Spine and test skeletal matrices of the Mediterranean sea urchin Arbacia lixula--a comparative characterization of their sugar signature.

Abstract

Calcified structures of sea urchins are biocomposite materials that comprise a minor fraction of organic macromolecules, such as proteins, glycoproteins and polysaccharides. These macromolecules are thought to collectively regulate mineral deposition during the process of calcification. When occluded, they modify the properties of the mineral. In the present study, the organic matrices (both soluble and insoluble in acetic acid) of spines and tests from the Mediterranean black sea urchin Arbacia lixula were extracted and characterized, in order to determine whether they exhibit similar biochemical signatures. Bulk characterizations were performed by mono-dimensional SDS/PAGE, FT-IR spectroscopy, and an in vitro crystallization assay. We concentrated our efforts on characterization of the sugar moieties. To this end, we determined the monosaccharide content of the soluble and insoluble organic matrices of A. lixula spines and tests by HPAE-PAD, together with their respective lectin-binding profiles via enzyme-linked lectin assay. Finally, we performed in situ localization of N-acetyl glucosamine-containing saccharides on spines and tests using gold-conjugated wheatgerm agglutinin. Our data show that the test and spine matrices exhibit different biochemical signatures with regard to their saccharidic fraction, suggesting that future studies should analyse the regulation of mineral deposition by the matrix in these two mineralized structures in detail. This study re-emphasizes the importance of non-protein moieties, i.e. sugars, in calcium carbonate systems, and highlights the need to clearly identify their function in the biomineralization process.

DOI: 10.1111/febs.13242

Cite this paper

@article{Kanold2015SpineAT, title={Spine and test skeletal matrices of the Mediterranean sea urchin Arbacia lixula--a comparative characterization of their sugar signature.}, author={Julia Maxi Kanold and Nathalie Guichard and Françoise Immel and Laurent Plasseraud and Marion Corneillat and G{\'e}rard Alcaraz and Franz Bruemmer and Fr{\'e}d{\'e}ric Marin}, journal={The FEBS journal}, year={2015}, volume={282 10}, pages={1891-905} }