Departments > Mechanics and Structure > Publications

Publications

Publications in Journals

Ehrlich, H. ; Tsurkan, M.
Mineralization of the metre-long biosilica structures of glass sponges is templated on hydroxylated collagen

The minerals involved in the formation of metazoan skeletons principally comprise glassy silica, calcium phosphate or carbonate. Because of their ancient heritage, glass sponges (Hexactinellida) may shed light on fundamental questions such as molecular evolution, the unique chemistry and formation of the first skeletal silica-based structures, and the origin of multicellular animals. We have studied anchoring spicules from the metre-long stalk of the glass rope sponge (Hyalonema sieboldi; Porifera, Class Hexactinellida), which are remarkable for their size, durability, flexibility and optical properties. Using slow-alkali etching of biosilica, we isolated the organic fraction, which was revealed to be dominated by a hydroxylated fibrillar collagen that contains an unusual [Gly–3Hyp–4Hyp] motif. We speculate that this motif is predisposed for silica precipitation, and provides a novel template for biosilicification in nature.

Source
Nature Chemistry 2

Pages
1084-1088

DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.899

Published
November 2010
 
Publications
Publikationen

Departments

Mechanics and Structure

News