Allen J Bailey
Articles written in Journal of Chemical Sciences
Volume 111 Issue 1 February 1999 pp 57-69 Trends In Collagen
The stabilisation of collagen fibres during development and through growth to maturation is now fairly well understood. It is a carefully controlled enzymic process which produces intermolecular cross-links at specific locations. In marked contrast, the changes in the physical properties that occur towards old age are stochastic and involve oxidative reactions that result in the formation of glucose mediated cross-links. This excessive and random cross-linking leads to a devastating loss of tissue functionality and deterioration of vital organs. In addition, specific residues involved in cell-matrix interactions may become modified. This can affect the expression of cells and lead to the formation of an inappropriate collagen matrix during its slower turnover in old age. This is exemplified in the ubiquitous disorders osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, age-related diseases in which we have noted gene regulated changes in the collagen deposited and also post-translational changes such as over-hydroxylation of lysine residues. Both of these effects can have a profound deleterious effect on the function of the matrix tissue.
Volume 111 Issue 1 February 1999 pp 71-80 Trends In Collagen
We have recently re-examined the characteristic sharp denaturation temperature of the collagen molecule and fibre. It has been generally accepted for many years that denaturation is an equilibrium process involving the rupture of hydrogen bonds. We have now proposed that the process is an irreversible rate process, in which uncoupling of the
Ramachandran proposed that stabilisation of the triple helix occurred through hydrogen-bonded water-bridges involving the hydroxyl group of hydroxyproline. Recent studies have been equivocal, some questioning the role of water bridges and of hydroxyproline, whilst recent detailed X-ray studies of collagen-like peptides demonstrate the presence of a stabilising sheath of hydrogen-bonded water. Our findings support the proposal of hydrogen-bonded water-bridges stabilising the triple helix.
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