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Title: Comparative mucomic analysis of three functionally distinct Cornu aspersum Secretions

Every animal secretes mucus, placing them among the most diverse biological materials. Mucus hydrogels are complex mixtures of water, ions, carbohydrates, and proteins. Uncertainty surrounding their composition and how interactions between components contribute to mucus function complicates efforts to exploit their properties. There is substantial interest in commercializing mucus from the garden snail,Cornu aspersum, for skincare, drug delivery, tissue engineering, and composite materials.C. aspersumsecretes three mucus—one shielding the animal from environmental threats, one adhesive mucus from the pedal surface of the foot, and another pedal mucus that is lubricating. It remains a mystery how compositional differences account for their substantially different properties. Here, we characterize mucus proteins, glycosylation, ion content, and mechanical properties that could be used to provide insight into structure-function relationships through an integrative “mucomics” approach. We identify macromolecular components of these hydrogels, including a previously unreported protein class termed Conserved Anterior Mollusk Proteins (CAMPs). Revealing differences betweenC. aspersummucus shows how considering structure at all levels can inform the design of mucus-inspired materials.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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