Title

Exploring the Glue Between Spider Silks and Cancer

Poster Number

16

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Latrodectus hesperus (black widow) spider silk is known for its high tensile strength and toughness. Its lightweight and biodegradable properties also add to its appeal of potential commercial applications, such as durable ropes and sutures. However, because black widow spiders are cannibals, we cannot merely invest in spider farms. Instead, our reliance on spider silk as a marketable raw material is contingent upon the ability to generate either transgenic bacteria or yeast to mass-produce these silks in a more economical manner. One of the key tasks in accomplishing this goal is elucidating the genetic sequences that code for these fibroins. Past protein analysis of L. hesperus silk fibers has characterized them as long and primarily composed of repetitive peptide motifs. The nature of these physical attributes makes copying the genes by rapid cloning strategies, such as polymerase chain reaction, an unfeasible task. Therefore, we have resorted to randomly isolating partial gene sequences from a cDNA library for all seven silk-producing abdominal glands, and comparing the theoretical translations of these partial sequences with MS/MS data for actual peptide sequences obtained after tryptic digestion of solubilized spider silk fibers. Although none of the translated partial cDNAs of this experiment matched the results from MS/MS analysis, nucleotide and protein BLAST searches did identify three genes of interest for further study: an aggregate glue (JYF23), the Ras protein (JYF13), and the minor ampullate spidroin (MC18).

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

Start Date

2-5-2009 1:00 PM

End Date

2-5-2009 3:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 2nd, 1:00 PM May 2nd, 3:00 PM

Exploring the Glue Between Spider Silks and Cancer

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

Latrodectus hesperus (black widow) spider silk is known for its high tensile strength and toughness. Its lightweight and biodegradable properties also add to its appeal of potential commercial applications, such as durable ropes and sutures. However, because black widow spiders are cannibals, we cannot merely invest in spider farms. Instead, our reliance on spider silk as a marketable raw material is contingent upon the ability to generate either transgenic bacteria or yeast to mass-produce these silks in a more economical manner. One of the key tasks in accomplishing this goal is elucidating the genetic sequences that code for these fibroins. Past protein analysis of L. hesperus silk fibers has characterized them as long and primarily composed of repetitive peptide motifs. The nature of these physical attributes makes copying the genes by rapid cloning strategies, such as polymerase chain reaction, an unfeasible task. Therefore, we have resorted to randomly isolating partial gene sequences from a cDNA library for all seven silk-producing abdominal glands, and comparing the theoretical translations of these partial sequences with MS/MS data for actual peptide sequences obtained after tryptic digestion of solubilized spider silk fibers. Although none of the translated partial cDNAs of this experiment matched the results from MS/MS analysis, nucleotide and protein BLAST searches did identify three genes of interest for further study: an aggregate glue (JYF23), the Ras protein (JYF13), and the minor ampullate spidroin (MC18).