Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 1815–1821

Transgenic silkworms (Bombyx mori) produce recombinant spider dragline silk in cocoons

  • Hongxiu Wen
  • Xiqian Lan
  • Yuansong Zhang
  • Tianfu Zhao
  • Yujun Wang
  • Zenta Kajiura
  • Masao Nakagaki
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11033-009-9615-2

Cite this article as:
Wen, H., Lan, X., Zhang, Y. et al. Mol Biol Rep (2010) 37: 1815. doi:10.1007/s11033-009-9615-2

Abstract

Spider dragline silk is a unique fibrous protein with a combination of tensile strength and elasticity, but the isolation of large amounts of silk from spiders is not feasible. In this study, we generated germline-transgenic silkworms (Bombyx mori) that spun cocoons containing recombinant spider silk. A piggyBac-based transformation vector was constructed that carried spider dragline silk (MaSp1) cDNA driven by the sericin 1 promoter. Silkworm eggs were injected with the vector, producing transgenic silkworms displaying DsRed fluorescence in their eyes. Genotyping analysis confirmed the integration of the MaSp1 gene into the genome of the transgenic silkworms, and silk protein analysis revealed its expression and secretion in the cocoon. Compared with wild-type silk, the recombinant silk displayed a higher tensile strength and elasticity. The results indicate the potential for producing recombinant spider silk in transgenic B. mori.

Keywords

Spider dragline silkTransgenic silkwormpiggyBacCocoon proteinsMechanical characteristic

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongxiu Wen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiqian Lan
    • 2
  • Yuansong Zhang
    • 1
  • Tianfu Zhao
    • 1
  • Yujun Wang
    • 1
  • Zenta Kajiura
    • 1
  • Masao Nakagaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Applied Biology, Faculty of Textile Science and TechnologyShinshu UniversityUeda, NaganoJapan
  2. 2.The Key Sericultural Laboratory of Agriculture MinistrySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina