Title

Spinning a Solution: Effect of Salt Concentrations on Black Widow Silk

Poster Number

48

Lead Author Major

Pre-Dentistry

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Craig Vierra

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Dragline silk is a desirable structure base for synthetic fibers due to its extraordinary properties. Spider silk has a tensile strength comparable to that of high-grade alloy steel while only having a sixth of the density and thus making it a high interest fiber. The silk is composed of MaSp1 proteins that contain a highly conserved N-terminus that plays a central role in the formation of the dragline silk into a solid form from its liquid state in the spider’s major ampullate glands. In order to obtain the MaSp1 proteins, bacterial cells were transformed to express and produce the protein. Once obtained, the protein was purified by filtration through a nickel resin and validated by running the proteins through a protein gel and confirming the bands were the correct size. An in gel tryptic digestion was then done and a mass spectrometry analysis was conducted to further validate that the correct protein had been obtained. The data obtained from this experiment will further advance our understanding of the properties of the N-terminus of MaSp1 fibroin and increase the opportunities to produce artificial dragline silk on an industrial scale.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2013 1:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2013 3:00 PM

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Apr 20th, 1:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:00 PM

Spinning a Solution: Effect of Salt Concentrations on Black Widow Silk

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Dragline silk is a desirable structure base for synthetic fibers due to its extraordinary properties. Spider silk has a tensile strength comparable to that of high-grade alloy steel while only having a sixth of the density and thus making it a high interest fiber. The silk is composed of MaSp1 proteins that contain a highly conserved N-terminus that plays a central role in the formation of the dragline silk into a solid form from its liquid state in the spider’s major ampullate glands. In order to obtain the MaSp1 proteins, bacterial cells were transformed to express and produce the protein. Once obtained, the protein was purified by filtration through a nickel resin and validated by running the proteins through a protein gel and confirming the bands were the correct size. An in gel tryptic digestion was then done and a mass spectrometry analysis was conducted to further validate that the correct protein had been obtained. The data obtained from this experiment will further advance our understanding of the properties of the N-terminus of MaSp1 fibroin and increase the opportunities to produce artificial dragline silk on an industrial scale.