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Biochemistry. 1986 May 6;25(9):2455-9.

Kinetics of intracellular degradation of newly synthesized collagen.


The objective of this work was to determine the time dependence of the basal component of intracellular degradation of newly synthesized collagen. Chick embryo tendon fibroblasts were incubated with [14C]proline, and degradation was quantified by measuring hydroxy[14C]proline in a low molecular weight fraction. When cultures were pulse labeled for 15 min and then incubated under chase conditions for 105 min, the amount of degraded collagen attained a value equal to approximately 20% of the amount synthesized during the labeling period; the data were fit with a simple exponential function that had a 40-min rise time and a 12-min lag time. In continuously labeled cultures, the rates of collagen synthesis and secretion reached constant values within 15 and 45 min, respectively. Degradation products were first detected 6-9 min after collagen synthesis began and were transported out of the cells more rapidly than intact collagenous molecules; however, percent degradation increased slowly and did not reach a constant value even after 240 min of incubation. Since collagen degradation lags collagen synthesis, it follows that degradation is a posttranslational, rather than a cotranslational, process, and since degradation and secretion are kinetically distinguishable, it follows that they occur in parallel pathways. A simple nonlinear model for posttranslational processing of collagen is proposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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