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Collagen in the Spicule Organic Matrix of the Gorgonian Leptogorgia virgulata

Roni J. Kingsley, Mari Tsuzaki, Norimitsu Watabe and Gerald L. Mechanic
Biological Bulletin
Vol. 179, No. 2 (Oct., 1990), pp. 207-213
DOI: 10.2307/1541771
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1541771
Page Count: 7
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Collagen in the Spicule Organic Matrix of the Gorgonian Leptogorgia virgulata
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Abstract

Decalcification of the calcareous spicules from the gorgonian Leptogorgia virgulata reveals an organic matrix that may be divided into water insoluble and soluble fractions. The insoluble fraction displays characteristics typical of collagen, which is an unusual component of an invertebrate calcium carbonate structure. This matrix fraction exhibits a collagenous amino acid profile and behavior upon SDS-PAGE. Furthermore, the reducible crosslink, dihydroxylysinonorleucine (DHLNL), is detected in this fraction. The composition of the matrix varies seasonally; i.e., the collagenous composition is most prevalent in the summer. These results indicate that the insoluble matrix is a dynamic structure. Potential roles of this matrix in spicule calcification are discussed.

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