Navigation Links
Research at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source reveals structure and behavior of collagen
Date:2/26/2008

ARGONNE, Ill. (February 26, 2008) -- The structure and behavior of one of the most common proteins in our bodies has been resolved at a level of detail never before seen, thanks to new research performed at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at the U.S. Department of Energys (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.

Illinois Institute of Technology biologist Joseph Orgel used the high-energy X-rays produced by the APS to examine the structure of collagen, a protein that composes more than a quarter of all protein in the human body and forms the principal component of skin, teeth, ligaments, the heart, blood vessels, bones and cartilage. In these tissues, collagen molecules pack themselves into overlapping bundles called fibrils. These fibrils, which each contain billions of atoms, entwine themselves into collagen fibers that are visible to the naked eye.

Scientists have known the basic molecular structure of collagen since the 1950s, when several different international groups of scientists discovered that it had a triple-stranded helical structure. However, researches had never before had the ability to study the structure of an entire fibril in the same way that they could study an individual collagen molecule, according to Orgel.

Orgel and his team performed diffraction studies on intact collagen fibrils inside the tendons of rat tails in order to understand just how the protein functioned within unbroken tissue.

We tried to draw a highly accurate map of the molecular structure of tissues, Orgel said. By doing so, we hope to transform a very basic understanding that we have of the molecular structure of tissue into a much more tangible form.

Since the scientists kept the tendon tissue intact, they could see how the collagen molecule binds to collagenases, a class of enzymes which when working properly help to regulate the normal growth and development of animals but when malfunctioning can lead to the metastasis of cancerous tumors or rheumatoid arthritis. The visualization of this interaction could help drug developers to create an inhibitor to prevent the pathological action of the enzyme, Orgel said.

Previous studies of the structure of collagen had looked only at crystals of small fragments of the protein, so scientists had little idea of how it looked within intact tissue.

Its impossible to get the information that we did by removing tiny chunks of the tissue, Orgel said. We couldnt obtain this data by single-crystal crystallography. This research was made possible only because of the BioCAT beamline provided by the APS.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve McGregor
smcgregor@anl.gov
630-252-5580
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Rats on islands disrupt ecosystems from land to sea, researchers find
2. Iowa State researchers help piece together the corn genomes first draft
3. U-M researchers release most detailed global study of genetic variation
4. Haagen-Dazs gift to support Penn State honeybee research
5. LSU researchers challenge analyses on sustainability of Gulf fisheries
6. Researchers probe a DNA repair enzyme
7. Research uncovers the social dynamics of yellow jackets
8. New research reveals shark superhighways and hotspots
9. Managing uncertainty important in ecological balance: ASU researcher
10. Oregon researchers study widespread areas of low oxygen off northwest coast
11. Stanford researchers say living corals thousands of years old hold clues to past climate changes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a centralized platform that is designed to enhance ... the latest release in the RSA Fraud & ... to enable organizations to leverage additional insights from ... anti-fraud tools to better protect their customers from ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... LONDON , Feb. 9, 2017 The ... in-depth analysis of the biomass boiler market globally in ... sales of biomass boilers. The market for biomass boilers ... product type, end-user, application, and country/region. The market based ... agriculture & forest residues, biogas & energy crops, urban ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... -- Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology market reached nearly $3.9 billion ... at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.0% through ... markets for synthetic biology. - Analyses of global market trends, ... compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021. - Coverage of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Feb. 22, 2017  United Therapeutics ... its financial results for the fourth quarter and ... 2016 financial results reflect continued growth as net ... million," said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., United Therapeutics, Chairman ... our ability to develop and advance our growing ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... to build connected digital health applications, announced a partnership with Redox, a leader ... seamlessly connect to many clinical systems while keeping data secure in the cloud. ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics ... has joined its executive team to lead the development and commercialization of its ... help improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The CIDT addresses the need ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... its GMP cell therapy manufacturing facility at its headquarters laboratory in Poway, California. ... and utilizing the experience of both in-house personnel and consultants, VetStem constructed and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: