Cell culture's spider silk road.

    PubMed

    Perkel, Jeffrey

    2014-06-01

    A number of synthetic and natural materials have been tried in cell culture and tissue engineering applications in recent years. Now Jeffrey Perkel takes a look at one new culture component that might surprise you-spider silk.

  2. Sericin can reduce hippocampal neuronal apoptosis by activating the Akt signal transduction pathway in a rat model of diabetes mellitus☆

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhihong; He, Yaqiang; Song, Chengjun; Dong, Zhijun; Su, Zhejun; Xue, Jingfeng

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, a rat model of type 2 diabetes mellitus was established by continuous peritoneal injection of streptozotocin. Following intragastric perfusion of sericin for 35 days, blood glucose levels significantly reduced, neuronal apoptosis in the hippocampal CA1 region decreased, hippocampal phosphorylated Akt and nuclear factor kappa B expression were enhanced, but Bcl-xL/Bcl-2 associated death promoter expression decreased. Results demonstrated that sericin can reduce hippocampal neuronal apoptosis in a rat model of diabetes mellitus by regulating abnormal changes in the Akt signal transduction pathway. PMID:25767499

  3. 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

  4. Construction, cloning, and expression of synthetic genes encoding spider dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Prince, J T; McGrath, K P; DiGirolamo, C M; Kaplan, D L

    1995-08-29

    Synthetic genes encoding recombinant spider silk proteins have been constructed, cloned, and expressed. Protein sequences were derived from Nephila clavipes dragline silk proteins and reverse-translated to the corresponding DNA sequences. Codon selection was chosen to maximize expression levels in Escherichia coli. DNA "monomer" sequences were multimerized to encode high molecular weight synthetic spider silks using a "head-to-tail" construction strategy. Multimers were cloned into a prokaryotic expression vector and the encoded silk proteins were expressed in E. coli upon induction with IPTG. Four multimer, ranging in size from 14.7 to 41.3 kDa, were chosen for detailed analysis. These proteins were isolated by immobilized metal affinity chromatography and purified using reverse-phase HPLC. The composition and identity of the purified proteins were confirmed by amino acid composition analysis, N-terminal sequencing, laser desorption mass spectroscopy, and Western analysis using antibodies reactive to native spider dragline silk. Circular dichroism measurements indicate that the synthetic spider silks have substantial beta-sheet structure.

  5. 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

  6. A silk platform that enables electrophysiology and targeted drug delivery in brain astroglial cells

    PubMed Central

    Benfenati, Valentina; Toffanin, Stefano; Capelli, Raffaella; Camassa, Laura M. A.; Ferroni, Stefano; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Muccini, Michele; Zamboni, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    Astroglial cell survival and ion channel activity are relevant molecular targets for the mechanistic study of neural cell interactions with biomaterials and/or electronic interfaces. Astrogliosis is the most typical reaction to in-vivo brain implants and needs to be avoided by developing biomaterials that preserve astroglial cell physiological function. This cellular phenomenon is characterized by a proliferative state and altered expression of astroglial potassium (K+) channels. Silk is a natural polymer with potential for new biomedical applications due to its ability to support in vitro growth and differentiation of many cell types. We report on silk interactions with cultured neocortical astroglial cells. Astrocytes survival is similar when plated on silk-coated glass and on poly-D-lysine (PDL), a well-known polyionic substrate used to promote astroglial cell adhesion to glass surfaces. Comparative analyses of whole-cell and single-cell patch-clamp experiments reveal that silk- and PDL-coated cells display depolarized resting membrane potentials (∼ -40 mV), very high input resistance, and low specific conductance, with values similar to those of undifferentiated glial cells. Analysis of K+ channel conductance reveals that silk-astrocytes express large outwardly delayed rectifying K+ current (KDR). The magnitude of KDR in PDL- and silk-coated astrocytes is similar, indicating that silk does not alter the resting K+ current. We also demonstrate that guanosine-(GUO) embedded silk enables the direct modulation of astroglial K+ conductance in vitro. Astrocytes plated on GUO-embedded silk are more hyperpolarized and express inward rectifying K+ conductance (Kir). The K+ inward current increase and this is paralleled by upregulation and membrane-polarization of Kir4.1 protein signal. Collectively these results indicate that silk is a suitable biomaterial platform for the in vitro studies of astroglial ion channel responses and related physiology. PMID:20688390

  7. Mechanical response of silk crystalline units from force-distribution analysis.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Senbo; Stacklies, Wolfram; Cetinkaya, Murat; Markert, Bernd; Gräter, Frauke

    2009-05-20

    The outstanding mechanical toughness of silk fibers is thought to be caused by embedded crystalline units acting as cross links of silk proteins in the fiber. Here, we examine the robustness of these highly ordered beta-sheet structures by molecular dynamics simulations and finite element analysis. Structural parameters and stress-strain relationships of four different models, from spider and Bombyx mori silk peptides, in antiparallel and parallel arrangement, were determined and found to be in good agreement with x-ray diffraction data. Rupture forces exceed those of any previously examined globular protein many times over, with spider silk (poly-alanine) slightly outperforming Bombyx mori silk ((Gly-Ala)(n)). All-atom force distribution analysis reveals both intrasheet hydrogen-bonding and intersheet side-chain interactions to contribute to stability to similar extent. In combination with finite element analysis of simplified beta-sheet skeletons, we could ascribe the distinct force distribution pattern of the antiparallel and parallel silk crystalline units to the difference in hydrogen-bond geometry, featuring an in-line or zigzag arrangement, respectively. Hydrogen-bond strength was higher in antiparallel models, and ultimately resulted in higher stiffness of the crystal, compensating the effect of the mechanically disadvantageous in-line hydrogen-bond geometry. Atomistic and coarse-grained force distribution patterns can thus explain differences in mechanical response of silk crystals, opening up the road to predict full fiber mechanics.

  8. 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.; Teulé, 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 te