Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology

Characterization of proteins from arthrodial membranes of the lobster, Homarus americanus.

PMID 10048190


A total of six proteins from the abdominal arthrodial membrane (intersegmental membrane) of the lobster, Homarus americanus, were purified and their amino acid sequences were determined by a combination of mass spectrometry and Edman degradation. The proteins are acidic with pI-values close to 4 and they all have molecular masses approximately 12 kDa. The sequences of five of the proteins differ in only a few residues, while the sixth protein differs from the others in more than half of the positions. Only little similarity is observed between the sequences of the arthrodial membrane proteins and those of proteins purified from the calcified parts of the exoskeleton of H. americanus. The arthrodial membrane proteins contain the Rebers-Riddiford consensus sequence common in proteins from insect cuticles. Comparison of the complete sequences to the sequences available in databases shows that the lobster membrane proteins are more closely related to proteins from insect pliant cuticles than to proteins derived from cuticles destined for sclerotization. Characteristic features in the protein sequences are discussed, and it is suggested that the various sequence regions have specific roles in determining the mechanical properties of arthrodial membranes.