September 22, 2019  |  

The discovered chimeric protein plays the cohesive role to maintain scallop byssal root structural integrity.

Authors: Xu, Pingping and Dai, Xiaoting and Wang, Dandan and Miao, Yan and Zhang, Xiaokang and Wang, Shuoshuo and Teng, Luyao and Dong, Bo and Bao, Zhenmin and Wang, Shi and Lyu, Qianqian and Liu, Weizhi

Adhesion is essential for many marine sessile organisms. Unraveling the compositions and assembly of marine bioadheisves is the fundamental to understand their physiological roles. Despite the remarkable diversity of animal bioadhesion, our understanding of this biological process remains limited to only a few animal lineages, leaving the majority of lineages remain enigmatic. Our previous study demonstrated that scallop byssus had distinct protein composition and unusual assembly mechanism apart from mussels. Here a novel protein (Sbp9) was discovered from the key part of the byssus (byssal root), which contains two Calcium Binding Domain (CBD) and 49 tandem Epidermal Growth Factor-Like (EGFL) domain repeats. Modular architecture of Sbp9 represents a novel chimeric gene family resulting from a gene fusion event through the acquisition of CBD2 domain by tenascin like (TNL) gene from Na+/Ca2+ exchanger 1 (NCX1) gene. Finally, free thiols are present in Sbp9 and the results of a rescue assay indicated that Sbp9 likely plays the cohesive role for byssal root integrity. This study not only aids our understanding of byssus assembly but will also inspire biomimetic material design.

Journal: Scientific reports
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-35265-y
Year: 2018

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