Collagen Molecules: Distribution of Alpha Chains

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Science  04 Dec 1970:
Vol. 170, Issue 3962, pp. 1096-1098
DOI: 10.1126/science.170.3962.1096


To ascertain the distribution of alpha chains within the collagen molecule, intramolecular cross-links were introduced into tropocollagen by reacting formaldehyde with dilute homogeneous molecular dispersions of collagen extracted from lathyritic guinea pig skin. Denaturation, chromatography on carboxymethyl cellulose, measurement of molecular weight, and analyses of the amino acids of the cross-linked product indicate that most, if not all, of the collagen molecules consist of two α1 chains and one α2 chain [(α1)2(α2)1].

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