Tropocollagen: Significance of Protease-Induced Alterations

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Science  04 Jan 1963:
Vol. 139, Issue 3549, pp. 37-39
DOI: 10.1126/science.139.3549.37


Interaction properties of tropocollagen are markedly altered by treatment with pepsin. This treatment liberates terminal or near-terminal covalently bonded peptides whose amino acid composition is strikingly different from the composition of the pepsin-resistant triple-helix body of the macromolecule. Pepsin also converts most of the β-chains to α-chains. This fact indicates that the interchain link is also external to the body of the macromolecule and probably involves peptides. The role of these properties in bioregulative mechanisms is briefly discussed.