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Article

Xanthurenic Acid Is the Main Pigment of Trichonephila clavata Gold Dragline Silk

1
Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, Nihonkoku 403-1, Daihoji, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0013, Japan
2
Systems Biology Program, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, Endo 5322, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0882, Japan
3
Biomacromolecules Research Team: RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
4
Spiber Inc.: Mizukami 234-1, Kakuganji, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0052, Japan
5
Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University, Endo 5322, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0882, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vladimir N. Uversky
Biomolecules 2021, 11(4), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11040563
Received: 25 March 2021 / Revised: 6 April 2021 / Accepted: 9 April 2021 / Published: 12 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Biological and Bio- Materials)
Spider silk is a natural fiber with remarkable strength, toughness, and elasticity that is attracting attention as a biomaterial of the future. Golden orb-weaving spiders (Trichonephila clavata) construct large, strong webs using golden threads. To characterize the pigment of golden T. clavata dragline silk, we used liquid chromatography and mass spectrometric analysis. We found that the major pigment in the golden dragline silk of T. clavata was xanthurenic acid. To investigate the possible function of the pigment, we tested the effect of xanthurenic acid on bacterial growth using gram-negative Escherichia coli and gram-positive Bacillus subtilis. We found that xanthurenic acid had a slight antibacterial effect. Furthermore, to investigate the UV tolerance of the T. clavata threads bleached of their golden color, we conducted tensile deformation tests and scanning electron microscope observations. However, in these experiments, no significant effect was observed. We therefore speculate that golden orb-weaving spiders use the pigment for other purposes, such as to attract their prey in the sunlight. View Full-Text
Keywords: spider; dragline; xanthurenic acid; UV tolerance; antibacteria spider; dragline; xanthurenic acid; UV tolerance; antibacteria
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fujiwara, M.; Kono, N.; Hirayama, A.; Malay, A.D.; Nakamura, H.; Ohtoshi, R.; Numata, K.; Tomita, M.; Arakawa, K. Xanthurenic Acid Is the Main Pigment of Trichonephila clavata Gold Dragline Silk. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 563. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11040563

AMA Style

Fujiwara M, Kono N, Hirayama A, Malay AD, Nakamura H, Ohtoshi R, Numata K, Tomita M, Arakawa K. Xanthurenic Acid Is the Main Pigment of Trichonephila clavata Gold Dragline Silk. Biomolecules. 2021; 11(4):563. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11040563

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fujiwara, Masayuki, Nobuaki Kono, Akiyoshi Hirayama, Ali D. Malay, Hiroyuki Nakamura, Rintaro Ohtoshi, Keiji Numata, Masaru Tomita, and Kazuharu Arakawa. 2021. "Xanthurenic Acid Is the Main Pigment of Trichonephila clavata Gold Dragline Silk" Biomolecules 11, no. 4: 563. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11040563

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