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Like most monographs this book is somewhat idiosyncratic. It is meant to attract the attention of molecular biologists to the rich variety of material offered by arthropod epidermal products. These products form a suitable context in which to study aspects of molecular biology. For example, structural proteins secreted by the epidermis are characterized by very unusual amino acid contents, although no primary sequences have yet been worked out. Also, they show a fine range of secondary structures exemplified by α, β and cross-β conformations, the collagen triple helix, and the random configuration of resilin resulting from its lack of ordered hydrogen bonding. And it now seems likely that some globular proteins may be involved as well. Protein tertiary structures are well represented by a range of cross-links or tanning systems, the positions of some of which are genetically coded into the primary structure whereas others are added subsequently in the form of small reactive molecules. All of the cross-linking systems work in vitro and some are known in vivo.
KeywordsTerrestrial Arthropod Protein Tertiary Structure Tracheal System Optical Rotatory Dispersion Flight System
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