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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2002 Feb 28;357(1418):207-17.

Fibrillin: from microfibril assembly to biomechanical function.

Author information

  • 1School of Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK. cay.kielty@man.ac.uk

Abstract

Fibrillins form the structural framework of a unique and essential class of extracellular microfibrils that endow dynamic connective tissues with long-range elasticity. Their biological importance is emphasized by the linkage of fibrillin mutations to Marfan syndrome and related connective tissue disorders, which are associated with severe cardiovascular, ocular and skeletal defects. These microfibrils have a complex ultrastructure and it has proved a major challenge both to define their structural organization and to relate it to their biological function. However, new approaches have at last begun to reveal important insights into their molecular assembly, structural organization and biomechanical properties. This paper describes the current understanding of the molecular assembly of fibrillin molecules, the alignment of fibrillin molecules within microfibrils and the unique elastomeric properties of microfibrils.

PMID:
11911778
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1692929
Free PMC Article
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