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Int J Biol Macromol. 1991 Jun;13(3):157-61.

Proteoglycan: collagen interactions in connective tissues. Ultrastructural, biochemical, functional and evolutionary aspects.

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  • Chemical Morphology, Cell and Structural Biology, Manchester University, UK.


Electron histochemical investigations of mammalian and echinoderm tissues, using cupromeronic blue to stain proteoglycans (PGs) specifically in critical electrolyte concentration methods, showed that collagen fibrils are associated with keratan sulphate and chondroitin (dermatan) sulphate ('tadpole') PGs at the a, c, d and e bands on the fibril surface, giving rise to the 'one proteoglycan: one binding site' hypothesis. Intra-fibrillar PGs have been observed, distributed in a regular way which suggests that collagen fibrils are aggregates of 'protofibrils', some of which carry PGs at their surfaces. A scheme for remodelling of collagen fibrils, based on recycling of these protofibrils, is outlined. The choice of which tadpole PG to use to carry out a given function is decided to a considerable extent by the availability of oxygen to the relevant tissue element.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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