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    Calcium carbonate is present in many biominerals, including in the exoskeletons of crustaceans and shells of mollusks. High Mg-containing calcium carbonate was synthesized by high temperatures, high pressures or high molecular organic matter. For example, biogenic high Mg-containing calcite is synthesized under strictly controlled Mg concentration at ambient temperature and pressure. The spines of sea urchins consist of calcite, which contain a high percentage of magnesium. In this study, we investigated the factors that increase the magnesium content in calcite from the spines of the sea urchin, Heliocidaris crassispina. X-ray diffraction and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analyses showed that sea urchin spines contain about 4.8% Mg. The organic matrix extracted from the H. crassispina spines induced the crystallization of amorphous phase and synthesis of magnesium-containing calcite, while amorphous was synthesized without SUE (sea urchin extract). In addition, aragonite was synthesized by SUE treated with protease-K. HC tropomyosin was specifically incorporated into Mg precipitates. Recombinant HC-tropomyosin induced calcite contained 0.1-2.5% Mg synthesis. Western blotting of sea urchin spine extracts confirmed that HC tropomyosin was present in the purple sea urchin spines at a protein weight ratio of 1.5%. These results show that HC tropomyosin is one factor that increases the magnesium concentration in the calcite of H. crassispina spines. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Yugo Kato, Woosuk Ha, Zehua Zheng, Lumi Negishi, Jun Kawano, Yoshihisa Kurita, Hitoshi Kurumizaka, Michio Suzuki. Tropomyosin induces the synthesis of magnesian calcite in sea urchin spines. Journal of structural biology. 2024 Jun;216(2):108074

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    PMID: 38432597

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