The cylindrical or tubiliform glands of Nephila clavipes

Graciela C. Candelas, Anselmo Ortiz, Carlos Molina

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Abstract

The cylindrical or tubiliform glands of the spider Nephila clavipes have been studied and compared to the large ampullates on which we have previously reported. The three pairs of cylindrical or tubiliform glands secrete the fibroin for the organism's egg case. Their solubilized luminar contents migrate as a homogeneous band in Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and turn out to be a larger protein than that produced by the large ampullates. The excised cylindrical glands remain metabolically active for several hours in a simple culture medium, where fibroin synthesis can be monitored through the incorporation of 14C alanine. The glands' response to a fibroin production stimulus does not reach the magnitude displayed by the large ampullates, but this is to be expected since their products supply different functions in this organism. This fibroin also seems to be elongated discontinuously. Translational pauses have been detected in the secretory epithelium of cylindrical and large ampullate glands of Nephila as well as in the silk glands of Bombyx mori. Since these glands produce the fibroin for the females egg case, they should prove to be an interesting model system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology
Volume237
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1986

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