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Collagen fibrils represent a unique case of protein folding and self-association. We have recently successfully developed triple helical peptides that can further self-assemble into collagen mimetic mini-fibrils. The 35 nm axially repeating structure of the mini-fibrils, which is designated the d-period, is highly reminiscent of the well-known 67 nm D-period of native collagens when examined using TEM and AFM. We postulate that it is the pseudo-identical repeating sequence units in the primary structure of the designed peptides that give rise to the d-period of the quaternary structure of the mini-fibrils. In this work we characterize the self-assembly of two additional designed peptides: peptide Col877 and peptide Col108rr. The triple helix domain of Col877 consists of three pseudo-identical amino acid sequence units arranged in tandem, while that of Col108rr consists of three sequence units identical in amino acid composition but different in sequence. Both peptides form stable collagen triple helices, but only triple helices Col877 self-associate laterally under fibril forming conditions to form mini-fibrils having the predicted d-period. The Co108rr triple helices, on the other hand, only form non-specific aggregates having no identifiable structural features. These results further accentuate the critical involvement of the repeating sequence units in the self-assembly of collagen mini-fibrils; the actual amino acid sequence of each unit has only secondary effects. Collagen is essential for tissue development and function. This novel approach to creating collagen mimetic fibrils can potentially impact fundamental research and have a wide range of biomedical and industrial applications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society
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A non-fibrillar collagen found in the structure of BASEMENT MEMBRANE. Collagen type IV molecules assemble to form a sheet-like network which is involved in maintaining the structural integrity of basement membranes. The predominant form of the protein is comprised of two alpha1(IV) subunits and one alpha2(IV) subunit, however, at least six different alpha subunits can be incorporated into the heterotrimer.
A small leucine-rich proteoglycan that contains 4 KERATAN SULFATE chains within the leucine repeat region. It interacts with COLLAGEN TYPE I and COLLAGEN TYPE II fibrils and may function to control the rate of EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX assembly. It also sequesters TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA in the extracellular matrix.
A fibrillar collagen found widely distributed as a minor component in tissues that contain COLLAGEN TYPE I and COLLAGEN TYPE III. It is a heterotrimeric molecule composed of alpha1(V), alpha2(V) and alpha3(V) subunits. Several forms of collagen type V exist depending upon the composition of the subunits that form the trimer.
A fibril-associated collagen usually found crosslinked to the surface of COLLAGEN TYPE II fibrils. It is a heterotrimer containing alpha1(IX), alpha2(IX) and alpha3(IX) subunits.
A fibrillar collagen found primarily in interstitial CARTILAGE. Collagen type XI is heterotrimer containing alpha1(XI), alpha2(XI) and alpha3(XI) subunits.
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