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Shira Albeck, Prof. Steve Weiner and Prof. Lia Addadi Polysaccharides of Intracrystalline Glycoproteins Modulate Calcite Crystal Growth In Vitro Chemistry - A European Journal 2

Article first published online: 21 JAN 2006 | DOI: 10.1002/chem.19960020308

Biological control of crystal growth is the key to the formation of many highly ordered mineralized tissues, such as shells, spicules, spines, bones, and teeth (the photograph shows a spine from the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, made up of a single calcite crystal). An important aspect of such control is the interaction of specialized macromolecules with the growing crystal surfaces. Here we show in vitro that the polysaccharide moieties of a group of glycoproteins from mollusks and echinoderms interact in a specific manner with growing calcite crystals, and that this differs from the manner in which other proteins interact. These interactions are important in modulation of crystal morphology and properties.

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