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Structure. 1995 Sep 15;3(9):893-906.

Hydration structure of a collagen peptide.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08855, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The collagen triple helix is a unique protein motif defined by the supercoiling of three polypeptide chains in a polyproline II conformation. It is a major domain of all collagen proteins and is also reported to exist in proteins with host defense function and in several membrane proteins. The triple-helical domain has distinctive properties. Collagen requires a high proportion of the post-translationally modified imino acid 4-hydroxyproline and water to stabilize its conformation and assembly. The crystal structure of a collagen-like peptide determined to 1.85 Angstrum showed that these two features may be related.

RESULTS:

A detailed analysis of the hydration structure of the collagen-like peptide is presented. The water molecules around the carbonyl and hydroxyprolyl groups show distinctive geometries. There are repetitive patterns of water bridges that link oxygen atoms within a single peptide chain, between different chains and between different triple helices. Overall, the water molecules are organized in a semi-clathrate-like structure that surrounds and interconnects triple helices in the crystal lattice. Hydroxyprolyl groups play a crucial role in the assembly.

CONCLUSIONS:

The roles of hydroxyproline and hydration are strongly interrelated in the structure of the collagen triple helix. The specific, repetitive water bridges observed in this structure buttress the triple-helical conformation. The extensively ordered hydration structure offers a good model for the interpretation of the experimental results on collagen stability and assembly.

PMID:
8535783
DOI:
10.1016/S0969-2126(01)00224-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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