Bioinspired enzymatic synthesis of silica nanocrystals provided by recombinant silicatein from the marine sponge Latrunculia oparinae
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The process of silica formation in marine sponges is thought to be mediated by a family of catalytically active structure-directing enzymes called silicateins. It has been demonstrated in biomimicking syntheses that silicateins facilitated the formation of amorphous SiO2. Here, we present evidence that the silicatein LoSiLA1 from the marine sponge Latrunculia oparinae catalyzes the in vitro synthesis of hexa-tetrahedral SiO2 crystals of 200–300 nm. This was possible in the presence of the silica precursor tetrakis-(2-hydroxyethyl)-orthosilicate that is completely soluble in water and biocompatible, experiences hydrolysis–condensation at neutral pH and ambient conditions.
KeywordsSilicatein Silica nanocrystals Biosilicification Sponge
This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (research Project No. OFI_M24 13-04-12403) and by a grant from the Grant Program “Principles of Basic Investigations of Nanotechnologies and Nanomaterials” from the Russian Academy of Sciences.