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Title: Coassembly of a new insect cuticular protein and chitosan via liquid–liquid phase separation
Authors: Gong, Qiuyu
Chen, Lei
Wang, Jining
Yuan, Fenghou
Ma, Zhiming
Chen, Guoxin
Huang, Yinjuan
Miao, Yansong
Liu, Tian
Zhang, Xin-Xing
Yang, Qing
Yu, Jing
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Gong, Q., Chen, L., Wang, J., Yuan, F., Ma, Z., Chen, G., Huang, Y., Miao, Y., Liu, T., Zhang, X., Yang, Q. & Yu, J. (2022). Coassembly of a new insect cuticular protein and chitosan via liquid–liquid phase separation. Biomacromolecules, 23(6), 2562-2571.
Project: NRF-NRFF11-2019-0004 
Journal: Biomacromolecules 
Abstract: Insect cuticle is a fiber-reinforced composite material that consists of polysaccharide chitin fibers and a protein matrix. The molecular interactions between insect cuticle proteins and chitin that govern the assembly and evolution of cuticle are still not well understood. Herein, we report that Ostrinia furnacalis cuticular protein hypothetical-1 (OfCPH-1), a newly discovered and most abundant cuticular protein from Asian corn borer Ostrinia furnacalis, can form coacervates in the presence of chitosan. The OfCPH-1-chitosan coacervate micro-droplets are initially liquid-like, but become gel-like with increasing time or salt concentration. The liquid-to-gel transition is driven by hydrogen-bonding interactions, during which an induced β-sheet structure of OfCPH-1 is observed. Given the abundance of OfCPH-1 in the cuticle of Ostrinia furnacalis, this liquid-liquid phase separation process and its aging behavior could play critical roles in the formation of the cuticle.
ISSN: 1525-7797
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.2c00261
Schools: School of Materials Science and Engineering 
School of Biological Sciences 
Research Centres: Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute 
Singapore Membrane Technology Centre 
Rights: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Biomacromolecules, copyright © 2022 American Chemical Society, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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