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J Biol Chem. 2005 Dec 30;280(52):42938-44. Epub 2005 Oct 14.

Cement proteins of the tube-building polychaete Phragmatopoma californica.

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Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.


The mineralized tube of the sandcastle worm Phragmatopoma californica is made from exogenous mineral particles (sand, shell, etc.) glued together with a cement secreted from the "building organ" on the thorax of the worm. The glue is a cross-linked mixture of three highly polar proteins. The complete sequences of Pc-1 (18 kDa) and Pc-2 (21 kDa) were deduced from cDNAs derived from previously reported peptide sequences (Waite, J. H., Jensen, R., and Morse, D. E. (1992) Biochemistry 31, 5733-5738). Both proteins are basic (pI approximately 10) and exhibit Gly-rich peptide repeats. The consensus repeats in Pc-1 and -2 are VGGYGYGGKK (15 times), and HPAVXHKALGGYG (eight times), respectively, in which X denotes an intervening nonrepeated sequence and Y is modified to 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-l-alanine (Dopa). The third protein, Pc-3, was deduced from the cement to be about 80 mol % phosphoserine/serine, and the cDNA was obtained by exploiting the presence of poly-serine repeats. Pc-3 consists of a family of at least seven variants with 60-90 mol % serine most of which is phosphorylated in the cement. Pc-1, -2, and -3 contain cysteine some of which reacts to form 5-S-cysteinyl-Dopa cross-links during the setting process.

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