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Proteomics. 2006 Jul;6(13):3801-10.

Proteomic analysis of the acid-soluble organic matrix of the chicken calcified eggshell layer.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Abteilung für Proteomics und Signaltransduktion, Am Klopferspitz 18, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany.


The major difference between inorganic minerals and biominerals is the presence of an organic matrix consisting of proteins, glycoproteins, proteoglycans, and polysaccharides, which is synthesized by specialized cells under genetic control before or during mineralization. The organic matrix is thought to play a major role in the assembly of the biomineral and determination of its mechanical properties. The recent elucidation of the chicken genome provided an opportunity to explore the matrix proteome of a biomineral using up-to-date MS-based technology. We identified 520 proteins in this matrix including the ten matrix proteins already known before. The identified proteins were divided into three abundance groups using the exponentially modified protein abundance index described recently which was roughly calibrated with the few known data on protein yield derived from Edman sequence analysis. A small group of 32 highly abundant proteins contained the presently known eggshell-specific proteins and all of the other known eggshell matrix constituents identified before with much less sensitive conventional methods. The present study, which is the first comprehensive proteomic study of a vertebrate biomineral, is intended as a starting point for the detailed molecular characterization of eggshell matrix proteins, their interactions in the matrix network and functional studies.

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