Synthetic spider silk fibers spun from Pyriform Spidroin 2, a glue silk protein discovered in orb-weaving spider attachment discs

Biomacromolecules. 2010 Dec 13;11(12):3495-503. doi: 10.1021/bm101002w. Epub 2010 Nov 5.


Spider attachment disc silk fibers are spun into a viscous liquid that rapidly solidifies, gluing dragline silk fibers to substrates for locomotion or web construction. Here we report the identification and artificial spinning of a novel attachment disc glue silk fibroin, Pyriform Spidroin 2 (PySp2), from the golden orb weaver Nephila clavipes . MS studies support PySp2 is a constituent of the pyriform gland that is spun into attachment discs. Analysis of the PySp2 protein architecture reveals sequence divergence relative to the other silk family members, including the cob weaver glue silk fibroin PySp1. PySp2 contains internal block repeats that consist of two subrepeat units: one dominated by Ser, Gln, and Ala and the other Pro-rich. Artificial spinning of recombinant PySp2 truncations shows that the Ser-Gln-Ala-rich subrepeat is sufficient for the assembly of polymeric subunits and subsequent fiber formation. These studies support that both orb- and cob-weaving spiders have evolved highly polar block-repeat sequences with the ability to self-assemble into fibers, suggesting a strategy to allow fiber fabrication in the liquid environment of the attachment discs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Fibroins / chemistry*
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Silk
  • Spiders
  • Viscosity


  • Silk
  • spidroin 2
  • Fibroins