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Reflectins: the unusual proteins of squid reflective tissues
Crookes, W.J.; Ding, L.-L.; Huang, Q.L.; Kimbell, J.R.; Horwitz, J.; McFall-Ngai, M.J. (2004). Reflectins: the unusual proteins of squid reflective tissues. Science (Wash.) 303(5655): 235-238
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Crookes, W.J.
  • Ding, L.-L.
  • Huang, Q.L.
  • Kimbell, J.R.
  • Horwitz, J.
  • McFall-Ngai, M.J.

Abstract
    A family of unusual proteins is deposited in flat, structural platelets in reflective tissues of the squid Euprymna scolopes. These proteins, which we have named reflectins, are encoded by at least six genes in three subfamilies and have no reported homologs outside of squids. Reflectins possess five repeating domains, which are highly conserved among members of the family. The proteins have a very unusual composition, with four relatively rare residues (tyrosine, methionine, arginine, and tryptophan) comprising 57% of a reflectin, and several common residues (alanine, isoleucine, leucine, and lysine) occurring in none of the family members. These protein-based reflectors in squids provide a marked example of nanofabrication in animal systems.

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