About Benedikt Rennekamp:
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Collagen is a force-bearing, hierarchical structural protein important to all connective tissue. In tendon collagen, high load even below macroscopic failure level creates mechanoradicals by homolytic … bond scission, similar to polymers. The location and type of initial rupture sites critically decide on both the mechanical and chemical impact of these micro-ruptures on the tissue, but are yet to be explored. We here use scale-bridging simulations supported by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry to determine breakage points in collagen. We find collagen crosslinks, as opposed to the backbone, to harbor the weakest bonds, with one particular bond in trivalent crosslinks as the most dominant rupture site. We identify this bond as sacrificial, rupturing prior to other bonds while maintaining the material’s integrity. Also, collagen’s weak bonds funnel ruptures such that the potentially harmful mechanoradicals are readily stabilized. Our results suggest this unique failure mode of collagen to be tailored towards combatting an early onset of macroscopic failure and material ageing.
Date Published: 12th Apr 2023
Publication Type: Journal
Citation: Nat Commun 14, 2075 (2023).
Created: 21st Oct 2022 at 17:53, Last updated: 14th Apr 2023 at 06:38
Type I collagen is the main structural component of many tissues in the human body. It provides excellent mechanical properties to connective tissue and acts as a protein interaction hub. There is thus … a wide interest in understanding the properties and diverse functions of type I collagen at the molecular level. A precondition is an atomistic collagen I structure as it occurs in native tissue. To this end, we built full-atom models of cross-linked collagen fibrils by integrating the low-resolution structure of collagen fibril available from x-ray fiber diffraction with high-resolution structures of short collagen-like peptides from x-ray crystallography and mass spectrometry data. We created a Web resource of collagen models for 20 different species with a large variety of cross-link types and localization within the fibril to facilitate structure-based analyses and simulations of type I collagen in health and disease. To easily enable simulations, we provide parameters of the modeled cross-links for an Amber force field. The repository of collagen models is available at https://colbuilder.h-its.org.
Date Published: 7th Sep 2021
Publication Type: Journal
Created: 27th Oct 2021 at 05:41, Last updated: 28th Feb 2022 at 08:17
Created: 5th Mar 2020 at 12:52, Last updated: 18th Mar 2020 at 04:01