What Is Collagen Synthesis?

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Collagen is a fibrous protein that is found throughout the entire structure of the body. In fact, various types of collagen account for approximately one-third of the body's weight. Collagen is a primary component in the connective tissues, such as tendons and ligaments. It is used extensively in the extracellular matrix, which forms the basis for most connective tissue. Collagen synthesis refers to the process of collagen creation and is discussed below.

Procollagen

The first step in collagen synthesis is the creation of procollagen, a collagen like structure with additional peptides (linked amino acids).

Endoplasmic Reticulum

Once the procollagen has been formed it is transported to the endoplasmic reticulum and the procollagen is bonded with two other procollagen chains to create a stronger, triple helix structure.

Secretion

After the triple-helix procollagen has been formed, the structure is secreted from or pushed outside of the cell.

Peptide Removal

When the procollagen leaves the cell, enzymes remove the extra peptides from the ends of the procollagen, which creates true collagen.

Fiber Formation

The last stage of the process is the when the collagen molecules form collagen fibrils, a substructure that is then used to create collagen fibers.

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