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The structure and mechanical properties of the proteins of lamprey cartilage.

Biopolymers (2014-11-05)
Ellen M Green, C Peter Winlove
ABSTRACT

The cyanogen bromide-resistant proteins of lamprey cartilage are biochemically related to the mammalian elastic protein, elastin. This study investigates their mechanical properties and enquires whether, like elastin, long-range elasticity arises in them from a combination of entropic and hydrophobic mechanisms. Branchial and pericardial proteins resembled elastin mechanically, with elastic moduli of 0.13-0.35 MPa, breaking strains of 50%, and low hysteresis. Annular and piston proteins had higher elastic moduli (0.27-0.75 MPa) and larger hysteresis. Exchanging solvent water for trifluoroethanol increased the elastic moduli, whereas increasing temperature lowered the elastic moduli. Raman microspectrometry showed small differences in side-chain modes consistent with reported biochemical differences. Decomposition of the amide I band indicated that the secondary structures were like those of elastin, preponderantly unordered, which probably confer the conformational flexibility necessary for entropy elasticity. Piston and annular proteins showed the strongest interactions with water, suggesting, together with the mechanical testing data, a greater role of hydrophobic interactions in their mechanics. Two-photon imaging of intrinsic fluorescence and dye injection experiments showed that annular and piston proteins formed closed-cell honeycomb structures, whereas the branchial and pericardial proteins formed open-cell structures, which may account for the differences in mechanical properties.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Deuterium oxide, "100%", 99.990 atom % D
Sigma-Aldrich
Deuterium oxide, 99.9 atom % D
Sigma-Aldrich
Deuterium oxide, "100%", ≥99.96 atom % D
Sigma-Aldrich
Deuterium oxide, extra, 99.994 atom % D
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Deuterium oxide, 99.9 atom % D, glass distilled
Sigma-Aldrich
Deuterium oxide, 60 atom % D
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Deuterium oxide, 99.9 atom % D, contains 0.05 wt. % 3-(trimethylsilyl)propionic-2,2,3,3-d4 acid, sodium salt
Sigma-Aldrich
2,2,2-Trifluoroethanol, BioUltra, for molecular biology, ≥99.0% (GC)
Supelco
2,2,2-Trifluoroethanol, analytical standard, for NMR spectroscopy
Sigma-Aldrich
2,2,2-Trifluoroethanol, ReagentPlus®, ≥99%