Organic Matrix in Calcified Exoskeletons

  • S. Weiner
  • W. Traub
  • H. A. Lowenstam


A speculative model of organic matrix structure and function, based primarily on aspects of mollusk shell matrix biochemistry, is presented. A brief review of the biochemistry of organic matrices from various other phyla, suggests that at least the essential elements of the mollusk matrix model are more generally applicable viz. the widespread presence of soluble acidic proteins, as well as insoluble “framework” macromolecules. The latter show considerable variation between the various phylogenetic groups. The observed common matrix properties provide an encouraging basis for more effectively utilizing the comparative biochemical approach for studying organic matrix functions in biomineralization.


Organic Matrix Mollusk Shell Matrix Constituent Nacreous Layer Soluble Matrix 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Weiner
    • 1
  • W. Traub
    • 2
  • H. A. Lowenstam
    • 3
  1. 1.Isotope Dept.Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.Structural Chemistry Dept.Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  3. 3.Division of Geological and Planetary ScienceCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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