N-terminal nonrepetitive domain common to dragline, flagelliform, and cylindriform spider silk proteins.Biomacromolecules 2006; 7(11):3120-4B
Spider silk has been extensively studied for its outstanding mechanical properties. Partial intermediate and C-terminal sequences of different spider silk proteins have been determined, and during the past decade also N-terminal domains have been characterized. However, only some of these N-terminal domains have been reported to contain signal peptides, leaving the mechanism whereby they enter the secretory pathway open to speculation. Here we present the sequence of a 394-residue N-terminal region of the Euprosthenops australis major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1). A close comparison with published sequences from other species revealed the presence of N-terminal signal peptides followed by an approximately 130-residue nonrepetitive domain. From secondary structure predictions, helical wheel analysis, and circular dichroism spectroscopy this domain is concluded to contain five alpha-helices and is a conserved constituent of hitherto analyzed dragline, flagelliform, and cylindriform spider silk proteins.