367,760 research outputs found

    Live Imaging of Type I Collagen Assembly Dynamics in Osteoblasts Stably Expressing GFP and mCherry-Tagged Collagen Constructs

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    Type I collagen is the most abundant extracellular matrix protein in bone and other connective tissues and plays key roles in normal and pathological bone formation as well as in connective tissue disorders and fibrosis. Although much is known about the collagen biosynthetic pathway and its regulatory steps, the mechanisms by which it is assembled extracellularly are less clear. We have generated GFPtpz and mCherry-tagged collagen fusion constructs for live imaging of type I collagen assembly by replacing the α2(I)-procollagen N-terminal propeptide with GFPtpz or mCherry. These novel imaging probes were stably transfected into MLO-A5 osteoblast-like cells and fibronectin-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts (FN-null-MEFs) and used for imaging type I collagen assembly dynamics and its dependence on fibronectin. Both fusion proteins co-precipitated with α1(I)-collagen and remained intracellular without ascorbate but were assembled into α1(I) collagen-containing extracellular fibrils in the presence of ascorbate. Immunogold-EM confirmed their ultrastuctural localization in banded collagen fibrils. Live cell imaging in stably transfected MLO-A5 cells revealed the highly dynamic nature of collagen assembly and showed that during assembly the fibril networks are continually stretched and contracted due to the underlying cell motion. We also observed that cell-generated forces can physically reshape the collagen fibrils. Using co-cultures of mCherry- and GFPtpz-collagen expressing cells, we show that multiple cells contribute collagen to form collagen fiber bundles. Immuno-EM further showed that individual collagen fibrils can receive contributions of collagen from more than one cell. Live cell imaging in FN-null-MEFs expressing GFPtpz-collagen showed that collagen assembly was both dependent upon and dynamically integrated with fibronectin assembly. These GFP-collagen fusion constructs provide a powerful tool for imaging collagen in living cells and have revealed novel and fundamental insights into the dynamic mechanisms for the extracellular assembly of collagen

    Recombinant Collagen Engineered to Bind to Discoidin Domain Receptors Functions as a Receptor Inhibitor

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    A bacterial collagen-like protein Scl2 has been developed as a recombinant collagen model system to host human collagen ligand-binding sequences, with the goal of generating biomaterials with selective collagen bioactivities. Defined binding sites in human collagen for integrins, fibronectin, heparin, and MMP-1 have been introduced into the triple-helical domain of the bacterial collagen and led to the expected biological activities. The modular insertion of activities is extended here to the discoidin domain receptors (DDRs), which are collagen-activated receptor tyrosine kinases. Insertion of the DDR-binding sequence from human collagen III into bacterial collagen led to specific receptor binding. However, even at the highest testable concentrations, the construct was unable to stimulate DDR autophosphorylation. The recombinant collagen expressed in Escherichia coli does not contain hydroxyproline (Hyp), and complementary synthetic peptide studies showed that replacement of Hyp by Pro at the critical Gly-Val-Met-Gly-Phe-Hyp position decreased the DDR-binding affinity and consequently required a higher concentration for the induction of receptor activation. The ability of the recombinant bacterial collagen to bind the DDRs without inducing kinase activation suggested it could interfere with the interactions between animal collagen and the DDRs, and such an inhibitory role was confirmed in vitro and with a cell migration assay. This study illustrates that recombinant collagen can complement synthetic peptides in investigating structure-activity relationships, and this system has the potential for the introduction or inhibition of specific biological activities

    Increased collagen synthesis rate during wound healing in muscle

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    Wound healing in muscle involves the deposition of collagen, but it is not known whether this is achieved by changes in the synthesis or the degradation of collagen. We have used a reliable flooding dose method to measure collagen synthesis rate in vivo in rat abdominal muscle following a surgical incision. Collagen synthesis rate was increased by 480% and 860% on days 2 and 7 respectively after surgery in the wounded muscle compared with an undamaged area of the same muscle. Collagen content was increased by approximately 100% at both day 2 and day 7. These results demonstrate that collagen deposition during wound healing in muscle is achieved entirely by an increase in the rate of collagen synthesis

    Structure-mechanics relationships of collagen fibrils in the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Mouse model

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    The collagen molecule, which is the building block of collagen fibrils, is a triple helix of two α1(I) chains and one α2(I) chain. However, in the severe mouse model of osteogenesis imperfecta (OIM), deletion of the COL1A2 gene results in the substitution of the α2(I) chain by one α1(I) chain. As this substitution severely impairs the structure and mechanics of collagen-rich tissues at the tissue and organ level, the main aim of this study was to investigate how the structure and mechanics are altered in OIM collagen fibrils. Comparing results from atomic force microscopy imaging and cantilever-based nanoindentation on collagen fibrils from OIM and wild-type (WT) animals, we found a 33% lower indentation modulus in OIM when air-dried (bound water present) and an almost fivefold higher indentation modulus in OIM collagen fibrils when fully hydrated (bound and unbound water present) in phosphate-buffered saline solution (PBS) compared with WT collagen fibrils. These mechanical changes were accompanied by an impaired swelling upon hydration within PBS. Our experimental and atomistic simulation results show how the structure and mechanics are altered at the individual collagen fibril level as a result of collagen gene mutation in OIM. We envisage that the combination of experimental and modelling approaches could allow mechanical phenotyping at the collagen fibril level of virtually any alteration of collagen structure or chemistry.United States. Dept. of Defense. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and EngineersNational Science Foundation (U.S.) (CAREER Award

    Secondary cytotoxicity of (crosslinked) dermal sheep collagen during repeated exposure to human fibroblasts

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    We investigated commercially available dermal sheep collagen either cross-linked with hexamethylenediisocyanate, or cross-linked with glutaraldehyde. In previous in vitro studies we could discriminate primary, i.e. extractable, and secondary cytotoxicity, due to cell-biomaterial interactions, i.e. enzymatic actions. To develop dermal sheep collagen for clinical applications, we focused in this study on the release, e.g. elimination, of secondary cytotoxicity over time. We used the universal 7 d methylcellulose cell culture with human skin fibroblasts as a test system. Hexamethylenediisocyanate-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen and glutaraldehyde-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen were tested, with intervals of 6 d, over a culture period of 42 d. With hexamethylenediisocyanate-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen, cytotoxicity, i.e. cell growth inhibition and deviant cell morphology, was eliminated after 18 d of exposure. When testing glutaraldehyde-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen, the bulk of cytotoxic products was released after 6 d, but a continuous low secondary cytotoxicity was measured up to 42 d. As a control, non-cross-linked dermal-sheep collagen was tested over a period of 36 d, but no secondary cytotoxic effects were observed. The differences in release of secondary cytotoxicity between hexamethylenediisocyanate-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen, glutaraldehyde-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen and non-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen are explained from differences in cross-linking agents and cross-links obtained. We hypothesize that secondary cytotoxicity results from enzymatic release of pendant molecules from hexamethylene-diisocyanate-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen, e.g. formed after reaction of hydrolysis products of hexamethylenediisocyanate with dermal sheep collagen. Glutaraldehyde-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen contains residual cross-linking agents, which induce the bulk cytotoxicity. Apart from being sensitive to enzymatic degradation, glutaraldehyde-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen was also found to be sensitive to aqueous hydrolysis. Hydrolysis of cross-links may release cytotoxic products and introduce new pendant molecules within glutaraldehyde-cross-linked dermal sheep collagen, which in turn induce cytotoxicity after enzymatic attack

    Experimental and modeling study of collagen scaffolds with the effects of crosslinking and fiber alignment

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    Collagen type I scaffolds are commonly used due to its abundance, biocompatibility, and ubiquity. Most applications require the scaffolds to operate under mechanical stresses. Therefore understanding and being able to control the structural-functional integrity of collagen scaffolds becomes crucial. Using a combined experimental and modeling approach, we studied the structure and function of Type I collagen gel with the effects of spatial fiber alignment and crosslinking. Aligned collagen scaffolds were created through the flow of magnetic particles enmeshed in collagen fibrils to mimic the anisotropy seen in native tissue. Inter- and intra- molecular crosslinking was modified chemically with Genipin to further improve the stiffness of collagen scaffolds. The anisotropic mechanical properties of collagen scaffolds were characterized using a planar biaxial tensile tester and parallel plate rheometer. The tangent stiffness from biaxial tensile test is two to three orders of magnitude higher than the storage moduli from rheological measurements. The biphasic nature of collagen gel was discussed and used to explain the mechanical behavior of collagen scaffolds under different types of mechanical tests. An anisotropic hyperelastic constitutive model was used to capture the characteristics of the stress-strain behavior exhibited by collagen scaffolds

    The impact of SPARC on age-related cardiac dysfunction and fibrosis in Drosophila

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    Tissue fibrosis, an accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen, accompanies cardiac ageing in humans and this is linked to an increased risk of cardiac failure. The mechanisms driving age-related tissue fibrosis and cardiac dysfunction are unclear, yet clinically important. Drosophila is amenable to the study of cardiac ageing as well as collagen deposition; however it is unclear whether collagen accumulates in the ageing Drosophila heart. This work examined collagen deposition and cardiac function in ageing Drosophila, in the context of reduced expression of collagen-interacting protein SPARC (Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine) an evolutionarily conserved protein linked with fibrosis. Heart function was measured using high frame rate videomicroscopy. Collagen deposition was monitored using a fluorescently-tagged collagen IV reporter (encoded by the Viking gene) and staining of the cardiac collagen, Pericardin. The Drosophila heart accumulated collagen IV and Pericardin as flies aged. Associated with this was a decline in cardiac function. SPARC heterozygous flies lived longer than controls and showed little to no age-related cardiac dysfunction. As flies of both genotypes aged, cardiac levels of collagen IV (Viking) and Pericardin increased similarly. Over-expression of SPARC caused cardiomyopathy and increased Pericardin deposition. The findings demonstrate that, like humans, the Drosophila heart develops a fibrosis-like phenotype as it ages. Although having no gross impact on collagen accumulation, reduced SPARC expression extended Drosophila lifespan and cardiac health span. It is proposed that cardiac fibrosis in humans may develop due to the activation of conserved mechanisms and that SPARC may mediate cardiac ageing by mechanisms more subtle than gross accumulation of collagen

    The effects of nanoparticles on the physical properties of type I collagen : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Chemistry at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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    This thesis concerned with the interactions of surface functionalized TiO2 and ZnO NPs with type I collagen. The collagen nanocomposites formed with TiO2 and ZnO NPs may be potential candidates for some biomedical applications thanks to the synergetic effects between two materials. How the physical properties of collagen have been changed when interacting with TiO2 and ZnO NPs has been investigated in this project. The general background and research objectives of this study are introduced in Chapter 1, followed by Chapter 2 which gives details about the preparation of the samples, in addition to the characterization techniques and protocols. The TiO2 and ZnO NPs were synthesized by colloidal synthetic methods and their surfaces were functionalized with different functional groups. The physical properties of the TiO2-collagen nanocomposites and ZnO-induced collagen gels were studied by rheology, DSC, swelling ratio assay, FTIR and confocal microscopy. The mechanical studies are the main focus of this thesis. In Chapter 3, TiO2 NPs coated with chitosan and PAA were introduced into collagen solutions before fibrillogenesis was carried out. They were found to affect the linear rheology of the collagen gels as a function of their concentration. There were no significant differences in the strain-stress response in the non-linear rheology. It was found that the PAA coated TiO2 NPs promoted collagen fibrillogenesis, resulting in thin fibrils, and a dense and more crosslinked structure, while the chitosan coated TiO2 NPs slowed down the collagen fibrillogenesis and created a heterogeneous network with thick fibrils and less crosslinks. ZnO-PVP NPs were found to induce collagen gelation without the use of the conventional fibrillogenesis involving gelation buffer, as reported in Chapter 4. The hydrogel formed with this method was found to be three times as strong as the gel formed with conventional gelation buffer at the same collagen concentration. Confocal images indicated those two gels have different molecular assembly states. A group of experiments showed ZnO acted as a neutralizing agent here to raise the pH of the collagen solution to the pH close to the isoelectric point of the collagen. Both the TiO2 and ZnO NP-collagen systems have demonstrated that different collagen networks can be created by the direct or indirect interactions between collagen monomer solution and the nanoparticles. By manipulating the assembly of collagen to design different networks, it is possible to achieve the physical properties required for different applications. The results are followed by the conclusions and future perspectives of this study

    Mathematical modeling of collagen turnover in biological tissue

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    The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00285-012-0613-yWe present a theoretical and computational model for collagen turnover in soft biological tissues. Driven by alterations in the mechanical environment, collagen fiber bundles may undergo important chronic changes, characterized primarily by alterations in collagen synthesis and degradation rates. In particular, hypertension triggers an increase in tropocollagen synthesis and a decrease in collagen degradation, which lead to the well-documented overall increase in collagen content. These changes are the result of a cascade of events, initiated mainly by the endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Here, we represent these events collectively in terms of two internal variables, the concentration of growth factor TGF-β\beta and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases TIMP. The upregulation of TGF-β\beta increases the collagen density. The upregulation of TIMP also increases the collagen density through decreasing matrix metalloproteinase MMP. We establish a mathematical theory for mechanically-induced collagen turnover and introduce a computational algorithm for its robust and efficient solution. We demonstrate that our model can accurately predict the experimentally observed collagen increase in response to hypertension reported in literature. Ultimately, the model can serve as a valuable tool to predict the chronic adaptation of collagen content to restore the homeostatic equilibrium state in vessels with arbitrary micro-structure and geometry.Peer ReviewedPostprint (author's final draft
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