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Trends Biochem Sci. 1991 May;16(5):191-4.

FACIT collagens: diverse molecular bridges in extracellular matrices.

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Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


The collagens form a large family of proteins. Collagen fibrils, composed of staggered arrays of fibrillar collagen molecules (types I, II, III, V and XI), provide a supporting scaffold for extracellular matrices of connective tissues. The non-fibrillar collagens are less abundant than the fibrillar collagens, but it is becoming clear that they have important functions in the matrix. Recently, a group with unique structural characteristics has been defined and named the FACIT (Fibril-Associated Collagens with Interrupted Triple-helices) group. There is evidence that these collagens may serve as molecular bridges that are important for the organization and stability of extracellular matrices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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