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Gene

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


PMID 25447895

Abstract

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.