Send to

Choose Destination
Matrix Biol. 1996 Jul;15(2):99-110.

Stiparin: a glycoprotein from sea cucumber dermis that aggregates collagen fibrils.

Author information

Department of Anatomy, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, USA.


The interactions between collagen fibrils in many echinoderm connective tissues are rapidly altered by the secretions of resident neurosecretory cells. Recent evidence has suggested that a secreted protein is responsible for the interactions that lead to an increase in tissue stiffness (Trotter and Koob, 1995). Structurally intact collagen fibrils have been isolated from such a connective tissue- the dermis of the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa- and used in an assay in vitro to identify a protein that binds to them and causes them to aggregate. This protein has been purified by anion-exchange and molecular sieve chromatography. It is eluted from a MonoQ column at approximately 0.55 M NaCl. Its isoelectric point is 5.2. It elutes from a Superose-6 column in a position corresponding to a molecule with a Stokes radius of 11.5 nm. Its native molecular weight estimated from sedimentation equilibrium analysis under non-denaturing conditions is 375,000, and its monomer molecular weight, estimated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate, is approximately 350,000. Sedimentation velocity measurements indicated for the native molecule a sedimentation coefficient of 11 x 10(-13)s, a diffusion coefficient of 3.274 x 10(-7) cm2s-1, and a frictional ratio of 1.95, which corresponds to a prolate ellipsoid of revolution with an axial ratio of 19. The highly asymmetric structure suggested by the above correlated well with the images obtained by transmission electron microscopy following rotary shadowing, which revealed a flexible structure approximately 125 nm long. Based on its ability to aggregate collagen fibrils, this protein has been named "stiparin," from the Latin stipare, "to pack together."

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center