Collagen

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Enzymes and Protein Drugs

It is the protein which consists of major portion of white fibres in connective tissues of the animal body specifically, from the tendons, skin, bones, and teeth.


COLLAGEN

 

 

Synonym

 

Ossein.

 

Biological Source

 

It is the protein which consists of major portion of white fibres in connective tissues of the animal body specifically, from the tendons, skin, bones, and teeth.

 

Characteristics

 

The molecule of collagen is similar to three strand rope, each strand consisting of polypeptide chain with molecular weight of 10,000. These three strands are left-handed helices and are wrapped together in a right-handed superhelix. The strands are held together by hydrogen bonds, which give the molecule its strength.

 

Collagen fibres range from 10 to 100 μm in diameter and visible by microscope as banded structure in the extra cellular matrix of connective tissues.

 

Chemical Constituents

 

Glycine and proline are the important amino acids in the central core of the triple helical molecule of collagen. It can be differentiated from other accompanying fibrous proteins like elastin and reticulin. Elastin is highly crossed linked hydrophobic protein. Collagen is characterized by the presence of glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and hydroxylysine and low tyrosine and sulphur contents, whereas elastin contains nonpolar amino acids like valine, isoleucine, and leucine. Various types of collagen exist depending upon the amino-acid sequence. Collagen is converted to gelatin by boiling with water.

 

Uses

 

It is used in the preparation of sutures, as a gel in food casings and in photographic emulsions.

 

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