Mass Production of Spider Silk

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 19 October 2010
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA
thumbnail image: Mass Production of Spider Silk

Spider silk is lightweighted while as strong and tough as steel or Kevlar. Spider dragline silk is an ideal material for numerous applications and might also have many biomedical applications, due to its biocompatibility and biodegradability.

Natural dragline silk cannot be conveniently obtained by farming spiders as they are highly territorial and aggressive.
Expressing recombinant silk protein is a challenging task because of its ultra high molecular weight (250–320 kDa) and the repetitive nature of the protein structure, and biased abundance of the amino acid glycine (44.9 %).

Sang Yup Lee and his team, KAIST, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, could successfully express the nativesized spider silk protein for the first time in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli within which the glycyl-tRNA pool was systematically elevated. Then, they performed highcell-density cultures for mass production of the recombinant spider silk protein and developed a simple, easy to scale-up purification process for the silk protein.

In collaboration with Young Hwan Park, Seoul National University, and David Kaplan, Tufts University, the produced recombinant protein could be spun into silk fiber. This system can now be employed for mass production of native-like spider dragline silk.


Article Views: 3221

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more


CONNECT:

ChemistryViews.org on Facebook

ChemistryViews.org on Twitter ChemistryViews.org on YouTube ChemistryViews.org on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter


A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH