Echinoderm phosphorylated matrix proteins UTMP16 and UTMP19 have different functions in sea urchin tooth mineralization

Keith Alvares, Saryu N. Dixit, Elizabeth Lux, Arthur Veis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Studies of mineralization of embryonic spicules and of the sea urchin genome have identified several putative mineralization-related proteins. These predicted proteins have not been isolated or confirmed in mature mineralized tissues. Mature Lytechinus variegatus teeth were demineralized with 0.6 N HCl after prior removal of non-mineralized constituents with 4.0 M guanidinium HCl. The HCl-extracted proteins were fractionated on ceramic hydroxyapatite and separated into bound and unbound pools. Gel electrophoresis compared the protein distributions. The differentially present bands were purified and digested with trypsin, and the tryptic peptides were separated by high pressure liquid chromatography. NH2-terminal sequences were determined by Edman degradation and compared with the genomic sequence bank data. Two of the putative mineralization-related proteins were found. Their complete amino acid sequences were cloned from our L. variegatus cDNA library. Apatite-binding UTMP16was found to be present in two isoforms; both isoforms had a signal sequence, a Ser-Asp-rich extracellular matrix domain, and a transmembrane and cytosolic insertion sequence. UTMP19, although rich in Glu and Thr did not bind to apatite. It had neither signal peptide nor transmembrane domain but did have typical nuclear localization and nuclear exit signal sequences. Both proteins were phosphorylated and good substrates for phosphatase. Immunolocalization studies with anti-UTMP16 show it to concentrate at the syncytial membranes in contact with the mineral. On the basis of our TOF-SIMS analyses of magnesium ion and Asp mapping of the mineral phase composition, we speculate that UTMP16 may be important in establishing the high magnesium columns that fuse the calcite plates together to enhance the mechanical strength of the mineralized tooth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26149-26160
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 18 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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