RNA-Seq Reveals a Central Role for Lectin, c1q and Von Factor a Domains in the Defensive Glue of a Terrestrial Slug
The tough, hydrogel glue produced by the slug Arion subfuscus achieves impressive performance through metal-based, protein cross-links. The primary sequence of these proteins was determined through transcriptome sequencing and proteome analysis by tandem mass spectrometry. The main proteins that correlate with adhesive function are a group of 11 small, highly abundant lectin-like proteins. These proteins matched the ligand-binding C-lectin, C1q or H-lectin domains. The variety of different lectin-like proteins and their potential for oligomerization suggests that they function as versatile and potent cross-linkers. In addition, the glue contains five matrilin-like proteins that are rich in von Willebrand factor A (VWA) and EGF domains. Both C-lectins and VWA domains are known to bind to ligands using divalent cations. These findings are consistent with the double network mechanism proposed for slug glue, with divalent ions serving as sacrificial bonds to dissipate energy.
Smith, Andrew M.; Reid, Cassandra; Reid, Christopher W.; and Bliss, Joseph M., "RNA-Seq Reveals a Central Role for Lectin, c1q and Von Factor a Domains in the Defensive Glue of a Terrestrial Slug" (2017). Biology Faculty Publications and Presentations. 38.