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Collagen: Background

by Kevin Ahern, PhD
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    In this lecture, I’m going to describe the biochemistry of collagen, one of the most important proteins in our body for helping to hold all the components together. The word collagen originally came from the Greek, the word kolla, meaning glue and the word gen, producing. Collagen was originally made by boiling the hooves of ungulate animals to make glues to stick other things together. Gelatin, of course, is a source of collagen that has been irreversibly hydrolyzed to produce the things, the characteristics of gelatin that we know. There are many medical uses for collagen. One of the more common uses of collagen today are used in ointments or beauty treatments to help keep the skin looking young and youthful. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. About 20%-30% of all the body protein that we have is made up of collagen. The synthesis of collagen changes as we age. It decreases in terms of quantity and it also changes in terms of its flexibility. One of the reasons that we get stiff and cranky as we get older is because our collagen is less flexible. There are 29 different types of collagen found in the human body. Over 90% of the collagen in the human body, however, is just type I. So, there’s a very big difference in the amounts of the different collagens that are actually made. The most common types that we have in our body are types I, II, III, IV, and V. That’s pretty much in terms of decreasing order of each of those. The type I collagen fibrils are the stronger by weight than steel which really says a lot about the importance of the strength of this important protein. The basement membrane of the extracellular matrix is composed of collagen....

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Collagen: Background by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course RNA and the Genetic Code.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. It is an important part of the clotting system.
    2. All of the answers are true.
    3. It is the most abundant molecule in the body.
    4. It constitutes 50% of protein body weight.
    5. None of the answers are true.
    1. All of the answers are true.
    2. None of the answers are true.
    3. It is found in skin, tendons, and cartilage.
    4. It is an important part of the basement membrane.
    5. It is found on cell surfaces.
    1. None of the answers are true.
    2. All of the answers are true.
    3. It is a helix of two helices.
    4. It is globular in nature.
    5. It is a left handed helix of right handed helices.

    Author of lecture Collagen: Background

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD


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