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Recombinant Mussel Protein Pvfp-5β: A Potential Tissue Bioadhesive

Radha Santonocito, Francesca Venturella, F. Dal Piaz, M. A. Morando, A. Provenzano, E. Rao, M. A. Costa, Donatella Bulone, P. L. San Biagio, D. Giacomazza, Alessandro Sicorello, Caterina Alfano, Rosa Passantino, A. Pastore
Published 2019 · Chemistry, Medicine

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During their lifecycle, many marine organisms rely on natural adhesives to attach to wet surfaces for movement and self-defense in aqueous tidal environments. Adhesive proteins from mussels are biocompatible and elicit only minimal immune responses in humans. Therefore these proteins have received increased attention for their potential applications in medicine, biomaterials, and biotechnology. The Asian green mussel Perna viridis secretes several byssal plaque proteins, molecules that help anchoring the mussel to surfaces. Among these proteins, protein-5β (Pvfp-5β) initiates interactions with the substrate, displacing interfacial water molecules before binding to the surface. Here, we established the first recombinant expression in Escherichia coli of Pvfp-5β. We characterized recombinant Pvfp-5β, finding that despite displaying a CD spectrum consistent with features of a random coil, the protein is correctly folded as indicated by MS and NMR analyses. Pvfp-5β folds as a β-sheet–rich protein as expected for an epidermal growth factor-like module. We examined the effects of Pvfp-5β on cell viability and adhesion capacity in NIH-3T3 and HeLa cell lines, revealing that Pvfp-5β has no cytotoxic effects at the protein concentrations used and provides good cell-adhesion strength on both glass and plastic plates. Our findings suggest that the adhesive properties of recombinant Pvfp-5β make it an efficient surface-coating material, potentially suitable for biomedical applications including regeneration of damaged tissues.
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