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J Struct Biol 2006 Jul 01;1551:87-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2006.03.002.
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Mapping of magnesium and of different protein fragments in sea urchin teeth via secondary ion mass spectroscopy.

Robach JS , Stock SR , Veis A .

Mature portions of sea urchin are comprised of a complex array of reinforcing elements yet are single crystals of high and very high Mg calcite. How a relatively poor structural material (calcite) can produce mechanically competent structures is of great interest. In teeth of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus, we recorded high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) maps of Mg, Ca ,and specific amino acid fragments of mineral-related proteins including aspartic acid (Asp). SIMS revealed strong colocalization of Asp residues with very high Mg. Demineralized specimens showed serine localization on membranes between crystal elements and reduced Mg and aspartic acid signals, further emphasizing colocalization of very high Mg with ready soluble Asp-rich protein(s). The association of Asp with nonequilibrium, very high magnesium calcite provides insight to the makeup of the macromolecules involved in the growth of two different composition calcites and the fundamental process of biomineralization.

PubMed ID: 16675267
Article link: J Struct Biol
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 LOC115922275