Ultrastructure of the Interlamellar Membranes of the Nacre of the Bivalve Pteria hirundo, Determined by Immunolabelling
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Public Library of Science (PLOS)
ChitinPlateletsProteasesBivalvesMembrane proteinsFluorescence microscopyAragoniteMolluscs
Osuna-Mascaró, A.J.; et al. Ultrastructure of the Interlamellar Membranes of the Nacre of the Bivalve Pteria hirundo, Determined by Immunolabelling. Plos One, 10(4): e0122934 (2015). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/36522]
PatrocinadorAJOM was financed by a PhD Grant of the FPI program from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación; TCB's PhD Grant belonged to the FPU Program of the same Ministry. AJOM and AGC were supported by Projects CGL2010-20748-C02-01 and CGL2013-48247-P of the mentioned Ministry, and RNM6433 of the Consejería de Economía, Innovación y Ciencia of the Junta de Andalucía. The European COST Action TD0903 contributed via two Short Term Scientific Missions to AJOM in FM's lab in Dijon.
The current model for the ultrastructure of the interlamellar membranes of molluscan nacre imply that they consist of a core of aligned chitin fibers surrounded on both sides by acidic proteins. This model was based on observations taken on previously demineralized shells, where the original structure had disappeared. Despite other earlier claims, no direct observations exist in which the different components can be unequivocally discriminated. We have applied different labeling protocols on non-demineralized nacreous shells of the bivalve Pteria. With this method, we have revealed the disposition and nature of the different fibers of the interlamellar membranes that can be observed on the surface of the nacreous shell of the bivalve Pteria hirundo by high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The minor chitin component consists of very thin fibers with a high aspect ratio and which are seemingly disoriented. Each fiber has a protein coat, which probably forms a complex with the chitin. The chitin-protein-complex fibers are embedded in an additional proteinaceous matrix. This is the first time in which the sizes, positions and distribution of the chitin fibers have been observed in situ.