Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_456



Silicateins are a class of biomineralizing enzymes (~23–27 kDa in their active form) that catalyze and template silica mineralization while directing skeletal growth in a variety of marine sponges. They share a close evolutionary relationship with a well-characterized family of proteolytic digestive enzymes, but are distinguished by unique self-assembling and mineralizing functionalities. Silicateins were first discovered as the majority protein fraction occluded within needle-like biosilica skeletal elements of the marine sponge Tethya aurantia (Shimizu et al. 1998; Weaver and Morse 2003), and were later identified in a number of other siliceous sponge species as well (Wang et al. 2012; Schröder et al. 2007). Research elucidating silicatein structure and function has provided insights into the molecular mechanisms of natural silica...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ChemistryUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK