Hronska, M., van Beek, J.D., Williamson, P.T.F., Vollrath, Fritz and Meier, Beat H.
NMR characterization of native liquid spider dragline silk from Nephila edulis.
Biomacromolecules, 5, (3), . (doi:10.1021/bm0343904).
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Solid spider dragline silk is well-known for its mechanical properties. Nonetheless a detailed picture of the spinning process is lacking. Here we report NMR studies on the liquid silk within the wide sac of the major ampullate (m.a.) gland from the spider Nephila edulis. The resolution in the NMR spectra is shown to be significantly improved by the application of magic-angle spinning (MAS). From the narrow width of the resonance lines and the chemical shifts observed, it is concluded that the silk protein within the wide sac of the m.a. gland is dynamically disordered throughout the molecule in the sense that each amino acid of a given type senses an identical environment, on average. The NMR data obtained are consistent with an isotropic liquid phase.
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