Fibroin is normally composed of one H chain (350 kd) and one L chain (25 kd) which are connected by disulfide bond(s). However, the small amount of fibroin secreted into the lumen of the posterior silk gland of the Nd(2) (naked pupa) mutant does not contain L chain, although L chain mRNA is present and L chain is synthesized in the posterior silk gland cells of the mutant. In a hybrid silkworm, Nd(2)/Tamanashikasuri, where Tamanashikasuri is a normal producer of fibroin, L chain from the two alleles are distinguishable electrophoretically. It is demonstrated using this system that the L chain from the Nd(2) allele can combine normally with the H chain from Tamanashikasuri and the H-L complex is secreted normally. In another hybrid system, Nd(2)/J-131, where J-131 is a normal producer of fibroin, fibroin derived from the two alleles are distinguishable due to the different electrophoretic mobility of H chain. The fibroin derived from the J-131 allele is composed of H chain and L chain, while the fibroin derived from the Nd(2) allele is devoid of L chain, and its secretion is greatly reduced. We present evidence suggesting that the H chain derived from the Nd(2) allele is structurally abnormal and discuss how the H-L subunit structure is advantageous in the secretion of fibroin.
Reduced level of secretion and absence of subunit combination for the fibroin synthesized by a mutant silkworm, Nd(2).
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F Takei, F Oyama, K Kimura, A Hyodo, S Mizuno, K Shimura; Reduced level of secretion and absence of subunit combination for the fibroin synthesized by a mutant silkworm, Nd(2).. J Cell Biol 1 December 1984; 99 (6): 2005–2010. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.99.6.2005
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