November 1969

The Intracellular Biosynthesis of CollagenSome Possible Implications for Diseases of Bone and Other Connective Tissues

Author Affiliations


From the departments of medicine and biochemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia General Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1969;124(5):563-570. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300210045006

The work performed in this laboratory in the last several years bears only indirectly on the subject of this symposium, but it probably provides a basic framework for biochemical approaches to the problems which occur in bone as a result of long-term dialysis. Collagen is the principal organic constituent of bone, and one of the questions we and others have asked is 1: How do cells in connective tissue synthesize collagen? Before discussing this question, however, I will present a brief review of the structure of the collagen molecule as it is known.2-5

Structure of Collagen  The collagen fibers in connective tissues are made up of small fibrils which have a characteristic pattern when examined by electron microscopy (Fig 1). The most characteristic feature of these fibrils is a series of major crossbands which are separated by a distance of approximately 700 Angstroms (A). As was demonstrated primarily

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