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J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 2004;15(8):971-80.

Sulfation of silk sericin and anticoagulant activity of sulfated sericin.

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National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, 1-2 Owashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8634, Japan.


Silk sericin extracted from a cocoon was sulfated by chlorosulfonic acid. Sulfation of sericin was confirmed by FT-IR and the reaction efficiency was calculated as 44.9%. 1H-NMR suggested that sulfation mainly occurred at serine residues in the sericin molecule. The sulfated sericin was separated in three fractions by gel-filtration chromatography using Sephacryl S-200. The sulfate group content and amino-acid composition of each fraction were almost identical, while the anticoagulant activity differed for each fraction of sulfated sericin. Higher anticoagulant activity was observed for the higher-molecular-mass fraction. The anticoagulant activity of sulfated sericin was estimated at 1/10 to 1/20 of heparin.

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