Sequential cleavage of type I procollagen by procollagen N-proteinase. An intermediate containing an uncleaved pro alpha 1(I) chain. Academic Article uri icon


  • The conversion of type I procollagen to type I collagen was studied by cleaving the protein with partically purified type I procollagen N-proteinase from chick embryos. Examination of the reaction products after incubation for varying times at 30 degrees C indicated that, during the initial stages of the reaction, pro alpha 1(I) and pro alpha 2(I) chains were cleaved at about the same rate. As a result, all the pro alpha 2(I) chains were converted to pC alpha 2(I) chains well before all the pro alpha 1 chains were cleaved. When the reaction products were examined by gel electrophoresis without reduction of interchain disulfide bonds, a distinct band of an intermediate was detected. The same intermediate was seen when the reaction was carried out at 35, 37, and 40 degrees C. The data established that over two-thirds of the type I procollagen was converted to the intermediate and that this intermediate was then slowly converted to the final product of pCcollagen. The kinetics for the reaction, however, did not fit a simple model for precursor-product relationship among substrate, intermediate, and product. Examination of the reaction products with a two-step gel procedure demonstrated that the intermediate consisted of three polypeptide chains in which the N propeptide was cleaved from one pro alpha 1 chain and one pro alpha 2(I) chain but the N propeptide was still present on one of the pro alpha 1(I) chains. In further experiments it was demonstrated that a similar intermediate was seen when a homotrimer of pro alpha 1(I) chains was partially cleaved by the enzyme.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Berger, J., Tanzawa, K., & Prockop, D. J.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Berger, J||Tanzawa, K||Prockop, DJ

publication date

  • January 1985