Decorin belongs to the small leucine proteoglycans family and is considered to play an important role in extracellular matrix organization. Experimental studies suggest that decorin is required for the assembly of collagen fibrils, as well as for the development of proper tissue mechanical properties. In tendons, decorins tie adjoining collagen fibrils together and probably guarantee the mechanical coupling of fibrils. The decorin molecule consists of one core protein and one glycosaminoglycan chain covalently linked to a serine residue of the core protein. Several studies have indicated that each core protein binds to the surface of collagen fibrils every 67 nm, by interacting non-covalently to one collagen molecule of the fibril surface, while the decorin glycosaminoglycans extend from the core protein to connect to another decorin core protein laying on adjacent fibril surface. The present paper investigates the complex composed of one decorin core protein and one collagen molecule in order to obtain their binding force. For this purpose, molecular models of collagen molecules type I and decorin core protein were developed and their interaction energies were evaluated by means of the molecular mechanics approach. Results show that the complex is characterized by a maximum binding force of about 12.4 x 10(3) nN and a binding stiffness of 8.33 x 10(-8) N/nm; the attained binding force is greater than the glycosaminoglycan chain's ultimate strength, thus indicating that overloads are likely to damage the collagen fibre's mechanical integrity by disrupting the glycosaminoglycan chains rather than by causing decorin core protein detachment from the collagen fibril.
|Titolo:||Estimation of the binding force of the collagen molecule-decorin core protein complex in collagen fibril|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2005|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.jbiomech.2004.04.032|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|