Self-assembled semi-crystallinity at parallel β-sheet nanocrystal interfaces in clustered MaSp1 (spider silk) proteins

Erly Sintya, Parvez Alam

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    In this communication, we use molecular dynamics methods to model the self-assembly of semi-crystalline domains at β-sheet nanocrystal interfaces in clusters of spider silk (MaSp1) proteins. Our research elucidates that the energetics at interfaces between crystalline and amorphous domains control effectively, the extent to which semi-crystalline domains can form at interfaces. Stability at nanocrystal interfaces is not linearly related to the internal (bulk) stability of the β-sheet nanocrystal. Rather, interfacial stability is found to be highly sensitive to the number of alanine repeat units that make up each sheet. Intriguingly, the most stable interface for the development of semi-crystallinity is built up of polyalanine β-sheets of a length similar to that which is spun naturally in spider dragline silk.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)366–371
    JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: C
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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