5 years ago

Transformation of Coiled α-Helices into Cross-β-Sheets Superstructure

Transformation of Coiled α-Helices into Cross-β-Sheets Superstructure
Andreas K. Schaper, Kohji Tashiro, Noboru Ohta, Taiyo Yoshioka, Tsunenori Kameda
The fibrous silk produced by bees, wasps, ants, or hornets is known to form a four-strand α-helical coiled coil superstructure. We have succeeded in showing the formation of this coiled coil structure not only in natural fibers, but also in artificial films made of regenerated silk of the hornet Vespa simillima xanthoptera using wide- and small-angle X-ray scatterings and polarized Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. On the basis of time-resolved simultaneous synchrotron X-ray scattering observations for in situ monitoring of the structural changes in regenerated silk material during tensile deformation, we have shown that the application of tensile force under appropriate conditions induces a transition from the coiled α-helices to a cross-β-sheet superstructure. The four-stranded tertiary superstructure remains unchanged during this process. It has also been shown that the amorphous protein chains in the regenerated silk material are transformed into conventional β-sheet arrangements with varying orientation.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00920

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00920

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