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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 765909, 9 pages
Research Article

Identification of Proteins with Potential Osteogenic Activity Present in the Water-Soluble Matrix Proteins from Crassostrea gigas Nacre Using a Proteomic Approach

Center of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

Received 4 October 2011; Accepted 30 November 2011

Academic Editor: Eek Hoon Jho

Copyright © 2011 Daniel V. Oliveira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nacre, when implanted in vivo in bones of dogs, sheep, mice, and humans, induces a biological response that includes integration and osteogenic activity on the host tissue that seems to be activated by a set of proteins present in the nacre water-soluble matrix (WSM). We describe here an experimental approach that can accurately identify the proteins present in the WSM of shell mollusk nacre. Four proteins (three gigasin-2 isoforms and a cystatin A2) were for the first time identified in WSM of Crassostrea gigas nacre using 2DE and LC-MS/MS for protein identification. These proteins are thought to be involved in bone remodeling processes and could be responsible for the biocompatibility shown between bone and nacre grafts. These results represent a contribution to the study of shell biomineralization process and opens new perspectives for the development of new nacre biomaterials for orthopedic applications.