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Articles by Kristin Kohler in JoVE
Synthetische Spider Silk Production op laboratoriumschaal
Yang Hsia, Eric Gnesa, Ryan Pacheco, Kristin Kohler, Felicia Jeffery, Craig Vierra
Department of Biological Sciences, University of the Pacific
Ondanks de uitstekende mechanische en biochemische eigenschappen van spin zijde, kan dit materiaal worden geoogst in grote hoeveelheden op conventionele wijze. Hier beschrijven we een efficiënte strategie om kunstmatige spinnenzijde vezels, die is een belangrijk proces voor de onderzoekers bestuderen van spinnenzijde productie en het gebruik ervan als next-generation biomaterialen te laten draaien.
Other articles by Kristin Kohler on PubMed
Egg Case Protein-1. A New Class of Silk Proteins with Fibroin-like Properties from the Spider Latrodectus Hesperus
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jun, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15797873
Spiders produce multiple types of silk that exhibit diverse mechanical properties and biological functions. Most molecular studies of spider silk have focused on fibroins from dragline silk and capture silk, two important silk types involved in the survival of the spider. In our studies we have focused on the characterization of egg case silk, a third silk fiber produced by the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. Analysis of the physical structure of egg case silk using scanning electron microscopy demonstrates the presence of small and large diameter fibers. By using the strong protein denaturant 8 M guanidine hydrochloride to solubilize the fibers, we demonstrated by SDS-PAGE and protein silver staining that an abundant component of egg case silk is a 100-kDa protein doublet. Combining matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry and reverse genetics, we have isolated a novel gene called ecp-1, which encodes for one of the protein components of the 100-kDa species. BLAST searches of the NCBInr protein data base using the primary sequence of ECP-1 revealed similarity to fibroins from spiders and silkworms, which mapped to two distinct regions within the ECP-1. These regions contained the conserved repetitive fibroin motifs poly(Ala) and poly(Gly-Ala), but surprisingly, no larger ensemble repeats could be identified within the primary sequence of ECP-1. Consistent with silk gland-restricted patterns of expression for fibroins, ECP-1 was demonstrated to be predominantly produced in the tubuliform gland, with lower levels detected in the major and minor ampullate glands. ECP-1 monomeric units were also shown to assemble into higher aggregate structures through the formation of disulfide bonds via a unique cysteine-rich N-terminal region. Collectively, our findings provide new insight into the components of egg case silk and identify a new class of silk proteins with distinctive molecular features relative to traditional members of the spider silk gene family.
Characterization of a Novel Class II BHLH Transcription Factor from the Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus Hesperus, with Silk-gland Restricted Patterns of Expression
DNA and Cell Biology. Jun, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15941389
Members of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family are required for a number of different developmental pathways, including lymphopoiesis, myogenesis, neurogenesis, and sex determination. Screening a cDNA library prepared from silk-producing glands of the black widow spider, we have identified a new bHLH transcription factor named SGSF. Within the bHLH region, SGSF showed considerable conservation with other HLH proteins, including Drosophila melanogaster achaete and scute, as well as three HLH proteins identified by gene prediction programs. The expression pattern of SGSF was restricted to a subset of silk-producing glands, which include the tubuliform and major ampullate glands. SGSF was capable of binding an E-box element as a heterodimer with the E protein, E47, but was unable to bind this motif as a homodimer. SGSF was demonstrated to be a nuclear transcription factor capable of attenuating the transactivation of E47 homodimers in mammalian cells. SGSF represents the first example of a silk gland-restricted bHLH protein, and its expression pattern suggests that SGSF plays a role in regulating differentiation of cells in the spider that control silk gland formation or egg case silk gene expression.
Araneoid Egg Case Silk: a Fibroin with Novel Ensemble Repeat Units from the Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus Hesperus
Biochemistry. Aug, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16042378
Araneoid spiders use specialized abdominal glands to manufacture up to seven different protein-based silks/glues that have diverse physical properties. The fibroin sequences that encode egg case fibers (cover silk for the egg case sac) and the secondary structure of these threads have not been previously determined. In this study, MALDI tandem TOF mass spectrometry (MS/MS) and reverse genetics were used to isolate the first egg case fibroin, named tubuliform spidroin 1 (TuSp1), from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis demonstrates TuSp1 is selectively expressed in the tubuliform gland. Analysis of the amino acid composition of raw egg case silk closely aligns with the predicted amino acid composition from the primary sequence of TuSp1, which supports the assertion that TuSp1 represents a major component of egg case fibers. TuSp1 is composed of highly homogeneous repeats that are 184 amino acids in length. The long stretches of polyalanine and glycine-alanine subrepeats, which account for the crystalline regions of minor ampullate and major ampullate fibers, are very poorly represented in TuSp1. However, polyserine blocks and short polyalanine stretches were highly iterated within the primary sequence, and (13)C NMR spectroscopy demonstrated that the majority of alanine was found in a beta-sheet structure in post-spun egg case silk. The TuSp1 repeat unit does not display substantial sequence similarity to any previously described fibroin genes or proteins, suggesting that TuSp1 is a highly divergent member of the spider silk gene family.
Biochemistry. Mar, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16533031
Spider silk proteins are well-known for their extraordinary mechanical properties, displaying remarkable strength and toughness. In this study, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) tandem time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry (MS/MS) and reverse genetics were used to isolate a new cDNA sequence that encodes for a protein assembled into egg case silk from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. Analysis of the primary sequence of this protein reveals approximately 52% identity to the egg case protein 1 (ECP-1) fibroin-like family member. On the basis of the similarity in the primary sequence and expression pattern, we have named this factor egg case protein 2 (ECP-2). Alignments of ECP-1 and ECP-2 demonstrate highly conserved N termini, with 16 Cys residues found within the first 153 amino acids. Traditional ensemble repeats found within reported fibroins were poorly represented in the primary sequence of ECP-2, but scattered blocks of polyalanine were present, along with a C terminus rich in GA repeats. Reverse transcription quantitative PCR analysis showed that ECP-2 is predominantly expressed in the tubuliform gland. Relative to ECP-1, ECP-2 mRNA levels were determined to be >2-fold higher. MALDI MS/MS analysis of peptide fragments generated from the large-diameter core fiber after enzymatic digestion and acid hydrolysis demonstrated the presence of a fiber that is trimeric in nature, containing tubuliform spidroin 1 (TuSp1), ECP-1, and ECP-2. We also report an additional primary sequence for TuSp1, demonstrating that TuSp1 contains two Cys residues within a nonrepetitive N-terminal region. In combination with the distinctive protein architectures of ECP-1 and ECP-2, along with their co-localization with TuSp1 in the core fiber, our findings suggest that ECP-1 and ECP-2 play important structural roles in the egg case silk fiber.