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Title: Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex

Abstract

Abstract The idea that original soft tissue structures and the native structural proteins comprising them can persist across geological time is controversial, in part because rigorous and testable mechanisms that can occur under natural conditions, resulting in such preservation, have not been well defined. Here, we evaluate two non-enzymatic structural protein crosslinking mechanisms, Fenton chemistry and glycation, for their possible contribution to the preservation of blood vessel structures recovered from the cortical bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex (USNM 555000 [formerly, MOR 555]). We demonstrate the endogeneity of the fossil vessel tissues, as well as the presence of type I collagen in the outermost vessel layers, using imaging, diffraction, spectroscopy, and immunohistochemistry. Then, we use data derived from synchrotron FTIR studies of the T. rex vessels to analyse their crosslink character, with comparison against two non-enzymatic Fenton chemistry- and glycation-treated extant chicken samples. We also provide supporting X-ray microprobe analyses of the chemical state of these fossil tissues to support our conclusion that non-enzymatic crosslinking pathways likely contributed to stabilizing, and thus preserving, these T. rex vessels. Finally, we propose that these stabilizing crosslinks could play a crucial role in the preservation of other microvascular tissues in skeletal elements from themore » Mesozoic.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ORCiD logo; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22), Scientific User Facilities Division (SC-22.3 )
OSTI Identifier:
1619589
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1581381
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Scientific Reports Journal Volume: 9 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; palaeontology

Citation Formats

Boatman, Elizabeth M., Goodwin, Mark B., Holman, Hoi-Ying N., Fakra, Sirine, Zheng, Wenxia, Gronsky, Ronald, and Schweitzer, Mary H.. Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex. United Kingdom: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51680-1.
Boatman, Elizabeth M., Goodwin, Mark B., Holman, Hoi-Ying N., Fakra, Sirine, Zheng, Wenxia, Gronsky, Ronald, & Schweitzer, Mary H.. Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex. United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51680-1
Boatman, Elizabeth M., Goodwin, Mark B., Holman, Hoi-Ying N., Fakra, Sirine, Zheng, Wenxia, Gronsky, Ronald, and Schweitzer, Mary H.. Wed . "Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex". United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51680-1.
@article{osti_1619589,
title = {Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex},
author = {Boatman, Elizabeth M. and Goodwin, Mark B. and Holman, Hoi-Ying N. and Fakra, Sirine and Zheng, Wenxia and Gronsky, Ronald and Schweitzer, Mary H.},
abstractNote = {Abstract The idea that original soft tissue structures and the native structural proteins comprising them can persist across geological time is controversial, in part because rigorous and testable mechanisms that can occur under natural conditions, resulting in such preservation, have not been well defined. Here, we evaluate two non-enzymatic structural protein crosslinking mechanisms, Fenton chemistry and glycation, for their possible contribution to the preservation of blood vessel structures recovered from the cortical bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex (USNM 555000 [formerly, MOR 555]). We demonstrate the endogeneity of the fossil vessel tissues, as well as the presence of type I collagen in the outermost vessel layers, using imaging, diffraction, spectroscopy, and immunohistochemistry. Then, we use data derived from synchrotron FTIR studies of the T. rex vessels to analyse their crosslink character, with comparison against two non-enzymatic Fenton chemistry- and glycation-treated extant chicken samples. We also provide supporting X-ray microprobe analyses of the chemical state of these fossil tissues to support our conclusion that non-enzymatic crosslinking pathways likely contributed to stabilizing, and thus preserving, these T. rex vessels. Finally, we propose that these stabilizing crosslinks could play a crucial role in the preservation of other microvascular tissues in skeletal elements from the Mesozoic.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-019-51680-1},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51680-1

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Cited by: 4 works
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
    dataset, January 2019

    • Boatman, Elizabeth M.; Goodwin, Mark B.; Holman, Hoi-Ying N.
    • Plazi.org taxonomic treatments database
    • DOI: 10.15468/qvfq8e

    Figure 1. Amide I in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
    image, January 2019


    Figure 1. Amide I in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 2 in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 2 in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 3 in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 3 in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 4. T in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 4. T in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 5 in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 5 in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 6. X in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
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    Figure 6. X in Mechanisms of soft tissue and protein preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex
    image, January 2019


    Tyrannosaurus rex Osborn 1905
    text, January 2007