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FEBS Lett. 1992 Jul 27;307(1):49-54.

The modular architecture of vertebrate collagens.

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  • 1EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany.


Collagens are typical mosaic proteins containing a number of shuffled domains. These domains have been classified by sequence similarity in order to characterize their structural and functional relationships to other proteins. This analysis provides an overview of homologies of collagen domains. It also reveals two new relationships: (i) a module common to type V, IX, XI, and XII collagens was found to be homologous to the heparin binding domain of thrombospondin; (ii) the modular architecture of a human type VII collagen fragment was identified. Its N-terminal globular domain contains fibronectin type III repeats located adjacent to a Von Willebrand factor type A module. The proposed structural similarities point to analogous subfunctions of the respective domains in otherwise distinct proteins.

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