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Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(6), 172; doi:10.3390/md15060172

The Understanding of the Metazoan Skeletal System, Based on the Initial Discoveries with Siliceous and Calcareous Sponges

ERC Advanced Investigator Grant Research Group at the Institute for Physiological Chemistry, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Duesbergweg 6, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
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Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 3 June 2017 / Accepted: 8 June 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and New Perspectives in Marine Biotechnology II 2016)
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Abstract

Initiated by studies on the mechanism of formation of the skeletons of the evolutionary oldest still extant multicellular animals, the sponges (phylum Porifera) have provided new insights into the mechanism of formation of the Ca-phosphate/hydroxyapatite skeleton of vertebrate bone. Studies on the formation of the biomineral skeleton of sponges revealed that both the formation of the inorganic siliceous skeletons (sponges of the class of Hexactinellida and Demospongiae) and of the calcareous skeletons (class of Calcarea) is mediated by enzymes (silicatein: polymerization of biosilica; and carbonic anhydrase: deposition of Ca-carbonate). Detailed studies of the initial mineralization steps in human bone-forming cells showed that this process is also controlled by enzymes, starting with the deposition of Ca-carbonate bio-seeds, mediated by carbonic anhydrases-II and -IX, followed by non-enzymatic transformation of the formed amorphous Ca-carbonate deposits into amorphous Ca-phosphate and finally hydroxyapatite crystals. The required phosphate is provided by enzymatic (alkaline phosphatase-mediated) degradation of an inorganic polymer, polyphosphate (polyP), which also acts as a donor for chemically useful energy in this process. These new discoveries allow the development of novel biomimetic strategies for treatment of bone diseases and defects. View Full-Text
Keywords: enzyme-mediated biomineral formation; bone-hydroxyapatite; biosilica; calcium carbonate bio-seeds; alkaline phosphatase; carbonic anhydrase; inorganic polyphosphate; amorphous nanoparticles enzyme-mediated biomineral formation; bone-hydroxyapatite; biosilica; calcium carbonate bio-seeds; alkaline phosphatase; carbonic anhydrase; inorganic polyphosphate; amorphous nanoparticles
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Müller, W.E.G.; Schröder, H.C.; Wang, X. The Understanding of the Metazoan Skeletal System, Based on the Initial Discoveries with Siliceous and Calcareous Sponges. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 172.

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