Proteomic analysis of skeletal organic matrix from the stony coral stylophora pistillata

Jeana L. Drake, Tali Mass, Liti Haramaty, Ehud Zelzion, Debashish Bhattacharya, Paul G. Falkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has long been recognized that a suite of proteins exists in coral skeletons that is critical for the oriented precipitation of calcium carbonate crystals, yet these proteins remain poorly characterized. Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of proteins extracted from the cell-free skeleton of the hermatypic coral, Stylophora pistillata, combined with a draft genome assembly from the cnidarian host cells of the same species, we identified 36 coral skeletal organic matrix proteins. The proteome of the coral skeleton contains an assemblage of adhesion and structural proteins as well as two highly acidic proteins that may constitute a unique coral skeletal organic matrix protein subfamily. We compared the 36 skeletal organic matrix protein sequences to genome and transcriptome data from three other corals, three additional invertebrates, one vertebrate, and three single-celled organisms. This work represents a unique extensive proteomic analysis of biomineralization-related proteins in corals from which we identify a biomineralization "toolkit," an organic scaffold upon which aragonite crystals can be deposited in specific orientations to form a phenotypically identifiable structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3788-3793
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - 5 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Acid-rich proteins
  • Cadherin
  • Carbonic anhdyrase
  • Collagen

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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