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Collagen and Elastin

   Copyright 2004 by Alberts, Bray, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, Walter.
Garland Publishing: Taylor Francis Group.

Collagen and Elastin


Collagen and elastin are abundant fibrous proteins. (A) Collagen is a triple helix formed by three extended protein chains that wrap around one another. Many rodlike collagen molecules are cross-linked together in the extracellular space to form collagen fibrils (top) that have the tensile strength of steel. The striping on the collagen fibril is caused by the regular repeating arrangement of the collagen molecules within the fibril. (B) Elastin polypeptide chains are cross-linked together to form rubberlike, elastic fibers. Each elastin molecule uncoils into a more extended conformation when the fiber is stretched and will recoil spontaneously as soon as the stretching force is relaxed.  Fair Use and Copyright info

 
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