Intra-crystalline protein diagenesis (IcPD) in Patella vulgata. Part II: Breakdown and temperature sensitivity

B. Demarchi*, M. J. Collins, P. J. Tomiak, B. J. Davies, K. E. H. Penkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Artificial diagenesis of the intra-crystalline proteins isolated from Patella vulgata was induced by isothermal heating at 140 degrees C, 110 degrees C and 80 degrees C. Protein breakdown was quantified for multiple amino acids, measuring the extent of peptide bond hydrolysis, amino acid racemisation and decomposition. The patterns of diagenesis are complex; therefore the kinetic parameters of the main reactions were estimated by two different methods: 1) a well-established approach based on fitting mathematical expressions to the experimental data, e.g. first-order rate equations for hydrolysis and power-transformed first-order rate equations for racemisation; and 2) an alternative model-free approach, which was developed by estimating a "scaling" factor for the independent variable (time) which produces the best alignment of the experimental data. This method allows the calculation of the relative reaction rates for the different temperatures of isothermal heating.

High-temperature data were compared with the extent of degradation detected in sub-fossil Patella specimens of known age, and we evaluated the ability of kinetic experiments to mimic diagenesis at burial temperature. The results highlighted a difference between patterns of degradation at low and high temperature and therefore we recommend caution for the extrapolation of protein breakdown rates to low burial temperatures for geochronological purposes when relying solely on kinetic data. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Patella vulgata
  • Intra-crystalline proteins
  • High-temperature experiments
  • Kinetic parameters
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • AMINO-ACID RACEMIZATION
  • ASPARTIC-ACID
  • ISOLEUCINE EPIMERIZATION
  • OSTRICH EGGSHELL
  • MOLLUSK SHELLS
  • MODERN HUMANS
  • KINETICS
  • GEOCHRONOLOGY
  • DEGRADATION
  • MODEL

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