Synthetic spider silk fibers spun from pyriform spidroin 2, A glue silk protein discovered in orb-weaving spider attachment discs

Paul Geurts, Liang Zhao, Yang Hsia, Eric Gnesa, Simon Tang, Felicia Jeffery, Coby La Mattina, Andreas Franz, Leah Larkin, Craig Vierra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Spider attachment disc silk fibers are spun into a viscous liquid that rapidly solidifies, gluing dragline silk fibers to substrates for locomotion or web construction. Here we report the identification and artificial spinning of a novel attachment disc glue silk fibroin, Pyriform Spidroin 2 (PySp2), from the golden orb weaver Nephila clavipes. MS studies support PySp2 is a constituent of the pyriform gland that is spun into attachment discs. Analysis of the PySp2 protein architecture reveals sequence divergence relative to the other silk family members, including the cob weaver glue silk fibroin PySp1. PySp2 contains internal block repeats that consist of two subrepeat units: one dominated by Ser, Gln, and Ala and the other Pro-rich. Artificial spinning of recombinant PySp2 truncations shows that the Ser-Gln-Ala-rich subrepeat is sufficient for the assembly of polymeric subunits and subsequent fiber formation. These studies support that both orb- and cob-weaving spiders have evolved highly polar block-repeat sequences with the ability to self-assemble into fibers, suggesting a strategy to allow fiber fabrication in the liquid environment of the attachment discs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3495-3503
Number of pages9
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 13 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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