Letter | Published:

Fibrous Proteins of Snake Scale

Naturevolume 212pages498499 (1966) | Download Citation



HISTOLOGICAL1 and electron microscope2 investigations of snake scale indicate that there are three morphologically distinct keratinized layers on the outer scale surface (Fig. 1). Rudall3 showed that two different X-ray diffraction patterns can be obtained in the large ventral scales. Because keratinized layers arise from the same germinative cell population it seems that the cells of snake epidermis alternately produce at least two structural proteins. This report confirms previous observations on the nature of these fibrous proteins in the dorsal scales of a different species and adds new information on their orientation.

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  1. 1

    Maderson, P. F. A., in Biology of Skin and Hair Growth, edit. by Lyne, A. G., and Short, B. F. (Angus and Robertson, Ltd., Sydney, 1965).

  2. 2

    Roth, S. I., and Jones, W. A. (unpublished data).

  3. 3

    Rudall, K. M., Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1, 549 (1947).

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  1. Departments of Dermatology, Pathology, and Orthopedic Research of the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    • H. P. BADEN
    • , S. I. ROTH
    •  & L. C. BONAR


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